How To Have Sex” delves into the less glamorous aspects of Gen Z’s party culture

Featured & Cover How To Have Sex delves into the less glamorous aspects of Gen Z's party culture

Molly Manning Walker received the news of her double BAFTA nomination while at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Her film, “How To Have Sex,” was being showcased at the festival, portraying the misadventures of teenagers during a summer holiday. Despite the film’s portrayal of wild partying, Manning Walker celebrated her nomination with a simple cup of tea in the quiet of the mountains.

Reflecting on her own experiences, Manning Walker acknowledged that some of her fondest memories were from similar holidays. Inspired by her time in Magaluf, Spain, the film is set in Malia, Greece, capturing the essence of youthful abandon and the consequences that follow.

One of the central themes of the film is the exploration of consent and its complexities, particularly in the context of teenage experiences. Manning Walker’s portrayal of Tara’s coerced sexual encounter prompts a deeper discussion about consent and its implications.

Following its success at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won a top prize, “How To Have Sex” has garnered BAFTA nominations and sparked conversations about consent in the UK. Manning Walker noted its unexpected resonance globally, with audiences from different countries relating to their own versions of similar coming-of-age experiences.

In an interview, Manning Walker discussed the film’s universal appeal and the societal pressures young people face regarding sex. She emphasized the importance of acknowledging the anxieties and pressures inherent in such experiences and advocating for more open and honest discussions about consent.

The film’s approach to intimacy scenes was carefully managed, with intimacy coordinators on set to ensure the well-being of the cast. Manning Walker emphasized creating a supportive environment where cast members felt comfortable expressing any concerns.

Regarding the portrayal of drunkenness in the film, Manning Walker highlighted the challenge of realistic drunk acting and the rigorous audition process to find actors who could authentically portray intoxication.

Reflecting on the impact of the film, Manning Walker shared emotional moments, including bringing the film into schools to teach consent. Witnessing students engage in discussions about consent and sexual assault was particularly moving, highlighting the potential for films to spark important conversations and empower young people.

As “How To Have Sex” prepares for its US release, Manning Walker hopes the film will continue to foster dialogue and promote understanding about consent and the complexities of sexual experiences.

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