Filmmaker Dominick Evans tells story of fear, oppression and love

By Chelsea Davis

Photo: Filmmaker Dominick Evans begins production on “Inamorata”; photo: Dominick Evans

“The dream is just to direct and make films,” Dominick Evans, the director of the short film, “Inamorata,” said. “Some people are just creative and I’m that kind of person.”

Evans, who holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in motion picture production from Wright State University’s film school, is taking his senior thesis and turning it into a short film.

Evans sees filmmaking as his future and is doing everything he can to make it a reality. He is using his platform as a filmmaker to shed some light on a myriad of issues, including the LGBT and the disability communities.

Evans has type-three spinal muscular atrophy. In laymen’s terms, that means the nerves that make his muscles move don’t communicate properly with his brain. This has stripped the ability to walk, among other things, from Evans, but not his passion for storytelling and advocacy.

“Anybody can end up in the disability community,” Evans said. “Every person has the potential to join this community, but we don’t think about it until it happens to us. We don’t think about legislation until or unless it affects us.

“I think we have this pretense to expect people with disabilities to not have jobs at all, but our society is set up to where it is not advantageous to have jobs,” Evans continued. “The people I know are highly intelligent and have great potential for a career, but here our society is saying we should not be employed if we want to keep our healthcare. Right now, I have to watch what I make – I can’t make too much, and it’s rare to find a job that covers everything with the insurance.”

Evans not only advocates for the disability community, but also for the LGBT community. Evans is transgendered and began his transition from female to male 12 years ago. He uses his place in both communities to speak on them separately and together. Evans was even invited to speak at a forum on LGBT disability at the White House.

“People in the LGBT community who are also in the disability community are marginalized even more so,” Evans said.

It’s Evans’ insight into these communities that compels him to tell many different types of stories.

The term “inamorata” means “a person’s female lover,” according to Merriam-Webster. This also happens to be the basic premise for Evans’ film. The short film focuses on a same-sex couple, Lili and Emma, who are struggling with their own relationship issues, set against the backdrop of a more oppressive 1960s. There is stress put on the relationship, due to the fear of losing everything they have because of their love.

“There’s so much legislation trying to limit women, limit LGBT people and it’s not working – we’re seeing laws get passed for marriage equality,” Evans said. “Seeing the 1960s and all of the restrictions placed on people – especially women, especially LGBT people – we don’t want to go back. How awful it is to be unable to be yourself?”

In addition to the outward oppression from society, the film also focuses on personal inward struggle and repression. Lili is fighting with her own heart and mind, between her love for Emma and her incredible desperation for what society has deemed “normal.”

“Everything is telling her to date a man because it would be ‘easier,’ but she loves this woman,” Evans said. “Lili also lives in this climate where it’s important for women to stay home and take care of the children. She’s torn.”

Evans is not alone in his journey, Ashtyn Law, currently pursuing a degree in screenwriting, is not only his girlfriend, but his creative partner. Evans sometimes comes up with the general idea and outline and then Law gives it life. Evans takes Law’s scripts and gives them a face. It was Law, though, that brought this story about women to Dominick.

“She’s really an exceptional writer and I’m really excited I get to use her scripts because she writes about things I never would’ve thought about,” Evans said. “Some of our actors talk about what a smart script this is and really all of Ashtyn’s scripts are just really intelligent.”

Law and Evans have been together for 11 years and have worked together on various projects

“We’ve been together for so long, I’ll tell her what I don’t like and whatnot, and she’ll do the same,” Evans said. “We’re very critical and she’s my best friend. It’s a process of love and hate, but mostly love, and it works for us.”

Now, they’ve decided to use the film medium to give a voice to the marginalized, and tell stories that rarely, if ever, get told.

“We tell stories about people not a lot of movies are telling,” Evans said. “Being part of two marginalized communities, I want to give a voice to those communities.”

Evans confessed that before transitioning, as well as taking a women’s studies course, he did not consider himself a feminist or was even fully aware of feminist issues.

“The more male I become – the more people see me as male – the more I really realize how horrible society treats women,” Evans said. “How society treated me when I was perceived as female made me want to be even more outspoken on women’s rights. I didn’t understand the difference until I experienced it.”

Production for “Inamorata” begins in the fall of 2014. For more information, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Chelsea Davis at

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Chelsea Davis

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