Los Angeles, CA (November 15, 2017) – This month, tello Fims celebrates its 10 year anniversary, an achievement for any business, but being a lesbian-owned film production company makes it even more remarkable. The company, founded in 2007 by Christin Baker focuses on content geared towards a lesbian audience and features women in all of the leading roles. tello Films produces and distributes innovative, high-quality web series.
In August, tello Films received its first Emmy nomination for their original web series “secs & EXECS.” Actress, Mindy Sterling received the nomination for her role in the series. This makes tello Films the first lesbian network to receive such an honor. Sterling, best known for her role as Frau Farbissina in the "Austin Powers" movie series, was nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series in the tello original, "secs & EXECS." Sterling received two nominations in this category.
“When we first started creating the site, it was free and we were competing against Vimeo and YouTube,” states Christin Baker, founder of tello. “At that time we were doing interviews that were very long so we could cut them up because everyone said that people don't watch online content longer than 30 seconds. We never really followed the rules so we made them 5-10 minutes which was so long at the time.”
tello Films produces and distributes innovative, high-quality web series with a lesbian focus. We believe in telling authentic stories about people whose lives are often ignored or marginalized. tello creates web series specifically for the lesbian/queer community. Meaning that lesbian/queer characters are front and center.
Moving from free to a subscription based site was a very difficult decision for Baker, however, in some respects it was easy because it was the only way to make money to keep the site going. “People were saying no one would pay for content. It was right at the time that Hulu went to a subscription model and Netflix started having the digital option. Many people didn't think we would survive but I knew it was the only way we could. The technology wasn't there like it is now, so much of what we were doing we had to create as a very small company. I was so lucky to be surrounded by people who were willing to take a chance on this new model.”
For the past 10 years, tello Films has produced and distributed innovative, high-quality original content with a lesbian/queer focus including recent releases Riley Parra and Maybelle. Other original programming for the network include: Nikki & Nora, Plus One, and Skirtchasers.
“I wasn't sure if we would be able to survive this long,” jokes Baker. “I've seen so many content websites come and go and it's been amazing to know we are still here and that making content for the lesbian community is a viable business model and it shows that this is a community that wants its own content and deserves it. It's amazing we are still here and still connecting with people.”
Most recently two of their projects (Maybelle and Riley Parra) have been nominated for International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) Awards.