Prayers for Bobby
Russell Mulcahy, USA, 120min, 2009

Open Your Eyes Film Festival Against Xenophobia and Racism will be held from 30 March 3 April, 2011. For the third year running Side by Side is taking part and organizing an event dedicated to LGBT issues.

This year Side by Side is screening "Prayers for Bobby" after which will be a discussion on coming out to society and the acceptance of children by their parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

The amazing true story of a mother torn between her loyalties, challenged by her faith, and moved by a tragedy that would change her life, and the lives of others, forever.

Bobby Griffith (Ryan Kelly, Smallville) was his mothers favorite son, the perfect all-American boy growing up under deeply religious influences in Walnut Creek, California. Bobby was also gay. Struggling with a conflict no one knew ofmuch less understoodBobby finally came out to his family. Despite the tentative support of his father, two sisters, and older brother, Bobbys mother, Mary (Golden Globe winner Sigourney Weaver, Working Girl), turned to the fundamentalist teachings of her church to rescue her son from what she felt was an irredeemable sin. As Mary came closer to the realization that Bobby could not be healed, she rejected him, denying him a mothers unconditional love, and driving her favorite son to suicide.

Anguished over Bobbys death, Mary finds little solace in her sons poignant diaries, revelations of a troubled boy fighting for the love of his mother and God. Finding it difficult to reconcile her feelings of guilt, her conflicted emotions over religious teachings, and her struggles with understanding her sons orientation, Mary finally, and unexpectedly, reaches out to the gay community as a source of inspiration and consolation. For Mary Griffith, its the beginning of a long and emotional journey that extended beyond acceptance to her viable role a vocal advocate for gay and lesbian youth. In 1996, twelve years after Bobbys death, she was invited to address the Congress of the United States, establishing her as a major force in the fight for human rights.

2010 Golden Globe: Sigourney Weaver Best Performance of Actress
2010 GLAAD Media Award: Outstanding TV Movie
2009 Emmy: Sigourney Weaver for Outstanding Lead Actress

Discussion: How to accept the homosexuality of close ones in a homophobic society

Anna Temkina Sociologist, Gender Studies Researcher, Lecture of the European University, Saint Petersburg
Elena Omelchenko Sociologist, Researcher of Gender Questions and Youth Subculture, Lecturer of Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg
Roman and Marina Melnik Organizers of the Parents Club LGBT Organization Coming Out

Moderator: Grigory Zaritovsky

Date: 19.00 22.00, 31 March, 2011 (Thursday)

Place: M.Shemyakina Fund, 11 Sadovaya Street (metro: Gostiny Dvor or Nevsky Prospect)