The original short has 13 film festival awards, and – as a viral video – has been viewed (on various platforms) over 30 million times to date. Based on the premise of the reversed world – where social roles are inverted – gay is straight and straight is gay – the viewpoint allows viewers to ‘walk a mile; in another’s shoes.
The feature film version has the support of GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) and From The Heart Productions – a charity and supporter of independent filmmakers for over 25 years. It also has top Hollywood casting director Mary Vernieu (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, Silver Linings Playbook) to cast the movie.
With the short, the flipping of the anti-LGBT bullying script in Love Is All You Need? has proved to be a powerful teaching tool, with the film translated into astonishing 15 languages in an effort to help spread its important message.
It’s the first time GLSEN has partnered with a production company, but they saw value in the short. The organisation’s Braden Lay-Michaels comments, “When we first saw the short film, ‘Love Is All You Need?’ GLSEN was drawn to this important project. It has always been our mission to ensure that every student in every school is valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation gender identity or gender expression.”
While the short has been broadly welcomed, it has also ignited controversy in the small Florida town of Palatka, where a first year science teacher came under fire for screening the short to his ninth through 12 grade students. Both his contract and that of the school’s principle were not renewed. So it seems its message still has some places to go.
If you want to help fund the feature film version, head over to IndieGoGo. If you need more persuasion, look at the report below about the teacher who was essentially fired for showing the short.