Our tour could not have gotten off to a stronger start in Erie, Pennsylvania. As a documentary filmmaker, I get the most excited when exhibitors take advantage of your film to create a dialogue in their community.
Our film, Gen Silent, is about LGBT older people going back into the closet because they are afraid of the care that they are getting. Jamie Grady and Christine Olivier at Mercyhurst University worked very hard to gather LGBT advocates and aging professionals in their area and managed to create not one but two very rewarding screenings with really thoughtful questions from the audience.
And always the best part, those who pull you aside in the lobby. One woman says she will start a Gay-Straight Alliance in the aging community (something I think is a solution to much of what is discovered in the film). Others told me how the film touched them personally.
The other thing that I really liked about this first stop was that there was enough time to get to know my hosts personally and learn why they like Erie.
Erie from my hotel room Sunday 6am
All of them are transplants, some fairly new. So they had been hearing about this burger place called Sarah’s:
Jamie and I ordered the lettuce wraps.
Christine ordered a salad.
And then we stopped to look at the shores of Lake Erie where there are miles of quiet beaches.
Jamie Grady, Christine Olivier
A faculty member and his partner opened their home for a small reception. As someone who travels a lot, feeling a part of someone’s home and circle of friends meant more than they can realize. Thank-you!
Gen Silent Director Stu Maddux
Now it’s off to the pint-sized and oh so easy Erie International Airport, so I can get to Annapolis. MD in time for our next stop.
Erie International Airport
Post by OSIP touring filmmaker, Stu Maddux. Thanks for getting things started for us this year, Stu!