Check Out Our Interview With the Director of ‘The Benefits of Gusbandry’ at the Austin Film Festival

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Tony Maples Photography


Photos by Melissa Trevathan-Minnis

This October, Texas Hill Country was honored to accept an invitation to attend the 23rd Annual Austin Film Festival’s Scripted Digital Film Series. It was a treat! Going to the film festival offers a glimpse into the world of emerging artists as well as seasoned filmmakers. Being accepted into the film festival is a high achievement not attained by all.


The Scripted Digital Film Series 1 included: “The Benefits of Gusbandry,” “The Come Up, Brothers,” and “Guest Appearances.” Each were unique in plot and cast, but each captured the audience with visual interest and unique perspective. “Guest Appearances,” created by Elizabeth Guest, won first place in this category.

During our film festival experience, we had the pleasure of interviewing the director of “The Benefits of Gusbandry,” Alicia J. Rose. Alicia and the other present directors stayed after the viewing to answer audience questions. Alicia was exuberant and entertaining in her responses. This was Alicia’s interview with Texas Hill Country:

Texas Hill Country: What was the inspiration for these characters and plot?

Alicia: Gusbandry is inspired by my own life and relationships with my Gusbands. Almost all of the plotlines have some tawdry bit from my actual life infused in them.  I think that’s what keeps the comedy grounded and the situations relatable.

Texas Hill Country: Do you personally identify with any of the characters?

Alicia: Yes, Gusbandry’s main character Jackie is basically me.  Though she has already grown beyond far me in Season One.  It’s not autobiographical per se, but “inspired by true shenanigans” might be accurate.

Texas Hill Country: What do you hope your work communicates to the audience?

Alicia: That love and support can be found in many unexpected non-romantic ways, and that single women have a lot to learn from their gay friends.  Sometimes this kind of relationship can become more primary than romance, and that’s OK.  40 doesn’t have to feel old anymore.

Texas Hill Country: Any favorite or special moments or dialogue audiences should look for?

Alicia: Episode 3 takes place in the glory holes of a sex shop – if you’ve ever been too nervous to visit such a spot – this is your chance to get up in it.  Also – I’m super proud of the music I curated for the show – make sure to catch the credits at the end of the episodes.  My fave NW bands are in there – Summer Cannibals, Sutro, EMA, Cat Hoch, Magic Mouth.  It’s a delightful bounty.  I love them all.

Check out our Spotify Playlist!


Texas Hill Country: Can you share a little about your background and how you found your way to this project?

Alicia: I came to filmmaking after 20+ years in the music business and just as long as a freelance photographer. To bust out into the scene I wanted to create a project that was in my voice (and style) about something I was 100% the expert on. Gusbandry was born after a soul-searching trip to Thailand with my dear Gusband Lake last year.

After what looked like a honeymoon to all my friends, I came up with the hashtag #TheBenefitsofGusbandry to explain what the hell was going on with my Instagram freed. Ultimately –  I wanted to share that this is who I am – I have had Gusbands since high school, and they have been my saving grace and sanity through (and in the place of) many toxic romantic relationships.

Texas Hill Country: What’s next for you?

Alicia: We are about to start crowdfunding the next 3 episodes of Gusbandry via our Seed and Spark page – Please FOLLOW US for updates on when the campaign begins. I’m also in negotiation to direct my first feature and trying to get deeper into episodic directing and creating!

You can check out “The Benefits of Gusbandry” at

The Austin Film Festival was a great success this year and included many talented artists. Next year audiences can attend by buying a badge for the festival or buying a general admission ticket to select screenings. Access to the Austin Film Festival is just another perk of living in the Hill Country!