Audra McDonald and Will Swenson join the Kickstarter Campaign in effort to raise $65,000.

Facing East is directed by Tony nominated Broadway actor Will Swenson (Hair, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and is written by noted queer cinema veteran Guinevere Turner (Go Fish, American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page) from an off-Broadway play by author Carol Lynn Pearson (author of the books Goodbye I Love Youand No More Goodbyes), and produced by Duane Andersen, James Duke Mason and Emily Pearson. The Kickstarter site mentions that the production is in the process of casting but cannot release specifics at this time, but that Broadway diva Audra McDonald will play a supporting role.

The film tells the story of a prominent Mormon couple dealing with the aftermath of their gay son’s suicide. The Trevor Project, the nation’s only suicide hotline for LGBT and questioning youth, endorses Facing East and 10% of all profits go to that organization.

The campaign offers unique rewards targeted at fans of Mr. Swenson and his wife, five time Tony winner, Audra McDonald, including autographed memorabilia, the opportunity to have lunch with the couple, or the three stars from Priscilla (Will Swenson, Nick Adams, and Tony Shelton), or to have Ms. McDonald sing to you over the phone on your birthday, or to have Mr. Swenson serenade you publicly.

The Kickstarter Campaign will end on December 14, 2012, just before Christmas, so the rewards could be a unique holiday gift. For more information visit the film’s web sites: or,

FACING EAST is a film about a Mormon family who reevaluates their lives and beliefs after the suicide of their gay son.

Facing East is a feature length narrative film that sheds light on an important subject. Just as we think our society is becoming more tolerant and inclusive, our hopes are dashed as we hear about another young gay person, drowning in shame and despair, taking their own life. Nowhere is this shame and despair more acute than among LGBT youth raised in religious homes. Repeatedly told directly and subliminally that God hates them, that they can change the very person that they are, that they are sinners, many see no escape other than death.

Facing East tells the story of a family dealing with this exact tragedy, and through their journey of discovery we see hope for ourselves, our families, our community, our world. 

Facing East began as a stage play, by Carol Lynn Pearson, which premiered in Salt Lake City, later travelled to New York and San Francisco, and has since been performed at theater companies across the country.

"Some theater is good drama. Some drama is important theater. Facing East is both." --

"This compact, emotional epic doesn't bear even the slightest trace of exploitation: only truth, simply and beautifully told." --

We are all so close to this issue. We've all been tormented as we've watched good people struggle and families torn apart. We've all seen how gay children (or husbands, wives, fathers, mothers) from religious families struggle along a trail that has few reliable markers. The unique thing about the story of Facing East, is that it provides those markers, without condemning or degrading. Though about religious people, it is not a religious film, and has found support from both the LDS as well as LGBT community. Facing East has the potential to be a bridge between two very different communities.

Facing East is directed by Tony nominated Broadway actor (HairPriscilla: Queen of the Desert), and independent film director (Sons of Provo) Will Swenson. Will's personal biography as a Utah raised former Mormon and effective gay rights activist make him the perfect voice for this delicate subject. Will and his wife, Audra McDonald, were recently honored by PFLAG for their efforts to promote marriage equality with the 2012 Straight for Equality in Entertainment Award.

Guinevere Turner (Go Fish, American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page), one of the most prominent voices in LGBT cinema, has adapted Carol Lynn's stage play into a wonderful screenplay.

With this extraordinary team in place, we are now prepared to shoot Facing East in late 2013. While most of our funding is in place through equity investment, it will not be available until our preproduction period in Fall 2013. We need a bit extra to bring us to that point, so we are turning to you. The amount we are raising now is to fund some script rewrites, continue casting, pay for some legal and accounting necessities, and prep for production.

Are you excited by character driven, independent cinema? Do you long for a day when no one will feel that suicide is their only escape? Please support this amazing, important project.

An official selection of the 2011 Berlin Film Festival and the SXSW Film Festival, "YELLING TO THE SKY" stars Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: FIirst Class, the forthcoming Mad Max: Fury Road) as Sweetness O'Hara, an introspective and shy inner-city teenager who unsuccessfully tries to quietly blend into the crowded halls of her high school. But an increasingly complex home life, and a persistent, growing threat at school, soon carry her into a world of reckless ambivalence.  

A visceral coming-of-age story, Yelling To The Sky features a sobering, breakthrough performance from Kravitz, with an all-star supporting cast including Jason Clarke (Public Enemies, Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, Baz Lurhman's The Great Gatsby); Gabourey Sidibe (Best Actress nominee for Precious, Tower Heist); Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and Antonique Smith (Abduction, Notorious). 

Yelling To The Sky is the feature directorial debut of writer-director Victoria Mahoney, who began her career as an actress in such films as Reese Witherspoon hit Legally Blonde.  She received the "Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship" and an "Annenberg Film Fellowship" for Yelling To The Sky.  Filmmaker magazine recently named Mahoney one of its “25 New Faces of Independent Film"