Looking to the future with hope

With the postal survey now over, more than 30 Australian filmmakers and actors have been collaborating internationally over the past month on the online short film project, saying I DO to equality and a more open, diverse and inclusive Australia.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK’s Yael Stone, SNOWTOWN’s Daniel Henshall, singer/SISTERS star Zindzi Okenyo and UTOPIA‘s Celia Pacquola are 4 of the artists saying I DO.

THE I DO PROJECT was created as an artists’ response to the Marriage Equality Postal Survey and features microshort films, shot in New York, Sydney, Melbourne, London and Los Angeles, and put together by more than 30 Australian filmmakers working collaboratively and internationally. Eight of the I DO films have already been launched online and six more are in production, while the producers hope that Australians everywhere will take part by making their own I DO films, with the project’s dedicated website providing downloadable resources and advice for people wanting to do so.

In each of the I DO films, the simple statement I DO is made by the featured artist, as a statement of belief in the idea of equality.

Now that the Marriage Equality Postal Survey is over, the I DO films express a broader hope for an Australia that is more open, inclusive and diverse, and are intended both as a statement looking to the future, and as a message of support for the LGBTIQ community, particularly those who have been most affected by the commentary over the past three months.

Yael Stone, who plays Lorna Morello in Netflix’s ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, said ‘I do’ immediately when asked by the project’s producers if she wanted to take part.

Says Yael:

I say I DO to marriage equality because I believe that love is for everyone. A profound commitment to love and family strengthen Australia and we should not exclude anyone from that opportunity. Let’s move forward on this and embrace our celebrated national trait of a fair go for all.

Yael’s I DO film was shot in New York in front of the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, on the same day as Daniel Henshall’s was shot in front of the Brooklyn Bridge, by Director Of Photography Joel Froome, who is also Australian.

At the same time, queer musician and actor Zindzi Okenyo’s film was shot in Hollis Park, Redfern, Sydney, by photographer/ filmmaker Kate Cornish, while Kim Ho’s was filmed in Melbourne’s Fitzroy area by DOP Brad Francis.

Melbourne-based Kim Ho starred in the short coming out film THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE, which went viral in 2013 when shared by both Ellen DeGeneres and Stephen Fry and which has since racked up more than 1.5 million views. Kim devised The I Do Project with producer Dan Prichard in Sydney, and director Laura Scrivano in London. When the survey was announced, and on seeing the impact it then was having on a personal and national level for the LGBTIQ community, the trio began discussing how, as artists, they might respond. Kim’s I DO film, in which he appears as both himself and as the character Charlie from the original film, was the first I DO film shot, and is the model for all of the films subsequently developed.

Says Kim:

The postal survey has affected me and those I love pretty hard while the current political climate of negativity can easily get us down. It’s more important than ever therefore to love and respect one another, to look after one another, find strength in our difference and look to the future with hope and determination.

Says Zindzi Okenyo 

By saying I DO we are not only saying we believe LGBTIQ people should have the right to marry, we are standing by the ethos that all people are valued and respected. I want to be valued and respected no matter who I choose to love.

Says producer Dan Prichard:

The last few months have been traumatic for the LBGTIQ community in Australia, and their friends and family. We wanted to create in response a project that was beautiful and simple, and with a powerful message of affirmation and support. 

Equally, we wanted to create a project that people everywhere could be part of, and have fun with, and to provide the resources to allow people to make their films of love and support in a simple, resonant way. Anyone can make an I DO film – on their own, with friends, classmates, workmates, family, and then can download the I DO music and titles from www.TheIDoProject.com to give it the sense and feel of being part of a communal effort. There’s even a basic editing frame into which people can drop their shots of themselves saying I DO. We are hoping that people’s films will be individual, diverse and joyous, to present a panorama of Australians celebrating love and the power of the words I DO, in a project that will be collaborative, beautiful and healing.

Say Laura Scrviano:

Marriage equality is a no brainer – it is about human rights and equality for all in Australian society. But on a human level, on an individual level, it is about love. It’s really that simple. That joyous, incredible, wonderous, painful emotion that we all experience and we all share and that we should all be able to celebrate equally in front of our friends and family while they embarrass us with awkward stories about our teenage years. Perhaps most importantly, marriage equality is about saying to vulnerable young queer people that you are equal. That we see you, we hear you and we love you. And so that’s what I DO is about – saying I DO for a fairer, progressive, caring Australia. For the future. 


Make Your Own:

Contact The I Do Project, here.

The I Do Project was created as an artists’ response Marriage Equality Postal Survey. (September – November 2017). The 10 films are a collaboration between more than 30 Australian filmmakers and artists in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, London, New York and Los Angeles.

The I Do Project is also calling for contributions from people all over Australia and around the world who also want to say I DO. There are resources to download and guidelines to participate at http://www.TheIDoProject.com

I DO is a statement of belief in the idea of equality and of the right of a individual to place their trust and hope in a future to be shared with the person they love. It also imagines an Australia that is more open, inclusive and diverse, and that looks towards the future with hope.


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