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Production   /  Derek Ho

A Thousand Words Unspoken

Can brotherly love overcome acts of betrayal and conflict with sexuality and religion?


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Derek Ho

  • PRODUCER Franco Di Chiera, Derek Ho



A Thousand Words Unspoken is a personal story about brotherly love and betrayal.

It unpacks the reunion of two brothers Derek & Jeremiah, who are seven years in age apart, took radically different paths in coming to terms with their sexual identities as gay men.

Filmmaker Derek travels back to Singapore to investigate how the adoption of Christianity had changed Jeremiah and his sexuality.

At the same time Derek reveals to Jeremiah a secret that has been deeply buried for the last thirty years.

It was him who outed Jeremiah all those years ago.

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Gay conversion therapy claims to be able to change a person's sexuality or gender identity and has a long track record of being harmful. It can include physical torture, exorcism, sexual abuse to using talk therapy connecting homosexuality to familial dysfunction.

Research shows this 'treatment' can worsen feelings of self-hatred and anxiety as it encourages people to fight or hate a sexual orientation that can't be changed. This often leads to serious mental health issues. LGBTQIA+ youth are 5x more likely to commit suicide in comparison to the general population.

A Thousand Words Unspoken raises awareness about the impact of finding one’s sexuality in the context of religion and culture. Can sexuality and religion co-exist in modern society? How will the proposed “Religious Discrimination Bill” impact existing laws aimed to protect the LGBTQIA+ community?

How can a gay Asian person of faith from a conservative Chinese background find strength and authenticity to be themselves?


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

"We hope the story will enlighten the general public, the religious and LGBTQIA+ communities on the need for further discussion, understanding and acceptance of one another." Director Derek Ho
A Thousand Words Unspoken will stimulate advocacy and action for law reform resulting in a total ban of conversion therapy programs.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

The main outcome is for conversion therapy to be banned in Australia. This documentary is meant to encourage awareness and discussion leading to an inquiry then a total ban of conversion therapy.
We hope this documentary will lead to greater visibility and awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community especially those from diverse cultural background.
I am telling this very personal story for healing and closure . I also hope those who had doubted their value and existence can find strength from my story.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

The documentary will achieve its outcomes via targeted social media campaigns, partnerships with LGBTIQA+ and mental health community groups to screen and discuss the film.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We will utilise exisiting and build new relationships with LGBTQIA+ and mental health organisations in Australia and internationally, such as Thorne Harbour Health, ACON, WAAC and Pink Dot (Singapore).

We aim to also develop relationship with Asian community centres to raise awareness and discussion.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

• To acknowledge, accept and support their loved ones within the LGBTQIA+ community, especially those who had gone through conversion therapy.
• LGBTQIA+ people who are struggling with their sexuality, identity and self worth to reflect and seek help to work on more self care and acceptance.
• Participate in discussions and campaigns; write to their local MPs; and sign online petitions to ban conversion therapy.
• Donate to LGBTQIA+ support groups.
• Share the film with family and friends.
• Use the film as a tool for education.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

• Nationwide broadcast.
• International festival screenings and accolades.
• Ambassadors speaking about their experiences on the damage caused by conversion therapy.
• LGBTQIA+ community and religious organisations can connect and address issues on acceptance.
• Religious organisations to officially acknowledge the harmfulness of conversion therapy and ban the practice.
• State and federal government to outlaw conversion therapy.
• More funding and support for mental health programs for LGBTQIA+ community.