Chuck Holmes built a gay porn empire, but it was his political work that was truly controversial.

about the movie

Chuck Holmes might have been the most influential gay filmmaker in our history, his work viewed by millions of gay men at a time when most representation of gay life was either homophobic or relegated the art house. He dined with Gorbachev and Gore, threw parties at Calvin Klein's and helped fund a nascent gay rights movement. Yet, because of how he made his living, few know his name.

For nearly thirty years, fueled by the twin fires of the sexual revolution and gay liberation, Chuck Holmes's Falcon Studios reigned as the world's largest producer of gay pornography, using film to change the way a generation of gay men saw themselves and helping them come to terms with sexuality.

Chuck arrived in San Francisco in 1971, an Indiana farm boy with a passion for sex and a head for business. At a time when mainstream culture depicted gay life as sick, lonely and criminal, Chuck offered an alternative that was exhuberant, unashamed and available on 8mm reels. While some derided him as a smut peddler, Chuck spread the sexual revolution outside the city centers, kicking open closets across the country.

But radical outness wasn't always easy. As a distributor of adult material, Chuck faced both vice squads and FBI indictments. Later, he would fight for survival, personally and professionally, during the AIDS crisis. The battles transformed him, forcing him to confront his own demons and realize that he could play a role as a leader in the growing gay rights movement.

Chuck's wealth and power opened doors from Studio 54 to the White House, but he was often deeply closeted about his business success, aware that the higher he climbed socially, the greater the potential fall. Eventually, he would serve on the board of directors of both the Human Rights Campaign and the Victory Fund, but it didn' stop the indignities of checks returned, handshakes refused and, even after his death, opposition to his final act — a million dollar bequest to start the San Francisco LGBT Center.

Chuck is the gay culture's Gatsby. With his vast wealth, he was as envied financially and as he was whispered about socially. Seed Money - the story of Chuck's rise and fall and legacy - will change the way we think about sex and cinema and assimilation.

While the resources Chuck provided to gay rights were his proudest act, it was his films that may have been his most significant contribution. Through extensive use of the films themselves, archival material and interviews with Chuck's friends, lovers, activists and fellow adult filmmakers, we take Chuck from San Francisco in the 1970s to Capitol Hill in the 1990s to tell the fascinating story of one of the most influential - if controversial - filmmakers in gay history.