Darren Stein ’89 screened a rough cut of his new film “G.B.F” for an audience of more than fifteen students and faculty after school Friday in Ahmanson Lecture Hall. The screening was sponsored by the Gay-Straight Alliance.
“The acronym G.B.F stands for Gay Best Friend,” visual arts department head Cheri Gaulke said.
“The movie is about three popular clique queens who compete for the friendship of Tanner, a newly ‘out’ teenage boy, played by Michael Willett, with the goal of turning him into the latest must-have accessory,” Stein, the film’s director, said.
“I think the characters were really believable,” GSA co-chair Patric Verrone ’13 said, “it’s a great movie that a lot of people should see.”
At the end of the film, the producers handed out a questionnaire, which asked the students to judge several aspects of the film, ranging from evaluating actors to listing their favorite scenes.
“This screening [was] the first time teenagers have seen the movie and been asked to give their opinions,” Stein said, “I guess the students were our guinea pigs.”
“The movie is fun and campy, and at the same time it has real characters that I almost recognized as Harvard-Westlake students. It has a real authenticity of emotions,” Gaulke said.
“LGBT cinema has a following, so I think the movie is a good way to get the community together and at the same time have a lot of fun,” Verrone said.
Stein, who is gay himself, recently founded the Harvard-Westlake LGBT Alumni Association. Stein graduated from Harvard School before it merged with Westlake. ”Going to an all-boys school from 7th grade to 12th grade, I might not have had the most authentic experience, it not being co-educational,” Stein said, “and through my movies I’m able to express a world of high school that I would perhaps like to have lived in.”
GSA plans to host more events that combine mainstream entertainment and their message in the future.
“I think [the screening] went well; it was very informative,” Stein said, “and as I expected, all of the students here were very articulate, and very honest.”
G.B.F is set to premiere at film festivals in early 2013, but Stein plans to screen the movie at Harvard-Westlake once again after it is finished.