“Damon and Hunter” was shot in January of 2005 in a house in Rego Park, Queens, New York, in the middle of a huge snow storm. When we arrived at the location the pavement was dry, but by the time we packed out there was nearly two feet of snow. It took us nearly two hours to drive the 7 miles back to our house. The film, music and culture critic Steve Dollar was there, and somewhere between the set and home, he slipped and fell, breaking his arm. Maybe that’s why we never got a story out of it.
“Damon and Hunter” had its world premiere to an overflow crowd at the 2006 Melbourne Underground Film Festival, and ultimately received the Best Documentary award. Unbeknownst to me, this screening had taken place in direct defiance of the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification, who had refused to grant the film a festival exemption and ordered the film not be screened.
This was also unknown to the Sydney International Gay & Lesbian Documentary Film Festival, and they booked the film for two nights at their 2006 festival.
But in Australia, film festivals are required to submit their “play list” to the government, and still stinging from Melbourne Underground’s defiance, the OFLC lowered the boom. The Sydney festival director was told that if he screened the film he would face fines and jail time. The screening was cancelled, and the slots filled with a British soap opera. (A year later, the OFLC would send police to stop the premiere of “Ashley and Kisha: Finding the Right Fit” at the 2007 iteration of MUFF.)
Since the Sydney debacle, the film has gone on to screen in several other countries – Israel, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and here at the US at the 2006 Cinekink Film Festival (the first time I ever had the opportunity to see one of my films play for an audience.)
The film has also been enthusiastically embraced by the educational and therapeutic communities; and it held in the libraries of The Kinsey Institute, The San Francisco Sex Information Hotline, The Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and Planned Parenthood.