The feature-length documentary The Guys Next Door follows Erik, Sandro and Rachel on a surrogacy journey. Filmmaker Amy Gellar read an article one day about an extraordinary woman, Rachel, who offered to be a gestational carrier for her friends, Erik and Sandro, a same-sex couple. With three children of her own, Rachel has carried both of Erik and Sandro’s daughters. This film, which spans three years in the life of Erik, Sandro and Rachel, offers audiences an opportunity to learn from their family portrait.
I spoke with one of the The Guys Next Door filmmakers, Allie Humenuk, who is also the film’s cinematographer, to learn more about the film and the process. Even better, I asked her how we can see it!
First things first, you can see a screening of the film on Sunday, May 1 at 2:15 pm at the Somerville Theatre as part of the Independent Film Festival Boston 2016. You can purchase tickets here. You can also catch the film at the Maine International Film Festival coming up in July.
They have been accepted into another festival, however, the announcement could not be made public yet. (Allie promised to keep me updated!) Part of being on the festival circuit involves looking for distribution, so outside of the festivals, we’ll all have to wait.
After speaking with Allie, I’m sure the wait will be well worth it.
When we spoke about the creative process she was very candid in saying that as filmmakers they weren’t sure where the story would take them. Quickly they found out they didn’t have to guide the story because observing the reality was interesting enough.
“There is no big lead up to some dramatic moment,” she said.
For some viewers, they may be surprised to see that having a family through surrogacy brings up the same questions that having a family the traditional way does. Allie mentioned that the thought-provoking film shows both Sandro and Erik sharing their childhood memories as well as their dreams, hopes and deep love for their children.
We’re thrilled that this will bring audiences a greater sense of awareness about surrogacy. While there is more coverage of surrogacy in the media now, the more people are given access to see the possibilities surrogacy provides to same-sex couples and couples with infertility struggles, the better it is for everyone.
“We had a young production assistant helping us on the film who is only 23. He told us he had a hard time coming out to his parents. And after one day of working on this film, he cried. Because he didn’t know having children through surrogacy was even a possibility for him,” Allie said.
Here at Circle, we look forward to following Allie and Amy’s journey to bring this film to as many people as possible. To receive more information about the film, *LIKE* their facebook page.