The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival kicks off October 8 with this special screening at the SIFF Egyptian Cinema at 7:15 p.m.
Based on the Oscar-winning short documentary and adapted by the writer of Philadelphia, Freeheld is the true love story of Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and their fight for justice.
A decorated New Jersey police detective, Laurel is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her hard earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie. However the county officials, Freeholders, conspire to prevent Laurel from doing this. Hard-nosed detective Dane Wells (Michael Shannon), and activist Steven Goldstein (Steve Carell), unite in Laurel and Stacie’s defense, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality.
Page told Out magazine that it was Freeheld that inspired her to come out as a lesbian to the world.
“I remember thinking, ‘Ellen, how in God’s name could you make this film and not be out?’” Page said. She added that Hester and Andree’s story “really did make me go, Dude, just tell people you’re gay. Just get over yourself, honestly, and support those who are not as privileged. It’s like, You have f—ing privilege, so do something with it.”
For her part, Moore said she learned a lot about the process of coming out through Page.
“I don’t think I was aware of how painful it is to be closeted,” she said. “I have the advantage of being a person who’s never had to hide my sexuality, so I asked [Page] a lot of questions – frank questions – about what that feels like. She said she felt discomfort simply wearing all these dresses, and it was all very eye-opening for me. She was so unprotective [of herself] – I was very touched by that. It definitely made me more sensitive to the nuances of our movie.”
In addition to starring in Freeheld, Page produced the film.
“…the feeling of being out and playing someone who’s gay, and someone whose courage has allowed me to live my life, that feels amazing,” she told Out. “People like Laurel and Stacie are the reason I feel so happy in my life now.”
Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival attendees may purchase tickets to Freeheld on October 8 at SIFF Egyptian Theatre by clicking here. Tickets for individual SGLFF 2015 programs go on sale September 17 at threedollarbillcinema.org.