Skip to main content

Filmmakers Spotlight: Ali Scher of "The Maiden and The Princess"

When it comes to pushing the envelope, Director and Co-Writer Ali Scher just does that. In her latest project, The Maiden and The Princess, Scher tackles homosexuality in a fresh and innovative way. Learn about her film, the lessons she's learned and check out her advice for up and coming filmmakers.

Tell us a little bit about your project and how long you’ve been working on it. 
My short film, The Maiden and The Princess, is about Little Emmy Adams [who] kisses a girl on the playground and is left feeling isolated and alone. The Grand High Council of Fairy Tale Rules and Standards led by Bernard (Julian Sands) sends her a hetero-normative fairytale to set her down the 'right' path in life. With the help of fairy godmother and rogue fairytale narrator, Hammond (David Anders), Emmy searches for herself amidst this musical fairytale.
The Maiden and The Princess is a fairy tale about a little girl who needs to learn to love herself. I made this film for every little girl and boy out there that feels different without understanding why. There were no books or films with people like me in them when I was growing up. There was a Disney princess for every color of hair and every country, but no princess ever had a girlfriend. My goal with this project is to cut through the silence and facilitate honest communication between children and parents about sexual orientation. As a kid, I was afraid that by talking about my feelings, I would lose the people in my life I loved. I made this film so no kid has to feel ashamed of who they are. We as a society need to encourage individuality in children, even if it means exposing them to things we are afraid of.
Is there anyone you'd like to thank for helping out with this film?
I’d like to thank my genius cast and crew, as this project really was a fantastic collaboration! Specifically, I have to thank my wonderful producers, Ian Ward and Rebecca Louisel, along with my fantastic leads, David Anders, Julian Sands, Tallulah Wayman-Harris and Megan Hilty. I also need to thank my beautiful, perfect girlfriend, Olivia Choate, for inspiring me in both my life and my art. 
How does it feel to have your film part of the New Film Makers Screening at Sunset Gower Studios?
It feels AMAZING to have my film be a part of the New Film Makers Screening at Sunset Gower Studios! I’ve heard such incredible things about this screening series, mostly from fellow USC graduates, and I’m beyond honored to take part! 
What inspires you?
I’m most inspired by a really good story and dynamic, original characters. 
Who are your influences and who do you admire?
Growing up, I used to always keep my gigantic anthology of Hans Christian Anderson fairytales on my bedside table. My mom or dad would read me two a night. Those stories shaped my childhood dreams and definitely still inspire me today.

What lessons have you learned from the industry so far?
I've grown up a ton since becoming a filmmaker. Making a movie is like having a baby. It poops and pukes and sometimes just cries and smells... but you love it anyway because it's yours. Taking care of a film, ushering it into being, takes an enormous amount of discipline and drive. Filmmaking has turned me into an adult, but left me with the excitement and effervescence of being a kid. It's the best of both worlds (and yes, I did just quote Hannah Montana, sue me). 
If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?
I’d really love to work with Tina Fey someday. She’s such an intelligent and talented female writer/actress. I have a lot of respect for that woman. 
What is the toughest experience you've ever had to overcome?
Casting the lead part in Maiden was an enormous challenge. Finding a little girl with a believable British accent in L.A. is no easy feat! I joined an online expatriate meet-up group and attended their meetings at local pubs. Once I was on their mailing list, I started sending out inquiries about kids who might have recently moved here from the UK with an interest in casting. I’d also include updates about how the rest of the cast was coming together. It definitely helped that our amazing Casting Director Tammara Billik got us the incredible David Anders and the incomparable Julian Sands. We actually got a few replies from those email inquiries and that was how we wound up casting Tallulah, our little star.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given to you?
Amanda Pope, one of my mentors from USC always told me to never ask for permission. Just do it (whatever it is) and ask for forgiveness later! 
What advice would you give to new filmmakers starting out in the industry?
Have a voice! Know what you want to say, and say it in a distinct way. Pussy footing around won't get you anywhere. No one will care until you take that camera and MAKE them care.
Where can we expect to see you next?
We're nearing the end of our first year on the circuit and have played at over 50 film festivals (both in the US and abroad). The film has won quite a few awards, including a Student Emmy, the 2011 DGA Jury Award for Best Female Director, and the 2012 USC Faculty Award for Best Director. I’m working to adapt a really exciting book (set in 13th century Italy) into a screenplay with my writing partner from Maiden, Joe Swanson. And I’m also co-creator of a webseries called Candyland (link provided bellow).
Let our readers know where they can find more information about you and your projects. 
Here’s Maiden’s official website:
And here’s a link to the promo for Candyland, the webseries:
Anything else you'd like to add?
I've always wanted to be a storyteller. I love theater and literature, but film provides a much larger canvas to paint on. 
I'd worked in theater since I was really little, and love directing for the stage. I just hated that feeling after a show ends... like a part of you is dead and gone forever. With film nothing ever dies. That’s a big part of what I love about it.
Want more info?
Visit the NewFilmmakers LA Official Website at for more information.

