Maroon 5’s keyboardist Jesse Carmichael debuted an LGBTQ-themed short film on Tuesday.
Thrive, a short created by Carmichael’s film collective, 2 Minute Movies, was published to YouTube on March 12. He told OutSmart that the film was made to shed light on the issues that queer folks face.
“I think in our current climate, we need as much dialogue about unity and love as possible, and we need reminders that when one group of people inflicts violence on another group simply because they are different, then society suffers as a whole.”
Carmichael, an LGBTQ ally, partnered with bisexual movie makers Shivin Grover and his brother Sunny, who is questioning, to showcase what it is like to be a queer person in 2019.
“There’s something unnerving about this political climate,” Sunny says. “Each day [brings] a new fear that is instilled into society. There’s one side where equality has prevailed, and another where bigotry is still promoted.”
Thrive is a two-minute experimental film that displays the ups and downs in the lives of six LGBTQ characters (portrayed by openly queer actors Kai Wes, Alex Ryan, Jacob Chabon, Jewel Sales, Sage N. Chavis, and Madysin Maniff). Throughout the movie, characters face intolerance and violence as well as acceptance and support.
“The idea was to juxtapose a safe space filled with love, acceptance, and positivity with the constant sacrifice, pain, and oppression that we fight,” Shivin says.
Following each character’s lows and highs, they all celebrate a moment of triumph together by chanting and holding Pride flags and posters that say “Equality.” Martin Luther King Jr.’s inspiring monologue about American freedom and opportunity can be heard in the background.
“Thrive is all about embracing your past and making it your future,” Sunny says. “Our pain in the past is what makes us appreciate our life in the future. Through our ups and downs, the community has thrived—and always will.”
Carmichael launched 2 Minute Movies last April as a side project from Maroon 5 to create film shorts in collaboration with other filmmakers. Thrive is Carmichael’s first LGBTQ-focused film.
For more information about 2 Minute Movies, visit @2minutemovies on Instagram.
Watch Thrive below.