As The Iron Wall gears up for production, director Michael Formanski campaigns for the film as a way to reflect on the culture of masculinity in working class New England and its impact on homophobia. The team is currently campaigning to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter to finance the production of the film which is set to shoot in late May.
The director explains, “We’ve constructed invisible barriers to fulfill the roles we assume as men. Growing up we learn to never cry, always be number one, restrain affection, never appear feminine, etc… We’ve been taught to be a gender of silent emotions, but in what world does that promote a positive way of living? Therein lies the core of the film; to reconsider the culture of masculinity.”
The story comes from the director’s realization while working on a narrative involving homosexuality that he was afraid of his audience thinking that it was his story. This leads to a question of acceptance; how can someone be honest in accepting people who identify with gender and orientation differently if they couldn’t accept themselves in the same way? On a larger scale, as a society how can we be truly accepting of those who identify differently than the majority of us?
The film’s story follows Dave (23), a New Englander working construction for his Dad, whose inability to connect with the interests of the people around him earned him a deep sense of otherness. During the late drunken hours following a family party, Dave’s friend and co-worker Sean (22) makes a move on him. Dave tries to turn him down lightly, but his Dad stumbles across them and walks away with the impression that his son is gay. Dave’s responds by taking on a tough guy act to prove to everyone how much of a man he is, which backfires wildly damaging both his friendships and sense of self. Now more than ever, Dave has to discover who he is and what he stands for.
The Iron Wall’s impact is in giving people a chance to connect on a personal level with experiences different than their own, which for the filmmakers is their way of contributing to the cultural conversation.
The Iron Wall is an independent production is based in Providence, RI committed to inspiring change through creation. The team is a collaboration of filmmakers that came together following post-graduate film programs at CalArts and AFI.
Images link: https://www.theironwallfilm.com/images
Photo Credit: The Iron Wall Film