Arts & Entertainment
Jeffrey Montgomery attending this years Motor City Pride events. BTL photo: Crystal Proxmire
Fundraiser Coming Up For Jeff Montgomery Film
By Crystal A. Proxmire
Originally printed 10/10/2013 (Issue 2141 - Between The Lines News)
DETROIT - Allies will be coming together Oct. 26 for a night of blues at Sinbad's Sohar Room, 1000 St. Clair in Detroit, to help make a documentary possible on the life of LGBT activist Jeff Montgomery.
Titled "America You Kill Me," the film centers on an interview with Montgomery by WDET's Craig Fahle. Montgomery was the first executive director of the Triangle Foundation in 1991, an organization helping victims of violence and discrimination that eventually evolved into Equality Michigan. In the mid-90s, Montgomery was instrumental in working with the Detroit Police department to bring about change in their treatment of the gay community.
Montgomery said he'd been approached by people over the years about doing a film and ultimately decided it was a good idea. "Initially I was pretty reluctant because I've never done my work to be out in that way. The more I thought about it, there are things I had to say. When I was active, I complained we didn't do enough to capture the thoughts and history of the people who came before us. I had to admit that I had a bit of influence in the community through Triangle and I had to put my money where my mouth was," Montgomery said.
America You Kill Me is being directed by Daniel Land, who Montgomery said has never been involved in the LGBT community, but has worked on Hollywood projects. "He's a great director. It's all in his hands. We met him through a mutual friend so he never even knew me before," Montgomery said. The main part of the film is an interview that he recently completed with Craig Fahle. "We talked for four hours, so now the director will have to go through and pick out the parts he wants to share." Montgomery said he is a little nervous because the director will be the one making all the decisions on what to keep and what not to include.
Montgomery has seen a lot in his years of activism, with his work beginning in an era when violence against LGBT people was common. The quickness of change in recent years has impacted him, though he also knows there is still much work to do.
"Long before I left Triangle I was not on the marriage bus, because it was an ancillary issue. The most fundamental thing we can do is to get total protection. Because if we had total civil rights provisions to begin with, marriage would be natural. Marriage has gone faster than I ever thought it would," he said. "I think that a lot of money has been spent on that issue that might have been put into general protection. Whether it's legal or not there are people in our community that don't want to marry, but they do want to work, and to be safe from being fired or discriminated against. In Michigan there's still a lot to be done. This whole thing going on with adoption law is important too."
Completion of the film is expected by early next year, and funds raised at events like the one Oct. 26 will go toward production costs. Montgomery said he hopes to have screenings and discussions at local theatres, submit the film to festivals and use it for educational features on his website, which is not yet launched.
On Oct. 26, the opening act will be Detroit-based singer songwriter Audra Kubmat doing an acoustic set. Following will be a set by the Detroit Daggers. Also, special appearance by Don Tapert and the 2nd Avenue Band featuring the members of the Detroit Daggers and special guest Tim Sparling for an encore performance of the Tapert Sparling Band.
In addition to hearing about the project from Jeffrey Montgomery, the director Daniel Land and interviewer Craig Fahle from WDET will be on hand as well.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Evening activities start at 8 p.m. Cash bar and complementary hors d'oeuvres will be served. A minimum contribution $15 is requested.
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