By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com December 10 2013 9:00 AM ET
Kidnapped for Christ, a documentary about the abuse of LGBT and other young people at an evangelical Christian reform school, will premiere in January at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
The first documentary feature from filmmaker Kate Logan, Kidnapped for Christ exposes Escuela Caribe, a school in the Dominican Republic that bills itself as a haven to solve teenager’s problems but actually robs them of their freedom and subjects them to physical and emotional abuse. Many affluent U.S. evangelical families have sent their children there, often for no other “problem” than that the child has come out as LGBT.
The film, the subject of an earlier Advocate story, focuses on David, a straight-A high school student from Colorado whose parents sent him to Escuela Caribe simply for being gay. Also featured are Tai, a 16-year-old Haitian-American girl who was sent away after acting out as a result of childhood traumas, and Beth, a 15-year-old who suffers from a debilitating anxiety disorder. The young people who attend Escuela Caribe are often taken there without being told where they are going, hence the film’s title.
Kidnapped for Christ had a test screening in October at the Sacramento International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The Slamdance festival runs January 17 to 24, with the exact schedule to be announced. The festival, dedicated to showcasing emerging filmmakers, provides an alternative to the concurrent, more mainstream Sundance Film Festival.
The film is directed by Logan and produced by her, Yada Zamora, and Paul Levin for RedThorn Productions. Executive producers of the film are Lance Bass (’NSync), Mike C. Manning (Disney’s Cloud 9), and Tom DeSanto (Transformers, X-Men). Below, watch Bass in a video for the Kickstarter campaign needed to cover the movie’s completion costs, and find out more at the film’s website.