Written by: FFT Webmaster | June 29th, 2011
The just-concluded 35th anniversary edition of Frameline, the country’s first film festival devoted to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender audience, has also given its top prize to WISH ME AWAY by Beverly Kopf and Bobbie Birleffi. The film, perfectly timed for gay pride celebrations around the country, offers a moving portrait of award-winning country music star Chely Wright, who was raised in a Christian home in a tiny Bible-Belt town and then as a member of the sexually repressed and homophobic country music industry in Nashville. While her dreams of stardom came true, she remained tormented by her sexuality and paralyzed by the fear of coming out. Would the country music industry tolerate a lesbian in their ranks? Would her fans reject her? She tried dating men (including fellow country star Brad Paisley), poured her energy into philanthropic endeavors, and contemplated suicide before finally acknowledging what she knew she needed to do. In 2010, she began calculated preparations to release an album and a book that would finally reveal her coming-out story and make country music history. Also winning the prize as Best Documentary was GEN SILENT by Stu Maddux, a look at the now-older generation of gay rights activists who face rampant homophobia and discrimination in eldercare services.