Award-winning writer/director Del Shores (Sordid Lives, Queer As Folk) has announced that his next feature film project will be of his play Southern Baptist Sissies, funded entirely through a crowd-sourcing campaign with IndieGogo. The dark comedy tells a hysterical and heart-wrenching story of four boys growing up gay in the Southern Baptist church and their individual struggles to reconcile their sexuality with the anti-gay teachings of the church.
The play received rave reviews in Los Angeles during its sold-out run in 2000, winning the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding LA Theater Production, as well as multiple other awards.
“Over the years I have had more requests for a film of Southern Baptist Sissies than any of my other work because the impact of the message on audiences was so powerful,” explains Shores. “With the challenge of independent film, especially gay-themed films, we’ve found a way to shoot this with an ultra-low budget and we’re asking the fans of the play, gay men and women who experienced the hate of the church and anyone who simply believes that gay and questioning youths should not be taught by pastors, churches and parents that they are going to hell for being gay to help us get this film made.”
Shores is using social media to strike awareness of the project. “I’m using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help share the message of this piece and fight the hatred and vitriol coming from churches, pastors, Chik-fil-A, Focus on the Family and other supposedly faith-based organizations.”
The film will star Leslie Jordan (Emmy winner Will & Grace), Dale Dickey (SWinter’s Bone, True Blood), Rosemary Alexander (Sordid Lives), Ann Walker (Sordid Lives), Newell Alexander (Sordid Lives) and Joe Patrick Ward. The four sissies will be Emerson Collins (Sordid Lives: The Series), Matthew Scott Montgomery (Yellow, So Random), Luke Stratte-McClure (Yellow) and Willam Belli (RuPaul’s Drag Race, Nip/Tuck).
Sissies will be shot in 10 days with three cameras in front of live audiences and Shores says, “I’ve been inspired by the excitement of a live audience like the old Playhouse 90 series. The audience interaction is a huge part of the comedy of this piece, and I want to embrace that in shooting live shows with three cameras and then shooting additional days for coverage. I want this to be a beautiful film of the experience of seeing the play live in a theater.” The film will be shot at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood, Calif.
The campaign has raised nearly $31,000 and donations can be made at: www.indiegogo.com/SouthernBaptistSissies