Dani, an introverted poetry student, experiments with her image in an effort to be seen. A short film by Melanie Notinger with DP Layton Blaylock (COMMUNITY FIRST, A HOME FOR THE HOMELESS, SXSW '19). Featuring Lauren Lane (THE NANNY) and newcomer Sarah Danko. Official Selection NewFest 2019. 

Comedy, Drama 

9 minutes   

"Rich in color and sophisticated in tone, the film offers Dani’s fascination with drag performance as an invitation for the audience to think through the literal performance of gender."

-Honeysuckle Magazine, article HERE


"Writer/Director Melanie Notinger brings out exceptionally strong performances."  

-Detroit SheTown Film Festival

M E E T  T H E  C A S T

L A U R E N  L A N E


S A R A H  D A N K O


M E L A N I E  N O T I N G E R



T Y L E R  G E O R G E


M E E T  T H E  D I R E C T O R

D I R E C T O R   B I O

D I R E C T O R  S T A T E M E N T

Melanie is a native Texan with New York roots that begged her to return. Her latest short, DRESS CODE (director, writer, supporting), recently screened at Twin Cities Film Festival and NewFest presented by HBO. Prior to her move to the north, Melanie wrote, directed, and starred as an anxious comedian in the short film CHOKE ARTIST (Official Selection Lighthouse International Film Festival). Additional acting credits include MY ALL-AMERICAN (dir. Angelo Pizzo) and JO (dir. Justine Williams). Melanie is the co-writer of BROOKLYN NO-NAMES, a heartfelt comedy produced Off-Broadway with SheNYC. She starred in the production with co-writer Marisa Jones, and it was awarded Best Script of the 2018 festival. Melanie has trained in Joan Scheckel's Filmmaking Series (Action Lab) and has a B.F.A. in Acting from Texas State University. She lives in Brooklyn. 

DRESS CODE is a poetic investigation of labels and how they affect us. It explores society's shame around femininity. The screenplay was inspired by the unnecessary pressure to present as either feminine or masculine. To choose. The stereotype is still damaging much of the queer community when one is assumed to be either "femme" or "butch" and act accordingly. DRESS CODE explores what's in-between.  As a queer storyteller, I'm fascinated by the spectrum of ways one can identify in the world.

DRESS CODE was shot in Austin, Texas with a 66% female crew. Queer representation was a vital part of the passion project both on-camera and behind-the-scenes. The score was written & performed by glitter-pop Austin native Benjamin Violet (PELVIS WRESTLEY).


Guided by the works of Joey Soloway (TRANSPARENT), Dee Rees (PARIAH), and Desiree Akhavan (APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR), the project began as a love letter to radical queer women who directly challenge ideas of identity in their work. My ultimate dream is for the film to make presentation feel more comfortable for female, trans, and gender non-conforming folks.

U P C O M I N G  S C R E E N I N G S

June 9th, 2020. INDIEWORKS. Queens, New York. 

P A S T  S C R E E N I N G S

June 6th, 2019: ART OF BROOKLYN FILM FESTIVAL. Brooklyn, New York.

August 21st, 2019: THE EAST VILLAGE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL. New York, New York.

September 15th, 2019: DETROIT SHETOWN FILM FESTIVAL. Detroit, Michigan.  

October 17th, 2019: TWIN CITIES FILM FESTIVAL. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

October 25th, 2019: TWIN CITIES FILM FESTIVAL. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

October 25th, 2019: NEWFEST: NEW YORK'S LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL. New York, New York.

October 26th, 2019: NEWFEST: NEW YORK'S LGBTQ FILM FESTIVAL. New York, New York.

November 8th, 2019: RAINBOW VISIONS FILM FESTIVAL. Edmonton, Canada. 

December 15th, 2019: THE BUSH FILMS. Brooklyn, New York.

January 8th, 2020. NEWFILMMAKERS NY. New York, New York. 


March 26th, 2020. QUEENS WORLD FILM FESTIVAL. Queens, New York. Converted to online festival 3/26-3/29.

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Stills:  JEANETTE NEVAREZ.  See her work here. 
Poster Art:  GRACE CHOMICK.  See her work here. 

For all inquiries contact melanie.notinger@gmail.com