The contentious practice of gay conversion therapy will be in the spotlight at the British spin-off of the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, a move welcomed by gay rights activists.
The film “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” tells the story of a teenage girl in the United States caught kissing a female friend after prom and sent to a Christian-inspired gay conversion camp to change her sexuality.
The film, which stars actress Chloe Grace Moretz, won the US Grand Jury Prize when it was shown at the Utah-based Sundance Film Festival in January.
Despite global gains in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, many gay people are still forced to undergo therapy based on the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or medical condition.
Despite welcoming the presence of the film at Sundance, Mike Davidson, head of the Christian charity Core Issues Trust, said not enough space in the film industry was given to unpopular perspectives that show how the therapy can appeal to some.
“We work to support men and women who want to move away from homosexual practices and we think it’s really important to defend their right and freedom to do that,” he said.
Davidson sees about 20 clients a week in person and on Skype and says a ban would push people underground to seek treatment.
“Nobody has to agree with us but surely we all have to come around the table,” he said.
As the film ends, Moretz finally tells her cohort “I’m tired of feeling disgusted with myself,” before fleeing to a nearby forest and hitchhiking on the open road towards a new future.