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Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher


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The latest e-mail from Di Sabatino:

We just received notification that Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher has been accepted to play at the upcoming Reel Heart Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario (my home town!!) some time between June 23rd and 26th. For more information, consult their Web page at www.reelheart.com.

It has been a learning experience this past year, figuring out this film festival world. From what I've gleaned, there are very few film festivals that are attended by those that can get your film from where it is (in Ron's Mac G5) to a theater near you. The pecking order seems to be Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Venice, Berlin and then the rest in descending order until you finding yourself spending $50 to enter your film in the Tenth Ring of Dante's Inferno First Annual Film Festival and Backyard Barbecue.

I am certainly finding out a lot the hard way. For instance, the prestigious Los Angeles Film festival informed me that because I had played the film at the Newport Beach Film Festival that they had to disqualify me. Seems they only accept those that have not been screened in their vicinity previously. When I said, "Fine, then refund my entry fee" they of course said, "Oh, I'm sorry... our rules are very clear and you should have understood the ramifications of accepting that other festival entry." They don't seem to care that they put you in a bind, wanting you to turn down a certain entry at a lesser festival for a potential slot at their festival. Ah well.

All in all, we've had a good first six months of the year since that first showing at Phil Aguilar's Set Free Church in early February. Just to recap, in March have landed on the cover of a very mainstream and liberal tabloid, the OC Weekly. I had a good laugh when someone near to the story wondered aloud what the story was doing in such a publication, sandwiched in between ads for breast implants and prostitutes. (What better place to be?) I also enjoyed that we were accepted and had such a great showing at the Newport Beach Film Festival in April. We had a couple of festivals tell us that we almost made it (which I sometimes wish they would have just have rejected us like all the rest). But more recently, being invited to the Fuller Seminary REEL SPIRITUALITY conference and now the Reel Heart festival in Toronto. For a first time kick at the can, we've done all right.

And if all this were not indication enough that we had put together something interesting, I have recently found out that a couple of Calvary Chapel churches in Idaho had unauthorized screenings of the movie. The movie must be good if it is so sinfully delicious that these pastors could not help themselves... LOL. Truhtfully, I am not too bothered. I'd probably do the same if I got hold of a bootleg copy of a movie like this. The movie is going to undergo some major alterations in the near future, so I am sure that even if people have seen illegitimate copies of it that they will assuredly buy the DVD whenever it comes out. We will stock that full of extra stuff that couldn't be in the movie... and if you were wowed by the movie, it will be worth your while to see it again and pay for it when that time comes. That being said, if you've got an illegal copy and are itching to show it to others, don't. If you do, we'll have to get cousin Guido and Vinnie to come join your congregation for a few Sunday services. =)

One last thing... I am glad that so many want to host a showing at their church or event. But this is not something we wish to do. Please do not email me asking to play it at your church. Other than a very few places, we will not be doing this anymore for anyone. Our goals are toward finding distribution.

Sincerely,

David Di Sabatino

www.lonniefrisbee.com

FWIW.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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The film finally is included in IMDB.

That is good to see.

Tagline "What do you do when the Jesus freak who started your church dies from AIDS? Simple. Erase him from history."

Edited by asher

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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The latest e-mail:

Greetings,

Just wanted to pass along a note to folks in the Austin, Texas and surrounding area that our documentary, Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher, will be playing at the Ragamuffin Film Festival on Thursday, July 14th. Please check out their Web site at www.ragamuffinfilm.org for more details.

A couple of notes and whatnot... we are undergoing our final push with editing and probably cutting off a good ten minutes to make the movie a little more succinct. A lot of extraneous stuff is being cut. other stuff shuffled around and other themes added, such as the efforts in Lonnie's later years to reconcile with those involved with his life.

There are still no tangible plans for a DVD release, but we're working on it and am hoping that the end of the summer will bring some great news. There are also no current plans for any more showings, but I will email if that changes.

Sincerely,

David Di Sabatino

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yet another e-mail update:

More good news. The little documentary that would was accepted to the Mill Valley Film Festival which plays from October 6th to 16th later this year.

