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HBO hosts New York premiere of its documentary 'The Case Against 8'

Director/ producer Ben Cotner and director/ producer Ryan White attend 'The Case Against 8' screening at Time Warner Screening Room on May 28, 2014 in New York City.
Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Yesterday on May 28, 2014, was on the scene at the New York premiere of HBO's latest documentary "The Case Against 8" at the Time Warner Center Screening Room. Five years in the making, the film takes a riveting inside look at the groundbreaking Supreme Court case that overturned Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

With exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of both the powerhouse legal team of David Boies and Ted Olson and the four plaintiffs in the suit, the documentary is a powerful emotional account of the journey that took the fight for marriage equality all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Read our exclusive red carpet interviews below:

Director Ryan White

Q: What was the intension going in to keep this story interesting on camera?

A: We filmed 600 hours of footage over the course of five years, as legal nerds and people who became really entrenched in the lives of the plaintiffs, Kris and Sandy and Paul and Jeff, we thought most of those minutes were really interesting in the end. It was a really big challenge in the editing room to distill a massive five year legal drama into an hour and fifty minutes that makes sense to a non-legal audience at the same time keeping the legal audience happy as well. Going in and out of the personal lives of the plaintiffs while keeping the legal story compelling was the goal.

Q: Now that Prop 8 is out, what are your hopes for the film?

A: The end of the film is very bitter-sweet, we followed Kris and Sandy, Jeff and Paul for five years, and their families as well. So it’s incredibly celebratory to see them reach their fairytale ending after 5 years of trials and tribulations. But the film ends bittersweet with gay marriage still being illegal in 33 states. We hope the film can be an inspiration to the people in those states to start a conversation. We want people to get to know the Plaintiffs in our film and maybe rethink their stance on the issue.

Plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Krier

Q: Can you explain the feeling of being a part of this gripping time of modern history.

A: It feels really important to be a part of group of people that could accomplish something like what we did. The lawyers and the team behind them were all extraordinary and trusting. We weren’t just talking to a judge, we were talking to all of America about why marriage equality matters so that if we did lose, we could maybe open the eyes of other people in America.

Q: After five years, besides your personal gain of being able to marry the one you love, what was your bigger picture of it all?

A: We learned to be disciplined and clear about what we were really in it for which was to repeal Proposition 8. We’ve been able to bring our personal story into the bigger story about how harmful a law is to exclude a group of people based on a characteristic that cannot be changed. We wanted to be a part of that history where things would be corrected.

The film will be in select theaters Friday, June 6 and premieres Monday, June 23 on HBO.

Sade Graham contributed reporting.

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