Ellen Brodsky brings important LGBT documentary to Cinequest
1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of The Year We Thought About Love, from concept to financing.
For 20 years I have heard incredible stories about the rehearsals of True Colors:OUT Youth Theater from Abe Rybeck, my brother-in-law who started The Theater Offensive, the host organization. I did theater in high school and always loved the risk taking that takes place in rehearsals. Later in life, when I worked with LGBTQ youth, I was impressed with the risk taking that happens in every day life. This film was a chance to watch risk taking in a safe place, a rehearsal room of a queer theater company – as well as the risk taking in performing art based on your own life in front of your peers.
2Q: The Year We Thought About Love has done quite well at other film festivals. Will you be less nervous now at Cinequest? Does this process ever get any easier?
I’ve had a blast at other festivals meeting filmmakers,seeing great films, and then connecting with audiences who each have a unique relationship to our film and the topic of LGBTQ youth. It can be challenging watching people watch your film, but also such a gift.
3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making The Year We Thought About Love?
The Boston Marathon Bombing which occurred just yards from the rehearsal space was deeply upsetting for everyone involved – the cast of the theater troupe, our film crew, and the entire city.
The Best experience was when I woke up very early and a bit cranky to film the last school performance and then was thrilled to find that the school had hundreds of students in the audience, with lively reactions and thoughtful questions. It gave us the beginning and end of our film!
4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?
I think our film is fun, thoughtful, and deeply universal. So many of us struggle with how to be true to ourselves, and share our real selves with people we love. Here is a group of young people doing just that – with humor and attitude and a dose of fearlessness. If you are part of the LGBTQ community – you can have a blast with our film, and if you live/work/play with anyone who is queer, you will enjoy yourself as well.
5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won the Oscar for The Year We Thought About Love. Give us your acceptance speech.
Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I remember being 10 or 11 and practicing giving an Oscar speech. At that point I promised to always thank our guinea pig. I may have to re-think that promise.