June 6, 2017

The Committee, created by the Honors Advanced Documentary Workshop Class at UCF under the advisement of  faculty members Robert Cassanello (History) and Lisa Mills (SVAD), is a documentary about the little-known Florida Legislative Investigative Committee of the State Legislature from 1956-1965.
The documentary is currently available to watch on WUCF TV and will be rebroadcast in October during Orlando Pride.
Florida Senator Charley Johns chaired the committee, and its aim was to root out communist and homosexual teachers and students from state universities. It was successful in either firing or expelling more than 200 suspected gay and lesbian citizens. The film features two North Florida survivors (Rev. Ruth Jensen-Forbell and Chuck Woods) and one interrogator (John Tileston) who have never before spoken publicly about their experiences without anonymity. It culminates in a 50-year reunion between survivor and interrogator.
Since the film was completed in 2013, it has been seen and won awards at festivals and venues all over the world.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Suncoast Regional Emmy Award for “Historical Documentary”
  • Suncoast Regional Emmy Nomination for “Editor”
  • International Jury Award for Best Documentary – Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (South Africa)
  • Hampton Dunn Internet Award – Florida Historical Society
  • Best of Competition Award for “Mixed Video” – Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts
  • Best Documentary – Love Your Shorts Film Festival
  • “Best of Brouhaha” List – Brouhaha Film and Video Showcase
  • Official Selection – Florida Film Festival
  • Official Selection – Gasparilla International Film Festival
  • Official Selection – Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
  • Official Selection – Global Peace Film Festival
  • Official Selection – Out Twin Cities Film Festival
  • Official Selection – OUT on Film: Atlanta’s LGBT Film Festival
  • Official Selection – Orlando Film Festival