Archive for June, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stu Maddux
MAD STU Media, L.L.C.
June 26, 2011
CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY ABOUT LGBT SENIORS GOING BACK INTO THE CLOSET WINS BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD AT THE NATION’S MOST PRESTIGIOUS LGBT FILM FESTIVAL: FRAMELINE
Film shows how those that fought the first battles for equality now face so much fear of discrimination in care giving that they are hiding their lives- and partners- in record numbers.
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) After winning best documentary honors at more than ten festivals to date, the much talked about story of six LGBT older people faced with going back into the closet to survive, Gen Silent, has received its most important honor to date: the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at Frameline, The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.
“Each award has been special”, says the film’s director, Stu Maddux, “but I hope the added recognition from Frameline will help countless more communities show Gen Silent and begin protecting LGBT older people.”
Here is what people are saying about Gen Silent:
“This is one of the most amazing documentaries that you will see in this lifetime.” – Jessica Dollard, Programmer, Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival
“The filmmaking is personal, heart breaking, and the issues are real.” – Huffington Post
“One of the most important LGBTQ documentaries to come out this year.” – Chicago Sun-Times
“Every single person should see this film. It deserves an Oscar.” – best-selling novelist Patricia Cornwell
“One of the most important LGBT documentaries ever made.” – Charlotte LGBT Film Festival
TRAILER, STILLS & PRESS KIT: http://gensilent.com/
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If Gen Silent wins the Audience Award for Best Documentary at this weekend’s Frameline screening, it will mean thousands more LGBT older people will be helped by our film. I am taking a deep breath right now as Kerry our associate producer and myself put labels on hundreds of bookmarks we are handing out at the screening- just to remind people to vote.
Winning at a festival like Frameline (the most prestigious LGBT Film Festival in many minds) creates hundreds of mentions around the world. And if we win, It will start countless more conversations about the fear and discrimination that our gay, lesbian, bi and trans elders face. Dozens more communities would show Gen Silent and begin reaching out to the isolated seniors that are out their alone tonight.
I have no illusions. All the films I have seen at this festival are winners and just to be included with them is an extreme honor. But I doubt any film could help as many people with this additional vote of confidence. So we have to try.
We are creating some very compelling versions of our documentary, Gen Silent. One is designed as training for employees, the other is a half-hour cut of the full 62 minute documentary for educators to use in a classroom hour.
They will be fully available August 1st.
I wake up in the middle of the night worried about them.
A year ago, I would have just put a film out on DVD and hoped it wasn’t uploaded, loaned, used for exhibition- all the things that eventually force independent filmmakers to take jobs working on reality television.
Our dilemma is summed up by a friend telling me about the DVD that sits on her office shelf, “Now THAT is a great film, I have used that DVD for fifteen years in my training courses.”
Kudos to the filmmaker; Kudos to the friend who paid $20.00 for that 15 years worth of training material.
A couple of weeks ago, the nicest person in the room came up to me excited to share how she bought our earlier film on DVD and showed it to her entire school. “It got everyone talking!” If only she knew that it had also costs us hundreds of dollars in a lost exhibition fee (about equal to our own licensing fees for a month).
I told her that I was delighted.
The few that do realize that they are hurting the little guy see it as “caveat emptor” in reverse, “if you didn’t want people to play your film over and over then you shouldn’t have sold it on DVD.”
Well maybe not over and over to crowds of hundreds, uploaded, torrented and copied.
Up to now, filmmakers have had no choice but distribute on DVD. But online streaming and rent to download is now a big enough part of the consumer mindset that many of us feel the shackles loosening.
So there’s the big build up for the announcement: its with no disappointment that I toss the DVD out the window. We have decided to rent Gen Silent for download or streaming on our website.
I actually have this secret self-important little dream of releasing all my work into the public domain after I die. Any small legacy I may ever have comes from that school kid’s ability to use my work in his report for class (should I ever be so honored!).
But right now I must be responsible with the circumstances, the blessing, the luck that has allowed me to make films. And doing that- wakes me up in the middle of the night.
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It’s very humbling when people cry watching something I have made. It makes me back away a little bit and feel apologetic for getting too personal. Of course being the crazy documentary person, I asked this woman to keep crying while I got a shot of her.
I worry a little that people will be turned off by that label. I usually don’t want to sit through a tear-jerker myself. And besides, Gen Silent is equally sad, hopeful and often just hilarious. It happened to be the emotional roller-coaster that we captured these LGBT older people living.
It’s a privilege to make people feel emotions. I get glimpses of the my ability in very small places and at the most unexpected moments: like spotting a tissue box sitting on a chair. And then I look away feeling guilty that I am about to make someone cry.