Hi, my name is Maria Milland and I am a Filmmaker from Venezuela. I shot this feature film documentary while being trapped in Caracas during the lockdown.
Family Pride, Queer Aside is a film about Queer Parenting, about adoption in the LGBT community, it talks about homo-parental families and couples in a non-romantic relationship that can be great parents because family is about love and not about stereotypes.
It’s been said that all humans have a nurturing instinct. For many of us, the most fulfilling and important thing we’ll ever do is to parent and bring up children. Gay people are no different. And this is true of Aisak, a 27-year-old black gay guy who holds a PhD and works in a pharmacy by day and performs in a drag bar by night in Caracas, Venezuela. He also teaches dance, acts, and is an activist for LGBTQA+ rights in the country. This is his story as he tries to adopt three children with his sister. He faces discrimination and one obstacle after another, while his faith in God never shakes.
Isaac embodies queerness. And his warm interaction with the kids is heartening. This film normalises seeing gay and queer people around kids. In Venezuela, a country devoid of gay rights, one of the biggest TV channels Televen censored a kiss between two men in a soap opera as recently as 2020. Members of the LGBTQ+ community have to hide their identity if they want to get a job or enter a bank, state institution, and even family restaurants or events, let alone be allowed to adopt a child.
I hope this documentary helps to change attitudes – as well as the lives of many orphans who are missing out on caring homes offered by same-sex couples, single people, and family members in non-romantic relationships.
Another reason for making the film is I’ve always wanted to adopt. Maybe, because I never met my dad, which made me realise that your family are not necessarily the people with whom you share blood, but with whom you share your heart.
I am also fascinated by the characters involved. Venezuelans have been struggling with hyperinflation, power cuts and water rationing for the last ten years. Seeing Isaac choosing to sleep on the couch so the children could have his room. Seeing how his mum, dad and grandmother re-organised themselves in a three-bedroom flat so their daughter, Karina, could legally adopt three children. Seeing how Isaac doesn’t need to be legally bound to the kids because his dream of being a dad is bigger than that. These things made me really wonder what sort of people would take on such responsibilities during these chaotic and uncertain times?
I went to the flat and it's obvious they are tight for space, however, I could feel and see how happy the kids are. This immediately made me connect with the story and the people behind it, especially Isaac, who’s afraid his homosexuality may interfere in the judgement from the court, as Venezuelan society is still very conservative.
Unfortunately, this shows how powerful institutional discrimination is and it calls for films like the one I made that make people question their beliefs and shows that a different approach is possible. I also think that the world deserves to see a story from my country that isn’t about politics, that is about identity and love.
It would be a tragedy if the prejudice against gay people proves stronger than the desire to give a home to three orphan kids. Children who otherwise will be separated. If they’re lucky the eldest, a girl, will go to a different orphanage from her two small brothers, but in a poor country that lacks the resources to help its children, there’s a likelihood they’ll end up on the streets.
Here is the trailer:
IG: @mariamillanart. @aisak17
If you want to check samples of my work as a Photographer and Film Director, check
#gaydads #queerparenting #gaywithkids #cinelatino #queerdocumentary #filmcrowdfunding #femalefilmmakers #womenbehindthecamera #dragqueens #blackqueer #blackgaydad #caracasgay #lgbtvenezuela
También hablamos español!
Please, do help us to reach our goal! We need more than 10k but that will get things moving.
WHAT DO WE NEED?
We need to pay for the post-production of the 80 min documentary.
2. Sound Design
4. Sound mix
+++And we also need to pay for the costly film festival submissions. Since it is a feature, the price goes from $90 to $150 for each submission. We hope to be able to screen this doc all around the globe.
For £20 You get a link to watch the doc once is RELEASED.
for £50 We will shout out a massive 'Thank you' on our social media for you. + You get the link to watch the film.
For £80 You can watch the film Before anyone else! before its release date which can very good as festivals keep us from releasing the film until the festival happens. In this way, you get a private screener only for your eyes :) + you get a shout out on our social media.
For £100 Aisak will sing a song for you! Our hero, the subject of this documentary, is an extraordinary singer! He will perform a song for you on Instagram. This is a great perk to buy as a present to a loved one, you can ask Aisak to dedicate the song to the person that you love.
It can also work quite well for apologies ;) Aisak needs to know the lyrics of the song tho :) and of course, you get a link to the movie.
For £150 a 'Thank you' credit on the BIG Screen.
I bet you fancy seeing your name on the big screen! Well, this is your opportunity! For just $150 you'll get a 'thank you' on the credits at the end of the movie so everyone can see how much we care for your contribution to making the film happen!
For £1000 an 'Executive Producer' credit.
The Executive Producer is an above the line role in charge of bringing the funds so the film can be made. If you help us with 1k or more, you'll get an Executive Producer credit on IMDB and on the Big screen! + a private link to watch the film before anyone else + a massive thank you on our networks.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO HELP US?
You could share the link to this campaign with everyone. If you are an LGBT, pro-adoption organisation or film festival and would like to enquire more, please do get in touch :)
Also, you can follow us to show your support and receive news about the documentary @FamilyPrideQueerDoc