Director brings two world premieres to Atlanta
Sunday at Out On Film means it’s time for Christopher Hines. The former Atlantan has two world premiere films and appears after each as part of Project Q Atlanta Day’s full lineup. We talk to him before the big event.
“Man 2 Man: A Gay Man’s Guide to Finding Love” and “Legalize Gay” are the latest from Hines (top photo), well loved for the Atlanta-inclusive film festival hits “The Butch Factor” and “The Adonis Factor.”
“Legalize Gay,” screens at 1 p.m. The film looks at the new look and feel of activism, which includes the younger LGBT generation and straight allies. According to Hines, he noticed that after the recent epidemic of gay suicides across the country, much discussion got started, as well as a new level of activism—young people across the country talking to Congress, standing up for their LGBT parents and making impassioned speeches to their schools about sex ed.
“I was very inspired by all of these people, and I wanted to tell their stories,” Hines says. “I really wanted to look at the new face of activism, because it seems to have changed.”
Chief among his subjects is Ben Cohen (second photo, right) , the married rugby player who is a tireless activist for LGBT equality and no stranger to Atlanta. Cohen bases his Stand Up Foundation here, and will be back next weekend for Pride.
“He is a straight guy with a huge gay following,” Hines says, noting that some members of the gay Atlanta Bucks rugby team, which hosted Cohen’s weeklong bromance with Atlanta, are in the film.
Also in the film is Atlanta’s Jeshawna Wholley (second photo, center), who made headlines when she brought the first-ever Pride event to the Spelman College campus and was later recognized at the White House by President Obama.
Hines admits that “it can be tough to get people interested in a political documentary,” but he thinks that the individual stories here are worth sharing. “Legalize Gay” gets its national debut on Logo in the spring.
“Man 2 Man” (bottom photo) screens at 5:30 p.m. The documentary delves into modern-day gay dating in a world that has changed dramatically over the years, with traditional ways of meeting a mate being replaced by new technology. These days, hundreds of guys are available on apps and computers, but the new technology presents new challenges, Hines says.
“Thumbnails on your phone play into the masculine thing – the visual playing cards,” he says. “It can be a game – you never know who is really behind that profile.”
The film also posits the question – Are gay men looking for love or looking to get laid?
“It’s great that we are more connected, but it doesn’t seem to have increased the number of new relationships,” the director says.
Hines found that the majority of the single men he spoke to while researching the film are seriously looking for a relationship. In “Man 2 Man,” he talks to couples about their secrets and to counselors about their take on the situation. Hines concludes that finding a true relationship takes time and that online dating can sometimes work, but sometimes may be a shortcut.
But it’s not all seriousness and doubt. ”Man 2 Man” includes comic relief with commentary from people like gay comedian Ant.
Jim Farmer is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and public relations professional specializing in film promotions. He has been a theater and pop-culture critic for more than a dozen years and is the director of Atlanta’s annual Out On Film gay and lesbian film festival.
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