A new documentary tracing LGBT history will put a human face to the marriage-equality movement with the inclusion of personal wedding videos.
WHYY, the Independence Visitor Center Corporation and Equality Forum are collaborating on a documentary that will detail the fight for LGBT rights over the past few decades, using this summer’s 50th anniversary of the Annual Reminder marches as a centerpiece.
The one-hour film, which has yet to be titled, will air on WHYY next year and be made available for national distribution. It will explore topics such as growing up, working, parenting, partying and growing older, all through an LGBT lens.
“Elder activists and their role in the movement is going to be the spine of the film,” explained director Ilana Trachtman. “We’re going to keep coming back to interviews shot with them where they’re sharing recollections of how things used to be 50 years ago. And we’re going to use those recollections to set up stories about the present LGBTQ movement.”
That’s where the wedding videos come in, Trachtman explained.
“We want to celebrate Decision Day as a milestone,” she said of this summer’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling bringing marriage equality nationwide. “It was probably the most important part of the movement at this time in LGBTQ history, so incorporating wedding videos will be a salute to that.”
Clips of up to 25 wedding videos will be used in a montage, Trachtman said. Weddings must have taken place in the United States and preferably within the last five years for optimum video quality, though Trachtman noted they will consider older videos. Submissions must be less than one hour in duration and owned by the individuals in the video.
Trachtman said the filmmakers are eager to showcase the diversity of the community.
“We’ll hopefully see an array of LGBTQ expression with these wedding videos — all cultures, experiences, ages,” she said. “We want this to be as diverse as the community is.”
Trachtman said film crews have been conducting interviews, attending events and culling footage the past few months, a process that has been facilitated by community involvement.
“Probably the most surprising part of this has been how extraordinarily open the LGBTQ community in Philadelphia has been to this effort,” she said. “I’ve been so honored by the access people have given me and the amount of people who’ve been willing to speak to us and connect us with even more people. People have been really thinking creatively and generously sharing their stories, which has been very helpful.”
For directions on how to submit your wedding video, visit www.whyy.org/events/lgbtwedding.php.