Gallery update: Time Inc. - »Gaycation« Screening (Social Media)
Gallery update: AOL BUILD presents »Gaycation«
Gallery update: AOL BUILD presents »Gaycation« (Social Media)
Gallery update: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Social Media)
The last stop was the SXSW Film Conference at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas on Saturday, where the duo sat down for a keynote talk about
, their careers, the equality movement, and cultural attitudes towards LGBTQ people. Before they discussed the documentary series, Page and Daniel started off speaking about their friendship, which sprung up in 2008 when they met studying permaculture (a system of agricultural principles simulating natural ecosystems) at the Lost Valley Educational Center, 18 miles southeast of Eugene, Oregon. "Ellen radiated depth," Daniel said as he remembered hearing about her Oscar buzz, but hadn’t seen any of her work when he first met her. Page added she quickly found a kindred soul in him, and they have since become each other's best friends.
This special friendship bleeds into
and grounds the journey they take viewers on. Along their travels around the globe, the Haligonian and the New Yorker conduct interviews with gay people too afraid to come out, transgender individuals unabashedly proud of their identities and more. "This is an opportunity that allows voices to be heard, to find out about the struggles that a lot of people have," Page stated. She and her male friend particularly remembered the moment where they filmed the coming out of a gay Japanese man to his mother. They were surprised the man requested capturing this pivotal moment in his life and they were moved by the raw emotions on display as the man’s mother ultimately reconciled her shock with her love for him.
Gallery update: SXSW 2016 - »Gaycation« Keynote
Gallery update: SXSW 2016 - »Gaycation« Keynote (Social Media)
However, Ellen and Ian's subjects aren't the only ones who reveal their vulnerability – their job as the show's hosts and co-creators puts them in a vulnerable place as well. While filming in Brazil, the two interviewed an ex-cop who kills homosexuals and both were frightened during the conversation. When they revealed being gay, he eventually refused to look them in the eye. Thankfully, a bodyguard was present to protect them. In fact, much of the show deals with individuals who hate gay people. This aspect can be attributed to Page's "fascination" with homophobes. The episode taking place in the United States shows her memorable confrontation with US Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, during which she confronts him about gay rights. "I am baffled by the hatred people have," Page noted in this context.
Page and Daniel also emphasized that the process of making the LGBT travel series was one of balance. As filmmakers, they not only had to make sure
was enlightening as well as engaging to viewers, but also had to be fun as well as put their authentic selves in front of the camera. Page recalled working on the episode in Jamaica, where she debated whether to tell the Rastafari that she and her male companion were gay at the expense of losing good shots at a celebration because of their sexual orientation.
Though the show brings viewers across the paths of many real individuals that are being oppressed, Ian admitted it's not an objective work. "We have a bias," he said. "We’re not coming in as journalists." Both of them also commented that they aim to convey the struggles of LGBTQ people around the world, and they hope they do justice to their subjects.
The entire panel can be watched below, courtesy of SXSW!
Speaking of the festival, it was an unexpected surprise to see a movie entitled "
" in this year's lineup. For those who don't remember:
Back in February 2013
this project was announced as Ellen Page's directorial debut with actress
starring in the lead role. Thanks to
IMDb's news desk
, it was possible to recapitulate what happened in the meanwhile: According to a handful reports, screenplay writer
replaced Ellen in June 2015 to make her own debut in the director's chair and the main cast comprised Lily Rabe ("American Horror Story"), Timothee Chalamet ("Interstellar"), Lili Reinhart ("Kings of Summer"), Anthony Quintal ("Lohanthony") and Rob Huebel ("The Descendants") from then on. It is regrettable that these changes weren't disclosed in a more transparent way.
Ellen is on the cover of the current April 2016 issue of
. It is available on newsstands now, and can be purchased at the mag's official
and as digital edition via