By Mona Elyafi

Award-winning writer, actress, and filmmaker Astrid Ovalles has a lot to be grateful for these days! Her latest kinky dark comedic feature length drama, Road of Bygones, is set to be released on Amazon March 15th 2020.

Road of Bygones tells the story of three women who embark on a road trip to retrieve the ashes of a figure from the past. Hoping to find closure at their destination, the women are confronted with a series of self-destructive, sometimes hilarious, events that threaten to destroy all harmony between them.  A journey of laughter and melancholy in the slice-of-life of wonderfully flawed characters.

Written and directed by Astrid Ovalles, the film stars Sarah Jo Ovalles, Oriana Oppice and Astrid Ovalles.

 Road of Bygones tackles the taboo topic of BDSM and kink relationships breaking the stigma typically associated with both terms. In fact, Ovalles masterfully goes where no other filmmakers have gone before effectively normalizing this taboo sexual practice. Yet Road of Bygones is above it all a beautiful story about humanity.

Venezuelan-born actor, writer, and director, Astrid Ovalles debuted her film career with the award-winning and globally acclaimed short film “Camp Belvidere.”

The New Yorker and founder of Recluse Films splits her time between film and painting.

She continues to collaborate with filmmakers in front of the camera as an actor and behind it as a writer, director, editor, and colorist. Her goal is to use heart and innovation in the film medium to share powerful, human stories that benefit minorities by bringing them to the forefront of her work.

We caught up with the incredibly talented Ovalles to learn more about the film, her career and the upcoming Amazon release.

– How did the idea for Road of Bygones come to life?

Oriana and I had done a scene in acting class where we played sisters, and the chemistry felt addicting to both of us. After that scene, I brainstormed for years about the scene and how to build upon that chemistry. I also wanted to do something with D/s (Domination and submission) relationships, something blatant. So, I thought I would put these three women in a place where the option to leave the room was not available, and let them get into inevitable trouble. I had also seen a lot of shows that made D/s relationships stem from a place of abuse, and being a dominant myself, I felt like this film would present an opportunity to have a healthy D/s lifestyle represented on screen, especially within the lesbian and bisexual community. I feel as though D/s people don’t have a seat at the LGBT table. To me, “Road of Bygones” felt like an opportunity to begin breaking that stigma.

– Why was it important for you to make this movie?

I usually don’t care much for autobiographical work. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go before non-vanilla people don’t have to tiptoe around the nature of our relationships. I was welcomed with open arms after our first lesbian movie (a rather vanilla romance), but once Sarah (who plays Ally and is also my wife) and I came out as  D/s, a lot of people in the lesbian and bisexual community harassed us online, saying we were “sick” and claimed that the premise of being a submissive woman was rooted in anti-feminism. Quite a low blow for a feminist like myself. In a way, our own community treated us in the same way they ask not to be treated. So, it felt like we had a responsibility to educate people about this dynamic through our work, as well as to include D/s lesbians and bisexuals in film, so that people like us felt as though there was no need to hide because we were celebrating them.

– What makes this film a MUST-SEE? 

It’s different, it’s innovative, it’s exciting. I watch a lot of lesbian cinema because I am as starved for content as the next lesbian. However, I crave more than romance stories. I crave stories of all kinds that happen to have lesbians and bisexuals as leads, I assume members of the audience feel the same and would like the same variety. “Road of Bygones” will make you laugh, cry, question things about yourself and perhaps give you a taste of what it’s like to be honest about relationships that differ from the norm. It’s a good time! It’s also worth noting that all leading ladies identify as lesbian and queer, which is rare.

– Message wise, what do you hope viewers will leave with?

I hope viewers have a unique experience watching “Road of Bygones,” something different from the “two girls aren’t allowed to be together but they’re gonna do it anyway!” story. I certainly hope they laugh! It’s unfortunate that one still has to make a film with a message. Maybe one day we’ll be able to make films to simply tell stories and not to educate or defend ourselves from criticism. However, in the state we’re in (socially), I hope this film humanizes D/s relationships and kinksters, especially those within the LGBTQ community who get ousted by the self-righteous. More than anything, I hope people leave the film with the understanding that different is beautiful, that complicated relationships exist, and that with consent and communication we can be open about our desires in the search for companionship.

–  What does the film offer in terms of perspective for the LGBTQ community that other films don’t?

“Road of Bygones” is very unique, in fact, I don’t even like the fact that I had to choose a genre for it. First of all, it’s funny. You will laugh, even when perhaps it seems inappropriate to do so. But it’s ok! Because it’s rooted in dark comedy. It’s also a one-of-a-kind drama. Things happen that you don’t typically see happen. Our characters have visible, palpable flaws, yet you care for them. They aren’t good or bad, they are human. Our cast is queer on and off screen!! We know it’s important to the audience, so we made it happen. “Road of Bygones” gives insight on a taboo topic that’s typically exaggerated and portrayed with ignorance. We walk the walk when it comes to D/s. We’ve been told that people think about the film long after they’ve viewed it, and we’re taking that to the bank. Feel-good art is all well and good. But a film that leaves you thinking, fantasizing, wishing, and questioning is a rarity.

– How does your Latin heritage influence your art? As a Latin woman how do you see the LatinX community connect with the film?

Sometimes, I don’t even notice my heritage in my work until I’m asked to think about it. I know in hindsight that the scene in the church was a way to rebel against the turmoil and self-loathing I had as a teenager raised with Catholic ideologies. With this film in particular, it was important to me that Sam and Bobbi preserved their strong bond despite their flaws, because in my culture, family is everything. We have several LatinX fans who are simply happy to see a South American woman direct and produce films. I think even more so than LGBTQ North American audiences, Hispanic audiences lack representation in the LGBTQ community and in general. I’m not interested in stereotyping my culture or clumping all countries south of Texas into one box because Latin America is beautifully diverse. But I do plan on highlighting the beautiful memories I have of South America in my work moving forward.

– What’s next for you?

We have already begun writing our next feature film. Three of us lezzies (Cara Kilduff, Sarah J. Lucey, and myself) are writing it. It’s going to be a fantasy/drama which we’ll be approaching differently than our past works. Of course, it’s a lesbian story but it is also much more than that. I think of it as a breath of fresh air. We will be filming it over the span of a year using mixed media and music much more prevalently than before. At this stage, I’m reluctant to say anything about the plot, but I can tell you that with each film we’ve learned a lot about the craft and we’ve become very innovative. We’ve also gotten to know our audience because we speak to them personally. What we’re working on now is very dear to me, and perhaps what I’m most proud of to this day. If you follow me on social media, you’ll be sure to catch glimpses of it and witness its formation

The film will be available to rent/purchase on Amazon March 15, 2020.For more information go to: