Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Film Feature

Comedy, LGBTQ

Yuval Boim

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

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A comedy about the institution of marriage from a queer perspective. As Josh and Matilda get sucked into the Wedding Planning Vortex, they are determined to do it their own way. Class and gender norms collide in this brazen carnival of non-conforming characters.

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Mission Statement

Marriage is changing. Everyone has a different idea of what it means. D.I.Y. exposes the morphing role marriage plays in today’s society and celebrates the range of all possible relationships. Our team is made up of LGBTQ, straight, queer, male, female, transgender, married and non-married humans.

The Story

First things first: please check out our full proof of concept teaser:




D.I.Y. is a film about the institution of marriage from a queer perspective. Yee haw! Now don’t get us wrong. When we say “queer” we don’t JUST mean gay. We mean deliciously other. Outcasts, nonconformists, baddasses. The artists, the work-makers, the change-makers. As well as the mummers, the fish-mongers, and the stoop-dwellers.


This movie takes a deep dive into the question: What Is Marriage Anyway?


Marriage is changing. Up until recently, marriage has been pretty hetero (understatement of the millennia). With the legalization of gay marriage, not only is the literal definition of marriage changing, but also there have emerged a range of underrepresented, valuable perspectives as to what it really means to participate in this social institution. D.I.Y. exposes the morphing role marriage plays in today’s society and celebrates the range of all possible relationships.


This movie flips the romcom genre on its head. It ain’t just boy meets girl with wedding bells and happily ever after. Class and gender norms collide in this brazen carnival of non-conforming characters.


Josh and Matilda are a sexually fluid couple, in love, and ready to commit their lives to each other. But when they go to actually plan their ceremony, they realize they have very different ideas of what they are involved in. As they get sucked into the wedding planning vortex, and it brings up all kinds of questions about class, gender, sex, and money. Desperate to avoid the traps of the wedding industrial complex, they are determined to do it their own way!




We're gay! (like, you know...happy). And we have specific and unique relationships to marriage.


This is Sarah speaking: I am a lesbian happily married to my wife. Despite being a cynic for years, my wedding day was absolutely (cliché, I know) the best day of my life. The big day was planned before gay marriage was legal, and it felt very important to us to have a ceremony where our community could bear witness to our commitment to each other. The state be damned! At the same time, we understand our friends in trans- and queer community who expressed feeling frustrated that fighting for gay marriage was maybe not the right fight when it comes to progressive ideals. Getting the right to marry could be viewed as a a way for folks to assimilate into an oppressive and dominating patriarchal culture. It’s complicated. I remain someone who feels that the fight for marriage equality is incredibly important. But damn. It sure is complicated.



This is Yuval speaking: My life partner and I don’t necessarily feel our relationship needs to be validated by the state. I have many friends who have been incredibly strong and solid committed partners, but the process of "getting married" ruined their relationship. In the film, my character Josh is a PhD student in Queer Studies, studying the institution of marriage. He interviews real people and couples across the spectrum of relationships. These real documentary interviews are woven through the film, When Harry Met Sally Style, and we are collaborating with the University of Pennsylvania to generate a cultural conversation and documentation of models of or ways to be in committed relationships. Josh’s advisor is played by the legendary critical theorist Leo Bersani playing himself! Check out some of Leo's extraordinary work.




Is marriage a blessed sacred spiritual union? Is it an oppressive tool of the state? A financial structure for bequeathing wealth and perpetuating the privileged class? Is it a social contract? Or an excuse for a badass party? This film aims to represent ALL perspectives on this issue, like a prism.



Sarah Again: For me personally, I can also say that when gay marriage became legal, my wife and I signed the papers, and we became a legal financial entity. This changed the dynamic of the infrastructure of our relationship, and I am fascinated by what it means to invoke these structures as scaffolding for the most intimate relationships of our lives.


This film takes the infrastructure of planning a wedding as scaffolding for Josh and Matilda to climb. Will they make it? Can their love survive a wedding?



We are collaborative theatre artists from the Lecoq tradition. We set out to apply our process of ensemble devising to the screen. So we teamed up with incredible collaborators to workshop the themes and characters through a developmental workshop two years ago.


Our collaborators include Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher from Star Trek the Next Generation and James Eckhouse (yup, everyone’s favorite dad Jim Walsh from Beverly Hills 90210), as well as incredibly Philadelphia-based actors Genevieve Perrier (multiple Barrymore Awards) and Dave Sweeny (legendary funk alter-ego Johnny Showcase). With the amazing camera work of producer John Wattenbarger and director Alex Berg, we got to hone the style, clarify the themes, and develop the characters. This was a vital process that deeply informed the development of the feature script.



From Rocky to Silver Linings Playbook to Philadelphia Story to the movie Philadelphia itself, Philly has a varied history of being portrayed on film.



