‘Journey’ debuts in Las Vegas, shown locally in November

Rain or shine, on icy roads and snowy walkways, Frank Hays does his job. By day, this shy, unassuming man is a letter carrier. He’s been one for 21 years. He’s also an up-and-coming documentary filmmaker. “Journey of Love: Learning to Forgive,” his second professional-level production, debuts Oct. 23 at Neonfest, the GLBT International Film Festival of Las Vegas. The documentary will be screened locally as the matinee offering at the 2005 Spokane Gay/Lesbian Film Festival on Saturday, Nov. 5. “It’s a very emotional story, a wonderful story,” says Hays, who planned to weave three tales of relationship into a 45-minute documentary. His focus changed, however, when he sat down with one of his pre-selected subjects, Christopher Lawrence, Stonewall’s arts and entertainment reviewer, whom he met when his first film, “The Lyons: a Real Family,” won a slot in the 2004 Spokane Gay/Lesbian Film Festival. A compelling story of love and loss emerged. “Journey of Love” follows two men, Lawrence and Kevin Anthony, from their first meeting to their realization of love, to and through Anthony’s death from AIDS a decade later. Along the way, there are role changes, surprises and some very hard lessons. Postal workers, like bartenders, get to know their patrons. A good understanding of the human condition leads to good storytelling. “I love people,” Hays admits. “I have a different angle … I see things. I go deeper.” But he is quick to credit Lawrence. “Christopher makes this film. He’s so professional, so verbal.” Hays directed and edited the unscripted film, shot in late spring through midsummer. Local cinematographer Tiffany Patterson did the camera work using a special unit borrowed from Spokane Falls Community College. The film will be sent to a variety of festivals around the country. One has been sent to Wingspan Film Fest 2006, the Tucson, Ariz., festival. ‘

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