Lamplighter Films is an independent production company whose critically-acclaimed films shine a light on extraordinary stories about the issues of our times. We value artistry, research, and attention to ethical and inclusive production practices to make films that reach the widest audience possible. Lamplighter Films is named after the childhood street of Emmy-nominated director Kristine Stolakis, who believes that the seeds of great ideas come from your own backyard.
In PRAY AWAY ex-leaders and a survivor of the so-called “conversion therapy” movement speak out about its harm to the LGBTQ+ community and its devastating persistence. The film is now available on Netflix. For our Mental Health Guide, legal and advocacy resources, click here.
Kristine Stolakis is an Emmy-nominated director whose films examine how mental health and prejudice shape real people’s lives. Her feature debut PRAY AWAY (Netflix 2021) chronicles the history and legacy of the “pray the gay away movement” and was nominated for an Emmy, Critics Choice Award, and GLAAD Media Award. PRAY AWAY was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival, Telluride, and AFI Docs among others, and is a Multitude Films production in association with Blumhouse. The film was chosen as one of the 10 Critics’ Picks of Tribeca and SXSW in The Hollywood Reporter and cited as “one of the most important films of the year.” PRAY AWAY was supported by the Catapult Film Fund, Tribeca Film Institute, Hartley Film Foundation, Chicken and Egg Pictures, Sundance Institute, SFFilm, and Cinereach. In 2020 Kristine was named one of DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40.” She holds an MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University, and proudly hails from North Carolina and central New York.
Her filmmaking approach is shaped by her background in anthropology, journalism, politics, and community art. She holds an MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from New York University, and has received further training at UC Berkley’s Investigative Reporting Program. She has taught film production at Stanford University and University of San Francisco. She is a member of SAL Film Group, a small group of filmmakers who contribute time and resources to fellow makers in early stages of development and ideation. In 2020, Kristine was named one of DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40.” Kristine proudly hails from North Carolina and central New York.
ABC News “New documentary examines impact of conversion therapy ministries” (VIDEO)
Variety Gay Conversion Therapy Doc ‘Pray Away’ Releases Emotional Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)
Variety PRAY AWAY to debut on Netflix
“The film, from executive producers Jason Blum and Ryan Murphy, will debut on the streaming service in August. Prior to its arrival on Netflix, “Pray Away” will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 16.”
“After having their planned Tribeca 2020 premieres canceled, the feature films of the 2020 festival have been invited back for long awaited in-person premieres in 2021.”
The list from DOC NYC, co-presented by HBO Documentary Films and Topic Studios, celebrates young talent in the documentary field.
The Hollywood Reporter PRAY AWAY selected for 2020 Telluride Film Festival
“[B]ecause our lineup is so small, it means that there’s been a great amount of care,” Telluride’s Julie Huntsinger says. “This year, this is what we think you should look at.”
The Hollywood Reporter Critics’ Picks: 10 Highlights From SXSW and Tribeca Online
“A gripping documentary… The film is measured yet forceful, never strident in making its point… It’s important to note that at no time does the film mock anyone’s religious beliefs, though it unequivocally exposes hypocrisies… It’s to Stolakis’ credit that she remains nonjudgmental.”
The Hollywood Reporter Pray Away: Film Review | Tribeca 2020
“Gripping…[t]he compassionate insight into people’s lives spent carrying shame and humiliation, hurting themselves and others, is powerful stuff.”
Awards Circuit Tribeca Film Review: Pray Away Will Break Your Heart
“Essential viewing… Among the best things that Tribeca 2020 has to offer. Director Kristine Stolakis doesn’t pull any punches, but this is never exploitative, either… Stolakis uses the testimony of survivors to demonstrate the damage that conversion therapy can do, resulting in something impossible not to be moved by…Pray Away may well break your heart.”
“Pray Away cements itself as a definitive documentary on conversion therapy that will be an exemplary text for years to come.”
“a profoundly moving, heartbreaking examination of the fallout associated with conversion therapy—and it might be the must-watch movie of the year.”
“Pray Away invites the viewer into a world that many would like to think doesn’t exist much anymore, but is in fact, quite prevalent. As Bussee states at the end of the film, “As long as homophobia exists in this world, some version of Exodus will emerge.”
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Pray Away (Tribeca Film Festival 2020) Review
“Pray Away takes its evisceration of the belief that sexual orientation and gender identity are sicknesses to be cured, sins to be remedied and crimes to be punished to the next potent and moving level.”
“We were not prepared for the gut-punch power of Pray Away, or for the questions it raises.”
Women and Hollywood Tribeca 2020 Women Directors: Meet Kristine Stolakis – “Pray Away”
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