1. How long have you been involved with KICK and what has that been like for you?
It’s only been a little over one year since I first walked into the KICK Office (back in March of 2012). Although within that one year, the collaborations, connections, and friendships that have been built are simply timeless. I stepped into KICK as an unknown tall guy and stepped out a year later as thee “Tall Guy” within the LGBT community (shooting video productions with YBU, NEW and even the one and only Between The Lines).
2. Why is the Film Festival important?
The power of film has an impact on the human spirit that goes beyond measure. Sadly though, the beauty of our LGBT community is rarely captured on screen (especially within our LGBT community of color). But by being a filmmaker myself (who just happens to be a proud, openly gay black male as well), I am beyond driven in building a more vivid presence of our incredible LGBT community, using the power of film. So when offered the opportunity to become committee chairman of the HTJ-2013: Film Festival, I simply couldn’t pass it up.
3. How many people came to the Film Festival last year?
Better than expected
4. How do you select the films you are going to show?
Striving to further connect with the incredible creative talent in our LGBT community, we initiated our first Hotter Than July (2013): Film Festival Submission Competition. Which allowed LGBT filmmakers nationwide to submit their films and possibly be selected as a featured film of the Hotter Than July (2013): Film Festival. We also presented our first ever Hotter Than July (2013): Film Festival Awards. Allowing our community to vote for their favorite films, series and even vloggers within the black LGBT community. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/HtjFilmFestival or www.youtube.com/HtjFilmFestival
5. What film are you most looking forward to, and why?
The animated, sci-fi, lesbian epic.. “Strange Frame”.
6. What is the most touching or memorable thing you experienced at film festivals of the past?
2012 was not only the first time I served on HTJ film festival committee, but it was also the first time I’ve ever experienced the awesomeness of the Hotter Than July: Film Festival (and what a wonderful experience it was). Seeing our diverse LGBT community come together to laugh, cry and experience the wonders of LGBT cinema, was simply a unifying moment unlike any other.
7. Why do you think Hotter Than July is important, and why should people come to it?
Hotter Than July isn’t just a simple pride, but it is unifying celebration of our Same-Gender Loving, African American community. From honoring our LGBT family who have passed on at the Candle Light Vigil, to enlightening our community with empowering discussions at the Annual Gathering, Hotter Than July offers our community a chance to productively progress (while having a good time).
8. Apart from your activism and involvement with KICK, what should BTL readers know about you? Your job? If you have a partner you want to mention? Your goals in the next few years? Anything like that I can use in your introduction?
My government name is Chris Sutton, but 99.9% of the population calls me “Tall Guy” (I’m not sure why)..? Well, maybe it’s because I’m a seven-foot videographer (who happens to enjoy the beauty of filmmaking over bouncing a ball). Or maybe it’s because I am a towering, strong, proud black gay man, who hopes to inspire our diverse LGBT community using the power film. More than likely, it’s because my official website is titled http://www.HeyTallGuy.com (which is the perfect source to see some the inspiring video production work I’ve done within the LGBT community).