All of us here at D.D.P. studios Inc. were never was more excited to hear that our Comedic Documentary Film Jesus Meets The Gay Man was placed as a Centerpiece Movie for qFLIX 2018 at the LGBTQ+ Community Film Festival in Philadelphia. We had no idea what to expect so our Publicist Joe Nutter is the Sane One of the Group who manages to keep us together from my Manic Depression moments to Timothy Anxiety Moments cuz he has three boys and his wife was not running red this month. Also to Actors/Cinematographers … Sammy Allouba, Phil Pendry either Complaining about Politics to the small stuff to create conversation and it is wonder why the Publicist needs an alone vacation without us? Yet, driving to Philadelphia was also an experience of course it took us longer to get there simply because Anxiety Brother Tim didn't want the stress out of paying the tolls so Google Maps sent us to take a longer more Beautiful route through Pennsylvania.
Mind you I nearly had my Anxiety Attack when the U.S. Border Guard asked me if I had a Criminal Record…. I said “NO… WHY?” Being defensive which nearly got us into trouble… I was asked because my passport happened to be expired in February 2018, I had this crazy notion that it was closer to my Birthday like November of which I renewed the passport. Yet the Border Guard from the U.S.A. still let us through, even though he really could have refused me entirely after my panicked response.
But the longer route gave us images of Beautiful Appalachian Mountains with some of the most Beautiful Homes, Farms and Lands I’ve seen, including Beautiful Wind Mills. You got to admit, that regardless of the U.S.A.s issues at the moment, like every Country, there are moments of Beauty that you just cannot ignore. Personally myself I had no idea what to expect in Philadelphia. We paid for a decent AirBnB which brought us, what some people would call the rough end of town, but then again I am from Parkdale, so it didn’t affect me, plus we had the whole house to ourselves. Of course it didn’t affect a Veteran like Phil Pendry at the proud age of 91 who had just came back from Kenya shooting for another Documentary and spent 8 hours with us in a MiniVan.
In the end we did have a great time, and my love for Architecture is not a secret. Has a Photographer you can tell a lot from a City by its Architecture… its Symbolism etched in Buildings that were built over 200 years ago, was just phenomenal.
I noticed the most beautiful Murals that were not defaced at all, and you would be a sicko if you were one of those people that would do that. The Murals were like Master Pieces and you can tell Philadelphia Pride when discussing them with its people.
Philadelphia is a city of Brotherly love, and its’ People have been nothing but kind from our arrival. Since it was St. Patrick’s day when we arrived 10 hours later from Toronto, we also decided to shoot an episode of Drunk Wisdom at UBAR www.ubarphilly.com “This is what Philadelphia Thinks after a Few Drinks.”
We were treated to a viewing of the movie Hello Again at Kimmel Performance Centre and then to the 57th Floor for a Gala with Open Bar and Food. It was a great night to talk to local Philadelphians to see the view of the city from all directions and it was simply Breath Taking.
Of course we got to meet our friends at Breaking Glass Films Head Office in Philadelphia and our Account Executive Scott who took myself and Timothy F H Doucette out for a great lunch and at a local Brewery and almost shot another episode of Drunk Wisdom, oh yea we did talk about International Sales ? ….I believe it was somewhere in that discussion.
For the festival I didn’t know what to expect, our viewing was a little late on a work night on a Tuesday with an Ice Storm that hit the City. But I really was not worried anymore.
What many people don’t know is that I almost personally lost hope on this movie early in January 2018. Jesus Meets The Gay Man … it was on my brain for so long. It would haunt me night and day… it had its own soul nearly…. It felt like when I Produced/Directed/Edited The Million Dollar Makeover. The show was way ahead of its time, way ahead of Extreme Makeover, Macy’s Million Dollar Makeover, and so many others. I remember Rogers Communications saying “JC the title is too long… we need to shorten it…I would say no it’s perfect…. Then 2 years later everything on the air from Bravo to HGTV had Million Dollar something something…. LOL…they also complained about my editing, saying “JC you can’t put cubes with another and another cube in the scene…. It’s wrong… and then 4 months later oh yeah 24 series on ABC… cube upon cube… LOL” I realized that the Universe/Spirits/God/Gods whatever the project I had started had a life of its own and I realized it right from the beginning, that if I tried to control the story it would fail, I had to follow the story and that’s what made the difference. When I started Jesus Meets The Gay Man I followed the story and then tried to control it, then let go again, then tried to control it…. and now I completely let go of it… and now I let the story be told… let the audience absorb this story of the Human Condition.
I keep telling everyone who sees the movie, who worked on the movie, that every time it shows no matter, if it’s a full crowd or a small crowd, the movie has a profound effect on the right people. Believe it or not and in complete Faith, “I believe that all Audience member in attendance, where there at the right moment at the right time and needed to see the movie.” Seriously, I had FAITH that the movie would speak deeply to people and glad that it does because the wisdom and growth I have experienced in doing this project is a Blessing and a Blessing to all whom shared in its Creation.
After our showing at the qFlix Film Festival there was a Q.&A I want to say Thank You to all whom stayed to talk. The kindest testimonies would be like from this Handsome Gentlemen whom worked for the American Bible Society was told that he could lose his job if he didn’t sign a statement of faith refuting Gay Marriage and Homosexuality. He stated he will buy several movies on DVD and issue them to the American Bible Society to gain perspective. Also, a kind gentlemen whom had a sad experience in the Church said to me … “Thank you I’m now on the road to Forgive the Church what they did to me has a Gay Man it may take a while but you gave me hope to do so.”
These are the testimonies that matter, when a Film can affect a Persons Heart and to influence it in a positive way, even in the midst of the pain that many Gay men have gone through Religious Persecution. So all in all those whom seen the movie know it’s good, know its value and know its importance. So in the end having branding, titles, and awards is that what makes a good film? Or perhaps the true prize is the precious testimonies from other Human Beings whom were seriously influenced by the film, to me at this point with JESUS MEETS THE GAY MAN it is about that. From the beginning any Comedic Documentary Film that talks about the Human Condition is controversial and it always will be. In time I trust that our Comedic Documentary will be one day nominated for something else, but then again, these successes are truly measured in the impact from the audience. So all you Filmmakers out there, just because your film didn’t make it to a Festival, what matters is how your audience is changed at the end of it. I REALIZED THAT MY CROSS TO “BARE” THIS HONOUR OF PRODUCING SOMETHING THAT EDUCATES AND HELP PERHAPS BRIDGE TWO COMMUNITIES AWAY FROM THEIR HATRED, AND EMBRACE EMPATHY, TO KINDNESS, TO PEACE.
Thank you Philadelphia! We will be back.