Cinema Savannah Hosts Ganymede – Connect Savannah Interview Excerpt

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On Nov. 9, Cinema Savannah will host a screening of “Ganymede,” a 97 minute film that blends a traditional LGBTQ+ coming-of-age story with a creature feature. Stephen Stanley, the film’s producer, first spoke with Connect Savannah back in 2005 to discuss his SCAD thesis project, a music video called “Push It Real Good.” Now, 18 years later, we discuss his newest film, “Ganymede,” and the impact he hopes the local screening will have on the community he calls home.     


So this film “Ganymede,” can you tell me a little bit about what it’s about?

Stephen Stanley: “Ganymede,” is a mash up. It’s a southern gothic thriller, mashed up with a LGBTQ coming-of-age story, which may sound a little crazy. The director is Colby Holt and Sam Probst. They really wanted to explore the terror that comes along with being in the closet in rural areas in red state America. So they’re from Indiana and Kentucky. I grew up in Appalachia, in a small town in east Tennessee. So we all experienced that while there’s this really vibrant, queer community in these rural areas now, there’s also a lot of fear. There’s a lot of fear no matter where you are, particularly recently, as this legislation has come about in many states is further marginalizing LGBTQ youth. So they wrote this story, really thinking about coming out of the closet as a creature feature.

This young man is attracted to a boy in his class. He’s from a very conservative, very politically powerful dynasty in this small town, and the more he’s attracted to another young man in his high school, the more this creature begins stalking him. So we made a practical creature. We kind of play with a lot of horror conventions. I wouldn’t describe it as horror, I would describe it more as a southern gothic thriller. But we play with a lot of horror conventions, to explore that terror that comes with having shame and having a secret. It could be any number of secrets, really, we hope it can resonate with a broader audience who might understand that weight that carrying shame brings to us. So throughout the film, Lee, who is the main character, is dealing with this attraction. His family puts him into conversion therapy and electroconvulsive therapy with their pastor and so Lee has to eventually make a choice: Does he carry this this generational shame from his family or does he break free and try to be his true self?

Stephen Stanley: We premiered in Chicago about three weeks ago. That was our first screening anywhere. This is our second screening. In Chicago, we had a sold out theater, a really diverse crowd, people loved it. You never know as a filmmaker what people are going to think of a film and both the directors and I were optimistic but you know, there’s always a little bit of, you know, worry there too. We won the Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature at the film festival, which is the Reeling Film Festival. It’s one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ film festivals in the country. Then, we decided we wanted to play it here. We have a lot of Savannahians that were part of this movie. Particularly with SCAD, we had faculty, staff, alumni, students as cast, crew, advisors and helpers. It was also important for us to play in Savannah, just because it’s my home and it’s a city in Georgia where these sort of discussions are all happening. We’ve gotten so far great response, so I’m very encouraged and then we plan to keep rolling it out in screenings at festivals and special screenings, and then eventual national distribution.

The film screens on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Savannah Cultural Arts Center at 7pm. For updates and more information, visit their Instagram handle @ganymede_movie.

Buzz for Ganymede Chicago Premiere

https://blockclubchicago.org/2023/09/20/reeling-programmer-picks-3-dont-miss-selections-from-the-lgbtq-film-fest/

Horror has long been the realm of queerness, whether overt or covert — using the monstrous and devilish to explore everything from socially taboo desires to hidden identities. While Reeling has a robust slate of queer-themed horror (scrappy Australian trans horror film “T Blockers” is a particular standout), it also sports the world premiere of Southern Gothic shocker “Ganymede,” courtesy of Chicago-based filmmakers Colby Holt and Sam Probst. 

Following a young gay teen (Jordan Doww), the son of a local politician, who’s developed a crush on a fellow classmate, “Ganymede” turns the screws on a gay person’s first brushes with queer desire. As the boy’s feelings grow, he soon finds himself stalked by a faceless monster that invades his mind and puts him in physical danger as well. Fox described this one as “What would happen if ‘Love, Simon’ and ‘The Babadook’ had a film child?”

“Ganymede” plays 9 p.m. Saturday at Landmark Century Centre Cinema. Get tickets here

CREEPY CATALOG: Best New Horror Films of 2022 -THEY LIVE IN THE GREY

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19. They Live in the Grey

A social worker who can see ghosts is forced to face her own traumatic past in the chilling and emotional supernatural horror movie They Live in the Grey. Michelle Krusiec stars as Claire, a worker for Child Protective Services assigned to investigate a report of child abuse. She quickly learns that an otherworldly presence in the house may be the cause of the abuse, and Claire must decide if she can mentally handle this new case while dealing with her own shattered life and the constant fear she lives with. They Live in the Grey has some very effective scares in the tradition of movies like The Eye (2002) and The Sixth Sense (1999), and it has a wonderfully moving story brought to life by Michelle Krusiec.

17 amazing queer films to look forward to in 2023

From GEN.IE – See Full Article Here

With an impressive year of cinema coming to a close, you may wonder what sort of queer films 2023 has in store. We’re here to give you a preview, outlining some of the LGBTQ+ films that have been announced to date, and why you should be excited about their release!

Ganymede

Colby Holt and his husband Sam Probst pose together at their movie premiere with big smiles and and standing close together.
Colby Holt and Sam Probst

This coming-of-age film is directed by husbands Colby Holt and Sam Probst with filming having finished in August 2022. In the film, we see a high school senior by the name of Lee Fletcher IV develop a crush on his openly gay classmate, but the story is not all it seems. Lee suddenly finds himself stalked by a faceless creature that endlessly occupies his thoughts and threatens to physically harm him.

