BOISE -- A new documentary promising never-before-seen and exclusive video of the Add the Words movement is set to be shown this weekend in Boise.

For weeks, local filmmakers followed the group of activists asking for the words sexual orientation and gender identity to be added to Idaho's Human Rights Act.

One of the film's co-directors and co-producers, Michael D. Gough, says documentary is somewhere between journalism and activism. He says he went in as a total observer with no clear stance, but he says that started to change a bit as they made the film.

Gough took particular notice of the Add the Words movement when local news stations aired stories the day activists blocked the senate chambers and police arrested 44 people, including Idaho's first openly gay lawmaker, former Senator Nicole LeFavour.

The next day, he and his co-director and co-producer Cammie Pavesic started filming everything they could, including the many other arrests that followed at the statehouse. They intended to make a 10-20 minute short film, but quickly gathered enough elements for a feature-length documentary.

There's a lot of very interesting things that are very up close and personal. My camera was as close as you could get to everything, Gough said. We stayed in there as long as we could before we would get arrested. I was always nervous about those possibilities.

Initially, Gough says he wasn't on a side of the Add the Words campaign. He says he didn't have enough information for an opinion and set out to simply document what was happening.

Going into the film, I kept my options open. I've never really made an activist film before, so I didn't necessarily have that in mind when I went in, Gough said. I think both Cammie and I went into it with the mindset that we were just going to kind of be a fly on the wall, and everything just kind of took on a life of its own and kind of just pushed the movie in the direction it went.

Gough says his opinion started evolving as he began meeting the people involved in the movement, personally confronting prejudices he held going in, and personally being told his business may suffer as a result of doing the film.

You know, I'm a white, straight male. I have no discrimination to have to worry about in my life. For me it was interesting to see how various people reacted to my involvement in even doing this film, Gough said. It really affected the way that I think I approached the movie because it became much more personal because I was now experiencing the things that people in the LGBT community deal with on a daily basis.

By the end of filming, Gough said he agrees with the movement and believes protections for gay, lesbian and transgender Idahoans should be added.

As I was filming this movie, especially toward the end, I really got to this point where I really felt that yes, maybe the words should be added, Gough said. It's not going to hurt anybody.

Gough says he never took part in protest and worked to show a factual portrayal so viewers can form their own opinions.

The movie trailer has already picked up attention, and for the first time in his movie-making career, Gough says national festivals have been seeking him out.

Usually I expect to see the rejection letters from film festivals, you know, 'we regret to inform you'. This time we've already been approached by film festivals to screen, Gough said.

The film will premiere on Sunday, June 15 at 6 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or online.

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