Saturday, August 23, 2014

One More Q&A for Alt-Weekly Reporter Billy Manes

Billy Manes' Orlando Weekly bio ends with the rhetorical, 'In his spare time, he likes listening to Duran Duran with his three miniature pinschers. Don’t you?'

Actually, we prefer Morrissey with a Bichon Frisé, but appreciate the dialogue-spark. That's what Manes does, in print and on film.

Vicki Nantz's 37-minute documentary short Billy & Alan, inspired by Manes' April 2013 cover story "'Til Death Do Us Part...," screens this afternoon in New Orleans at Press Street's Antenna Gallery. The event includes a Q&A with Manes, hosted by Forum for Equality Louisiana's Chris Otten.

Ahead of today's event, Times-Picayune entertainment reporter David Lee Simpson spoke with Manes about the Big Easy showing. The film chronicles the Florida journalist's struggles, following the 2012 suicide death of partner Alan Ray Jordan, with both his late partner's family and the lack of legal protection for same-sex couples in the Sunshine State.


From the article:

Billy & Alan has resonated with festival-goers around the nation, and at first Manes felt he had discussed his story enough. But a May visit to New Orleans put him in touch with "True Colors" organizer Hollis Hannan, and they agreed he should return to discuss the film one more time.
"For me, it's about personalizing the story for people," Manes said. "Everyone thinks that death is a tidy thing. That it's an absolute. It's not. It's ugly. It's ugly for a long time. So I just think it's important that that's part of this message: to get your accounts in order. To get everything settled."

It was Nantz, a friend and supporter of Manes, who first suggested making a documentary based on the cover story. The film was put together in just a few months.

["True Colors"]

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