Gay Lane Twins bring “Dollywood” film back to Hollywood and New York by Kevin M. Thomas

Gary and Larry Lane have brought their documentary “Hollywood to Dollywood” full circle.

About a year ago, the twins began their journey showing the film at Los Angeles’ Outfest and now it will make its theatrical premiere in LA as well.

The film started out as a road trip in which the Lane brothers concocted a way to get their screenplay into the hands of their idol Dolly Parton when she was at Dollywood’s 25th Anniversary.

Along the way, the brothers run across several other gay Southern Baptists and their stories changed the direction of the movie, telling their tales of coming out, pride and acceptance. Ironically, this detour is what actually caught the attention of Dolly Parton herself.

The twins endearing personalities also won over Dolly and their script written for her, “Full Circle,” is actually in the hands of someone at Universal Pictures, Gary says.

In sitting down with Larry and Gary, it’s easy to be smitten by them.

The accent alone is enchanting but they truly are the nice men that they appear on screen. And it’s so hard to tell them apart, even though they point out that Gary has a gash on his face from scratching himself with his untrimmed finger nails right after being born . As grown men though, that “gash”  is very faint and hardly noticeable.

When Gary and Larry visited San Francisco, we discussed how coming out in a metropolitan city like  Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco really doesn’t have the impact it does when you’re from the South.

“It’s just more difficult to be gay in the South,” Gary says due to religion. He says they are definitely loved by their family but still can’t really bring their partners home for the holidays.

Even while on the film festival circuit for the past year and winning 25 awards, they still need to sugarcoat it a bit when they talk to their mother and mention they are at a film festival rather than a “gay”  film festival.

The uplifting message of their film has really struck a chord with Dolly Parton. “She’s given us the rights to use her images in the movie and promotions, as well as, the use of 16 songs including two never-been-released tracks,” Gary boasts.

The film festival circuit may be over, the life of “Hollywood to Dollywood” has just started.

The film will play one week at New York’s Quad Theatre beginning Aug. 31 and then at Los Angeles’ NoHo 7 beginning Sept. 7. The twins will be at the opening night at each theatre.

“We’re also trying to get further distribution in San Francisco and other key cities,” Gary says, ending with a DVD release and likely a CD soundtrack released through Dolly Parton’s record label.

“We’re also happy to say that when it does come out on DVD that 10% of the cost of the DVD will go to Dolly’s charity Imagination Library,” Gary says, which helps teach children to read.

Gary and Larry have kept in touch with a lot of the people they met and interviewed from the film. That may not have been the original intention of the movie, but it has certainly given the film its soul. “We’ve received so many heartfelt letters and emails about people liking the positive message in the film and how it’s given others the strength to come out,” Gary says.  “We’re so happy people have found strength in our story.”

Keeping Up With Gary, Larry and Dolly:

For more information on the film: www.hollywood2dollywood.com

NEW YORK screenings Aug. 31-Sept. 6 at the Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th Street: www.quadcinema.com

LOS ANGELES screenings Sept. 7-14 at the Laemmle’s Noho 7 at 5240 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood: www.laemmle.com

TV – the twins will be on the premiere of “Jeff Probst” on September 10 on NBC. DVR it if you don’t watch live.

For more information on Dolly Parton’s charity, go to www.imaginationlibrary.com.