I have always been a student and enthusiast for history. Hearing and reading the stories of the fearless, passionate heroes who sacrificed so much to be themselves – to be queer, when the world was against them have shaped and inspired me to become who I am as an activist and filmmaker today.
One of the inspirations for the film came from reading Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg in 2013. I was examining my personal identity and my queerness, and came back to it countless times as I matured and discovered more about myself. As I read more of Feinberg’s work and read stories and accounts, I longed to know more about the humans that lived it and to bring their stories to life.
I realize more each day however that those stories are fighting being told, have been silenced or changed, and I want to change that, starting with this film.
Sanctuary came as an examination of trauma, recovery, police brutality, and finding shelter in the ones we love. For me It was bringing to life even one of the stories that so many experienced in their struggle for equality through creating two people who find sanctuary in each other.
The film was also an exercise in diversity and inclusion, recognizing that humans outside of cis-white males and female existed in the past. Too often are historical and even queer stories white-washed and stereotyped, and countless people of color heroes are forgotten and neglected. Only now are we beginning to recognize humans who identify outside of a gender binary. I wanted Sanctuary to be a small step in changing that.
Through the film to show the universal humanity in the struggle, the sacrifice, and the victories of those who came before us, and remind us that there is still so much work to be done today.
Watch the trailer here:
Throughout the 1960’s, gay bars served as havens for a marginalized queer community across the country. Frequent police raids and laws dictating women to wear three pieces of “gender appropriate clothing” resulted in countless cases of police harassment, assault, and brutality.
Sanctuary follows Meg and Abigail as they navigate their interaction and coping process after one such raid.