Out of Order is a groundbreaking feature documentary revealing the complex and painful struggles faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) faith leaders as they confront entrenched bigotry and work to build loving support within their churches.
Interview with Writer/Director Amanda Bluglass
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I was intrigued. Always a good place to start when you have no budget and are the other side of the Atlantic. My journalistic instincts were piqued by meeting a group of LGBTQ pastors in New York who were planning a secret, gay 'church camp'. I needed to know more. The rest is history!
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
If you think you know LGBTQ people, think again. These are gay and trans people of faith. If you think you know Christians, think again. These are LGBTQ Christians who exhibit tremendous human ualities of forgiveness, strength and understanding in the face of bigotry and cultural disdain for their ambitions to hold leadership positions in the Church.
America is a divided society and it would appear, never more so than in the church. Although Christianity holds love at its core, it is very often missing. This film shows a group of beautifully flawed humans striving for equality within the church and demonstrating humour, charm and determination to take their place in the pulpits of America. (Plus, it is beautifully shot by amazing videographers, THEYbklyn.)
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
This is a character-driven documentary. The drama comes from the quiet moments and hidden struggles. So in that sense most people will be able to relate to the moment-by-moment action of the characters as they reveal their personal stories. These personal stories are really just grand old universal struggles for visibility and acceptance.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
I did not write a script in the sense of plotting the film in advance. The script evolved from the words the cast spoke, which I then edited on paper and then cut into several rough iterations. It is a fine balance between cramming all the information points into a film and making it in any way watchable. A good editor advised me to throw a lot of it out and find the moments where the characters are doing very little: breathing points, human moments, and to create scenes rather than expository essays. This had a huge impact on the structure of the film. It is now much more pared down and has long moments of real sound and pauses for breath.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Very positive. Audiences have been falling over themselves to tell me what they think and feel. Some people cry. One young trans boy couldn't even talk, he was so moved and happy to see someone on screen modelling what he was experiencing. It transcends the religious subject. In many senses it is more about equality and struggle than religion. In Q & As people have had questions, observations and many ideas. It seems to be a very powerful starting point for conversations around these issues.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I've been very gratified by the positive response. The strength of people's feelings has really surprised me. When you are working largely alone (with just a small team) for the best part of 4 years, it is daunting to know how any one will react. To find that it has an impact and that those on both ends of the political spectrum are appreciative, is a great feeling.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
The film is currently doing the festival rounds alongside community screenings. It will be available for general release from Spring 2018, so I would like more people to be able to access it.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Mainly buyers! The film is gathering official selections. It will live on Video on Demand from Spring 2018 but that does not exclude it from being available for license for broadcasters or other platforms.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I want the film to be a catalyst for a conversation about what it means to be truly welcoming. This means being able to say, "you are not only welcome but you may lead this group of people." If the film can have that role, it will be a powerful tool in a progressive argument that wishes to include, not exclude. That is one conversation that I feel it urgent in the current political climate.
Would you like to add anything else?
In November in New York I was given the 2016 Parity Award for Social Justice for my role in bringing Out of Order to the screen.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I am currently working on TV commercials and mini documentaries in the UK and teaching Media Arts at Plymouth University, U.
Check out THEYbklyn's 2016 reel for their current work http://www.theybklyn.com/#/reel-2016/
Interview: March 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Out of Order
'Out of Order' is a groundbreaking feature documentary revealing the complex and painful struggles faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) faith leaders as they confront entrenched bigotry and work to build loving support within their churches.
About the writer, director and producer:
Amanda Bluglass, award-winning UK-based Director.
Directing credits include internationally recognized multi award-winning short documentaries. Amanda has worked with BBC, Channel 4, NASA, Nike, Etsy and London Olympics 2012
Aden Hakimi, Producer
Aden Hakimi is a filmmaker and editor
Out of Order is the fifth film he has helped produce and the third he has edited (his first doc feature). He is also the founder of Silver Crown, a Brooklyn-based creative agency.
lex McNeill, John Russell Stanger, Mieke Vandersall, Bertram Johnson
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Where can I see it in the next month?