You Don’t Want To Miss This: Big Gay Weekend In Billings

Bishop Gene Robinson is a pioneer, and I’m really looking forward to meeting him- this is a big deal for Montana.

I’m also excited about Gregory Hinton’s play about the Missoula non-discrimination ordinance. It promises to be an informative, enlightening and inspirational weekend for everyone interested in equality. I will be in Billings Friday through Sunday- I hope to see you there!

 

 

Today’s Must See: Alfredo’s Fire

“It was the Italian Stonewall, absolutely, the Italian Stonewall…”

 

About The Film

ALFREDO’S FIRE is a powerful and timely documentary that tells the forgotten story of Alfredo Ormando, a gay Italian writer who set himself on fire at the Vatican to protest the Church’s condemnation of homosexuality.

As Pope Benedict XVI resigns this month, the time is ripe for dialogue aimed at building a more open and inclusive Church, in the hope that no more lives are extinguished by the effects of religious intolerance.

With successful backing, the film will be finished in the next few months. We expect it to premiere in a major film festival in the U.S. and in conjunction with Italy’s National Pride celebration, this year in Alfredo’s hometown of Palermo.

For more information about the project visit: www.alfredosfire.com

Alfredo’s Story

On January 13, 1998 Alfredo Ormando, a 39-year old Italian writer, arrived in Rome just as the sun was rising. After a long journey from his native Sicily, he found his way to the empty plaza of St. Peter’s Square and, facing the entrance to the Basilica, knelt down as if to pray. He made a rapid hand gesture and suddenly was engulfed in flames. Before the Church and God, Alfredo Ormando had lit himself on fire.

Not long afterwards, and overlooking the spot where Alfredo had set himself aflame, Pope John Paul declared that “homosexual acts are against the laws of nature.” Pope Benedict XVI has even more vehemently advanced anti-gay rhetoric and policies.

Shaped by Alfredo’s manuscripts and letters, as well as rich cinematography, and provocative interviews with Alfredo’s friends, family and intimate companions, our film reveals Alfredo’s longing and the struggle to reconcile his own faith and sexuality.

My Story

As someone who has similarly struggled to reconcile his sexuality and spirituality, I became obsessed with Alfredo’s story and his choice of fire. Alfredo’s gesture was simultaneously a self-annihilation, an expression of pent-up passion and rage, a communion with God, and a dramatic “coming out.”

When Alfredo lit himself on fire at the Vatican, he hoped that his protest would be witnessed everywhere. Instead, his story was silenced by the Church and downplayed by the media. In death, as in life, he was made invisible. With our film, I want his light to reach millions worldwide. It is a flame by which to remember, witness, and come out of the dark.

Watch the video here.

Tonight: “Love Free Or Die”

Tonight on many PBS stations airs “Love Free Or Die”, the story of ‘the first openly gay bishop in Christendom’, Gene Robinson:

 

 

Tonight on Independent Lens. Montana PBS airs it at 9pm.

Vote For This Movie

My friend Greg Louganis is the subject of this new documentary which is up for Project Of The Month from Indiewire:

“Greg Louganis Back on Board”

When Greg Louganis hit his head on the diving board at the 1988 Seoul Games, it was an unforgettable moment. But when, despite his injury, he earned the highest single score for his next dive and win the Gold, it was among the most incredible feats in history.

BACK ON BOARD is an engrossing story about an American legend and his comeback. Film reveals Louganis’ evolution from childhood prodigy to Olympic champion, from pioneering openly gay athlete with HIV to an overlooked sports icon. His return to diving as mentor to USA divers at Olympics provides new chapter of life-story.

Greg has been an inspiration for what I do. He has also been personally very supportive of me and  HIV prevention and treatment work in Montana- and throughout the world. His story is one of pain and humility, determination, compassion and trust. It deserves to be heard, and this film’s wide distribution will be a beacon for a lot of people- including kids- who could use a dose of inspiration.

You can vote to get this film a consult from the Tribeca Film Institute. It’s the last day to vote, so…

Vote here!

Still Time To Be A Proud Producer- And I’m Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

There’s only 1 week left!

Montana Pride 2012 and Wet Paint Studios are working to bring a quality film about Montana diversity to life- and we want your help. Films are expensive to make- and every contribution is important. From their Indiegogo webpage:

The LGBTQI community is coming out of the woodwork.  With political gains such as the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and the Obama Administration’s affirmation of promoting equality for the LGBTQI community, more and more people are coming out and showing their true selves to the world.

And yet, in rural Montana, sometimes their only opportunity is at annually held Montana Pride.  In a state of just a million people, ideas come in slowly.  For some, Montana Pride, held annually in June, is what affirms themselves in the LGBTQI community, as well as the greater community.

“Outside The Lines” explores what it means to be an LGBTQI in Montana, and why pride is more than a weekend celebration in diversity.  Using Montana Pride as our anchor, we plan on exploring how attitudes towards the LGBTQI community has changed in Montana, how Pride brings people together for a weekend of celebration, and how that celebration needs to carry on through everyday life.

Our filming will take place during Montana Pride, held in Bozeman once again June 15-17.  We are also currently lining up interviews with prominent members of the gay community, such as leaders of PFLAG (Parents, Family, Friends, of Lesbians and Gays), representatives of our legal system, teachers, and activist college students.

Plus, every contribution over $10.00 gets a “perk”- which includes Producer credits (you have to be in for more than 10 bucks to get that). It’s an amazing opportunity- and I’ve already kicked in $50 bucks. 

If they get five more donations today, I’ll kick in an extra $50.00. Come on- even $10 will get us closer to our goal!

To see how you can be a producer, click here: http://www.indiegogo.com/montanapride2012

Preview: Inlaws and Outlaws in Bozeman!

The screening of Inlaws And Outlaws was received with great delight last night in Helena. One audience member told me “I’ve never laughed so hard one minute and then in the next moved so naturally to such empathy. Never. I loved it.”
And you can, too.
The filmmaker and director of Inlaws and Outlaws, Drew Emery, was on Montana This Morning to give viewers a taste of his film screening tomorrow night at the Bozeman Public Library.

See it here.

Helena Screening Tonight!

Don’t forget- tonight Inlaws and Outlaws will be screened at Plymouth Congregational Church at 7pm! Filmmaker Drew Emery will be introducing the film and staying around after for a Q&A. Copies of the film will also be available for purchase.

What do you get when you fall in love?

Inlaws & Outlaws cleverly weaves together the true stories of couples and singles— both gay and straight — and all into a collective narrative that is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

At the top of the film, you meet real people one on one. You don’t know who’s gay or straight or who’s with whom. As their stories unfold and stereotypes fall by the wayside, you won’t care because you’ll be rooting for everybody. With candor, good humor, great music and real heart, Inlaws & Outlaws gets past all the rhetoric to embrace what we have in common:

We love.