In The Family, a film about a gay Asian American man in Tennessee fighting for custody rights of his deceased partner's son, was one of the great indie success stories of 2011. It played at film festivals in Hawaii and San Diego after being rejected by some 30 others. But since then, the film had picked up a stream of rousing raves from the likes of Village Voice, Variety, and the New York Times, and it has been nominated for an Independent Spirits Award. Last week the film also won the Narrative Jury Prize at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. It is scheduled to open at the Metreon next month.
We recently spoke with director/producer Patrick Wang to get his insights on the unusual path he took to get the film a nationwide release, a rare thing for a self-funded, three-hour film.