Monday, April 30, 2012

Gay Filmmakers Take On LGBT Issues

Produced by Charlotte Robinson

Update: LGBT Filmmakers Part #2
In the first installment of our exclusive audio montages Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson, Host of OUTTAKE VOICES™, talks with three filmmakers about their films appearing at the Boston LGBT Film Festival that runs May 3rd through May 13th. We also had the opportunity to talk to the filmmakers about crucial issues facing our LGBT community.

LOVE FREE OR DIE is the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Winner of U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for An Agent of Change. The film follows Bishop Gene Robinson who came under fire in 2003 when he became the first openly gay man to be elected to the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire. Since then he has battled for LGBT people from small town churches in New Hampshire to Washington’s Lincoln Memorial to London’s Lambeth Palace, as he calls for all to stand for equality, inspiring bishops, priests and ordinary folk to come out from the shadows and change history. LOVE FREE OR DIE will be presented at the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, Massachusetts on Monday, May 7th at 7P. We talked to Bishop Robinson and Director Macky Alston about the film and their commitment to LGBT equality.

When asked what is his personal commitment to LGBT civil rights, Bishop Robinson, stated, “For me the impetus for this is both religious and secular. That is to say, I came out in 1986 when I was 39 years old and I was a priest of the church and it was clear to me that religious institutions; Judaism, Islam, Christianity, were really responsible for 95% of the discrimination that we experience. Even non-religious people in the culture use religious reasoning to argue against us and keep us from our full civil rights. I felt that I had a foot in both communities, the religious community and the LGBT community of which I was so proud to be a part. I felt a special calling to try to reconcile these two groups and to get the church to see how it had been oppressing for two thousand years and to see what I could do in my own small way to change that; to both change the church so that it became not just tolerate but embracing it and celebratory of us. To say to the LGBT community, ‘You know the church has not served you well in the past, in fact it has been abusive of you, but there are Christians and Jews and Muslims who will welcome you and help you answer your own spiritual needs and the religious institution you left years ago because you were treated so badly might be the place for you now.”

With over forty feature-length films there are also a number of LGBT dramas, comedies and musicals telling our stories. From Director Wendy Jo Carlton, (HANNAH FREE) comes JAMIE AND JESSIE ARE NOT TOGETHER. We talked to Wendy Jo about her romantic musical comedy that tells the story of two queer girls whose codependent, loyal friendship is fraught with erotic tension based on Wendy Jo’s own experiences of loving the wrong women. JAMIE AND JESSIE ARE NOT TOGETHER will be presented Saturday, May 5th at 6P at the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA and she will be available for a Q & A following her film.

We also talked to Brendan Fay about his documentary TAKING A CHANCE ON GOD that will be shown at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, MA on Sunday May 6th at 2P. Fay tells Jesuit priest John McNeill’s inspiring story of faith, love and perseverance in the face of oppression and rejection. McNeill is the Co-founder of the LGBT Catholic group Dignity New York. On Monday May 7th at the Brattle Theatre following LOVE FREE OR DIE there will be an important Religion Panel Discussion with Bishop Gene Robinson, Director Macky Alston, Director Brendan Fay, TAKING A CHANCE ON GOD, Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School, and Alex Kapitan, the Congregational Justice Administrator for the Unitarian Universalist Association to discuss the role sexual identity and religion play in our community.
For More Info & Tix: Bostonlgbtfilmfest.org

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