Director Ashley Bush Returns to Texas With A Comedy Film
"Smile" Comedy Film Directed By Ashley Bush is a Houston Comedy Film Festival Official Selection screening April 14th, 2018 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Mason Park. Lark LeClear is the winner of the Houston Comedy Film Festival 2018 Best Actress Award for her performance in "Smile." Tagline "Catch the man of your dreams...for only 3 easy payments of $39.99!"
Director's Biography: Ashley Bush
Ashley was born and raised in good ol’ Texas. She set off to New York City to attend Barnard College of Columbia University where she studied English and Film, with a focus in Women's Studies. At Barnard, she helped organize the first Athena Film Festival, a film festival that celebrates women leadership. After college, Ashley worked in documentaries through a production company called Stick Figure Productions, where she produced several documentary shoots. In 2014, she was hired to assist director Cary Fukunaga during pre-production and production of Beasts of No Nation filming in Ghana. Ashley is a recent (August, 2017) graduate from the MFA program at the University of Southern California’s school of the Cinematic Arts.
Director's Statement: Ashley Bush
I was inspired to make 'Smile' after observing the continual pressures of young women to fit into what society deems as “feminine”. We see it everywhere – in ads, in politics, in the media’s portrayal of women. We are told everywhere that if we want to fit in, we must act a certain way and look a certain way to gain those universal feelings of love and acceptance. I won't lie -- I've fallen down my own rabbit hole of self-help videos. "Cross your legs every minute or two to draw attention to the part of the body that men like the most... the legs!" The legs? Since when---I thought it was the boobs?
I was most intrigued by the self proclaimed experts who profit from offering tips to women and girls on how to act in order to find a mate or be more physically "attractive" to that mate. It's as if they are the god and we are the minions that must follow their order or else...
The advice that's slapped in major magazines, blogs, popular books, etc ranges from absurd to sad. Women must continue to challenge the feminine beauty myth-- it's still happening 17 years after Naomi Wolf's 'The Beauty Myth'.