Mill Valley is the longest running film festival in California, now in their 28th year, and I was told that it was a filmmaker's festival. The MVFF is also aligned with the California Insitute of Film (cafilm.org), so, I am humbled to be invited. You can find out more about them at www.mvff.com. Note to all the Northern Californians, please contact me if you wish to start spreading the word. I can send you some handbill flyers that you can print out and pass around in that area.

In my brief conversation with the programmer, I asked why we were accepted. She felt I didn't stereotype charismatic/Pentecostal Christians and simply allowed them to speak for themselves. She felt this was unique, something not usually done. She was of the opinion that it is too easy to narrowly define any group, but believed intense religious groups were more prone to this sort of thing by media and/or social elites than is fair. Good for her.

I've been thinking about how one combats the problems raised in the movie; namely, the sometimes jaundiced way Christians look askance at certain sins while winking at others. The ultimate irony of fighting this injustice is you can so easily become much like that which you seek to assuage or eliminate, becoming a monster in order to slay the dragon, as it were. Does one fall prey to judgmentalism for judging the judgmental? I'd like to think that I've avoided that, but only others who watch it can, well, judge for themselves. I'm not a fan of the fundamentalist or holiness impulses that reverberate through Christianity because they portray life much like a Thomas Kinkade painting (www.thomaskinkade.com), looking at things as they should be rather than things as they are. I still am unsure of whether the prophet and the mercy-giver can coexist in the same place (or in the same body), but I am certain that there is need for both of them.

Back to the mundane. The movie is presently undergoing its last facelift, and by next showing it will be in its final form. If you've seen it, things will have changed... but these are the final cuts.

We have no tangible plans for a DVD release, but we will keep you posted on any developments in that area. The same for showings outside the film festival. Any announcements will be made on the Web site.

Finally, almost two years ago I walked out of a movie at the Toronto Film Festival billed as a "French comedy." It was the worst cinema experience I've ever had. I turned to my two friends and said, "If that garbage got made, I can certainly top that." Not exactly romantic, but a fire was lit that day. From then on, it has been my goal to play Toronto. Final selections are announced on August 12th.

talk to you August 13th,

david di sabatino

www.lonniefrisbee.com

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Peter, Peter, Peter. Where is your box-office update on this film? wink.gif

Title / Weekend Gross / Cumulative Gross / RlseWks / # of Theaters

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus / $4,095 / $6,983 / 1 / 1

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 3 months later...

The latest update:

Greetings all,

I want to lead this email with the most important news of all... Frisbee is being reviewed in Variety magazine. One of the reviewers emailed to tell us and said that he felt the review would be "very helpful to our film"... which I am interpreting as a basically positive review. Great news!

The reviewer said that it would be online in a couple of days, and in the print edition on Monday. So... this should get us on the radar.

The two recent showings, both at the Mill Valley Film Festival and at the Reel Spirituality Conference at Fuller Seminary, went well, and depict the very kind of thing that I was hoping for, to be embraced by Christian audiences (Fuller) but to not be shut out of non-believing venues (Mill Valley). We have received praise from both camps, and the interest continues to stir.

First, the Mill Valley Film Festival. This is in a sleepy little community just north of San Francisco, a town I had never spent more than a day in previously, but absolutely fell in love with it as we were driving around. Took in a San Jose Sharks hockey game whilst there as well as seeing the sites. Amazing!

The two showings were attended by about 150 and 250 people respectively, and the Q&A sessions went rather well. The highlight of the afternoon was gathering with about 30 or so friends of Lonnie's to do lunch and hang out before the final screening.

I brought up the members of the "Big House" who attended for the Q&A after the second showing, the community of what Ted Wise calls "interstitial believers" that Lonnie was involved with before meeting Chuck Smith. These folks are truly special people for what they did and accomplished, and I am hopeful that someone latches on to their story and does it justice. A special thanks to Danny Sands for his graciousness by picking up the tab to the afternoon meal.

Second, the Reel Spirituality Conference at Fuller went well also. People seemed to be really taken by the movie, and I am always pleased to get those responses. I have watched the thing so many times that I am not sure really what it is about anymore. I can only tell when others give feedback. The day after the showing I sat on a panel with Jon Gunn (My Date with Drew), Lauralee Farrar (Laundry & Tosca), David Tlapek (Divining the Human) and Carl Byker (PBS documentarian) which was a lot of fun. (If you have the chance, find a copy of Laundry & Tosca... excellent!)

