Out! As I Want to Be youth debut film
Out! As I Want to Be youth members attended the premiere screenings of their film “Two Seconds,” produced in cooperation with Project AWARE, the Maine Summer Film Institute’s Reel Life Program and the Family Planning Association of Maine, last month at a Maine Public Health Association conference in Augusta and at Brunswick High School. Tears flowed and the audience erupted in a standing ovation at both sites.
“It hasn’t settled in yet that we actually made it,” said 16-year-old Oceanside High School student Lindsay Parker of Owls Head, one of the movie’s actors. “I did feel a little embarrassed [about being in the movie] but now that I’ve seen it, I love it. It came out way better than I expected.”
The film is searing and realistic, confronting teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, relationship violence and a lot of other dead-serious topics with gripping emotion. “Two Seconds” refers to how long it takes to make a bad decision that could alter the course of a person’s life. The film’s sponsors stress that “two seconds” also is how long it takes to make a good decision.
Peyton Feener, 17, a member of Out! and student at The Community School in Camden, said the process of making the movie was educational in itself. Out! members met for months with other teens in Readfield, talking about sexuality issues and eventually writing the script. The film is directed by the teens who also are the actors. The process of making the film has also fostered their public speaking skills.
“It’s really important that we actually see both sides of the story,” said Feener. “Some of the movies you see in health class are really cheesy. No kids take them seriously. They’re seriously outdated and they make fun of kids.”
Lis Clark, Program Coordinator of Out! As I Want to Be, hopes to see the film used in every Midcoast high and middle school. Copies of the DVD of the film will be available to all Midcoast schools through Out! As I Want to Be and through Family Planning Association of Maine.
Out! As I Want to Be is an organization serving 14- to 22-year-old lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (LGBTQ) young people and their allies and friends. Out! seeks to provide affirmation, support, advocacy, education and outreach by and for young people in their quest for identity. Out! holds a drop-in two times a week, currently at Youthlinks, Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Out! at (800) 530-6997 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit outmaine.org.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or email@example.com.