Gay couples are winners. Mosher and Palmieri top at Silverdocs.
As bonds that lead to coupledom go, a shared passion for the photographer Helen Levitt is a pretty good one. So it was for Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, just two of at least five lgbt up and comers named in the eleventh annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" in Filmmaker Magazine's summer issue, on sale this week. They met in a drag club, talked about Levitt, fell in love, made a movie together, and won the Grand Jury prize at Silverdocs this year. Some of the other lgbt honorees' stories are even more inspiring.
Your gaydar may go off for other directors on the list, but the five out in their bios are:
Morgan Jon Fox's third movie OMG/HaHaHa won the best feature awards at Chicago's lgbt film festival and the Memphis Indie Fest. "He's also in post on This Is What Love in Action Looks Like, a documentary about a Memphis teen who sparked a local protest movement when he wrote on his blog about his parents' decision to send him to Love in Action, a Fundamentalist Christian program that tries to turn gay kids straight."
Tina Mabry's feature Mississippi Damned just won the jury award at LA's Outfest and previously garnered honors from festivals in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New York, as well as the American Black Film Festival. "I grew up pretty poor in the South," Mabry told Filmmaker. "We didn't have a lot of opportunities presented to us. I wanted to tell a story that would look at my family's struggles in the South and how our community, the landscape and the politics of that community would define our lives." She appeared at the Queer Women of Color Film Festival after co-writing The Itty Bitty Titty Committee.
Nicole Opper's Off and Running about a Brooklyn lesbian couple raising three kids including an adopted black girl, Avery, who excels at high school track while questioning her place in the family. "After stops at Tribeca, NewFest, Silverdocs and Frameline, Off and
will be broadcast on PBS' doc series POV." Her next doc looks at a home for abandoned boys in Mexico. She said, "I grew up in a very
traditional family, with a mom and dad and brother, but I'm a Jewish lesbian
who imagines adopting one day, so when I met Avery and discovered her
background, I felt that could be my future." She lives in Philadelphia.
Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher: Silverdocs winners for October Country, their feature-length documentary that Filmmaker calls, "a visually seductive, conceptually concise yearlong portrait of director Mosher's own upstate New York extended family, a portrait that imbues these tough and oftentimes sad figures with a haunted poetry...his PTSD-afflicted father, his estranged Wiccan aunt, and a sister whose boyfriends all wind up as absentee fathers." Their next feature, Lab Rats, is about people who get paid to participate in medical trial studies. They live in Portland.