The Reel Spirituality coordinators phoned and asked if we'd do another showing of Frisbee, and I agreed. So, sometime in the second week of November, Frisbee is going to be screened again at Fuller Seminary. We will post details as they become available.

In the aftermath of the Mill Valley festival I have received a lot of interest with regard to distribution, so, we're ever so close. We will be announcing our plans very soon, and are forecasting an Orange County DVD release shindig sometime in January or February 2006.

One last thing before I leave, a peeve of mine of late that I am not sure how to comprehend. It started first when THE DOOR magazine emailed and requested a screener way back when the original hubub about the film came up. They said they were interested in wanting to see it for a potential interview in their magazine. Me and a couple of other salty types might be the only ones to know this, but THE DOOR magazine (originally The Wittenberg Door) is one of the only satirical magazines devoted to a tongue in cheek look at Christianity; think Monty Python for believers.

To me, getting interviewed in their pages would have been a high point, so needless to say, when their email came in I was very excited. But as I kept asking them what they thought, I noticed a certain reticence. They weren't responding to emails and really weren't telling me why. After being all hot and bothered to get a copy and dangling the prospect of an interview in front of my eyes, they didn't seem all that interested anymore. Basic silence, then an email saying "it isn't the kind of thing we'd review in the magazine."

I couldn't figure it out, and I just let it lie until I started reading their magazine again after a long absence and noticed a a real shift in editorial since the sale and takeover from the original owners. They have taken on a real nasty streak against charismatic Christianity and any sort of faith healing ministers, so much so that the slams and slurs are throughout every article. Slowly but surely I have begun to piece together that the problem that these guys had... and some other folks who have been chiming in on occasion... was not so much the storytelling or the editing or any of the other facets of the documentary, but they have a problem with the miracle stories. They have a huge problem that people in the documentary firmly believed that signs and wonders attested Lonnie's ministry. Am I the only one that thinks it is curious... that it is downright laughable to have Christians who do not believe that these things can still go on?

I am aware of the abuses in the Pentecostal/signs & wonders/charismatic world. I am aware of the charlatanism. I get it that people are preying on the faith of others.. I even find it difficult to fathom that God still works like this when there is so much suffering that surrounds and engulfs. It is one of the enduring theological problems that God seems to act in certain instances and places, but is totally silent in others. And I certainly do not have any new answers in this arena... but I find it hard to figure Christian people who remain closed even to the possibility that the same kinds of things that they read in the New Testament do happen.

I am in total disagreement with people that put miracles and signs & wonders at the center of their theology (like Lonnie seemed to do) ... but when you close the door that God still sometimes works in mysterious ways, what are you left with?

thanks for reading my warblings,

david di sabatino

www.lonniefrisbee.com

Just for the record, I let my own subscription to The Door lapse a year or two after Yaconelli sold it off. If you want to know why, Ted Olsen at ChristianityToday.com's Weblog said it best three-and-a-half-years ago.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher

The "Jesus People" movement that peaked in the early '70s, bringing Christianity to the counterculture and vice versa, has been largely forgotten. In the ensuing decades, American churches have increasingly been affiliated with social/political conservatism. That it wasn't always so is vividly illustrated by "Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher," David Di Sabatino's straightforward, engrossing documentary about a well-buried chapter in recent evangelical history. Tale of Lonnie Frisbee's extraordinary (if brief) pulpit career is a fascinating one that could intrigue diverse niche auds -- Christian, gay, '60s nostalgics -- if carefully marketed in limited release.

Dennis Harvey, Variety, October 30

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The lastest update (take note LA and Seattle area folk):

Greetings all,

Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher will be showing on December 7, 2005 at 7:30 p.m. at the Venice United Methodist Church in Venice, California. There will be a Q&A session afterward.

For more information and to purchase tickets ($7.00), please visit the following Web site; www.dougaddison.com .

This will be the second to last (penultimate) showing before our release dates are announced. We are scheduled to play our last freebie at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA on February 10, 2006.

