Colby's dad knows his son is gay, but he doesn't like talking about it. He respects it, but ignores everything about that aspect of his son's life–he doesn't even know about Colby's long-term boyfriend, Rusty.
Increasingly committed to Rusty, Colby hatches a plan to trick his father into camping with Rusty under the pretense that Rusty is Colby's straight friend and future business partner. Colby is convinced that, given the chance, his father and his boyfriend will get along great...
Winning Dad celebrates the idea that family love strengthens romantic love, and that romantic love–even gay love–strengthens family love too.
In 2010, writer-director Arthur Allen joined the US Merchant Marine to write Winning Dad. Returning from sea in 2012, he was recruited to campaign for Marriage Equality in Washington State. During this time he cast the film and began putting together his creative team.
In 2013 the Winning Dad creative team fundraised $31,000 on Kickstarter from 532 supporters of the film. The campaign closed on Father's Day, and in July 2013 principal photography was shot in Seattle and the North Cascades of Washington State. The crew shot 34 locations in 21 days.
After a year of editing, the rough cut of the film was selected for the 2014 USinProgress program with the Champs-Élysées Film Festival in Paris. Arthur was flown to Paris to present the film to 40 film professionals, who each spent 15 minutes with him giving their critiques and observations. With these insights, Arthur returned to Seattle to recut the film and finish sound and color post production.
Winning Dad premiered at the Boston LGBT Film Festival in April 2015 as the Harvard Square opening night film. It continues to screen at festivals around the world and is available on Vimeo VOD.