Capitol Hill filmmaker Arthur Allen wants to tell a story of parental acceptance in a post-same-sex marriage Washington, and he’s set a major funding deadline for Father’s Day.
Winning Dad, which tells the story of a gay man’s quest to change his homophobic father’s mind, has until Sunday to reach its $30,000 funding goal on Kickstarter.
The feature film’s central character, Colby, seeks to introduce his father to his long-term partner, Rusty. He “hatches a plan to trick his father into camping with Rusty under the pretense that Rusty is Colby’s straight friend and future business partner,” according to the film’s Kickstarter.
Allen started writing the film’s screenplay while working in the United States Merchant Marine. On the crew he met many people who “were for all intents and purposes homophobic,” and set out to make a film that addresses those issues of identity and acceptance, he said.
“A lot of people who [are] homophobic feel themselves not being listened to,” he said. “This movie gives voice to those reasons and treats them on their own terms.”
Winning Dad is set on Capitol Hill, and Allen said his production team has been reaching out to the Capitol Hill community, holding an event last week at Northwest Film Forum. He also said his experience visiting Capitol Hill throughout his life was a major inspiration for the screenplay.
“When I was in the closet there was nothing more terrifying to me in the world than Capitol Hill — I was always afraid when I was on Capitol Hill that they would magically know that I was gay and out me,” he said. “It was scary, but when I came out it became home.”
“With the whole country changing their opinion on gay rights and LGBT issues, Capitol Hill represents the shift between something that was once scary and is now becoming wonderful,” he added. “My relationship with the hill is a microcosm of what I see happening with the country.”
The Kickstarter project has, at press time, raised more than $21,000 of its $30,000 goal. According to Kickstarter rules, the pledged funding will only go to the project if the goal is reached. Allen said the money will go to hiring professional crew and gaining access to higher-quality equipment.
“We could make this movie for nothing but it’s going to look like we made it for nothing,” he said. “If we want to go to festivals, if we want people from around the world to see this, we need to do a good job.”