‘The Case Against 8’ Screens at USIP, at West End Cinema June 13 – 19

Ralph Alswang Photographer www.ralphphoto.com 202-487-5025
Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, Ben Cotner, Sandy Stier, Ted Olson, Kris Perry, Ryan White. Photo credit: Ralph Alswang

Last night at the US Institute of Peace, directors and producers Ben Cotner and Ryan White screened “The Case Against 8,” their film chronicling the federal lawsuit filed to overturn Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Led by a legal team comprising Ted Olson, lead counsel for the Republicans in the 2000 Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision, and David Boies, the attorney who opposed Olson in Bush v. Gore, “The Case Against 8” follows Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, two couples selected as plaintiffs by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, formed by activist Chad Griffin and his colleagues.

“The idea that people on different sides of the aisle can work together on something, is something that we were really excited about,” said Cotner, who prior to working on the film with White served as an executive at Paramount Pictures and Open Road Films. “It’s so rare these days. I think you see that often people who may be on different sides of the aisle may agree on certain issues. And there’s a lot of work that can get done. And a lot of things can be accomplished, if we really just set aside the politics and set aside the partisianship for a moment, there are great things that we can do as a country.”

Plaintiff Zarrillo said, “The issue of equality is bipartisanship. The issue of equality is about being an American citizen. It’s not about wether you’re Democrat or Republican or you live in a state that’s more red than a state that’s more blue. It’s really about treating everyone more equally and I think this film underscores that.”

Griffin, now President of the HRC, added, “This film brilliantly tells the story of Kris and Sandy and Paul and Jeff and really removes the partisanship and partisan bickering that often clouds issues in this town, in particular. I think if any undecided American, any undecided politician, or any politician who’s against us can see this film whether in theaters or in the privacy of their own homes when it’s on HBO, I think they’d be hard pressed to still oppose equal rights for all our citizens in this country.”

In addition to last night’s screening, the film will air on HBO and HBO2 later this month and in July as well as screen at West End Cinema June 13 – 19.

“The Case Against 8” won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award in the US Documentary category and the SXSW Audience Award in the Film Festivals Category.