Local filmmaker Frank Hays debuts in next month’s Gay/Lesbian Film Festival

Frank Hays can be excused for looking forward to next month’s Gay/Lesbian Film Festival with a greater measure of anticipation than most festival-goers in the gay community. Hays is the director of a new documentary included in Saturday’s matinee for the two-day festival slated early next month and the event will mark his debut – a coming out, so to speak – as a film director. Attending with him will be Susan and Tonya, the main characters in Hays’ 30-minute film The Lyons: A Real Family. Hays has lived in Spokane most of his life and has been out as a gay man since 1984. He served in the Navy in California and then lived in Seattle for a short time before returning to Spokane 10 years ago. Being witness to the trials and disappointments during 14 attempts at conception affected Frank Hays deeply. About the decision to show their story, Frank said, “Knowing them personally, I wanted to capture the love and joy they have for their three children. I wanted to capture one special day in the life of the Lyons family.” The ordeal paid off because, when they finally did conceive – using a drug to force multiple eggs to be delivered at once for fertilization – the doctor announced they were going to have triplets. This meant that decisions about serious considerations had to be made. When a “reduction” was suggested, the women chose to find a doctor who would support them in having all three children. Susan said, “Our hope is that our story will inspire others who are thinking about creating a family or have had difficulties with conception. Our family will treasure this film for many years to come!” The majority of the film was shot in 24 hours on July 11 this year and Frank finished editing the documentary two months later. It has been entered into other film festivals and he has hopes it will be shown all over the country and in Canada. Frank said he is “very thankful to the Spokane Gay/Lesbian Film Festival. I am very proud of this film. I hope everyone comes and supports our film and the festival.” The 6th annual film fest is scheduled the weekend evenings of Nov. 5 and 6 at Riverpoint Auditorium, with a matinee segment on Saturday. Tickets are $8 per night, $5 for the matinee, $12 for two shows or $15 for the entire festival.

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