A gay writer finds Pride, mystery and second chances in a small town.
Will he solve the biggest mystery before he runs out of time?
Synopsis Part 1
NYC gay writer, RICHARD, was a pioneer of the LGBT fiction movement in the ’70s. But by 1990, his health is failing, his friends are dying, and his works are gradually going out of print.
Seeking a second act, he moves to a small town in the Hudson Valley to run an antique store.
Synopsis Part 2
He teaches an unlikely course in LGBT literature at a local college. The misfits who sign up for the class wear old clothes and have no money for books. They say they live on a religious commune off of Hope Avenue. Matronly Millie Herkimer was a teacher at the girls’ school nearby, until her affair with another teacher was discovered. Elderly Israel Solomon used to run the drug store in town. James and William, recently discharged military vets, struggle with feelings for each other, and are plagued by visions of combat and the sound of a train.
Synopsis Part 3
Through the reading of LGBT stories, Richard helps them work toward a new sense of pride. But sleuthing around town, he learns that the girls school, recently closed, is now a half-way house for mentally ill. Nobody at the pharmacy has ever heard of Israel Solomon. And the only thing on Hope Avenue is an empty field of weeds. Hurtling toward the stunning conclusion, Richard finds that he has secrets of his own.
Country People is a folky, rural American fable. Through the richness of history and literature, through the shadowy nature of truth, circling in an upward spiral, we are invited to catch a glimpse of a special place.
Cheerful roots music and fairy-tale colors hide the dramatic, emotional twist until the end. Light and shadow give a sense of shifting truths, and greater meaning past what we can see.
Based on a short story by Richard Hall, a pioneer of LGBT fiction who died of AIDS in 1992. Recent articles have called him a hidden treasure, and praised his courage and craft. He wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and The Village Voice. He started the first LGBT Studies program in the country.
Hall is one of many authors lost to AIDS whose works are now out of print. Programs like The Lost Library and Requeered Tales are working to preserve their legacy.
Artistic Statement, David Bobrow:
Filmmaker David Bobrow has won awards at Oaxaca Film Fest, Rome International Cinefest, The Cannes Screenplay Contest, New Rennaissaince Film Festival Amsterdam, Qflix New England, and Flix Film Festival London.
“Gay fiction was a lifeline for many of us who came out pre-Internet. Twenty years of working as a psychiatrist has given me a sense of the strength of our history, the value of story and community. Richard Hall was one of a small group who forged a new kind of gay storytelling. His sister has provided photos and given context and urgency to this work, and reminded me that he was fighting to be seen and remembered. It’s not just a story of coming out, but a triumphal search for meaning and legacy.”
Country People is comparable to films like The Village, Dead Poets Society, and My Own Private Idaho. It would appeal to LGBT+ audiences young and old, and have crossover appeal to general audiences as well. It taps into current themes of connection to history and recovering things that are lost.
The short film screened at festivals around the world. It is streaming on Plex, Vimeo-on-Demand, GayBingeTV, and has thousands of views. The film will have a run time of about 90 minutes. There are 4-6 locations. CONTACT: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org