Live Out Loud

A film by Melissa Gregory Rue

Live Out Loud

Directed by: Melissa Gregory Rue

Country of origin: USA

Format: Feature Documentary

Runtime: 85 minutes

Logline: Three people without a home in Portland, Oregon are empowered and begin to heal from childhood trauma by learning to make films in a grant-funded class.

Synopsis: Live Out Loud is a feature documentary about the transformative power of filmmaking. Shot over one year, our doc tells the stories of three people experiencing homelessness in Portland, Oregon as they are empowered and begin to heal from childhood trauma by learning to make films in a grant-funded class. Their backgrounds are as diverse as their projects: Sumaiyya, a recovering heroin addict and former sex worker in her 60’s, makes a self-portrait; David, a black man in his mid 20’s who wants to be a film director, writes and directs a Halloween inspired dramedy; and John, a gay fan fiction writer in his early 30’s experiments with stop motion animation as a new artistic medium. To varying degrees, their shared journey puts each one of them on a better path.

A word from the Director/Producer

I write, direct, and produce films and series that examine neglected social issues to inspire compassionate action on our planet. Last year I completed my first feature, Live Out Loud. The film was scored by the world-renowned musicians of The Gallop Quintet, featuring Kidd Jordan on sax, Hamid Drake on percussion, Alex de Grassi on guitar, and Don Paul on spoken word. From 2020-2021, my short drama “Esperanza’s Turn” screened in 22 festivals around the globe and won seven awards including Best Director at the Oregon Short Film Festival and the Rising Star Award at the Colorado International Activism Film Festival. In addition to working on my own projects, I co-produce Connectivity Project, a documentary series about people and organizations making a positive impact on our interconnected world (distributed by Bullfrog Films). I’m also a board member and juror for The McMinnville Short Film Festival. Before shifting my focus to film, I taught writing and literature at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon for many years. Last year I moved back to my birth state, Kentucky in order to be closer to family and work to create a more equitable state and country. I grew up on a cattle and tobacco farm in Bourbon County long before smoking was out and Bourbon was cool. This time next year I hope to be in Ghana making a short documentary about an emerging writer’s innovative and deeply personal Fulbright project (she’s one of my dearest friends).