The Tribeca Film Festival played host to some truly remarkable fiction features, but it also celebrated some cutting edge documentaries that followed some extraordinary stories. One such story was that of Check It, a group of young LGBT people who banded together to protect themselves from those who wished to do them harm. Over the course of three years, cameras followed the story of Check It. Dean Moses, was able to interview the documentary’s subjects and directors.
Skittles: Check It’s Subject
Spring Creek Sun (SCS): Tell us about your experience filming Check It.
Skittles: The experience overall for me was fun, energetic, and it was a little irritable sometimes, but overall I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet some cool people.
SCS : The Tribeca Film Festival has a rich history, what does it feel like to be here in New York?
Skittles: It feels amazing, I am just honored to be here, and I am really thankful for this opportunity, and I want to take advantage of it.
SCS: What do you hope this movie achieves?
Skittles: I just want it to have an impact of the LGBT youth. Hopefully it can touch a lot of people’s lives, and encourage them to open up more.
Trey: Check It’s Documentary’s Subject
Spring Creek Sun (SCS): What was the filming process like for you?
Trey: It was amazing! Having cameras follow you around DC, having cameras follow you in and out of your house, it was exciting, it was fun— just to have the attention, to be interested in, and just standing behind the movement that we were on.
SCS: You have been on quite the ride, what does it feel like to have ended up here at the Tribeca Film Festival?
Trey: It’s amazing, it’s something new but I like it. We were all ready for it, we set ourselves up for it, we were willing to do it, and we want better for ourselves.
SCS: Do you hope this movie changes anything?
Trey: I want it to change everyone’s mindset around the world, and show them that there is a better way out. You don’t have to do the things that we did to get through, you can be a better person, and I want everybody to know that there is a way out.
Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor: Check It’s Directors
Spring Creek Sun (SCS): After working on Check It for three years, how does it feel to finally be here?
Toby Oppenheimer (TO): It’s incredible, being here at Tribeca is a dream come true. This is the perfect venue for this movie, and the reception has been incredible. I mean it’s our world premiere, I live here, Dana’s lived here for many years and we just love it here, it’s incredible.
SCS: What motivated you to tell this story?
Dana Flor (DF): Nobody has told this story, and nobody really knows about groups like the Check It. SCS: What kind of obstacles did you face while filming Check It?
DF: Funding was a huge obstacle. It probably would have been done a lot faster if had we had more funding.
TO: It was brutal. I mean this is a very kind of raw, gritty story that we’re telling. They are very intermit and I think it takes a certain person or, a certain edge team, to have finally found Olive Productions and Radical Media that came on to believe in and support it. We were also able to really sustain our own purity of our vision for the film, that’s what you get, that’s the trade off when there is no money… you basically get to make the film you want, so we maybe broke but we’re very proud of it
SCS: What do you hope audiences take away from the film?
DF: We would love to introduce people to a world they have never seen before, and we really hope it helps people sympathize with Check It and with kids like Check It. We also hope to reach out to kids like the Check It, because they are everywhere.
Photos: Dean Moses