Ever had a hankering to just leave it all behind and set off on a cross-country road trip in search of Dolly Parton in an RV named Jolene?
Mardi Gras Film Festival and Melbourne Queer Film Festival are giving local fans the chance to do just that – at least through the eyes of plucky North Carolina natives and lifelong Dolly fans Gary and Larry Lane in their award winning documentary Hollywood to Dollywood.
To date, the film has picked up a swag of awards from a wide variety of festivals, and earned a big thumbs up from talk-show host Rosie O’Donnell.
See the trailer for Hollywood to Dollywood here:
Same Same chatted with the LA-based models turned film-makers about their journey, Dolly, and ‘The Year of the Lane Twins.’
First of all, congratulations on all the accolades for Hollywood to Dollywood so far! How does it feel to know it’s been so successful, and to bring it to a new audience/country full of Dolly fans?
It has truly been amazing, and we have had so many people email or Facebook us after seeing the film, ‘I went out the next day and bought some Dolly CD’s!’ Dolly is an inspiration to so many, so it’s nice to know our film helps bring her even more fans. If you are ever bored, and need something to do, try to seek out someone who has a bad thing to say about Dolly. You will spend your life looking.
How far back does your devotion to Dolly go, and what does her music mean to you?
Early childhood, we always felt a connection with her. She would always be asked about her gay fan base, and she always said, she loves everyone, nobody should be judges, we should all love each other for who we are.
Dolly gave you 15 songs for free to use in the movie. How did that come about?
We sent her the film through her business managers, and it took about 3 weeks, and we got a call that dolly granted us all 15 songs for 1 year of film festival use. What an amazing stamp she gave us, on our message and our film. We are currently trying to lock in a deal with Dolly and Dolly record, for the next stage of distribution level. Fingers crossed.
The film is also your coming out story. How did it feel to open up about that in such a public way?
It’s been amazing, to have Dolly’s support, and we were just on the Rosie O’Donnell show! She loved the documentary. And all the emails and Facebooks of people seeing the film, and thanking us for being brave. Even the Q and A’s we attend, people with tears in their eyes, its powerful, to feel like you are helping to bring about change.
You financed the movie with $50,000 won on a show called WIPEOUT! What was that all about?
That show is insane, and we literally got our asses kicked on national TV! But every Wipeout, I would say, that was for Jolene, and OUCH… that was for Coat of Many Colors. LOL – we also won $50,000 on Fear Factor, so don’t underestimate us, these gay twins can kick some ass when we have too!
You’ve also made your mark on the silver screen as actors, often appearing as twin characters. Any favourite acting projects or moments?
Well, we just did Jack and Jill with Adam Sandler, his twin film, that was fun! And we did a Virgin America commercial last year, and the Dolly Doc, and Wipeout! After 10 years in LA, last year 2011 was the Year of the Lane Twins!
What does life after Dollywood hold for you?
Well, we would love to get distribution, and get the message out to more people! We have been accepted into 55 film festivals so far, but an important note, 30 of those film festivals are non-gay themed film festivals, which is important. I think because of the Dolly connection, the message is getting to people who would not usually hear it. And we have won 17 Best Documentary awards so far, at various film festivals. Most of the awards are from the straight fests!
One final (but crucial!) question. Any tips for those attending Melbourne Queer Film Festival’s ‘Dress Like Dolly’ screening?
The bigger the hair, the closer to GOD! And I wish we could be there. If we had Oprah money we would be there for sure! But have fun, and enjoy the message of the film! Chase your dream, and love who you are! We know you love some Dolly Down Under!
Hollywood to Dollywood screens as part of the Mardi Gras Film Festival and Melbourne Queer Film Festival at the following dates:
Mardi Gras Film Festival: Wednesday, February 22 and Saturday, February 25
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Melbourne Queer Film Festival: Friday, March 23 (‘Dress Like Dolly’ event)
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Follow Christian on Twitter – @XtianBaines