The first of two high-profile movies coming out this year about gay conversion camps, The Miseducation of Cameron Post stars Chloe Grace-Moretz as Cameron, a young woman sent to one such camp in 1993 by super-conservative fundamentalists. They’re convinced her attraction to other girls is a deviant sickness to be cured.
While there, Cameron meets the other teens who have been sent away for various reasons and transgressions. They bond and are determined to help each other through this terrible ordeal, each convinced they’re not sick and in no need of a cure. The story is based on the novel by Emily M. Danforth.
Moretz is shown in extreme, softly-lit close-up on the poster, the orange-yellow of her face and hair contrasting with her greenish scarf. The movie’s Sundance credentials are on display and overall this looks like a character-driven drama.
Cameron is being pressured to join the God’s Promise group as the trailer opens, one we soon see is a gay conversion camp meant to repress and redirect sinful urges. Neither she nor any of the other kids want to be there and so act out in the way kids that age do, including considering running away from the camp. There are a few shots of Cameron’s past, which lead her parents to send her away, but mostly this is about establishing her circumstances for the audience.
Online and Social
There’s not a whole lot happening on the official site from FilmRise, just some basic information, a few stills and other tidbits along with the ability to buy tickets if the movie happens to be playing near you.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nothing I’ve seen on the paid front. The studio did partner with GLAAD on a campaign exposing the dangers of conversion camps.
Media and Publicity
The movie debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious Grand Jury Prize while also picking up some very good buzz and word of mouth before going on to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival. It took a while after Sundance but eventually FilmRise picked up distribution rights. The delay was seen as being because despite its awards win it was still going to be a difficult movie to sell to audiences.
There doesn’t appear to have been a substantial press push in recent weeks, which is a little surprising, especially since we’re between major releases at the moment. Danforth was interviewed about seeing her book become a film, but that’s all I’ve seen. Moretz did a few media interviews here and there but nothing big.
Again, I feel like there was a chance for the movie to launch a bigger campaign but it never really got off the ground. It’s not that the campaign was bad, it’s just that the Sundance momentum was largely squandered with the marketing didn’t really kick off until early July, less than a month before scheduled release. That means it’s had to work hard in that time to get any buzz going and I’m afraid it’s going to amount to too little too late.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.