By Melanie Nathan, October 20, 2015.
BETWEEN THE SHADES is a feature film documentary exploring the shades of being gay; discussing what connects us all: Our desire to love.
I had the great privilege of interviewing award-winning filmmaker, Jill Salvino. We discussed Between the Shades, her new project, and first feature length documentary. As an activist usually focused on law and politics, I realized that not only is the timing for this project perfect, but it promises to be a crucial bridge at this stage in the LGBT community’s journey toward full equality.
“Recently,” notes Salvino, “I found myself reflecting on a flippant conversation I had about the “type of gay” a close friend of mine was. It was an innocent conversation on the diversity of our mutual gay friends. He’s not ‘gay’ like Michael, he’s more like Pete ‘gay’. She instantly knew what I meant. I began to wonder about all the different gay identities there are and how hard it is to define that experience. After all, how do we label a life?
Salvino is seeking funding through a Kickstarter campaign to interview many more people and complete the film:
“I will speak with those who have found being in love easy, difficult and for some, even impossible. Some have yet to hold a hand or experience their first kiss. I well help tell the stories of couples that have been together for twenty years and fought for every right along the way.”
She started with the premise that she would interview fifty people: “I would ask questions about their best first date, worst kiss, craziest relationship and what they would and would not do for love. The diversity of genders, age, professions and ‘gayness’ would be obvious, but my hunch was that the answers would all reveal one commonality. People want the same thing. To be loved.”
“What happened was that along the way, I discovered that there were so many different types of the gay persona and those that love them that the number fifty flew out the window. If I covered kids today who are out, should I interview adults that came out thirty years ago? How are their stories different? And parents. My friend’s son recently came out and she was telling me what her fears were for her son and I wondered about parents of kids that came out even twenty years ago. What is their story, comparatively? What about people who were afraid of their own sexuality and married instead? Did that make them less gay?”
Salvino, who has worked with entertainment giants such as Kevin Bacon, Lauren Hutton, Patti Label and Valerie Harper, is passionate about this project, through her realization that this powerful and important conversation is an unchallenged frontier, with so much to offer.
She has expressed gratitude at the heartwarming response she is receiving from the LGBTQI community and allies, noting that many more people are eager to participate.
I am asking my friends and colleagues to take a peak at Jill Salvino’s Kickstarter Campaign, where you can read detail and meet her accomplished team of collaborators. If you can, please contribute to the campaign, however small an amount, and know that if you pass this along, you too are contributing. I truly believe that this film will lead to many more allies, as it promises to uncover, through conversation and understanding, the very essence of love and unity.
*Note the filmmaker uses the word GAY inclusively to include all LGBTQI (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex)
Can a documentary go between the shades of ‘gay’ and come out a love story at heart? Facebook – fan page
Article by Melanie Nathan, feel free to repost.
Pics: Actor Michael Wetherbee as photographed by Ighor Melo
Artwork by artist Kenny Fabritius for Between the Shades