About the Author

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner, LA Youth Newspaper and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
Questions, comments or suggestions?

Popular posts from this blog

2017 EXXXOTICA Expo Dates and Locations Announced

Riding high off its most successful event to date in Edison, New Jersey, the EXXXOTICA Expo presented by MyFreeCams is already looking forward to 2017 with a trio of events planned around the country. In addition to its longstanding shows in Chicago and New Jersey, the show’s producers are pinning a new city on its map — Denver, Colorado for EXXXOTICA Mile High.

EXXXOTICA’s debut in the Rocky Mountains has been in the works for years, and event organizers couldn’t be more excited to bring the show to Denver. The 2017 show schedule kicks off in grand style with EXXXOTICA Mile High, March 31 through April 2, 2017. The show will be taking place as a full hotel takeover at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center.
With nearly 100,000 square feet of exhibition and breakout space, EXXXOTICA Mile High will not only feature hundreds of exhibitors and the top stars in adult, as well as seminars and performers, but the hotel will be transformed into the hottest hotel in the country wi…

CAM4 To Sponsor The Ms. EXXXOTICA 2017 Competition

EXXXOTICA, the nation’s largest event dedicated to love and sex, just announced that webcam portal CAM4 has signed on as a show sponsor for 2017. CAM4 will be sponsoring and presenting one of the expo’s most popular events, as well as one of its newest initiatives for EXXXOTICA Chicago in June and EXXXOTICA New Jersey in November.
Developed as a community with a focus on social networking, CAM4 is much more than a traditional webcam site, and they are now the presenting sponsor of SW!TCH, EXXXOTICA’s LGBT showcase. SW!TCH made its debut at EXXXOTICA New Jersey in 2016 as the show continued its efforts to be completely inclusive. SW!TCH was created as a means for LGBT vendors, talent, and performers to become part of the EXXXOTICA family. SW!TCH will continue to grow in 2017, and with CAM4 as the presenting sponsor, their booth will be the anchor of the showcase that will feature seminars, events, vendors, talent, and broadcasters catering to LGBT attendees.
“CAM4 is extremely excited…

EXXXOTICA 2-17 Hits Chicago June 23rd

EXXXOTICA Chicago, the largest event in the USA dedicated to love and sex, opens its doors for the seventh straight year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont this weekend and thousands of attendees will be treated to a virtual playground for adults, with over 150 adult stars, a convention floor packed with over 100 exhibitors, and over 20 hours of entertainment on the main stage and in the seminar rooms scheduled.

EXXXOTICA, presented by MyFreeCams, will feature the biggest names in the adult world. Legends, stars on the rise and the hottest cam girls will be appearing. Superstars such as Ron Jeremy, Lisa Ann, Tori Black, Katie Morgan, Alexis Texas, Lexi Belle, Allie Haze, Tanya Tate, Evan Stone, Adriana Chechik, Phoenix Marie, Joanna Angel, Rubberdoll, Briana Banks, Teagan Presley, Alexis Monroe, Adria Rae, Mr. Marcus, Misty Stone, Stoya, Kendra Sunderland, Vicki Chase, Mia Malkova, Jillian Janson, Darcie Dolce, Eva Lovia, Harley Dean, Dani Jensen, Natalia Starr, …

Summer Survival: Pick the Most Breathable Fabrics

Summer is inching closer, and while we're all psyched for the perpetually warm weather ahead after a tough winter, pretty soon it's inevitable that the heat, humidity and summer sun will leave us feeling, well, less than fresh.

Chrissy Volk, wardrobe consultant for Adahlia Volk has put together a cheat-sheet for navigating through the best, most breatheable fabrics for the season. Who ever looks at clothing "ingredient" listings on the tag - well, this season think of it as your guide to "cool."


COTTON + STRETCH = CUTE BUTT: Cotton jeans are the lightest for summer because they are airy and breathable, however, jeans with a small content of stretch are the most flattering. They will move with your body and it’s movements.BEST DENIM BLENDS: Chrissy suggests denim with a high cotton content, and small synthetic content. A jean with either a 98% cotton/2% lycra or 96 % cotton/4% Lycra fabric, is a good combination. J…

Exxxotica Los Angeles 2011 - Day 2 Gallery


Exxxotica, "the largest event in the U.S.A. dedicated to love and sex," took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 26th-28th drawing hundreds of fans of all various ages. From middle aged men to college kids, fans got to meet their favorite adult stars, attend seminars, watch go go dancers on stripper poles and ask their favorite stars questions during the on stage panel. Even, Youtube sensation, the "Sexy Sax Man" made a cameo. If you missed out on the event, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with our photo gallery.

If you're wondering how Exxxotica measures up to Adultcon, let's just say that this event was like the E3 of adult expos, with an emphasis on females, relationships and love. Let's not forget that bigger celebrities were in attendance here including the legendary Ron Jeremy, Rockstar Phil Varone and Wicked Pictures stars Stormy Daniels, Kirsten Price, Jessica Drake, Alekt…