From Hallmark to Hulu, LGBTQ films are finally getting a seat at the proverbial holiday table in 2020.
Last month, Hallmark chronicles his first Holiday film with a gay lead duo with “The Christmas House”. Lifetime also broke boundaries by casting real-life husbands Ben Lewis and Blake Lee to lead their first LGBTQ Holiday feature, “The Christmas Setup”. And Hulu debuted her own gay Christmas rom-com in “Happiest Season” starring Kristen Stewart.
Amidst the boom in Qatar holiday films this year, Netflix’s “A New York Christmas Wedding” is the only one to feature an ethnically diverse leading cast.
In the romantic comedy, Jennifer Ortiz (Nia Fairweather) goes on an Christmas eve by an angel (Cooper Koch) to show her what her life might be like before she marries David Wilkes (Otoja Abit) as he has her Had followed his true feelings. Childhood friend Gabrielle Vernasi (Adriana DeMeo).
“We’ve been watching these Christmas stories for decades,” said Abit, who besides being one of the main characters of the film, is also its director and writer. He said that the team behind the film “wanted to do something we had not seen before.”
They wanted to produce a film that would deviate from the traditional holiday genre’s formulaic approach and “create something to add to the conversation.”
“I was curious about the two women, who were exploring the ideas of marriage and the different cultural nuances that could come with their lives,” Abit said.
Another theme of the film is religion. “Sex and the City” star Chris Nath plays Father Kelly, a Roman Catholic clergyman struggling to preside over a same-sex marriage.
Gay couples are not allowed to marry in the Catholic Church, although this year a documentary about Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples.
Lead actress Nia Fairweather said the film “speaks for interest, ethnicity and culture.”
“I am honored to be part of a film that shows what humanity really looks like today,” he said of the diversity of voice and talent of the cast.
Fairweather said that she is particularly proud of the same-sex bisexual couple and the Latino culture in the film’s positive portrayal.
“First of all, it’s not sad. We see her being happy, ”Fairweather said of her character. “And we get to see the support of a Latino father, the love and celebration of his daughter’s love. As families gather during the holidays, I can’t imagine what it means for young children to see acceptance on their screens, for parents to see their love for their child, and Parents who are struggling to learn. Accept your child to love and feel inspired. It is an important family film for all.
The people behind the film also hope that it will serve to honor the memory of openly gay actor Chris Trussdale, who played a wedding singer in the film and is known as a member of former boy band Dream Street goes. Eleven months after the wrapped filming, Trosdale contracted to Kovid-19 at the age of 34 in June.
“He brought a light and energy and real music to the set while filming during the New York summer,” Fairweather said. “His joy and talent made it feel like a holiday.”
“A New York Christmas Wedding” is now streaming on Netflix.
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