From the brilliant director (and my dear friend) Kristine Stolakis, comes PRAY AWAY, a new documentary film about survivors and ex-leaders of the so-called “conversion therapy” movement. This incredible, heartbreaking film chronicles the “ex gay” movement’s rise to power, its unscientific influence, and its legacy of profound harm.
“Kristine Stolakis’s new documentary, “Where We Stand,” follows a stay-at-home mom turned vocal feminist advocate, as she navigates the repercussions of her unpopular activism in her predominantly Mormon suburb.
“Kristine Stolakis is a San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker who wants to make the world a better place. In a culture saturated with irony, Stolakis is a refreshing wellspring of sincerity; there is nothing cynical about her work. Before embarking on a graduate degree in documentary film at Stanford, she studied cultural anthropology at NYU and worked as a teaching artist and program manager for youth in underserved communities.
This commitment to social change flows through all of her films. Her short documentary Balancing Act explores the exploited tradition of West African hambone dance through the story of a young circus performer in West Oakland. InThe Typist, Stolakis takes on discrimination against LGBTQ service members through the story of a Korean War veteran tasked with writing dishonorable discharges. Her subjects are fascinating, her films rife with thoughtful conviction.
Her latest, Where We Stand, is the story of a controversial group of Mormon feminists fighting for women’s ordination in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The documentary follows Abby Hansen, a stay-at-home mom turned vocal advocate for Ordain Women, as she navigates the repercussions of her unpopular activism against her church in her predominantly Mormon suburb. Stolakis is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to raise completion and distribution funds. The full film will premiere in film festivals this winter.
Broadly caught up with Stolakis on backyard activism, empathetic filmmaking and finding feminism outside of our worldly existence.”
“Throughout 1952, Otto Bremerman sat at his military desk in the personnel office of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, typing up dishonorable discharges for sailors who had been accused of homosexuality. He knew that these sailors had selflessly taken on the same risks as their heterosexual counterparts to serve their country during the Korean War, but because they were gay, they would now suffer the consequences of dishonorable discharge for the rest of their lives. With each keystroke, Bremerman was reminded of his own vulnerability — he was a gay American himself, hiding his identity in a country unwilling to accept his open service.”
Thrilled to feature Korean War Veteran, Otto Bremerman, Vietnam Era Veteran, Denny Meyer, Desert Storm Veteran, Evelyn Thomas, Iraq War Veterans, Sean Sala and Gene Silvestri and talented filmmaker, Kristine Stolakis and her beautiful documentary, The Typist in my Buzzfeed piece on LGBT Veterans.
“The tireless efforts of activists have won many historic victories for LGBT service members, but significant legal and administrative barriers to full equality remain for touring same-sex married couples, transgender military families, and veterans who received a less-than-honorable discharge before the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Progressive lawmakers and advocates continue to fight against these policies of blatant discrimination in hopes that LGBT soldiers will one day receive the same civil rights, freedom and equality they often risk their lives to defend.”
Read the full article on Buzzfeed: This Veteran’s Job Was Discharging Gay Sailors In The Navy — But He Had A Secret