Philly event sends message to Russia
by Angela Thomas
Feb 13, 2014 | 614 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last month, a group of LGBT supporters gathered for a fundraising event that organizers hope will have a global impact.

Attorney Anthony Forte, a partner at Saul Ewing LLP, hosted a fundraiser Jan. 9 at his home to raise funds for the translation of “The Devotion Project,” a six-part documentary that features LGBT couples, into Russian, to coincide with the Winter Olympics in Sochi. About 25 people attended the fundraiser.

Donations are still coming in, and $5,000 was raised to bring in Katina Pictures to translate and subtitle the series into Russian, which covered the cost of the project.

The project has also been translated into Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

Forte, a longtime friend of filmmaker Antony Osso, said he and his partner, along with out state Rep. Brian Sims, were eager to host the fundraiser when they heard Osso’s plan to translate the work.

With the recent anti-LGBT law passed in Russia that persecutes anyone with a pro-LGBT message and/or propaganda, Osso said it was important that the film be available in that language.

“I was reading about what was happening in Russia and once I started to understand what kind of law it was, I thought the films could be beneficial to get through to young people who are LGBT in Russia,” he said. “The laws exists to lie to young people about the potential for healthy functioning lives as an LGBT person.”

Forte said Osso’s approach to the anti-LGBT law has been inspiring.

“There have been people making statements and making political gestures, but what I liked about Tony’s approach was he wanted to fight hate with stories of love,” he said, noting that education is key. “I think we found in our own country that, once people come in contact with real life LGBT people and they see the stories, little by little attitudes start to change.”

Osso said he hopes the translated documentary helps those who misunderstand the LGBT community evolve their views.

“I really think that people need to see the diversity of LGBTQ lives to overcome prejudices against LGBTQ people,” he said. “I just wanted to subtitle them so they could benefit from the exposure.”

To view the translated videos, visit www.youtube.com/user/TheDevotionProject.

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