“First Girl I Loved” inspires discussion about sexual identity and more

Paige Atkison, Reporter

Bakersfield College hosted a showing of the film “First Girl I Loved,” followed by a discussion with the filmmaker on Thursday, April 12. The film screening was hosted by the Bakersfield LGBTQ and Helen Acosta, faculty coordinator and the chair of the Communication department.

“First Girl I Loved” is an independent film that follows the high-schooler, Anne, played by Dylan Gelula, on her journey to discovering she is a lesbian.  The film covers many sensitive topics, including complexities of consent and the difficulty involved in coming out to friends and family as LGBT. The film’s main character, Anne, struggles to come to terms with her own sexual identity while managing her personal relationships. The antagonist, Clifton, discovers the importance of consent and the validity of LGBT relationships.

The film’s director and writer, Kerem Sanga stayed after the film showing to answer audience questions. Sanga discussed the personal significance of his younger sister coming out to him as LGBT and how it influenced his decision to make an LGBT film.

“My sister and I are still unclear as to who came up with the idea first,” said Sanga.

Sanga discussed the film’s success in the 2016 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Best of Next Audience Award.