Showtime to Premiere L WORD MISSISSIPPI: HATE THE SIN, 8/8
Showtime will give viewers a look inside the daily struggles of a group of Southern lesbians in L WORD MISSISSIPPI: HATE THE SIN, which will premiere on the network on Friday, August 8th at 9 PM ET/PT. The 90-minute documentary, executive produced by filmmaker Ilene Chaiken (The L Word®, The Real L Word®) and the award-winning Magical Elves directing and production team of Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (Top Chef, Katy Perry: Part of Me), spotlights the unique challenges of being lesbians in between the "coasts" in the religious, conservative deep South. Directed by Oscar® and Emmy® nominee Lauren Lazin (Tupac: Resurrection), the documentary will make its world premiere on Wednesday, August 6th in Los Angeles as part of the Outfest West Hollywood Series, a program that features films and discussions of interest to LGBT audiences.
What is life like for lesbians living outside more progressive metropolitan areas in America today where gay women endure hardships, bigotry, bullying, sexism and racism while trying to live among their predominantly straight neighbors? Chaiken and the Elves journey deep into Bible Belt towns like Laurel, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to tell the stories of a dozen such women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church, but who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community. A white mother would accept her daughter's black lover, if only she were a man. A couple grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning. And a former life-long lesbian struggles to "pray the gay away," and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.
L WORD MISSISSIPPI: HATE THE SIN is a continuation of Chaiken's exploration of modern-day lesbian life. Her groundbreaking Showtime drama series The L Word ran for six seasons on the network and followed a group of Los Angeles-based friends as they navigated careers, families, friendships, inner-struggles and romantic entanglements. The series generated a large and loyal audience, as well as critical praise for its provocative storylines. It was followed by three seasons of The Real L Word, an unscripted series produced by Chaiken, Cutforth and Lipsitz that followed a similar group of lesbians at work and at play in LA and NY. They are now re-teaming to turn their lens on those who live in areas where being out and proud is largely discouraged and sometimes dangerous. Against the backdrop of the burgeoning gender and marriage equality debate, L WORD MISSISSIPPI: HATE THE SIN spotlights those loving, living, working, parenting and forcing change from within places where entrenched, conservative values have resisted the progress the LGBTQ community has worked hard to achieve elsewhere.
Magical Elves is the production team behind some of the highest-quality reality programming on television. Since the company was founded in 2001, Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz have been nominated for numerous Emmys, culminating in a win in 2010 for Outstanding Reality Competition for Top Chef. In 2008, they received a Peabody Award for Project Runway, the first Reality Show to be honored by the organization. Project Runway is one of four Magical Elves shows named byEntertainment Weekly in their list of the "20 Best Reality Shows of All Time" along with Top Chef, Bands on the Run andProject Greenlight. February 2011 saw the Magical Elves first major motion picture release, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. The film received critical acclaim and is currently the 3rd-highest grossing documentary of all time. They followed that film up in 2012 with their directorial debut, Katy Perry: Part of Me. Other notable credits include TNT's Cold Justice, NBC's Fashion Star, Last Comic Standing and Treasure Hunters, WeTV's, Braxton Family Values, and Around the World in 80 Plates,Gallery Girls, Work of Art, Top Chef Masters and Top Chef Just Desserts for Bravo. They worked with Showtime most recently on the critically acclaimed docu-series Time of Death.
Photo: Dan Winikur/SHOWTIME