Outfest 2012 is happening in Los Angeles from July 12 through July 22. To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Los Angeles LGBT film festival, we will be sharing interviews with filmmakers and persons involved with movies being screened. See all of our Outfest Interviews here.
Marriage equality and immigration are two of the biggest hot topics in American politics. They are issues that we all have a relationship with as Los Angeles is such a diverse, accepting city–but our city being diverse does not make the problems go away. Filmmaker Glenn Gaylord has a film he directed at Outfest which will be making its world premiere this evening. The film is I Do and tackles both issues quite beautifully. We spoke with Glenn on his being an Angeleno, on how both issues are on our national conscious, and how you may see some of the film’s stars around town.
Outfest is one of the most well known LGBT film festivals in the world and has had films shared that have gone on to have profound affects on the world. Can you tell us a little bit yourself and your film? Is this the first time you’ve had a film shown at Outfest?
I’m Glenn Gaylord, the director of the film I Do and I’m very happy to report that this is my 6th film to be shown at Outfest. Past films which have screened there are the musical I wrote and produced, Leave It On The Floor, Eating Out: All You Can Eat, Little BFFs, Boychick, and Lost Cause.
I Do is the story of a gay English man in New York (David W. Ross) who marries his best friend (played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler of The Sopranos) in order to get his green card. Things get complicated when he falls in love with a man (Maurice Compte). It’s an intense and very human story about love, loss and family, which also serves to expose the inequalities in this country’s marriage policies. I’m a graduate of the UCLA School of Film and Television, and I cut my teeth on documentary and reality television, having worked on shows for Bravo, MTV, VH-1, A&E and more. One of my most memorable experiences in that arena was the documentary, Camp Michael Jackson, which followed the fans who put down stakes in Santa Maria, CA, during the infamous sexual molestation trial of their idol. Prior to that, I was very active in the LGBT community by working as a Treatment Educator for AIDS Project Los Angeles and then as a Health Educator in the Los Angeles County Jails system. I like to say that working with inmates has amply prepared me for a career in Hollywood!
There is a lot going on at Outfest this year–and it is the 30th year of the festival! How does your film fit into Outfest? What are you hoping it brings to the wide variety of different films being shared in the festival?
There could be no better time for a film like I Do to have been made. The issues of marriage equality and immigration have made their ways to the forefront of national discussion. As we look back on 30 years of film at this year’s Outfest, I couldn’t imagine these issues not being at or near the top of the list. As gay films have evolved over the years, I’m proud to say that I Do brings rich characters, a sharp script, gorgeous cinematography, a potent score and high production values. While it certainly doesn’t shy away from its appeal to gay audiences, our goal is to reach across to all audiences and win over their hearts and minds.
People will be coming from all over the world to share and see films at Outfest. What are you hoping people take away from your film?
What I think makes I Do stand out is our approach to the subject. Rather than hammering the issues down onto the audience, we have taken a real, quirky, human approach where we hope you’ll fall in love with the characters and root for their happiness. I like to think of our film as one in which you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and if we’ve done our jobs effectively, you’ll be called to arms.
Similarly, is there anything specifically Angelenos can take away from your film? Your work speaks to multiple audiences; however, are there certain themes, images, or concepts that may hit Angelenos deeper than other viewers?
When marriage equality was a brief reality in California in 2008, and then summarily taken away a little over 4 months later, it impacted the lives of many LGBT people and their families here in Los Angeles. With that said, Angelenos feel passionately about this issue, and will hopefully relate that much more to I Do. An added bonus? All of our stars, David W. Ross, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Alicia Witt and Maurice Compte, and the rest of our lovely cast live in Los Angeles, so when you run into them, you can tell them how much you loved I Do! I’m a little biased, but I think they all have done career-defining work here and I couldn’t be more proud.
Looking into the future, what’s next for you and the film after Outfest? Where else will your film be going? What are you hopes for the film?
After Outfest, I am proud to announce that Philadelphia’s Qfest has made I Do their Centerpiece film, and are honoring David W. Ross with its annual Rising Film Star Award. Beyond that, we will play more festivals and are seeking distribution so that I DO can reach as many people as possible. The issues the film raises are ones which are helping to currently define our nation, and the characters are so endearing, it can only increase everyone’s passion for the topic. As for me, I’m writing a few new film projects, we are planning to launch Leave It On The Floor as a stage musical later this year, there’s a new film musical in the works, and I hope I Do will launch me into more dramatic territory, as most of my prior work has been in comedy and documentary. I found directing drama to be so much more fulfilling creatively.
I Do is generating TONS of buzz and very well may be the take away film from Outfest 2012. Tonight’s screening is heavily filled but you can still get tickets at the door. For more on the film, check out the film’s website, Like them on Facebook, and even follow them on Twitter. You can also follow Glenn here.