The emotionally driven documentary “Bridegroom” screens for the first time outside of the Frameline Film Festival this Sunday, April 13 at 11am at San Francisco’s Opera Plaza Cinema. Tickets are only $10 online and $12 at the door – and prizes to be given away.
I’ve written about this film numerous times over the past year as I feel it has affected me on every level, and I want to do what I can to make sure the film is seen by as many people as possible, going as far as securing the theatre and hosting the event.
While a documentary, “Bridegroom” is the greatest love story that I have ever seen. The true love of Thomas Bridegroom and Shane Bitney Crone is stronger than any fictional love story that can come out of the minds of great writers. Tragedy hits Thomas when he falls off a roof. Not only does Shane have to deal with this situation, but he is faced with homophobia of Thomas’ family and is prevented from seeing him in the hospital as he is not “family.” The movie also serves as an eye opener to anyone – gay or straight – who is in a long term relationship without the benefit of marriage or legal union.
Sure you could have watched it on Oprah’s network or even on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or OnDemand. But the story that depicts the true life love story of our time I think needs to be seen with a group of people, surrounded by love, friendship and tolerance.
Also, watching at home won’t get you access to some of the DVDs I will be giving away during the April 13 event. I even might be screening an interesting classic TV series episode prior to the movie and likely might have a season of that popular show to give away as well – still awaiting for the official word, but Sunday will prove to be a rewarding morning – in many ways.
I’ve been trying to get this movie to San Francisco since last year. I always had the support of producer/creators Harry Thomason and Linda Bloodworth Thomason (who directed the film), but I got nervous about renting a large theatre as the money that could be lost on the theatre would be my own. So instead, I’ve opted for the intimate Landmark Theatre’s Opera Plaza Cinema.
April is the perfect time to screen this movie as I am doing it in conjunction with Thomas Bridegroom’s birthday. I also hope people donate to two wonderful causes in lieu of birthday presents since Thomas is no longer with us.
First, there’s the Claudia Foundation, which not only would welcome your donations, but I am giving them a percentage of the profit of the screening. This foundation, named in honor of Linda’s mother, was started to help promote positive change in people’s lives, in particular women. Since it started in 1989, the foundation has given 34 “Designing Women” scholarships in excess of $1.5 million to young women attending Duke University, Vanderbilt University, Wellesley College and many other higher education institutions across the U.S. If you wonder the connect to “Designing Women,” the Thomason’s created that wonderful 1980s TV series. Learn more about the foundation and to make your own donation at www.claudiafoundation.org.
Another charity, which was involved in the red carpet screening of the film at its Los Angeles premiere last year, is Love is Louder, which was started by MTV, actress Brittany Snow and the Jed Foundation. It has become a nationwide movement that helps and supports anyone who feels mistreated, misunderstood and alone. Individuals, communities, schools and organizations have embraced Love is Louder as a way to address issues like bullying, negative self-image, discrimination, loneliness and depression. Even as we work to stop negative words and actions that hurt us, we can strengthen our abilities to cope with hard times, focus on the positive, support the people around us and reach out for help if we need it. Join the movement at www.loveislouder.com.
When it made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival (and won the award for Best Documentary), “Bridegroom” was introduced by former President Bill Clinton, a longtime friend of the movie’s director, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. In his introduction, Clinton said: “This is really, on one level, a wonderful, sad, heartbreaking yet exhilarating and life-affirming story. And on another level, it’s a story about our nation’s struggle to make one more step in forming a more perfect union, for which marriage is both the symbol and substance.”
Get tickets for Sunday’s screening at www.bridegroommovie.eventbrite.com.