Describing itself as a horror thriller the film, it was shot in Holt’s hometown of Paducah, Kentucky and the director has shared his decision for the location: “We wanted to explore the queer experience in the modern South, and the terror one can be made to feel with the realization they are gay or queer-identified.” The film is currently aiming for a festival debut in 2023 and hopefully, we will know more about its release in the new year!

DEADLINE: Ganymede Wraps Production

EXCLUSIVE: Jordan Doww (Reach) and Pablo Castelblanco (Alaska Daily) will topline the LGBTQ+ horror-thriller Ganymede from directors Colby Holt and Sam Probst (Pig Hag), which has wrapped production. Additional cast set for the indie includes David Koechner (Anchorman), Robyn Lively (9-1-1: Lone Star), Joe Chrest (Stranger Things) and Marissa Reyes (Spirit Halloween).

Jordan Doww, Pablo Castelblanco
Jordan Doww, Pablo Castelblanco Courtesy of Luke Fontana; Stephen Busken

Ganymede tells the story of Lee Fletcher IV, a high school senior and third generation heir to a local political dynasty in a small town in the South. When he develops a crush on his openly gay classmate, Lee finds himself stalked by a grotesque, faceless creature that increasingly inhabits his thoughts and threatens physical harm. The film is being produced by Stephen Stanley (What Lies Below), Kevin Greene and Mark Goldberg, in association with Iris Indie International. Geneva Wasserman of dentsu’s The Story Lab (Spiderhead), J Craig Gordon, Kevin Stansberry and Sean Fernald are serving as EPs. The filmmakers are looking at a 2023 festival debut, with the title currently up for sales in all territories.

Doww is represented by CAA, Scale Management and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Castelblanco by Stewart Talent, Creative Talent Company and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

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THEY LIVE IN THE GREY set as a Shudder Original

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NEW YORK – November 1, 2021 – Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, has acquired worldwide rights to supernatural feature They Live in The Grey. The Shudder Original Film, which is written and directed by Burlee and Abel Vang (Bedeviled), is set to release in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand in early 2022. Vertical Entertainment will be  handling international sales for remaining territories at the upcoming American Film Market.

They Live in The Greyis a Standoff Pictures Production in association with Whiskey Stream Films. The film is produced by Stephen Stanley and The Vang Brothers and features performances by Ken Kirby (Good Trouble), Ellen Wroe (For All Mankind), and Madelyn Grace (Don’t Breathe 2).

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SCAD Works: Professor Stephen Stanley’s Pride Pics

See original post here: https://www.scad.edu/blog/professor-stephen-stanleys-pride-picks

June 17, 2021 · By SCAD

Stephen Stanley (M.F.A., film and television, 2007) is a prolific producer, writer, filmmaker, and since 2018, professor of film and television at SCAD. In April of this year, he racked up a #1 hit on Netflix as producer of What Lies Below, a feature film directed by Braden Duemmler that was test-screened for SCAD students before its general release. Professor Stanley is highly esteemed at SCAD for his popular classes covering production, direction, and the business of film.

Steve Stanley:

A key to visibility is having agency in how your community is depicted in media. Growing up in the 1980s, it was virtually impossible for me as a young gay boy to see other Queer people on TV or in movies, primarily due to FCC regulations and studio prejudices. The few LGBTQ+ characters who did show up were typically either troubled souls or outlandish stereotypes, most often created by straight writers and directors.

With some notable early—and mostly coded—exceptions, it wasn’t until the emergence of New Queer Cinema in the early ’90s that Queer directors and producers were able to shape their own image on screen. The result was revolutionary. Audiences were able to see fully formed LGBTQ+ characters who reflected the diversity of our community. While visibility exposes us in a way that can feel uneasy, it also helps connect, unite, and protect us.


This Pride month, I want to recommend five films from that period made by LGBTQ+ filmmakers of enduring power.

1. Mala Noche, Gus Van Sant (1986): While 1991’s My Own Private Idaho is justifiably Van Sant’s most lauded work from this period, Mala Noche offers a look at the auteur as he developed his signature style. Set, like Idaho, in a world of street hustlers, Van Sant delivers a raw look at urban Queer life and the uneasy coexistence of gay people alongside vulnerable populations.

2. Poison, Todd Haynes (1991): Anticipating the breakthrough of his tour-de-force Safe, Poison captures Todd Haynes at his best:  thoughtful, audacious, and visually stunning. Haynes explores power, male sexuality, and the sensationalizing of the AIDS crisis in this richly provocative triptych.

3. I Am My Own Woman, Rosa Von Praunheim (1992): A bold and experimental hybrid of narrative and documentary about trans woman Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf, who lived through Hitler’s Third Reich and the Communist East German regime. Mahlsdorf plays herself and narrates this remarkable look at joy and bravery in the face of constant danger. 

4. Go Fish, Rose Troche (1994): A fun, funky look at the diversity of lesbian culture at a time when Queer female characters lacked agency in Hollywood (except as villains). Troche embraced her budget limitations with a raucous approach to experimentation that enchants, most notably in her deconstruction of classic Hollywood love scenes. 

5. The Watermelon Woman, Cheryl Dunye (1996): Dunye wrote, directed, edited, and stars in this landmark film about a young African-American lesbian who, after watching a film where a black actress in a Mammy role is credited as simply “The Watermelon Woman,” decides to investigate her identity. Using comedy, drama, and behind-the-scenes intrigue, Dunye shatters traditional storytelling boundaries while examining issues of race, sexuality, and media.

Read more of Stephen Stanley’s writing on LGBTQ+ films in his contribution to professor Lubomir Kocka‘s book Left or Right? Directing Lateral Movement in Film (Vernon Press, 2021).

What Lies Below #1 on Netflix

WHAT LIES BELOW has had a monster run on Netflix including 3 days as their #1 film in North America! We always knew this movie had a strong core audience but to see the way they’ve embraced the film over the past few weeks has been incredible.