MU junior Sofia Voss releases new LGBTQ+ short film ‘I Think Of You Often’

“I Think Of You Often” seeks to share the beauty of LGBTQ+ relationships.

Filmmaking and pandemics are not a good match. With the current crisis, completing a film seems to be nearly impossible without some sort of problem. However, MU junior and filmmaker Sofia Voss managed to create and release her new LGBTQ+ short film “I Think Of You Often.”

“I Think Of You Often,” according to its description on YouTube, is a “queer (lgbtqia+) short film following the return of Aiden to her hometown friend group and her teenage crush, Nora.” The film portrays the normalcy and beauty of LGBTQ+ relationships within a sweeping green and blue visual atmosphere.

Voss, writer and director of the film, got her start with her first short film at the age of 16. Her love for filmmaking and movies in general is rooted within her own family.

“I grew up in a family that’s very big on movies. My dad really likes foreign films, and my mom is really big into horror films,” Voss said. “Obviously it was a big influence on me growing up.”

Every artist is influenced by something, and Voss cherishes her family as one of her biggest influences.

This is when “I Think Of You Often” comes into the picture. With her skills increasing over time, Voss’s new film showcases her developing artistic process.

“I’m a very visual thinker, and I always have been. When I’m coming up with ideas for a film, I’ll take images and scenes I see in my head and create a context for them,” Voss said. “A lot of times I’ll base it on something from my own life… and then it turns into its own story.”

Casting decisions can make or break a film’s quality. Many professional filmmakers go through rigorous audition processes to see who will fit best in each role.

For Voss, however, her casting process was fluid and personal.

“[The cast] is a ragtag group of indie kids from Columbia and the local art scene. I knew a lot of them before, but I didn’t know if any of them were actors,” Voss said. “The actress who plays Aiden, I’ve known her my whole time I’ve been here at Mizzou.”

Annalise Gogarty, MU junior and actress who plays Aiden, said her relationship with Voss blossomed freshman year.

“We had a class together freshman year, and so we were in the same discussion group. I’m pretty sure she had colored hair, so I was like ‘she seems cool’ so I went and sat next to her,” Gogarty said.

Although Voss and Gogarty have been friends since their college careers started, Gogarty was not the first pick to play the lead role in “I Think Of You Often.” The original pick to play Aiden had an apparent COVID-19 scare and had to step down, Gogarty said, leading her to play the character.

Gogarty emphasized the importance of LGBTQ+ representation within the film industry and stressed that normalizing these stories could lead to a more comfortable world. Juno Dokken, the person who plays the love interest Nora, said that LGBTQ+ representation in films is often over-sexualized and unrealistic and doesn’t portray the real struggles these individuals actually face.

“I think it's just all a very romanticized type of culture when it’s really extremely difficult,” Dokken said. “People kill themselves every day for being gay because it is so hard to come out. You don’t know what everybody’s reaction is going to be.”

Aiden and Nora’s relationship within the film is realistic and de-sexualized, providing an accurate window into relationships within the LGBTQ+ community. “I Think Of You Often” seeks to bring more accurate queer representation to the silver screen.

The film is currently on YouTube for no charge on Voss’s channel @sofia voss.

Edited by Angelina Edwards | aedwards@themaneater.com

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