|Zach Stark, 2005|
|Zach Stark, 2009|
Movie Title: This Is What Love in Action Looks Like
Country / Region: USA
Release Date: January 28,2011, USA ......( limited)
Plot: In the summer of 2005 a 16yo Memphis, TN wrote on his MySpace blog about his parents sending him to a "Fundamentalist Christian" program that strives to turn gay teens straight. This documentary follows the inspirational story of this teens local community standing up for their friend with daily protests at the facility in what would become an international news story. The documentary features several former clients of the organization who tell their personal stories about the time they spent within the programs walls.
Plot Keywords: Teen, Protest, Gay, Memphis Tennessee
Trvia: In the summer of 2005, Zach, a 16-year-old boy from Memphis, Tennessee wrote on his MySpace blog that he had told his parents he was gay. Within days of his coming out, his mother and father would send him to Love In Action (LIA), a fundamentalist Christian program that refers to homosexuality as an addictive behavior. The depressed and fearful teenager shared his feelings on his blog.
(From Zach's MySpace Blog)
May 29, 2005
The World Coming To An Abrupt Stop
Current mood: depressed
"Today, my mother, father, and I had a very long 'talk' in my room where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist christian program for gays. They tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me" Zach's parents had enlisted the support of LIA's newly formed program for teens, called Refuge, with the hope that his gay "addiction" could be cured. His blog entries quickly spread from his friends to the local community as well as gaining national attention. In a remarkably short time, daily protests were organized outside the campus of LIA. "This Is What Love In Action Looks Like" documents the widely controversial and inspirational story of what The New York Times referred to as "A modern day message in a bottle." In the documentary, former Love In Action director John Smid as well as former adult and teenage clients share their hearts on these experiences. In addition, local bloggers, community activists and classmates of Zach tell their stories of becoming involved with what would become a story that gained the attention of largest international news organizations. Zach had not publicly spoken about these events since his first day in the program since those enrolled - willingly or not - were not allowed access to media or communication with friends (unless otherwise approved by staff). Concerned people around the world awaited news of how Zach was doing during his eight weeks in Refuge. By the time he emerged in late July that fateful summer, there was a barrage of headlines in the international press, including Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Time Magazine and The Advocate among others. The documentary chronicles the personal stories of those involved and their relationships with God, the world around them and themselves as this agonizingly divisive and polarizing issue unfolds. It also features an extremely surprising, and highly unlikely friendship that developed over this time period, which no one could have predicted would form. It follows the events that led up to and sparked this story, the ongoing protests and the events that have continued since, including state investigations into LIA's practices, a lawsuit filed by LIA against the State of Tennessee, as well as the story of the return of a former teen client of Refuge a year later to speak out against the program in a "one year anniversary protest." In the years since it began, with all the media coverage and investigations, Zach had declined to tell his story. Until now. The teenager whose MySpace blogs began it all gives an exclusive interview for the documentary. "This Is What Love In Action Looks Like," directed by award winning filmmaker Morgan Jon Fox ("Blue Citrus Hearts," "OMG / HaHaHa") also features never-before-seen footage of the highly controversial protests, and in-depth interviews of the major figures on both sides of the issues.
Director: Morgan Jon Fox
Produced by: Rebecca Adelman .... executive producer Bruce Garrett .... associate producer Adam Hohenberg .... associate producer Peterson Toscano .... producer
Cinematography: Morgan Jon Fox
Film Editing: Morgan Jon Fox
* Sawed-Off Collaboratory Productions
Official Website: http://thisiswhatloveinactionlookslike.blogspot.com