Joel Edgerton is marking his second directorial outing with Boy Erased, which follows a son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is forced into attending a gay conversion therapy program. Based on the 2016 memoir Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley, the film, starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, as well as Edgerton, screened at Toronto Film Festival before its November 2 theatrical release via Focus Features.

During his stop at Deadline’s TIFF studio, Edgerton talked about wanting to “share the movie with as many people as possible” who still believe in this conversion practice.

“The people who really need to see it are the people who hold opinions that can really be shifted, said Edgerton. “I really do invite them to do that because the one thing the movie doesn’t do is demonize ideology. It doesn’t demonize religion. It certainly doesn’t through God under a bus,” he continued

“It offers an empathic point of view of the people running intuitions like that. I don’t think people wake up in the morning and go ‘right I’m going to mess up some more kids.'”

Conley was also present during the sit-down and spoke on why Edgerton was the right director to tell his story.

“From his work in Loving where the was really in favor of marriage equality, I already knew he was an ally. It just seemed like this man was obsessed with telling this story,” said Conley. “At every point during the drafting of the scrip,t Joel would share the version with me. It felt like a good fit.”

Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne. Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii LoveLove Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.