This is a shameless plug to spread word about Project Dad--a dear friend Sharon's efforts to produce an indie documentary about her family. Her father is transgendered. Her parents, still married after her father's transition, live in a small northern Michigan town.
The documentary now in production, entitled Project Dad, will tell the story of one LGBT family's experience in America as well as investigate wider political, social, economic and legal realities that LGBT American families experience in general.
Project Dad follows Sharon’s quest to understand her LGBT family through a two-way dialogue with her dad. Funny, poignant, and above all real, the film uses a mix of verité and interview footage shot by the filmmaker, and point-of-view flip-cam footage shot by her subjects, to answer the question, “What is a healthy family?” Springing from her experiences growing up in a supportive family surrounded by outside misunderstanding, the filmmaker seeks out other children of LGBT families, expectant LGBT parents, family law experts, and politicians from both sides of the fence, to craft a film that is national in scope, and centered on hope and redemption.More details below the squiggle. And yes, this ends with a plea to consider helping Sharon raise necessary production funds via a kickstarter already in progress.
Several weeks ago, Sharon had a brief op ed published in the New York Times with an early short piece covering the subject of her Father's legal name change from Michael to Trisha.
The start of the editorial sets the context of where we are now:
I’ve heard much debate in the past year about what constitutes a “healthy family.” Some politicians argue that the best environment for a child is one with a mother and a father — and the underlying context here is that a “normal” family should be helmed by a “normal” heterosexual couple.and she concludes with where she'd like to take us with efforts like her forthcoming feature length documentary:
What I’m trying to do now, with this short piece and with a feature-length documentary I’m working on, is to put myself in Dad’s shoes, and in the shoes of other LGBT families across the country. There are a lot of us out there, and I hope that one day we will see “healthy family” redefined to include us, too.The video clip available at the Times is not available for diary embedding. But I strongly recommend following the link above to anyone invested in this topic or even those who are broader fans of well crafted documentary films in general. It's a beautiful little segment.
I'm also having trouble getting the kickstarter video to embed even though it offers code. If anyone in the community here knows how to get that working and can advise me, I'll edit it into the body of the diary here.
As I said in the intro, I know Sharon personally. She is a modest, hard working woman dedicated to her film-craft and the thorough telling of unique, deep and nuanced stories. I, my wife and our circle of friends have watched with pride as her first film, Parasites: A User's Guide, went on to be selected for multiple prestigious film festivals including The Traverse City Film Festival, founded by Michael Moore. It has also given us great pleasure to know that her hands touched some of our favorite segments produced at WNYC's Radio Lab. And we were delighted by her beautiful and delicate animations throughout The City Dark, a recent documentary from Ian Cheney and Wicked Delicate Pictures (one half the duo that brought us the renown King Corn).
Now, Sharon is reaching out to the world, asking for help from the broader "community" that the modern internet affords. If you or someone you know would like to help ensure that her latest documentary film, Project Dad, gets completed, please follow through to the Project Dad Kickstarter page. As with most kickstarters, the lower tiers offer fair reciprocation, including DVD's of her first film and access to a streamed version of Project Dad upon completion (good if you live someplace without the sort of theater that shows indie documentaries).
And if you are not in the position to help directly, but are connected to members of your local LGBT community, please share this information about Project Dad with them. I think it is an important story to hear told. I hope you do to.
Project Dad @ Kickstarter