Thanks much,

David Di Sabatino

www.lonniefrisbee.com

Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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  • 1 month later...

Latest screening update:

Greetings,

Just a quick note outlining some upcoming screenings for FRISBEE: The LIFE and DEATH of a HIPPIE PREACHER.

First, we are playing the San Francisco Independent Film Festival during the first week of February. On Saturday, February 4th at 12:00 Noon it will be screened at The Women's Building Theater (3543 18th Street at Guerrero). On Tuesday, February 7th at 2:45 p.m. we are playing at the Roxie Cinema (3117 16th Street at Valencia). For more information, please check the www.sfindie.com site.

Second, on Friday, February 10th we are playing the Film & Theology night at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. For more information, please go to www.marshillchurch.org.

Finally, on Sunday February 19th at 6:00 p.m., we will be having another Orange County, California showing at Laguna Woods Calvary. For more information, go to www.lagunawoodscalvary.com or e-mail Pastor Mike Woods at pastor.mike@cox.net. Tickets for this event are $5.00. (So we can get an idea of how many are showing up, please do e-mail Mike and tell him you are coming... just so he knows how much popcorn to pop.)

We received a one page review in Charisma magazine's January issue (page 30) and will be reviewed in the next issue of Sacred History magazine (www.sacredhistorymagazine.com).

And in our next e-mail, we will be announcing how you can purchase a DVD tenatively entitled "The Making of FRISBEE: It Only Takes a Spark" that will be a retrospective of the last year as we got the movie up and running, more "Lonnie stories," and answers to a lot of questions that people are asking. It will be chock full of great clips and pics and surprises. Pre-release orders will be taken by Paypal, check or money order.

Thanks for your support. We are still working on distribution... sigh. This isn't an easy thing, so I have learned. But we're convinced that it will find its place. Heck, My Big Fat Greek Wedding took 2 years before it made its mark, and we've only been at it for a year. So... this is our year!!

thanks again,

David Di Sabatino

www.lonniefrisbee.com

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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And in our next e-mail, we will be announcing how you can purchase a DVD tenatively entitled "The Making of FRISBEE: It Only Takes a Spark" that will be a retrospective of the last year as we got the movie up and running, more "Lonnie stories," and answers to a lot of questions that people are asking.

Arg! I don't want to see "the backstory" 'till I've seen the actual movie. I want to see the real thing!

I have a blog? here at A&F that I sometimes post in.

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Somebody out there should discover the mighty Mississippi. Can I get an AMEN?

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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How about the heartland? Very few film festivals around here.

Subtlety is underrated
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Arg! I don't want to see "the backstory" 'till I've seen the actual movie. I want to see the real thing!

I'm glad someone voiced this opinion. And I really would like to see the film some day.

-s.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Arg! I don't want to see "the backstory" 'till I've seen the actual movie. I want to see the real thing!

I'm glad someone voiced this opinion. And I really would like to see the film some day.

-s.

I second that...well...third it. I hope it comes back to Wheaton College in the final edited form.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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For East Coasters (at least those close to New York):

Greetings, At long last, someone on the East Coast discovered us. We were just accepted to the New York Underground Film Festival that runs March 8th to 14th. Check their Web site for details (www.nyuff.com).

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are more specifics about the "making of" DVD preorder. I don't get it. It seems like these would be the things one would include on the feature DVD as extras. Oh well.

Greetings,

I wish to announce that we finally have something to sell (and no, it isn't Lonnie Frisbee frisbees). We are taking pre-orders for the soon-to-be released behind the scenes DVD entitled simply The MAKING of FRISBEE: It ONLY TAKES a SPARK that will contain the following.

* Scenes from the Newport Beach Film festival (our first mainstream showing - a HUGE success!!)

* Interview footage culled from the more than 60 hours of interviews

* Video of Lonnie preaching and teaching (stuff that wasn't squeezed in to the movie)

* Watch video from the night Greg Laurie spoke publicly about Lonnie's influence on him

* Video montages of Lonnie's artwork

* More about Lonnie's influence in South Africa and Scandanavia

* Song clips from a 45 record from Sweden with Lonnie and Debby Kerner leading the "Jesusfolket" in song

* Reactions to the movie by family, friends and the press

* Commentary by the director on the making of the documentary

* MORE Lonnie stories

* PLUS a few special surprises!!

