Lamplighter Films is an independent production company whose critically-acclaimed films shine a light on extraordinary stories on 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 director Kristine Stolakis, who believes that the seeds of great ideas come from your own backyard.
In PRAY AWAY former leaders of the “pray the gay away” movement contend with the aftermath unleashed by their actions, while a survivor seeks healing and acceptance from more than a decade of trauma.
Kristine Stolakis is a director whose films intimately examine how power, politics, and prejudice unfold in real people’s lives. Her debut feature PRAY AWAY takes you inside the history and continuation of the “pray the gay away” or ex-gay movement, and is a Multitude Films production in association with Blumhouse Productions. PRAY AWAY is supported by the Catapult Film Fund, Tribeca Film Institute, Hartley Film Foundation, Chicken and Egg Pictures, Sundance Institute, SFFilm, and Cinereach.
Her directorial debut THE TYPIST (Hot Docs 2015) cracks open the untold story of a closeted Korean War veteran tasked with writing the military dishonorable discharges of outed LGBTQ seamen. It was released by KQED and is currently a Vimeo Staff Pick. WHERE WE STAND (DOC NYC 2015) chronicles a group of Mormon women fighting for equal rights inside their church, and was released by The Atlantic and nominated for a BAFTA. She also produced ATTLA (Independent Lens 2019), a co-production of ITVS and Vision Maker Media.
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, where she currently lectures, a BA in Cultural Anthropology from New York University, and has received further training at UC Berkley’s Investigative Reporting Program. 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. She proudly hails from North Carolina and central New York.
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”