Actress Dylan Gelula and filmmaker Cloudy Rhodes have both spent a lot of time thinking about young love recently. Their new films, First Girl I Loved and Lo Loves You, both track delicate queer teenage romances, and all the heady feelings that come with that. In First Girl I Loved, Dylan plays high-school misfit Anne who falls in love with the beautiful star of her softball team. Through her eyes we navigate the confusion and joy of falling for someone, and the vulnerabilities one has to suddenly face when that relationship begins to strain and fray.
They're familiar themes for Australian filmmaker Cloudy Rhodes, whose short Lo Loves You also explore the heady abandon of feeling your chest constrict for someone new. The two creatives, whose projects will be screened together around Australia, bonded over their parallel experiences of making these films and meditating on young love. We spoke to them both about celebrating queer romance onscreen.