Independent filmmaker Kerstin Karlhuber explores the lingering effects of gay “conversion” therapy in her first full-length feature, “Fair Haven,” and The Huffington Post has an exclusive clip from the film.
The romantic drama, which hits select theaters Friday, follows James (played by Michael Grant), a young gay man who returns to his family’s New England farm after receiving conversion therapy treatment. At first, James believes he’s been cured of his same-sex attraction, but soon finds himself reconnecting with a former flame, Charlie (Josh Green), as seen in the video above.
Karlhuber, who is the founder of Silent Giant Productions, told The Huffington Post that she first became interested in exploring conversion therapy after a discussion with screenwriter Jack Bryant. “He had personally seen several friends and family members come back from this devastating ‘therapy’ and wanted to highlight the horrors they endured,” she said. “Once he told me more about this practice, it also became incredibly important to me, not only from a director’s point of view, but as a human being on this planet where young people are being subjected to this trauma.”
“Fair Haven,” which also stars “The Dukes of Hazzard” icon Tom Wopat, is dedicated to Karlhuber’s transgender cousin, Katelyn, who died shortly after the film was completed.
“The kind of discrimination she faced in her life is exactly why making this film was so incredibly important to me,” the director, who hails from Vermont, told HuffPost. She also hopes to “continue telling stories that support anyone feeling prejudiced or discriminated against” in her future work, too. “I hope that it opens a few closed minds. If this film inspires someone to look past their own prejudice and find tolerance, then I’ll have achieved my goal,” she said.
Watch the official trailer for “Fair Haven,” which will be released March 3 in theaters and March 7 on demand, below.