Former East High graduate Joe Acton did time in law school and the Anchorage Police Department before starting his own publishing business, but his latest creative endeavor put him in the director's chair for a film about gay veterans who relive traumatic combat experiences while at a military hospital.
Acton says "Courage Doesn't Ask" is about honor, duty and service, not gays in the military ala "Brokeback Army," though the 12-minute film certainly questions the integrity of the U.S. military's "Don’t Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The film will show all weekend during the Black Maria Film Festival at Out North.
Acton grew up, went to school, met his wife and had a daughter in Anchorage, but now lives in Bellevue, Washington. "Courage" has down well in the Lower 48, he said, "but you always want to do well when you go home."
You can see this hometown boy's directorial debut along with other independent films three times daily through Sunday, April 1. For the complete schedule or to buy tickets ($8 online, $9 at the door), go to www.outnorth.org.
Find out more about "Courage" www.zaydoefilms.com or www.blackmariafilmfestival.org.