That Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum are quite popular fellas. I am still pinching myself after the news of these two powerhouse super-creatives picked up Pray Away, and it will be airing internationally on Netflix sometime in August.
I have to say, as a long time fan of both of these guys, a wee bit of fan-girling has also occurred.
I remember the first phone call from Director Kristine Stolakis over five years ago, where she shared her heart and vision. It was such a great conversation and one I will never forget. We talked about who all could/should be in the film and now, all this time later, lots of early acclaims and premiering at Tribeca in June, Doc10 Chicago, and I am sure quite a few other film festivals are lining up.
I can’t think of a perfect way (the star power of Murphy/Blum and the platform of Netflix) to get this message out to those who may need to hear its life-giving/saving message. There are tens of millions (more probably) of people, families, and friends worldwide suffering from the abuse of conversion therapy, especially in its toxic religious form known as exgay ministry, which this film powerfully and compassionately exposes.
Before I met with Daniel Karslake to talk about being in his documentary, For They Know Not What They Do, I *really* did not like documentarians. Most of it was because they confronted my self-loathing delusion (at the time), but, and this is fair to say, some of those past documentarians were trying to be Borat-style jerks. They were looking to create a circus instead of a sincere documentary. Daniel instilled (and so did Kristine) a sense of respect and trust and now I consider both friends.
Both Daniel and Kristine came across as professional, gracious, and obsessed with the film finding and having its form and voice. Their artistic hearts have shown brightly, and with a little bit of early skepticism, I learned I could share my heart in return. Both stayed true to letting my voice and truth tell the story instead of imposing a role or narrative.
Both docs are exactly as they should be which is perfect. Both have and will save many communities, families, and LGBTQ+ lives.
I am so glad to be in the chorus of the songs these films sing.
Let’s have the courage to be ourselves, together.