Arts

Atlanta Filmmaker Tackles LGBT Homelessness, Religion

In Kent Igleheart's short film ''Unconditional,'' an LGBT youth is kicked out of his home and navigates faith-based homeless shelters. CREDIT KENT IGLEHEART
Credit Kent Igleheart

 

Kent Igleheart is an Atlanta actor, but now he’s taking his turn behind the camera in his first short film called “Unconditional.”

The film focuses on the very real problem of LGBT youths and homelessness.

Igleheart got the idea for the film after he heard an NPR story. “They had done a story on homeless kids in New York City, and it turned out that 40 percent are LGBT,” he said. After doing some research, he found that in the South about 50 percent of homeless kids are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. 

Igleheart joined forces with Lost-n-Found, the only nonprofit in Atlanta that focuses on getting LGBT youths off the streets. “We actually used their building for location shooting,” he said.

While his short is a fiction film, he drew from actual experiences of LGBT youths in Atlanta. For example, he heard one case where a kid was left on the side of I-75 with nothing. In his film, the main character, Bradley, is also left on the side of the road.

Igleheart said that one reason for the large number of homeless LGBT youths in the South is because of religion. In the film, though, Igleheart addresses religion from all sides. There’s Bradley, who is left on the street by his family’s pastor. There’s the shelter director who quotes Pope Francis’ recent statement on LGBT Catholics, “Who am I to judge?” There’s a church monsignor who has a change of heart.

“We ultimately save Bradley through a church-supported group,” Igleheart said.

He will be showing “Unconditional” at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Plaza Theatre.