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Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmaker #27: Born into Activism, Linda Bloodworth Thomason Fights for Marriage Equality in ‘Bridegroom’

Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmaker #27: Born into Activism, Linda Bloodworth Thomason Fights for Marriage Equality in 'Bridegroom'

Bloodworth Thomasons father was a lawyer who
refused to allow the family to join the country club because Jews
could not belong. Her grandfather was also a lawyer and was shot by the Ku Klux Klan for his
civil rights activities. Her three uncles were
also attorneys, including one who was a Judge Advocate at Nuremberg. 
She says their voices have inspired her work and that “the great gift of my life was to be raised around these improbable men
and their fierce ideas about mercy, justice, southern populism, racial
equality and religious tolerance.”

What it’s about: “The journey of two young men in a committed relationship cut short by an
accidental death, opening a window on the issue of marriage equality
like no speech ever will. “

What else should audiences know?: “I hope people will see Shane and Tom’s story as a cautionary tale. I
hope everyone who views the film will hold their gay children, brothers,
sisters, and friends a little closer. I also hope they will be newly
or even more appalled by the colossal stupidity of this seemingly
endless debate involving who should be allowed to love whom and how they
should be allowed to express it. And finally, I hope all the parents
who see this will make sure that not one more gay child hangs himself in
a closet or jumps off a bridge.”

On her biggest challenges: “Money. This is not the most popular subject for which to raise
financing for a film. And music. There are a number of musicians and
songwriters out there who are very much afraid of losing their fan base.”

What she hopes audiences will walk away with: “The political, legal and cultural goals of “Bridegroom” are obvious. But
on a more visceral level, I wanted to cinematically show that gay love
is no different than straight love—that, for example, Ryan O’Neal and
Ali MacGraw in Love Story and Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic
are really not that different from our real life characters, Shane and
Tom. Gay relationships have been misrepresented and misunderstood for
so long in real life and cinema. People have already heard the
intellectual and philosophical arguments. I felt it was important to
present a compelling gay couple who is every bit as romantic and winning
as their most appealing straight counterparts, not to mention faithful
and loving. I believe understanding and admiring a relationship is the
beginning of accepting it. Truthfully, I also wanted to make rednecks

Films that inspired her: “Philadelphia”meant a lot to me because my mother died of
transfused AIDS and I was witness to the bigotry and mistreatment that
she and all the young men on her hospital floor experienced. My family
was very liberal on social issues, but “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”
meant so much to me because it backed up everything I’d been taught.
The Civil Rights Act obviously changed the law, but it took Stanley
Kramer, Sidney Poitier and Spencer Tracy to really change people’s
hearts and minds.”

What’s next:
“I’m developing a musical about some of the big-shouldered
female movie stars who inhabited Hollywood in the thirties and forties
and finishing my novel entitled The Oscar Wars (About five women vying
for the Academy Award in the same year). Also, my screenplay, Catnip,
(a story of teenage Fatal Attraction) is scheduled to begin production
this summer.”

Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about
their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and
what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up
to the 2013 festival.

Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on April 17 for the latest profiles.

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