Documentarian John Lavin's film festival favorite Hollywood to Dollywood paings a portrait of an American Icon, Dolly Parton, as an ally to the LGBT community who accepts people for who they are.
While focused on gay twins Gary and Larry and their journey to meet Parton the film is ultimately about moving through intolerance and rejection to let one’s inner light shine.
There were rumors that at some of the Hollywood to Dollywood film festival screenings, gay identical twins Gary and Larry Lane’s stirring story along with Dolly Parton’s heartfelt message – of acceptance and encouragement to “be who you are” – moved people to come out. Ms. Parton’s continual support – in the spotlight, in the media, and in real life – that all will be accepted and embraced by her, and by a powerful community focused on love, not hate, is obvious in this new documentary film.
It wasn’t until the gay filmmakers – Larry and Gary – heard first-hand from a woman who came out to one of her best hetero friends after screening their documentary, that they truly believed this hearsay as fact. The woman came up with her friend to the Lane twins after the screening, revealed her story, thanked them for their story, and they all cried bittersweet tears.
Hollywood to Dollywood not only documents the personal life of the Lane twins overcoming disappointment, intolerance and isolation by opening up with their truth and their reality, it highlights a broader story of Dolly Parton’s commitment to love and acceptance of all unique people and ultimately reveals a triumph for the twin brothers and the disenfranchised who seek not to live in anonymity of who they truly are, but to embark on a path of being out in the open.
Hollywood to Dollywood chronicles the journey of these Southern born and raised brothers as they drive across the USA in an RV – they named "Jolene" – to reach out to Dolly Parton by personally delivering a script they wrote featuring a great part for her, their beloved country icon. Many believe Dolly Parton is one of America’s sweetest, most sincere and humblest national treasures.
With cameo appearances from friends like Chad Allen, Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk) and a hysterically funny Leslie Jordan, this motion picture develops and moves quickly from start to finish. A wonderful homage to a country superstar, the film flows beautifully with an emotional undertow as the Lane twins unveil their sadness and their disappointment that they have never been fully accepted by their traditional Southern-Christian family because of their homosexuality. Unlike other films of this genre, the twins do not see their family as adversarial, but they see them as perhaps being unenlightened, ill informed, and maybe even blinded by their religious convictions. The documentary – featuring Parton’s fabled music and her iconic image – continues to garner award attention and accolades at film festivals and special screenings both domestically and abroad.
Dolly Parton appears on-camera in nationally televised interviews throughout the film as a continual inspirational through line. She voices and shows her support, acceptance, concern and compassion for homosexuality – and everyone who has been bullied, persecuted or shunned because of their differences – perhaps proving without a doubt, why this remarkable woman is loved and revered by so many people from so many different walks of life. Moreover, Ms. Parton was impressed and inspired enough by the first rough cut of the Twin’s film that she approved a modest licensing agreement to use fifteen of her songs to nderscore and punctuate this touching and hopeful story. Nearly unprecedented in the music business, this participation is certainly a measure – and tangible proof – of Dolly Parton being an advocate committed to LGBT causes. Not only is Hollywood to Dollywood a “must-see” œuvre for Parton music fans because of her many songs included in the film’s music soundtrack, but it is also a “must-see” film for anyone – and everyone – who has ever dared to hope and ventured to dream of acceptance, tolerance, courage and human compassion.
The talented and outspoken twins Gary and Larry Lane hope people will come out to show support of the film and its inspirational message. The heart-wrenching and heartwarming motion picture Hollywood to Dollywood will be released theatrically at the end of Summer 2012 with limited engagements in New York City and Los Angeles.
Find out more on the film's official website.