Over 60 hours of footage was shot while filming the documentary, and Lonnie was such a fascinating character that there was a LOT of stuff that was unfortunately left out of the documentary.

Please note: This is for pre-orders only. This item will not ship until the end of March.

To pre-order The MAKING of FRISBEE: It ONLY TAKES a SPARK please send $14.99 USD ($12.99 + $2.00 s/h) via Paypal.com to the following address: sabbi@socal.rr.com. Go to the www.lonniefrisbee.com/Store_000.htm for more details. Please note, again!! This item will be shipping by the end of March 2006.

If you wish to purchase multiple copies, the s/h is free (U.S. customers only):

5 copies for $65.00 (USD)

10 copies for $120.00 (USD)

20 copies for $200.00 (USD)

Simply send your payment to us via Paypal.com at sabbi@socal.rr.com. Foreign buyers please send us an email before purchasing and we will send you the proper shipping charges.

Leading up to the San Francisco Independent Film Festial (www.sfindie.com) we are receiving some press coverage, mainly from the alternative folks. Check out the San Francisco Bay Guardian's note that we are one of the festival's "strongest selections." (Go to: www.sfbg.com/40/18/art_film_outside.html ).

Also, the Bay Area Reporter, one of the area's gay and lesbian papers, said that we are one of the "indespensable independents." (Go to: www.ebar.com/arts/art_article.php?sec=film&article=117 ). To some, this might seem a strange place for a son of a preacher's son (my grandfather was a preacher) to be with a film. But this was an intentional thing, to boldly go into areas that did not understand the Christianese language. I spent most of my life in circles speaking to people who all were on the same page. It is an honor to be offered the opportunity to tell such a challenging story in an area where they don't speak the same cultural language. (To those who get anxious and worry about those who will misunderstand, let me offer you two words that God offers up over and over and over again in similar situations; FEAR NOT.)

At present, we do not have any more information on the release of the actual documentary. As soon as we do, however, we will notify you. Stay tuned.

Sincerely,

David Di Sabatino

www.lonniefrisbee.com

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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The latest update from DiSabbatino:

Hello again, We had a great two showings at the San Francisco Indiefest this week. Chief programmer Bruce Fletcher kept telling me that ours was his favorite film of the entire festival because he was getting "such crap for including a Jesus film." I told him that I was getting a little flak from conservative Christians for some of the themes within the movie, to which he and I stood outside the Roxie Theater and talked about our mutually subversive goals to different constituents.

Bruce's perspective was interesting. He said, "Your film presents a guy who has elements that are going to play to my audience. Was he a healer representing the divine, or simply a charismatic avatar who had the magical touch? Who knows? Who cares? Excellent story. Excellent film." I liked Bruce.

The Q&A sessions for both screenings had some excellent questions. One fellow commented that he couldn't quite get my stance on homosexuality from the movie. "Is it wrong? Is it okay? What do you believe?" he asked. We got into a discussion of how there are definite things that I want to say in the movie, but that question was intentionally left open for the audience to decide. Bruce, who was moderating the session, seemed to agree that this was a strong point of all documentaries, that it allows the audience to decide and doesn't necessarily tell them what to believe.

This is a sticking point with a lot of people who have qualms with Frisbee. They just quite can't understand why I would leave that question open-ended. They also don't seem to agree that had I done what they usually suggest - say overtly that homosexuality is a sin - that I would not be invited to such things as Indiefest. My favorite response is to ask if I was doing a documentary on a fat guy who ate himself to death would I necessarily have to pound home the theme that overeating is not good?

Who knows what the Holy Spirit does in instances like these, where such opportunity is given to go into places like Indiefest? I have had some unlikely candidates shake my hand and say "thanks for making that film" or "that really moved me." Who can fathom how the Spirit does its work? Certainly not me. And I have read at least two books on the subject. (That last sentence was sarcastic, for the uninitiated.)

