Belfast Pride was this week and is now a traditional part of the programme they partner with Belfast Film Festival to show a strand of LGBT cinema over the festival period.
Having browsed the events one film overall the great choices stood out Deep Run. Executive produced by Susan Sarandon and shot by first-time film maker Hillevi Loven, Deep Run is a powerful portrait of trans life in rural North Carolina. Cut adrift from family and left broken hearted by an ex, 17 tear old Spazz (Jasmine) has no support but after falling in love again she summons the courage to be who she really is Cole, a strong willed trans man his humour and steadfast, all-inclusive Christian beliefs act as a counter to the bigotry he experiences day to day.
This a documentary about discovery of self, rebirth and the search for community. Both Cole and Leslie have s strong faith and desperately want to be part of a church community. However in rural North Carolina this is easier said than done. Following revelations from a once trusted pastor they both realise that, tragically, the place they are looking for may not exist.
Deep Run was engaging, emotional and thought provoking. For my part I was fascinated by the treatment this couple experienced from the church they so desperately wanted to be a part of. In one moment the pastor was interviewed and talked about his belief that the gay lifestyle was a choice and a learned behaviour at which point I let out an audible 'good grief' much to the enjoyment of the couple in front.
This documentary is set in North Carolina but could so easily have been based in Northern Ireland where still views, like those aired by the pastor, still remain. I was challenged by the documentary. I was challenged to ensure that if I encounter a couple like Cole and Leslie that I help them find home where their faith can be nurtured, grown and accepted.