Judas Kiss is the story of disillusioned filmmaker Zach Wells’ (played by Charlie David) visit to his peculiar alma-mater and how the events of this visit will influence his complex past and tumultuous present.
From international award-winning director J.T. Tepnapa & writer Carlo Pedraza, Judas Kiss was featured at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, showing Saturday August 13 and Thursday August 18.
With cast and crew present the audience was treated to the international debut of the film at a special screening/party at the Edgewater Casino, presented by Guy Spy and Homorazzi.com.
The film could be a simple tale of ‘what would you do if’ but the filmmakers have created a much more complex telling of what could have been a mundane story. While at times a bit confusing, good acting and script keep the film engaging as it takes an unexpectedly sci-fi twist, which is not often found in LGBT aimed films. The filmmakers have a history with sci-fi as both met while working on the fan-film, Star Trek: Hidden Frontier. The film wasn’t intended to have a sci-fi angle, writer/producer Carlo Pedraza says “…the sci-fi slant evolved during filming and we realized taking this angle could appeal to another genre”.
Evolving from script to screen over five years, Judas Kiss was a long process for the filmmakers as they collaborated on all aspects, from casting to filming. As they stated a number of ‘discussions of creative difference’ ensued along the way but judging by their rapport, they obviously have a great friendship and respect for each other. This seems to have passed on to the whole production as the cast and crew present for the Q & A seemed to really enjoy themselves.
Among the cast, Sean Paul Lockhart (aka former adult entertainer Brent Corrigan) was the first to join, having worked with Tepnapa on the short film, In The Closet. Of the script, Sean says “…it intrigued me as I have definitely made some mistakes in the past, that everyone could see, and the idea that I could go back and possibly change the outcome is appealing”. As much as he’d like to leave that former career in the past, he is well aware that his former personality is helping to sell the film and is willing to work to that goal, appearing at festival screenings to meet and greet the fans. Based on this work he is well on his way to putting “Brent” behind him and can look forward to a good future as Sean Lockhart, the actor.
Canadian actor, writer, TV personality, Charlie David (Dante’s Cove, Mulligans, Bump) had initially come to the film as a producing partner but like the script so much he wanted to take on the lead role of Zach Wells. Casting such a well known and respected actor for the lead was a coup for the film but also made casting the second lead, Danny Reyes Jr. more crucial as the chemistry between Zach and Danny was key to the film.
They found their Danny in Vancouver actor Richard Harmon (Caprica) who does a splendid job portraying the cock-sure bravado of the freshman Reyes who’s short film “Judas Kiss” is up for the prestigious Keystone Film Scholarship of which Zach is a judge. Also in the cast, playing Shane Lyons is Belgian actor/singer Timo Descamps and Julia Morizawa, another Star Trek: Hidden Frontier alumni, as Abbey Park.
The full cast, began filming August 2010 on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. The first screening debuted Judas Kiss at the Phoenix Film Festival April 1, 2011 and since then has screened at numerous film festivals around the United States. Vancouver marks its international debut with FilmOUT Festival in San Diego next and many European fests following. A North American theatrical release is scheduled for October 25, 2011. For the complete list of upcoming festival screenings visit the Judas Kiss website.