As the crew behind the upcoming documentary "America, You Kill Me" — the story of activist Jeffrey Montgomery — continues to work on the long-awaited project, they have scheduled a panel discussion for 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
"True to the spirit of Jeffrey's work we've created a special Facebook Live event [called] Where We Go From Here," said John Montgomery, the late activist's brother and the film's producer. "The focus of this event will be a discussion with LGBTQ leaders on issues important to the LGBTQ community."
Scheduled panelists include Dr. Kofi Adoma, co-founder of the Ruth Ellis Center; Curtis Lipscomb, executive director of LGBT Detroit; and the Rev. Dr. Renee McCoy, founding pastor of Full Truth Fellowship of Christ Church. The discussion will be moderated by Mark Erwin-McCormick, director of development and advancement for the Ruth Ellis Center.
The discussion was scheduled as filmmakers push for a new round of fundraising for the project, which has been in the works for the past four years. They are now hoping for a 2021 release.
"Documentaries are never an overnight project and our documentary is no exception," John Montgomery said. "It's taken many years to create Jeffrey's story, one that would be a fitting tribute to his life's work. Along the way, we've never had the benefit of corporate funding but rather small donations from a variety of supporters."
"America, You Kill Me" was scheduled to premiere on the opening night of the 2020 FREEP Film Festival. The festival was, however, canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"It's uncertain as to when and if a public event will surface again," John Montgomery said.
But regarding an official premiere, all is not lost.
"The team always felt that there were things that would enhance and strengthen Jeffrey's story. So, in a way, although we were hoping the premiere would provide us with an ability to launch our documentary, we decided to remain positive. To that end our director, Daniel Land, has continued enhancing 'America, You Kill Me,' making the documentary even more impactful and effective," John Montgomery said.
Right now, those improvements are being completed and a marketing communications plan for the film is being designed.
"We are hopeful that 'America, You Kill Me' will find a home on one of the major streaming services, a major TV network or distribution through a movie company," he said. "But one way or the other, we are committed to making sure that Jeffrey's story reaches a wide audience. It's our feeling that looking over the past four years there has never been a more important time to tell his story to a cross-generational population of LGBTQ citizens as well as the public at large. The battle to ensure complete LGBTQ civil rights and protections is far from over."
The Facebook Live panel discussion will take place at 8 p.m. Dec. 15. To donate to the making of "America, You Kill Me" visit this link.