Support for Shocking the Donkeys

Posted on May 1 2011 by James

Recently, while we have been waiting for the funding process to move along, we have had several letters and emails of support for this project. Not all from the lesbian and gay Greek community, though there has been a lot of interest from there; and from the Greek press. This is clearly a film that will cause a great deal of interest in Greece and through the world as the LGBT community keeps its eye on Greece’s reticence to allow gay civil partnerships.

Here’s a kind of general reply to the letters of support that have been coming in, which also acts as an update for May.

Photos from a Greek island by Symi Dream

Photos from a Greek island by Symi Dream

James Collins has passed on to me your kind email, and first, let me say how much we appreciate your comments and support. I’m James’s writing partner and his co-author for “Shocking the Donkeys” and other film scripts on which we are currently working.

James lives in Greece and I’m based in the UK. “Shocking the Donkeys” is currently in the hands of a couple of production companies who are teaming up to produce it. A director has been pencilled in and we have so far been re-drafting the script to meet his ideas, and have now reached the Third Draft which is pretty much as he would like to have it. He’s quite a well known name but we’re not yet able to say who, and he’s really excited about being involved.

The current situation is that the producers are in the process of doing initial costings and working out likely budgets so they can draw up a business plan to put in front of potential investors. They will be attending the Cannes Film Festival where they hope to find the investment they need to take things to the next stage.

So the producers have not yet reached the stage of thinking seriously about casting. But what I have done is pass your email on to the producers so they can keep you in mind and let you know how things are progressing.

Gay Greek Flag

Gay Greek Flag

You are right in saying the film has a “mission” because we hope very much that it will help to change attitudes in Greece towards LGBT issues and especially gay marriage. You may know that Greece, because of the very strong influence of the Orthodox Church, has the highest surveyed rate in Europe of people opposed to gay marriage, something like 85%, which is way ahead of most countries in the world. This project (‘Donkeys’) has the backing of the Athens Pride Committee and LGBT community leaders in Greece generally. They feel the film could help bring the issue more into the public arena for debate – Greeks generally tending to prefer sweeping such ideas under the carpet and pretending they don’t exist.

So, “Shocking the Donkeys” is a comedy but with a serious message about allowing people to live their lives and find love as they choose, without having to bow to cultural and community pressure.

We are also working on other gay theme projects – “Other People’s Dreams” is a gay thriller/suspense script set on a luxury yacht cruising the Mediterranean – as well as a mainstream comedy set in London.

James and I were interested to see that you were new to screenwriting and had just completed a script of your own. If there is any way you feel we can help you, even if it’s just discussing techniques or things generally about scriptwriting, please feel free to ask. We’re very happy to help out in any way we can.

Best wishes,

Jack

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