There are, of course, dangerous elements to this tack. In both sessions someone made mention of the fact of what might have happened if Lonnie had just been allowed to live out his life as a homosexual. It is a fair question, one that cannot be avoided. On both occasions I reminded the inquirers that at no time did Lonnie believe this, want this or engage in that kind of thinking and that as much as it is a bugaboo to suggest this, he believed that it was the molestation in his early years that set him on this course. I apologize profusely for being politically incorrect, especially to a San Francisco audience, but I remind the viewers that they cannot foist something upon Lonnie's life that was not there. He didn't believe this, and to suggest otherwise is to make the same stereotyping mistakes that religious right-wingers make about homosexuals. That always gets some heads nodding. Nobody in San Francisco wants to be compared to a religious right-winger.

Two outstanding responses; One girl came up to me in tears, obviously moved by it all. Her being moved in turn moved me because I am making mental notes on the things I wish to change, groaning every time I see a bad progression or repetitious picture. Nice to see that kind of reaction, I must admit. The other was a fellow who pulled me aside at the first showing and said that he had undergone a "total transformation," that God had one day while he was in a hotel room performed some sort of "spiritual surgery." The fellow said that he had lived his life as a gay man for ten years, but after that experience, he never went back again, that he was "totally healed." I asked him how that story plays in the San Francisco culture, and his eyes got wide; "It doesn't at all. You have to be very careful who you say that to." He said that the movie made him cry, and that he is living proof that the struggle can be overcome. We talked about how best to approach something like that, that it probably is not the best to wear a sandwich board and walk down Market Street proclaiming that homosexuality can be overcome, but to offer it up when asked, as a natural part of inevitable discussions that arise. Such interesting people you meet... when you're walking down the street... they're the people that you meet...er...

Being a contributor at these thing allows you free access to see any of the other films you wish. And yesterday I took in a movie called DANIELSON: A FAMILY MOVIE all about the Danielson Famile and the visionary nature of Daniel Smith's musical journey. I had previously known very little about this fellow, but was bemused by him to no end. It was another "Jesus film" in a way, and one that is worth taking a look at if you have any interest in unusual Christian characters or the ongoing discussion of contemporary culture and faith. I got to meet John Ringhofer of www.half-handedcloud.com who shares a similar vision of eclectic faith, and who kindly gave me a CD of old Jesus Music tunes and his own newest release. Thanks John!

Finally, I realize that putting out a DVD of the "Making of Frisbee" before people have actually had the opportunity to see it is a novel concept. So, as we sit and wait for lightning to strike, instead of twiddle our thumbs we thought we would provide something tangible. Rest assured that we will include more than a fair share of extras on the DVD of the movie when it gets released. Lonnie is a rich character, and there is enough to keep people occupied and thinking for at least a couple of hours worth. So, fear not, there is a method to the madness.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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It is good to hear the life of this documentary and the places it has been and is going.

David also addresses a curiousty that has been brought up a couple of times here, why the "Making of" before the DVD.

The latest update from DiSabbatino:

...

Finally, I realize that putting out a DVD of the "Making of Frisbee" before people have actually had the opportunity to see it is a novel concept. So, as we sit and wait for lightning to strike, instead of twiddle our thumbs we thought we would provide something tangible. Rest assured that we will include more than a fair share of extras on the DVD of the movie when it gets released. Lonnie is a rich character, and there is enough to keep people occupied and thinking for at least a couple of hours worth. So, fear not, there is a method to the madness.

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Latest:

Greetings,

We had an overwhelming turnout to the Mars Hill showing where over 700 people came out to see the movie for the church's THEOLOGY & FILM night. I was told that they usually got between 100 to 200 people, so when we poked our head out to see the crowd we were a little stunned.

The Q&A session went on for a good two hours afterward and I was thrilled to hear from and meet people who knew Lonnie and said agreed that the movie captured his essence (as best as a movie can capture a person's essence). Thanks to Pastors Mark Driscoll, James Harleman, A.J. Hamilton and Claudine Atencio for a first rate experience.

