When Sundance kicks off this week, I’ll be curious to see whether all the rancor towards Utah’s Mormon community in the wake of Prop 8 will manifest itself into some sort of tangible action. Will there be protests outside of the Holiday Village Theater, whose CEO gave $9,999 to the Yes on 8 campaign? Will there be boycotts of other Mormon-run businesses? Eggs thrown at the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City?
For Filmmaker Magazine’s Sundance issue, I looked into another possible outcome of the Prop 8 debacle: Will a new Queer Cinema rise as a result of this latest civil rights setback? Most of the filmmakers I spoke with seemed newly energized. And though some of their current films may not yet reveal the sort of groundbreaking approaches that once brought us auspicious debut films from Todd Haynes, Tom Kalin, Christopher Munch, and Gregg Araki in the early ’90s, several filmmakers said they would likely take up the cause in further work. Whether those films are avant-garde (as advocated by Jenni Olson) or comical (as suggested by Madeleine Olnek), it remains to be seen. But as the gay film community travels to Park City, they might consider this act of rebellion: Rather than a boycott, suggested one filmmaker, “A better protest would be to go make-out in front of one of their churches.”