LGBT documentary “Between the Shades” examines the power of labels and the transcendence of love

Between the Shades is a documentary by filmmaker Jill Salvino and is an official selection of the SOHO International Film Festival. It features 50+ voices, among them: Beth Malone (of Broadway’s Fun Home), actress Kathy Najimy and Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias. The film examines the immense power of labels and the transcendence of love, and premieres at the Village East Main Theatre in New York City on June 17, 2017. “No film can ever capture the immense diversity of the LGBTQI community, but it didn’t stop us from trying,” says Jill Salvino.  ”This film is about love and could not come at a more needed time.”

Some of the women in the film candidly shared their personal stories and passion for the project, including Mimi Torchin, a lesbian photographer who spoke about coming out a bit later in life.

“My wife, Liron, is 35 years old; I’m 70. She’s Israeli born, I’m American through and through. I finally admitted I was gay at 30, after years of dating and loving men; my wife is a “gold star” lesbian. Until fairly recently, I always felt that my sexuality was nobody’s business but my own and those close to me; each “coming out” was difficult. My wife embraces and proudly declares her label at any opportunity. These deeply rooted differences, though perhaps generationally based, exist. Nevertheless, we have something in common that unequivocally trumps any differences. Love. And this is what makes Jill’s beautiful film both deeply personal and unquestionably universal.”

Photo: Ighor Melon
Photo: Ighor Melo

Mimi’s wife, Liron Cohen, points out the generational differences in how we label (or don’t) ourselves.

“As an 80’s baby, I oftentimes feel like a sandwich child; the generations before me fought hard so that the world would come to feel differently about my label, and their work paid off so well that the generations after me find labels to be too constricting and want to do away with them altogether. Things are moving so rapidly, that even the most well-meaning people find themselves confused by it all. Jill Savino’s wonderful movie, Between the Shades, boils it down to the single most important thing, love. Love for ourselves, love for our partners, whoever they might be, and love for our fellow humans, whichever way they choose to define (or to not define) themselves.”

Beth Malone, actress from the hit Broadway musical  Fun Home shared a story of awakening:

“When we were finally together the first thing I noticed was like her tiny little frame. Probably because she was a girl. And I had only had sex with a boy at the time. And she was so ridiculously beautiful to me. And I know it’s a cliché but at that moment I knew what the big deal about sex was. I knew why I was born. Why I was alive. I understood that God had meant her for me.”

Elizabeth Ziff, writer, producer and musician you most likely know from the band BETTY, also appears in the documentary, and shared her view on sexual identity.

“I consider myself a feminist first and foremost. I happen to fuck and fall in love with women too. My queerness is a component of who I am as a feminist, a sexual woman, and an artist.”

Watch the trailer:

Robin McWilliams of Madcatch Entertainment shared with AfterEllen  a particularly poignant story of a young girl’s coming out in a world where it isn’t yet safe for her to do so.

“I got a private message from a young girl asking if she could talk to me. But not until she felt safe. I reassured her she was always safe with me, and could ask me anything and feel free to talk. After a long silence she said  “I think I’m a lesbian, but I don’t know.” I asked her age, and she was still in her teens. I let her know she had the entire world in front of her and could figure it out one adventure at a time.  It wasn’t until after I said that, that she let me know she lives in Dubai where it is illegal to be gay She could be killed for being a lesbian, or even just for talking to me about it. That statement rose through me with such fear and sadness, not to mention horror for her. But to know she did feel safe enough with me to open up was such an honor. Such a responsibility, but to help by just listening to her. Allowing her to speak her truth.”

Photo: Ighor Melon
Photo: Ighor Melo

Madonna Cacciatore, Director of Special Events at the Los Angeles LGBT center sees LGBT people of all ages still struggling.

“No homeless youth should be forced to sleep on the street at night because they were kicked out of their home for being gay . No low income senior should have to make the choice between toilet paper or food each month just because they’re LGBT. We are only as good as the most vulnerable among us. Love is everything. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is building a world where LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society.”

Between the Shades couldn’t be screening at a better time, and we’re thrilled to see a project where the LGBT community can discuss our similarities and distinct differences. This film is a must-see, especially during Pride month!

TICKETS:  June 17th 4:20 Village East Main Theatre 350 Seats:  $16.00

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