A Sarasota director’s final work will be host its world premiere at the Fabulous Independent Film Festival this weekend. Tom Murray’s Queerituality, a documentary interviewing members of the LGBT community about their own spirituality, serves as the film’s centerpiece film.
“Tom Murray was a very kind and inquisitive man,” says Magida Diouri, Fabulous IFF founder. “He loved making documentaries and I have presented every one of his films over the years. It is an honor to be able to present his last film. “
Diouri, who ran the Gay and Lesbian Film Celebration before founding the Fabulous IFF, showcased many of Murray’s prior works, including Tell, a documentary about the impact of the military’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, and Almost Myself, a documentary about exploring the lives of transgender individuals and the diversity within that community. During his lifetime, Murray’s work was shown through national distribution, including broadcasts on Logo TV.
He has explored the subject of spirituality and homosexuality before. The documentary Fish Can’t Fly is among the director’s most acclaimed work. The full-length film explored the lived of people of faith who survived traumas inflicted upon homosexuals by the “ex-gay” movement.
Murray died in 2010 of a fatal heart attack while he was still finishing Queerituality. Diouri had spoken with Murray about the film prior to his death. “He was just doing the finishing touches,” she recalls. “Then two later he passed away.”
Since then, she has spoken regularly with Murray’s partner about the film. The footage needed a solid editor to make a final cut, and in the last few months a satisfactory product came together. Gaylon Emerzian, of Trillium Productions in Chicago, put together the version that will screen at the festival and is credited as a producer as well.
Diouri said the movie itself is fascinating, especially in the wake of societal changes since Murray’s death. “The subject matter is also so very timely, especially in the political climate the world is experiencing right now.,” she said. “He was seeking answers on spirituality, religion and he patiently went about to find them. I also really enjoy how things tend to fall into place without much prompting. A simple question started the process. “