Roll Credits

By Hans Pedersen, October 2017 Web Exclusive.

There's a scene in The Sound of Music when the Von Trapp children line up during a party and belt out a memorable musical number that's suitable for situations when it's time to bid folks "So long, Farewell."

That sequence comes to mind as I announce I am stepping down as movie critic at Echo Magazine, but I certainly hope to make future contributions to this amazing publication when my schedule allows.

While I've been writing for Echo since late 2011, I became the movie critic four years ago, and I am truly grateful to have written for a magazine that supports and affirms our LGBTQ community.

Admittedly, very few gigs also give people the chance to attend film festivals and interview their idols – Olympia Dukakis, George Takei or director Roger Ross Williams (God Loves Uganda), to name a few. But I have also met some of the most extraordinary people here in the Valley over the course of writing for Echo Magazine.

Yet, I am most grateful for the ways in which I have been educated about the transgender community, especially through interview opportunities about such inventive documentaries as My Prairie Home and Real Boy, and such extraordinary dramas as Boy Meets Girl.

One recurring bit of advice I have gleaned from these interviews: to stop thinking too much and start doing.

So, after hearing various directors explain how they launched their own documentary projects, I am heeding their advice and joining two friends to launch production on a new film. It's a documentary about growing up in the Sanctuary movement in Tucson in the 1980s: life as a teenager was about watching MTV, coming out of the closet, living with Central Americans who faced death squads back home and regularly helping my mom and church volunteers smuggle these political refugees up from the border. I'll keep folks updated on this documentary project, tentatively entitled A Coyote's Tale, on Twitter at @HansP10.

While I do not intend to vanish from these pages for good, I am eager to see the work of the new movie critic, Valley-based actor-turned-filmmaker James Fanniza. It’s always good to see things from a fresh perspective.

For now, it's time to say, "Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you ..."

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