Mark Driscoll and Mrs. Driscoll just had another child, so he didn't attend... but he wrote about it on his blog. (Trust me, read this.) Go to theresurgence.com/the_weird_story_about_three_dudes

The showing at the New York Underground Film Festival is on Saturday March 11th at 3:30 p.m. at the Anthology Film Archives (located at 32 Second Ave. at Second St). For more information, check out their web page at www.nyuff.com.

Our film has been invited to play the Greenbelt festival in England, as well as for the Zero28 folks in Belfast, and we are also slated to get an invitation from the New England based SoulFest festival. Keep your eyes peeled.

Still no official word on the release of the film. And, our plans to release the "Making of Frisbee" continue to roll along. If you wish to preorder your copy, please go to the www.lonniefrisbee.com web site for more details.

thanks,

David Di Sabatino

www.lonniefrisbee.com

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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  • 1 month later...

Great news just in...

Frisbee has just been picked up for television broadcast by one of the flagship PBS stations, KQED in San Francisco. Series Producer Rachel Raney called me yesterday to give me the good news. We will be part of the TRULY CA series to broadcast some time in October. The series focuses on California independent stories, and helps filmmakers hone their work.

A month or two before the broadcast, Frisbee will be put through the PBS studios, getting some color correction, final sound edit and a reworking of the material. Go to www.kqed.org/truly for more information.

Toward that end, unless something else occurs that speeds this process up (which isn't out of the question), I can definitely say that the DVD of the movie will be released in October 2006.

There is a good possibility that we will be opening the movie up to arranging showings for whomever wishes to sponsor one. If this is something that interests you, please contact me at sabbi@socal.rr.com and I will be happy to send you information on how this can happen.

We are still putting the final touches on THE MAKING OF FRISBEE DVD. It shouldn't be much longer, but we are having to push back that release date as well a couple of weeks. It will be worth the wait. If you haven't ordered your copy, please do. Consult the www.lonniefrisbee.com web for details on how to order.

To keep up to date on all the goings on, please go to www.lonniefrisbee.com and go to the "Stay in Touch" page to sign up for our alerts.

Thanks for your patience with this project. It has been a steady climb, and I am proud that with a first time effort we landed with PBS.

Sincerely,

David Di Sabatino

www.lonniefrisbee.com

www.jesuspeoplemovement.com

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  • 1 month later...

PBS and Lonnie

Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher will be broadcast on October 29th on PBS-affiliate KQED in San Francisco. This will be the first showing of a three-year run on that channel, so if you are in that broadcast area please tune in. Finally, at that time we will also be selling the DVD.

This summer the documentary will be making some pit stops in Europe, having been invited to play at the Freakstock festival (www.freakstock.de), the Greenbelt festival (www.greenbelt.org.uk) and the zero28 Project in Ireland (www.zero28.org). So, if you are in that neck of the woods, please stop by. I will be at all three of those events with my brother.

Frisbee is playing at the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Festival (www.phillyfests.com). I will not be attending this date.

We're still tooling with the "Making of Frisbee" DVD, so, my apologies for being a little naive on the release date. It shouldn't be much longer. And we so appreciate your patience with us. We are most often a one-man team, for now, (he said hoping one day to be a two or three person brigade).

...

One last note, we are presently shooting a couple of other documentaries that will wrap up in time for September dates for Sundance and other major festivals. More news to follow.

Sincerely,

David Di Sabatino

www.lonniefrisbee.com

Edited by Thom(asher)

...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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  • 2 months later...

Latest news -- PBS date and DVD release date:

At long last, Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher will be released on DVD to coincide with the first PBS broadcast date on November 19th. The broadcast on San Francisco's KQED will take place at 6:00 pm that day. So, on November 19th come to the www.lonniefrisbee.com web site to order copies.

The running time has been streamlined to a sleek 60 minutes, that tells the story in a much more succinct manner. I spent parts of last week with PBS editor Rachel Raney getting the documentary into broadcast-ready shape. Part of the problem with Lonnie is that there was so much information. It was difficult to choose what to keep and what to jettison. Rachel acted as a second set of eyes and helped with the process immensely.

Thanks to all of you who have been patiently waiting for "The Making of Frisbee." That DVD will also be ready and shipped out in November.

It's probably too bad it's been edited down to an hour.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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