Fairy Tale Short Film 'The Miracles on Honey Bee Hill' Causes Controversy
Bob Pondillo’s short film The Miracles on Honey Bee Hill is causing a stir with Republicans and opponents of same-sex marriage, according to Dot429.
The 23-minute film is a fairy tale story of love, marriage, and understanding, but with a cast of 8 and 9 year olds. Two of the main female characters, Ed and Millie, fall in love in a small town on Honey Be Hill.
Pondillo, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, explained where the concept for the short film came from in a behind-the-scenes video. “I had this thought about doing something new, something different, saying something about what’s happening in contemporary society, contemporary culture, and especially about a specific issue that I think is the civil rights issue of our time,” he said. “But I wanted to do it in a way that hadn’t been done before, and I wanted to do it in a surprising way.”
A screening of The Miracles on Honey Bee Hill was offered as part of the “SpringOut” celebrations on the MTSU campus. One of the students at the screening did not agree that the film was a fairy tale about love, and contacted Senator Bill Ketron (R-TN), who quickly issued a letter to the University with his concerns regarding the “controversial” short film. In his letter, Senator Ketron questioned the use of minors, funding resources, and equipment belonging to the university.
“My office received a communication from a MTSU student who was concerned and upset about this movie after viewing it at the university, especially as it pertains to what the student said were the exploitation of young children who were involved in the film,” Senator Ketron said in a statement. “The communication also included a request to answer questions involving the nature of funding for the project and the involvement of the university in its making.”
According to a statement from Pondillo in response to Senator Ketron’s letter, both the child actors and their parents auditioned for the project, and in doing so, all parents or guardians read the script. Parents of the child actors also signed releases allowing their children to fully participate in the film, “and all were on set monitoring the proceedings as the movie was filmed.”
Senator Ketron has labeled the short film as inappropriate, despite the fact that he has yet to see it. The film can be viewed on IMDB.
Watch The Miracles on Honey Bee Hill behind-the-scenes video with Pondillo’s commentary below: