Student’s gay PSA up for Talenthouse film award

Art Center student Ellen Houlihan is up for the 2012 Talenthouse filmmaker of the year award for her public service announcement starring gay comedian Todd Glass in a homophobic role.

>In the 30-second spot, Glass plays a father whose gay son has recently committed suicide. The ad questions if there’s a difference between suicide and negligence by parents who push “archaic beliefs and misinformation” on their LGBT children.

Houlihan, a Broadcast Cinema major, was inspired to create the ad after hearing Glass come out on a recent podcast of “WTF with Marc Maron,” a revelation which surprised Houlihan and others given Glass’ brash brand of comedy.

“[I] decided that it would be powerful to combine Todd’s in-your-face confessional style of performing…with a subject usually told in a safe, delicate manner,” says Houlihan. “I emailed Todd, and to my surprise, he responded favorably and we immediately started brainstorming ideas.”

The spot — which was produced as an entry in a contest for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) — earned Houlihan the Cannes Young Director Award in France and a prize at the Porsche International Student Advertising Awards.

You can vote for the PSA in the Talenthouse competition through Friday. The winning filmmaker, to be announced Jan. 28, will receive $1,000 and become a featured artist on the company’s website.

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