- Wednesday, Jul. 17, 2019
The award-winning documentary “Same Sex America” from renowned filmmaker Henry Corra has been re-released this summer and is currently streaming on Hulu via SHOWTIME®. The film, originally aired on Showtime in 2005, captures a watershed moment in LGBTQ civil rights history through the eyes of seven gay couples trying to be among the first in the U.S. to legally marry. The film was nominated for the prestigious GLADD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary. In the midst of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and Pride celebrations around the globe this summer, the re-release of “Same Sex America” is incredibly timely. Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to sanction same sex marriages. “It was about human rights then and it’s about human rights now,” says Corra.
Click here to view a trailer of "Same Sex America" on the Corra Films web site:
Click here to stream the film "Same Sex America" on SHOWTIME®:
The idea for the film originated in late 2003 when Corra read the news that the Massachusetts State Supreme Court mandated that same sex marriage licenses would be issued as of May 17, 2004. “It was a big constitutional moment and a heated political battle had erupted. All eyes were on Massachusetts. I knew that the next six months would be fraught with political and personal drama,” explains the Director. “Events were unfolding so fast when we approached Robert Greenblatt, then head of Showtime. He green-lit the project immediately, and we hit the road for the Boston Statehouse. The rest is history.”
Corra says he wanted to make an intimate film that took the viewer up close and personal against the looming political backdrop of the struggle. “By the end of the story,” Corra adds, “you are so involved with the couples and their families and this explosion of weddings that you just fall in love with these people who love each other and just want to be married and have families. It’s an ecstatic moment for all.”
Audrey Roth, a former attorney and one of the film’s main subjects, was filmed with her then-partner Robin and their daughter Phoebe, and understands the relevancy of their story today. “We find ourselves once again at a pivotal moment in civil rights in the United States, wondering whether or not our rights will be overturned,” she points out. “Our daughter is 19 now, and she is in the streets marching with her friends.”
For Audrey, collaborating with Director Henry Corra on this film was a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. “Henry came into our home and filmed us, but it was just like talking to a friend,” she recalls. “He was so easy with his questions and what he was filming, that we didn’t even notice the camera was there most of the time.”
In addition to celebrating the re-release of “Same Sex America” this summer, filmmaker Henry Corra – best known for his unique brand of nonfiction “Living Cinema” – is currently working on yet another compelling new documentary project, “Unlocked,” which is somewhat of a follow-up to his HBO film George, made with and about his own autistic son. With “Unlocked,” Corra attempts to reach the supposedly unreachable, a group of severe autistics who are learning to speak their first words and connecting to the world in a way no one around them thought possible. “Unlocked” is a film about the journey of walking out of a prison into the bright sunlight.
Click here to view the "Unlocked" trailer: https://vimeo.com/295246914
“Unlocked” is mid-way through production with plans for a 2020 release. Corra and his production company Corra Films, based in New York, have also recently collaborated with long-term client Mercedes on an MBUSA campaign (“Greatness Lives Here”), and are now working on a Street Smarts PSA campaign with METRO and the DC Department of Transportation.
About Henry Corra
Henry Corra is an Emmy®-nominated American Documentary Filmmaker best known for pioneering what he calls "Living Cinema.” Corra’s films have been exhibited worldwide in theatrical venues and broadcast and streaming outlets such as HBO, Showtime, LOGO, CBS, PBS, vH1, Arte, Channel 4, Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, Sundance and Fandor. His work has also been exhibited in museum and cultural venues internationally including MoMA, the Louvre, the National Gallery of Art, the Pacific Film Archive and the Smithsonian Institute, and is on permanent collection at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A Sundance and Tribeca Institute Fellow, he has also done episodic TV projects for broadcasters including MTV, VH1, Bravo, and the Sundance Channel. In addition to his film work, Corra has been singled out as one of the foremost Directors of Nonfiction Commercials and Advocacy Advertising in America with groundbreaking campaigns for clients including the American Cancer Society, NYC Health, Mercedes Benz USA, Jet Blue, Starbucks and Google.
Corra’s work is characterized by a deep and intense relationship with his subjects, his painterly eye, and his novelist sensibility. His first feature, the award-winning “Umbrellas” (PBS/Arte, 1995), shows the deep passions of the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude on a world stage and the inherently dramatic and at times painful consequences of their work. With “George” (HBO, 2000), made with and about his autistic son, Corra created a unique cinematic language that dramatized their relationship and confronted preconceived notions of autism. “Same Sex America” (Showtime, 2005), captures a watershed moment in civil rights history through the eyes of seven gay couples trying to marry. “NY77: the Coolest Year in Hell” (VH1, 2007) was Emmy-nominated for “Outstanding Arts & Cultural Programming.” “Jack” (2009) is a road movie that’s a loving and poetic portrait of a full-blown alcoholic that challenges conventional ideas about addiction. “The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan” (short-listed for the Independent Spirit Award, 2010) follows the Nolan family from the cotton belt of Texas, to the battlegrounds of Vietnam, to the killing fields of Cambodia and unfolds as a mysterious fever dream. Corra’s latest genre-breaking work, “Farewell to Hollywood” (theatrical release, 2015), is a nonfiction fairytale about love, death, art, holding on and letting go.
About Corra Films
The company was founded in 1994 by Filmmaker Henry Corra, a protégé of documentary pioneers the Maysles Brothers. Corra‘s work has inspired a generation of Nonfiction Filmmakers. Under his direction, they are a passionate ensemble of New York’s most innovative talent. Their films are seen by millions around the world: in theaters, on television, streaming video, and across the web. They provoke profound engagement and dialogue. They make groundbreaking and award-winning nonfiction features.They help the top global brands define themselves with real people, TV commercials and digital content. And they lead the charge on the most urgent advocacy campaigns. And, always, they help powerfully unique individuals leave lasting and timeless legacies.