Netflix Debuts Documentary By Female Filmmaker Who Loves Mormon Feminism!
First Netflix Feature Film By Female Feminist Filmmaker Mom (I made that up as a tongue twister!).
In 2015 I met Kristine Stolakis as she was finishing up her master’s degree in filmmaking at Stanford. She’d chosen to make her culminating film project about Mormon feminism and Ordain Women, and I had the great honor of working with her for several months. Her short film went on to be nominated for a BAFTA (British Oscar), and she’s been breaking barriers as a female director ever since. (Only about one in ten directors in Hollywood are female – and having straight, white men tell all of our stories and create all of our entertainment is something hugely problematic that we don’t spend nearly enough time worrying about.)
While Kristine had no direct connection to the LDS Church initially, her fiance (now husband and father of their cute new baby) grew up in Salt Lake City and introduced her to Mormonism. She was very interested in telling the stories of Latter-day Saint women, and was also interested in telling the stories of LGBTQ members in not only our church but all orthodox religions. I remember she was hoping to work on a future film about a transgender Latter-day Day Saint, and I hope she still ends up making that film someday.
On August 3rd her latest documentary (and first feature film) about gay conversion therapy hits Netflix! This is such a big deal, both for women in documentary filmmaking, as well as the dark and painful topic that she covers so masterfully. Kristine is an amazing story teller, and I hope she continues to tell stories about women and LGBTQ+ individuals in our church and other religions. Storytelling like this (through the perspective of a smart, feminist, religiously raised woman herself) is so rare and so special! We are lucky to have such a fantastic human going so many places that is also so interested in our church and telling our stories. She’s going to help change the world.
Click here to watch her BAFTA nominated film about Mormon feminism and Ordain Women: https://vimeo.com/205996837
Click here to watch the heartbreaking trailer for her incredibly important new documentary coming to Netflix on August 3, 2021: https://youtu.be/tk_CqGVfxEs
Please make it a point to watch her new film and share it with others, and if you are a (current or former) Latter-day Saint who is also a survivor of conversion therapy and would be willing to share your story, please reach out to Kristine and her team through the contact link on their website www.prayawayfilm.com. In the days and weeks leading up to the Netflix release they are sharing these stories and would like to include additional Latter-day Saint voices and perspectives. Her team includes survivors of reparative therapy, and they are very sensitive and compassionate. I highly recommend reaching out to them with your stories if you feel inclined to do so.