A night of open-mindfulness and compassion; Director of Bridegroom visits Wilkes


Nicole Zukowski, Life, Arts and Entertainment Editor

“It’s not a gay thing.

It’s not a straight thing.

It’s a human thing”

-Award-winning documentary, Bridegroom

On Tuesday Oct. 14 Wilkes University and the surrounding communities are invited to take an emotional journey into an eye-opening documentary that explores a heart-wrenching love story dealing with the technicalities of the legal system and the fight for equality.

The free screening of Bridegroom will be held in the theater in the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center at 7 P.M. followed by Q & A with the producer, Shane Bitney Crone, whose life story is the base of the documentary.  Afterwards, by R.S.V.P. only, there is a dessert reception where you can meet and have your picture taking with Crone.

“I really wanted people to have the opportunity to see it (Bridegroom), and watch it with other people who are supportive and open-minded,” Anthony Bartoli, senior Communication Studies major and organizator of the event, said.

The idea of having the Bridegroom screened at Wilkes and having Crone present was entirely Bartoli’s. He worked on this event since late April. He has received help from all parts of the university to make this event happen.

“It (the idea of screening the documentary) developed like crazy with planning and got so much support,” Bartoli said. “I’m so so thankful that it is finally happening. It means the world to me that people have been so supportive.”

Wilkes is one of the smallest universities on the list of places Crone has scheduled to speak at. His message is about giving a voice to the fight for equality by taking a humanistic approach.

Bartoli says “It (Bridegroom) has the message that sometimes things suck.” he goes on to quote the Bridegroom website “You can’t change the past. You can change the future.” “The past is not going to be the future.”

With conviction in his tone, Bartoli went on to say that “trust in the fact that the right now is not going to be forever.”

The documentary was started when Crone released a video about his life story with his partner, Tom, that touches the raw nerve of the viewers. The video went viral and Crone was approached by writer/director Linda Bloodworth Thomason, who wanted to turn his story into a feature-length documentary.

To help fund the movie Crone and his team launched the most successful film crowd-funded campaign in the history of Kickstarter. His message of love and kindness to all has touched people all over the world.

With intensely in his voice Bartoli proceeded to put into words just how watching this movie it was changed his life for the better.

“It was kind of a moment of relief in my life that I never felt before. Ever since I came out I never wanted to make people feel uncomfortable, but once I watched Bridegroom, that was kind of the point of relief in my life. I was like ‘you know what I’m done being scared of making people feel uncomfortable, if it makes them uncomfortable that’s not my problem.”

Bartoli continue to add “it is different for everyone, people are going to take away different things then I would. Everyone has different life experiences that play back in their head. It makes you think and makes you really grateful about the people you have around you.”

To R.S.V.P. for the dessert reception go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uopGnxyZrdUsnyQvVVpwLq9cFQ1JROJvi53OnXk8TSs/viewform?usp=send_form

“I hoping for every single seat in the that theater is filled.” Bartoli goes on to say that he hopes that people who don’t agree with equal rights or protection under the law will show up with an open-mind and truly grasp that equality is needed. “I always say ‘ there is so much improvement for everything.’”

For more information on the event contact Anthony Bartoli at [email protected]. Intrested to learn more about the documentary visit http://bridegroommovie.com/.