Out of stock

On Demand Lesson Plan Cast & Crew

Running Time 9:59
Behind The Scenes 12:27


Emily hangs with her friends, plays soccer and looks forward to graduation. She also has a secret girlfriend. Will her friends still love her when she comes out? This film was written by students from Southern California and directed by Michael Apted.


Lipstick was written by Emily Alvarez, Dan Barnard, Roxanna Garcia, Simone Lance and Sophia Tavernakis, peer educators with Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties in southern California. The film was directed by Michael Apted (The World Is Not Enough, Gorillas in the Mist, 7 Up series) and shot by Rogier Stoffers (Quills, Enough). This film was created in partnership with Planned Parenthood Federation of America.


  • 2001-2002 National-West Contest Winner, Orange Country, CA
  • Aired on Showtime
  • Screened at over 60 Film Festivals internationally
  • YALSA’s Select DVD’s & Videos for Young Adults
  • Highly Recommended, Educational Media Reviews Online
  • Recommended, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network)
  • Highly Recommended, The Safe Schools Coalition
  • Aired on PFLAG Talk, San Francisco
  • Used in various school districts across the US including the NYC School District

The Story Behind the Story

The production of Lipstick took place at a rapid pace, since acclaimed filmmaker Michael Apted had only a few days to spare before his next major Hollywood project. Three days after Lipstick was selected, Apted met with the writers in their hometown to discuss their story, begin re-writes and launch pre-production. At the same time, Michael and producer Philip Ruddy recruited 50 Hollywood professionals to work on the film and mentor youth volunteers on-set. With both the script finalized and the film crew in tow, Lipstick was ready for “Lights, Camera and Action!”.

Or so they thought!

The final pre-production task was finding a location; the script called for a soccer field. The writers contacted all the high schools they knew of in their community, asking for permission to use their fields. School advisors were excited about the project at first, and offered their facilities for the shoot, but once they found out that the film dealt with homosexuality every school backed out. With only three days to go before shooting, there was no location! Complicating matters even more, Michael could not extend his time with the project. If the film couldn’t be shot that weekend, he (and his crew) would have to back out of the project. Without a location, Scenarios USA and the writers were faced with the possibility of losing their director and having to cancel the film!

At the last possible hour, Fullerton College – a local community college – came on board and allowed the crew to film on their soccer field.

The troubled search for a location was not the only problem caused by the topic of the film. One of the high schools organized a school-wide reception to honor the young winners, but the writers and a guest speaker from Planned Parenthood were not allowed to mention the subject of the film! In fact, their speeches were screened by school officials. Michael Apted decided to used his speech (which was not screened by school officials) to address the issue of homosexuality and recognize the courage of the young writers who persevered in the face of community opposition.