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Take 5 with “Breaking Through”

We’ve asked the filmmakers for the 11th annual Oxford Film Festival the same five questions. Meet Cindy Abel, director and producer of Breaking Through. This film will be screening Friday, Feb.7 at noon and Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m.

#1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.

It’s about people who did what they were told they couldn’t. It’s for those who dare to imagine something “more” – and want to see politicians actually be real and authentic.

#2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

I didn’t expect to be as impacted by the people we interviewed. They were willing to be authentic and deeply vulnerable, which opened my heart and caused me to be more vulnerable as well.

The best part has been interacting with audiences and experiencing their emotional and positive reactions, as they realize we all face obstacles and are more alike than we are different.
#3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background? *
This is my first feature length film. I’ve also directed and produced two shorts: BACK TO SALEM, based on the novel, and DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE, a tribute film to Atlanta leader Allen Thornell. I’ve also directed and produced videos and webisodes for corporate and public affairs clients.
#4 What do you want the Oxford Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title or description? *
Breaking Through features openly gay elected officials: but it’s not about politics, and some of their earliest obstacles have nothing to do with being LGBT.

What others are saying:
“Breaking Through is a rich, fast-paced, spellbinding film. How director Cindy Abel and her team got politicians, famous for saying a lot without saying much, to expose their vulnerability is one of the wonders of this documentary. Some of the revelations are so shocking you find yourself thinking, “Did she just say what I think she said?!” (Michael Alvear, Huffington Post)

"4 out of 4 Globes. The dozens of diverse LGBT elected officials profiled in this absorbing documentary are heartening role models who give a voice to minorities. The subjects’ candor is quite forceful." (Gary M. Kramer,

"This is an important work, with a tightly-woven storyline and beautiful footage." (Todd Hunter, WorldFest Houston Founder, presenting the Silver Remi award)

#5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?

For Breaking Through: distribution and ongoing screenings at companies, colleges/universities, high schools and community groups as a way to spark conversations about “difference” and overcoming obstacles.

We’re also developing a couple other films, starting production on one in a few months.

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