South Philly is a rich, thriving, rare community of working class folks and artists, toasting cheers with the city-wide special (a can of Pabst and a shot of Jim Beam for $5!). Our intention is to honor and celebrate these artists, these renegades, these queers.


We’ve secured a range of incredible locations, from the Italian Market to the Main Line, as well as partnerships with local businesses. Dave Sweeny (of Johnny Showcase) will be composing the original soundtrack and the rockstars at All Ages Productions will serve to help on-the-ground.






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About This Team

Sarah McCarron (Co-Writer & Producer)


Sarah’s television writing experience includes writing for David Milch’s Redboard Productions on the HBO drama Luck starring Dustin Hoffman. Sarah was a consulting producer on Canvas Media’s pilot Socio, created by Emmy award-winning writer and showrunner Bernie Su, in partnership with Astronauts Wanted Entertainment. Sarah’s current writing projects include a one hour drama, Bunkered, which received a 10/10 on the Blacklist as a featured script, and was a finalist for the Sundance Episodic Storytelling Lab. Uzodinma Iweala, the writer of Beasts of No Nation, is attached to executive produce. Sarah comes from the world of Lecoq-based ensemble devised theatre, and has created original shows in both Europe and the United States. She has worked with Obie Award-winning Pig Iron Theatre Company and teaches movement and writing from the body at CalArts and Aquila Morong Studio. She was this year’s Writer in Residence at the prestigious William Inge Center for the Arts.


Yuval Boim (Co-Writer & Producer)


Yuval is a writer and actor based in New York and the Philadelphia suburbs. He recenlty guest starred on “Bull” and is appeared in the feature film Norman starring Richard Gere. Other television work includes Amazon’s “Red Oaks", NBC’s “Believe”, a large guest star role on “Blue Bloods”, opposite Len Cariou and had a large guest appearance on “Law and Order: SVU”. He was featured in the film That Awkward Moment in a role opposite Zac Efron. He stars in the films Abbie Cancelled which debuted at Sundance Film Festival and screened all over the world in various festivals, earning critical praise and the award for Best Short at the Big Apple Film Festival in New York. He also stars in The Friend from Tel-Aviv (DGA Award) and Center of the Universe which debuted at the Brooklyn International Film Festival before screening at a dozen international festivals. Yuval's solo show Sexcrity, which successfully overfunded on Kikstarter, was recently presented at Cleveland Public Playhouse. Other awards include an Indie Series Award for the webseries Hunting Season, and a Helen Hayes award for Salome at Shakespeare Theatre in D.C. Yuval is the founder of Get Tape, a taping and coaching service for actors, and is an adjuct professor at Pace School of Peforming Arts. yuvalboim.com.


Greater Philadlphia Film Office (Fiscal Sponsor)


The Greater Philadelphia Film Office (GPFO) is a “film commission” representing southeastern Pennsylvania that officially serves the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia.


Michelle Pollino (Producer)


Michelle has produced and directed more than 250 episodes of both network and cable reality television for NBC, Showtime, TLC, Fox, CBS, A&E, Logo and IFC. Successful shows included Trading Spaces, Ambush Makeover, Searching For and Selling Spelling Mansion. Michelle produced three feature films, including Two Minutes Later and Mayor Cupcake, which stars Lea Thompson and Judd Nelson. She executive produced the Darren Stein-helmed film G.B.F., starring Megan Mullally and Natasha Lyonne. She produced for WYBE TV Philadelphia, where she earned an Emmy nomination.


Allison Vanore (Producer)


Allison produced the Emmynominated hit Stylehaul digital series ‘Vanity’ starring Denise Richards, as well as the scripted series television pilot ‘Socio’ starring India Eisley, with Astronauts Wanted and Canvas Media, where she is Head of Production. Digital series also include ‘Anyone But Me’, ‘Producing Juliet’, ‘My Gimpy Life’ Season 2, ‘Lookbook’, ‘Gringa Latina’, and ‘SOLO: The Series’ as well as upcoming series ‘Whatta Lark.’ Feature film credits include Love in the Time of Monsters (Indican Pictures, 2012), and Hopelessly In June (Phase 4, 2011), and Daddy (Breaking Glass, 2016).


Gates McFadden (Cast)


Best known as Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek the Next Generaion, Gates McFadden is a powerhouse performer, improvisor, and Lecoq-based theatre artist  She's worked with all the greats, including as a choreographer for Jim Henson's The Labyrinth. She has worked to collaborate on the development of this character and brings fierce badass artistry to D.I.Y.


James Eckhouse (Cast)


James’ 35 year career as an actor includes dozens of performances On and Off Broadway as well as at many of the country’s regional theaters. Most recently he starred opposite Bryan Cranston in the Tony award winning hit, ‘All The Way’, He stars in the PBS drama, ‘Murder of a President’ and as arch villain Doctor Knotts in the new Warner Brothers web series, High and Mighty, premiering this August.

