Between the Shades Director Jill Salvino Talks with the Alliance
Award-winning director Jill Salvino travels the country opening hearts and minds with Between the Shades—a film that can be described as 50 conversations exploring the many different shades of being gay in America. As part of the Washington Health Alliance Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Initiative event on June 25th at the Egyptian Theater in Seattle, Salvino will show a free special director’s cut of the film, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Michael Garrett, Principal of Mercer, focused on improving mental health services for the LGBTQ+ population.
The impetus for Between the Shades was a conversation about what “type of gay” a close friend of Salvino’s was, prompting her to think about the wide variety of personal experiences within the simple letters of LQBTQI, what they represent, and to whom. She continued that conversation by “talking to people of all genders, colors, and sexual orientations to illuminate what that spectrum truly looks and feels like.” The film takes a deep dive into how we label a life, define ourselves, and others.
Salvino was able to garner trust from the participants to speak openly and honestly on topics that are not usually discussed. As a director, she focused on making her sets comfortable by spending time with her subjects prior to the interview. “Once you create boundaries for participants and they feel safe, they will typically cross those lines themselves and share even more than expected.” Many of the speakers are courageous in the experiences they share, with some illustrating the behavioral health challenges they faced, including homelessness, depression and suicide. They conversely share their stories of empowerment, love, and coming out, both bitter and sweet.
Salvino says Between the Shades has been successful in reshaping hearts and minds across the country, whether it is a grandmother seeing her gay grandson differently for the first time in Oxford, Mississippi, or a lesbian acquaintance sharing her story of purchasing 22 copies of the film for extended family so they could better understand her.
Before starting the project, Salvino says her instincts told her that the conversations would weave a similar story and at the end of the day, we all just want to be loved, and ultimately, she says, “that’s exactly what I found.” Between the Shades is Salvino’s first documentary feature following an award-winning career in advertising and commercial media. It has been licensed for use by many universities and public libraries, and was featured in The New York Times upon its release.
The complete version of Between the Shades will be available for viewing to those who register for two weeks following the June 25th event. You can register to attend Addressing the Behavioral Health Needs of the LGBTQ+ Community here. A list of LGBTQ+ mental health resources is available here. We would appreciate your help spreading the word by printing off this flyer and posting it in your workplace.
This free event is open to the public and sponsored by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, with additional support from Aetna, City of Seattle, Community Health Plan of Washington, Kaiser Permanente Washington, Milliman MedInsight, Neighborcare Health, Optum, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, and Washington State Health Care Authority.
Alliance members have the opportunity to become a sponsor. For more information about sponsorship, contact Alliance Senior Communications Manager Leslie Bennett.