The status of LGBTQ people in general and trans people in particular is being put in increasing jeopardy by cowardly leaders and hateful ‘moral crusaders’. Recent threats from the white house to legislate trans people out of existence entirely are merely the latest signposts on a road back towards societal intolerance and institutional bigotry. Award-winning filmmaker Silas Howard feels that the time is right to use the allegorical power of horror cinema to explore some very real concerns facing today’s LGBTQ youth.
In this spirit, Gunpowder & Sky has partnered with YOMYOMF and Nonetheless Productions to develop Moonshadow, a film where true horrors and imagined monsters intermingle.
The film, which is written by Ernesto Foronda (Better Luck Tomorrow, Sunset Stories) and Daniel Foerste, features a transgender teen force to attend a ‘scientific’ conversion therapy camp. Once there, he discovers the true purpose of the camp, and the terrifying truth behind the ‘conversion’ on offer. The story is inspired in part by Daniel Foerste’s personal experiences with conversion therapy.
Ki Jin Kim and Giulia Caruso of Nonetheless Productions have said of the film:
“When we first started developing Moonshadow with Daniel, we knew this was a very important story.”
“We are honored Daniel trusted us with it, and proud to be part of an incredible team who shares our sense of urgency and believes in the transformative power of this kind of work.”
Silas Howard also had this to say about the purpose of the film:
“With a battle over transgender rights playing out on the national stage, and as a member and advocate of the trans community, I feel it is critical to be a part of the conversation. The current generation of young people is living with entirely new expectations about gender and sexuality, and Moonshadow is for them.”
Here at Vampire Squid, we believe that horror is a potent tool for exploring and interrogating social trends. The state of play, particularly for those who cynical opportunists have decided to ‘other’ in order to advance their personal agendas, looks increasingly bleak. It is good to know that the images and motifs of horror continue to be used to help tell the stories of the disenfranchised and discriminated against, and to inspire sympathy, empathy and respect.