I Am Michael

Director: Justin Kelly
Screenwriters: Justin Kelly, Stacey Miller

Institute History

  • 2015 Sundance Film Festival


In 2007, Michael Glatze, the gay-rights advocate who embodied queer identity, shocked his friends and followers when he publicly renounced his homosexuality. What could have led to such an extreme change of belief?

Justin Kelly’s piercing exploration is as compelling and complex as Michael’s transformation. The film depicts the years when an idealistic Michael, with his long-term partner, empowered a new generation of gay youth through their writing and films. When a nerve-racking brush with death triggers his need to reconcile faith and sexuality, Michael embarks on a zealous search for answers that eventually leads him to Christianity and the absolute conviction that "homosexuality is death."

Kelly’s intricate non-linear structure engrossingly magnifies each step and draws seemingly incongruent thematic and character thru-lines. It also elicits a maddening sympathy (portrayed with aching effect by Franco). With an acute sense of storytelling, Kelly raises much more complex questions about one man’s startling capacity to create, destroy, and reclaim his truth. —C.D.

— C.D.

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]