Notable film credits include: The Avengers, S.W.A.T., Guess Who, One True Thing, Junior, Defending Your Life84 Charing Cross Road, Fat Man and Little Boy, Fatal Attraction, Cocktail, Big, Leaving Normal, and the voice of ‘Potiphar’ in the Dreamworks animated film, Joseph - King of Dreams.

He is best known to TV audiences as ‘Jim Walsh’ on FOX’s original series, ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ and has starred in over 50 episodes on shows including: Major Crimes, NCIS: New Orleans The Good Wife, Southland, Criminal Minds, Nip/Tuck, Medium, Boston Legal,  CSI, West Wing, Once and Again, Without A Trace, and  Ally McBeal. James began his training at Chicago’s Second City and went on to receive a BFA in Drama at the Juilliard School in NYC.


All Ages Productions (Production Services)


All Ages Productions is a full service creative film and video production company in Philadelphia specializing in commercials and branded content across platforms. Any live action or animated film or video production project can be taken from conception to completion. With an international network of artists and creative talent, AAP helps clients and agencies find partners and strategies to maximize the creative potential of each project. AAP has produced projects all over the United States and abroad and has satellite teams in Los Angeles and Europe.


David Sweeny (Cast & Music Supervisor)


Philadelphia legendary funk artist and alter-ego Johnny Showcase, David Sweeny is a powerhouse musician and performer. He's played Joe's Pub, World Cafe Live, and is a rock in the foundation of the Philadelphia theatre scene. http://johnnyshowcase.virb.com


John Wattenbarger (Producer)

John Wattenbarger is a photographer, and producer combining 15 years equally of advanced computer science engineering with film and story telling. His experience combines a history working with innovative companies such as Amazon, combined with his productions in digital filmmaking. He wrote and directed a feature film, The Stone House, set and shot in Delaware, and featured at the Ashville Film Festival.


Alex Berg (Consulting Producer)


Alex Rollins Berg is a writer-director based in NYC. He is the winner of the 2016 Black List Screenwriting Fellowship from Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Institute. His feature screenplay, i, placed in the top 50 of the 2016 Academy Nicholl Fellowships and was a winning finalist in the 2015 BlueCat Screenplay Competition.  He is represented by Verve and managed by the Muraviov Company. As a commercial director, Alex has created top-quality content for some of the world's leading brands. With a knack for high-end lifestyle and food imagery, he directs smart, stylish and powerful spots for clients across a number of industries and around the world. Alex is represented by Park Group.


Jess Conda (Philadlphia Community Liaison) 


Jess is a Philadelphia based performer and teaching artist, is a two-time Barrymore nominee for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, and was one of Philadelphia Magazine's Best Stage Talents to See This Season in 2013. From 2013-2017, she worked with BRAT Productions, where she began her career performing in such well known Philadelphia productions as A 24 Hour The Bald Soprano (2007, 2009), Eye 95: Re-tarred (2006) and Haunted Poe (2010). From 2013-2017, Conda served as Artistic Director, focusing on producing original rock-theater hybrids and providing creative opportunities for emerging Philadelphia artists. 


Ryan Carey (Social Media Producer)


As an early employee of YouTube, Ryan developed strategy for the global reach of online video, joining the company in 2006 as one of ten executives overseeing advertising accounts for North America. After YouTube’s acquisition by Google, Ryan served in leadership roles in both the U.S. and Australia, working with top brands across entertainment, technology, and consumer sectors on how to leverage their YouTube audiences. Ryan is the architect of RyCareyously, a crowd sourced, philanthropic web series, currently in partnership with Crowdrise and featured on the Hallmark Channel.


Jesse Golinkoff (Research Consultant)


Jesse Golinkoff is a Research Project Manager at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing. Jesse's research interests include health inequities affecting LGBTQ communities, collaborative research methodologies, and alternative dissemination methods. Before entering the Public Health field, Jesse worked in web design and development for over eight years, focusing on website usability, user testing, website analytics, and information architecture. Jesse received a Master of Public Health at the University of Pennsylvania in 2016 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Multimedia from The University of the Arts in 2007.


Liz Glazer (LGBTQ Academic Advisor)


Liz Glazer is an actor, writer, standup comedian, and singer, and before that was a tenured law professor (more on that here). As a professor Liz wrote about the institution of marriage (see Civil Union Equality, and Sodomy and Polygamy, ) and as a performer she married herself in her original musical A One Woman Wedding. Liz is very excited to be a part of the DIY team and can be found on Instagram at @lizglazer and also @pennyproject 


Ryan Haagen (Editor, Seed & Spark Pitch Video)

Todd Fronauer (Editor, Seed & Spark Pitch Video)

Ben Hickernell (Editor, Proof of Concept Teaser)

Robb Padgett (Editor, Proof of Concept Teaser)

Timothy Hughes (Intern)

Paige Madkins (Intern)

Tameka Cobian (Intern)


Current Team