Samantha Lee is a filmmaker known for true-to-life stories from Baka Bukas, Billie and Emma, Sleep with Me, and recently Rookie, centered around LGBTQ+ voices. She won Audience Choice Award in the full-length feature category at Cinemalaya 2023.
We chat with Sam about sexiness, consent, and the importance of hearing out queer voices.
How would you introduce yourself at a dinner party?
Hi my name is Sam and I’m a Scorpio.
What gives you pleasure?
I always think about what Foucault says about desire: that it is independent of repressive power and it should be something that liberates. In relation to what I center my pleasure around these days: it’s a process of resistance, of reimagination, of trying to explore ways of living that are outside of the status quo.
Oftentimes, pleasure is centered around the self, and people often forget that we have to find pleasure outside of the capitalist, patriarchal society that teaches us that momentary and individual pleasure is all there is.
What is sexy to you?
Kindness! Self-awareness! Therapy!
What would you advise your younger self on sex or sexuality?
Have fun, it’s not supposed to be like it is in the movies, and don’t worry about going to hell.
Best and worst sex tips?
Best: always, always, always ask for consent.
Worst: never asking for consent.
Where would be your ideal first date?
I’m a museum girlie, through and through.
What’s on your bedside table?
Six books, my kindle, allergy medicines and a new lamp.
Films/tv series worth watching on pride month?
Not just during PRIDE but throughout the whole year, I encourage people to watch films and tv shows that help expand their world view. What will help them develop more compassion and empathy for the marginalized groups? It’s always funny to me when people say oh I’m not going to watch <name of LGBTQ+ media> because I’m straight and I’m always like “okay, did you have to get on a spaceship to enjoy Interstellar?”
How did you celebrate pride month?
While I do appreciate that more brands, magazines and media outlets are now open to platforming LGBTQ+ voices, I do encourage the concept of continued alliedship in the sense the fight for equality should be a continued effort and not be limited to 30 days. They gays don’t just stop existing in July. Pride is all-year round and the fight for equality doesn’t stop until we are all free.