Maybe God Is Talking To You

(currently in post-production)

75 minutes, HD, 2013

SYNOPSIS:
It's been one month since Carol's husband died and ten years since she rejected her son after he came out as gay. She wakes up this morning, exhausted by nightmares, but begins her usual routine: cleaning the house from top to bottom. She goes to a doctor's appointment and discovers upsetting news; she's HIV positive. How? Carol doesn't know and doesn't want to know.

Back at home, Carol tries to cope with the day when the door opens. It's her son, Timothy. He's brought his boyfriend with him for moral support. Carol invites her daughter, Joy, a witty and foul-mouthed cop, over for dinner. As the night progresses, the truth slowly bubbles to the surface and is revealed in all of its festering, emotional glory. Carol finally breaks down and lets out all the pain, heartbreak and shame she's held inside; her children are speechless. The film ends as her son's boyfriend holds her as she weeps.

STATEMENT:
The national conversation on sexuality, religion and families is filled with misdirection, outdated perceptions and unsaid things. We are bombarded with crass justifications for prejudice and intolerance. It is easy to be fooled by false logic and emotional manipulation. But the truth remains: things that are hard to face only fester when unsaid. It only results in heartbreak in the end. By placing these issues into one family, one house, in one day, the film reveals the pain and absurdity in a culture where hiding the truth in favor of easy shortcuts has become an epidemic.

THE JOURNEY:
This project was developed through community readings, feedback sessions and fundraising. It could not have happened without the incredible support and participation of the El Morro, New Mexico community.

On June 17, we wrapped production on the film, shot entirely in El Morro. It was an incredible journey from initial conception to completion of principal photography. I moved to New Mexico last August and began writing the script (after thinking about the idea for a couple of years).

In January, I brought the script to Genevieve Humenay, the Executive Director of the El Morro Area Arts Council; we decided to put together a staged reading to present it to the community and get feedback. We began rehearsals and performed the reading in mid-February. We did two performances, each with a feedback session following. Here are some clips from those sessions:

In April, we began our Kickstarter fund to raise funds for production. On May 3, we reached our fundraising goal!

As part of our Kickstarter campaign, we held a benefit at the Old School Gallery, run by the local arts council. Here are some clips:


Cadence also performs in the film, was part of the set design team, and is contributing to the soundtrack!


Max also performed in the film, did production sound, and will also contribute to the sountrack!

Maybe God Is Talking To You

Carol................................Barbara Duncan
Timothy...........................Cadence Johnson
Joy...................................Genevieve Humenay
Kevin................................Benel Dreksler
Audrey..............................Alice Bybee
Deana...............................Melody Matthews
Judith................................Deer Roberts
Ed.....................................Eden Gloria
Landlady...........................Kristi Davis
Dr. Miller...........................Tony Osborn
Canvasser.........................Elizabeth Guess
Receptionist......................Jacqueline Jaramillo

Writer/Director..................Mark Levine
Producers..........................Genevieve Humenay & Mark Levine
Executive Producers...........Barbara & Chris Johnson, Ancient Way Cafe
Director of Photography..... Norbert Shieh
1st Assistant Camera.........Wey Wang
2nd Assistant Camera........Sarah Barson
Gaffer................................Kyle Fallon
Production Sound...............Maxwell Von Raven
Boom Operator...................Ben Leitch
Production Designer............Cadence Johnson
Costume Designer..............Clay Robinson
Assistant Designer..............Anita Davis-Schaefer
Production Assistants.........Sophia Tripodi, Jessie Wagner, Kirk Shoemaker, Kjell Boersma