THE Byron Bay Film Festival will open its 2017 event with a screening of The Freedom to Marry, a documentary about the marriage equality campaign in the United States.
Although the final film line up has not been unveiled, organisers announced the opening gala screening via their Facebook page.
On Friday, October 6, at the Byron Theatre, the 86-minute Eddie Rosestein documentary will explain the behind-the-scenes story of the architects of the civil rights movement and the campaign that won marriage equality throughout the United States.
In June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 US States, as part of a case known as Obergefell v Hodges.
The decision was the culmination of decades of lobbying that started in May 1970, when same sex couples started to request marriage licences in the US.
The film follows the campaign set up by Same-Sex Marriage Activist Evan Wolfson, National Campaign Director Marc Solomon and Civil Rights Attorney Mary Bonauto, plus the lives of plaintiffs in some of the legal cases April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse.
Rosestein said he gained direct access to the campaign as he was a childhood friend of Evan Wolfson, although they had not seen each other for decades until the filmmaker approached Wolfson with the idea of the documentary.
"Though he is now recognised as the architect, or the 'Godfather' of the same sex marriage movement, Evan Wolfson is a pretty regular guy," Rosestein said.
"He lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his spouse, he prefers to eat at diners and you might not notice him if you passed him in the street.
"But he is tenacious.
"And he always believed that America is a place where problems can be fixed, where equality can be had, and where the promise of our nation can made fuller with every generation."
The Byron Bay Film festival will be held at a number of different venues across the Northern Rivers from October 6 to 15. For details visit bbff.com.au.