BY Greg Archer
June 23 2009 12:00 AM ET
Finding Me is not your average "boy meets boy" love story -- few films actually are -- but the new flick sizzles, thanks in part to its emotional depth. That may be enough to engage audiences who can experience it at film festivals and on DVD this month, but you can't help but embrace an LGBT movie with a protagonist who happens to be a young life-questioning gay Caribbean who is repeatedly put through the spiritual wringer. "What are you afraid of, Faybien?" "Who is Faybien?" "Love should not be an interruption of your life, Faybien." Oh, the inner journey this boy goes on -- from father-fearing to chucking aside what people might think of him. Advocate.com caught up with the film's 33-year-old writer-producer-director, Roger S. Omeus Jr., to talk about the indie flick, the challenges it took to bring it to life, and why the world could use a hell of a lot more gay movies with diversity -- and color.
You initially wrote Finding Me in book form more than a decade ago, when you were in your early 20s. As far as directing it as a movie, how was that? This is your first film. Believe it or not, back in high school I used to direct teen dramas. I was so heavily influenced by a lot of things like Degrassi High , which is an '80s Canadian show. I loved how real it was. It wasn't Americanized television. I love that kind of realism in stories, where there is not a soundtrack in every scene. Directing this film, for me, was great. What was challenging about it was the lack of funds. Because there were times when I had to hold the camera and direct the actors and that was horrible. Great, because it was a learning experience, but horrible because I wasn't able to do what I really needed to do at that time, which is direct the actors in key moments. That was the biggest challenge. I was wearing so many hats. We only shot on the weekends. People -- friends of mine -- were dedicating their time on the weekends to do this film. At times they didn't know it would ever get released.