While attending the Silver Springs Film Festival this past week, we had the pleasure of speaking to several film goers about how our film, R S V P, resonated with them.
When we set out to make R S V P we had the desire to attempt to bridge the gap that often exists between the Christian community and the LGBTQ community. The vast diversity that exists within each of these communities is what makes them so vibrant and dynamic, and it also makes it a bit daunting as a filmmaker to effectively speak to each of these communities in a mere 13 minutes of narrative! Coming to terms with the fact that your film is not going to resonate with every film-goer is the biggest gift you can give yourself as a filmmaker. Without a doubt, you will win some and you will lose some, and I am realizing more and more everyday, that if you aren’t losing some, chances are, no one is being effected! And the journey of storytelling is made worthwhile by just one individual having an experience that potentially shifts their perspective. This truth has really helped me release a lot of the fears I had as a first time filmmaker.
And then there are the moments when you are gifted with someone sharing their experience with you that coalesces all of the intentions you held when your set out to make your film. A moment like that, I recently realized at the Silver Springs International Film Festival, gives you chills to say the least! A little, or not so little, reminder to stay on your path.
My experience with this came when a young family shared their thoughts about R S V P with me: A 10 year old girl and her mother both saw our film at the screening at the Marion Theatre in Ocala, Florida and they said they were both very moved. This girl’s Mother told me that her daughter rushed home and insisted that her father see our film as well. She and her mother brought him back to the festival the next day to watch our short on SSIFF’s “Deep Dive”, which is a bank of computers with digital files of all of the films being screened at the festival, so people could watch films they may have missed in the theatre. He was moved as well. When the three of them came up to Ryan and I at the festival banquet dinner, they said, “ Thank you for making this film. We are Christian, Southern Baptist to be exact, and your film spoke to us – No matter what some people, or the (church) leadership may say, it is up to each of us, each individual Christian, to share the true love of God and affirm, value and love all of our brothers and sisters.”
Tears came to my eyes. My hands instinctively clasped my heart. This is why I made this movie. And to hear it come from a person’s mouth, made every bit of this journey thus far, worthwhile.
I know some people are probably going to really not like my film for whatever reason. And that is ok. When I can look into the eyes of someone who is part of the LGBTQ community and we hug and they say, “Thank you for making this film” and also receive a hug from a devout Christian and hear the same thing, that is when I know there is potential for a bridge to exist where there may not have been one before.