ORLANDO | Watermark Film Company premiered the first trailer to its documentary film “Greetings From Queertown: Orlando” at a private fundraising event at The Venue in Orlando Aug. 23.
Watermark Film Company was launched by Watermark Publishing Group owner Rick Claggett as a way to create, produce and distribute films that inform and educate audiences on the LGBTQ experience, according to a press release.
“Greetings From Queertown: Orlando” looks at Orlando’s LGBTQ community from its early beginnings to its place in one of the most progressive cities in the U.S.
“In the wake of Pulse this community came together to be ‘Orlando Strong,'” said Watermark Film Company founder Rick Claggett in a press release. “But I wanted to know, where did this story begin? Who were the pioneers? This documentary will answer those questions.”
“Greetings from Queertown: Orlando” looks to explore the pivotal moments in Central Florida’s LGBTQ story. Events in the film will include the launch of the LGBT+ Center of Central Florida, the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Orlando, the beginning of Gay Day at Magic Kingdom, the first LGBTQ Pride parade held downtown and the tragedy at Pulse.
The documentary will film these stories as told by Orlando’s LGBTQ leaders, innovators, activists and entertainers who lived it.
“The idea originally started when I saw the ABC miniseries ‘When We Rise,'” said Claggett. “After watching that show I thought, ‘Who were the people on our frontlines here in Central Florida fighting for LGBTQ rights and equality?'”
The film’s trailer features interviews with Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, drag performer Darcel Stevens, Watermark founder Tom Dyer, Florida House Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, as well as Orlando entertainers Michael Wanzie and Blue Star.
Along with Claggett as “Greetings From Queertown: Orlando’s” executive producer and writer, the film’s crew includes producer/director/writer Sandi Hulon, director of photography Tye Belcher, associate producer/writer Jeremy Williams, media developer Jake Stevens and set photographer Dylan Todd.
Fundraising for the film began Aug. 23 and features various benefit packages designed for specific levels of “money love” contributed to the film.
More information, including details on each benefit package, can be found at GreetingsFromQueertown.com.
You can watch the film’s trailer below.