The Celluloid Closet is the film version of author Vito Russo's landmark book by the same name. Filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, who have previously won an Academy Award for Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt, bring this book to life. The Celluloid Closet explodes sexual myths and explores how our attitudes about homosexuality and sex roles have evolved through the century. With clips from over 100 Hollywood movies and interviews with many of the filmmakers and actors who created them (including Tom Hanks, Shirley MacLaine, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Curtis, and Gore Vidal), The Celluloid Closet is an epic story -- by turns surprising, hilarious, and disturbing.
In the spring of 1988, video-maker/activist Gregg Bordowitz tested HIV-antibody positive. He then quit drinking and taking drugs and came out to his parents as a gay man. This imaginative autobiographical documentary began as an inquiry into these events and the cultural climate surrounding them. While writing the film, a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and his grandparents were killed in a car accident. The cumulative impact of these events challenged his sense of identity, the way he understood his own diagnosis, and the relationships between illness and history.
This self-described meditation on the life of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes addresses the possible, possibly imagined, life of the author as a gay man. Both documentary and fantasy, it blends archival footage with black and white paeans to a life that might have been--a Harlem nightclub from the 1920s, a London nightspot from the late eighties, various dream sequences--foregrounding gay sexual desire, constructed of a mélange of materials. Looking for Langston is not a mainstream film, but a short film, an avant-garde film, a gay film, and a black British film. Indeed, the prospect of viewing the film can be an off-putting one, considering its competing narrative lines as documentary, reclamation of an aspect of black history, rumination on the AIDS crisis, or pure fantasy.
Filmed at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley this film shows the debut presentation of the Men's Story Project - a new performance/dialogue project exploring social ideas about masculinity for the purpose of health and justice. Performance highlights a diverse group of 16 Bay Area artists, activists, and first-time presenters, ages 22-60, sharing stories about their own lives through slam poetry, monologues, music and dance. The stories address platonic love between men; struggles with Islam, Christianity, homophobia and HIV/AIDS; disability and sexuality; testicular cancer and personal wholeness; images of African American masculinity; a journey from perpetrating domestic violence to becoming an anti-violence activist; men's public restroom rituals; an Oakland activist's refusal to continue intergenerational patterns of violence; costs of homophobia for people of all sexual orientations; spirituality and transformation in San Quentin; transgender identity and gender fluidity; relationships with fathers and other family members; gratitude to lifelong mentors; and other subjects. Includes public performance rights.
"Gen X filmmaker Phoebe Hart always knew she was different growing up -- but she didn't know why. This award-winning documentary traces Phoebe's voyage of self-discovery across Australia as an intersex person, a group of conditions formely termed hermaphroditism. Learning only in her teens that she was born with 46XY (male) chromosomes, Hart now seeks to understand her own story and the stories of other affected by this complex and often shameful syndrome. Questioning rigidly defined constructs of gender, sexuality, and normality, often with lively humor, Orchids is an engaging portrait of survival, courage and reconciliation."
The "unblinking behind-the-scenes story of the fashion-obsessed New Yorkers who created 'voguing' and drag balls, and turned these raucous celebrations into a powerful expression of fierce personal pride."
Members of the transgender community face many barriers when attempting to access health care. Medical providers are not required to learn about transgender people during their schooling, so are often ill prepared to meet the medical needs of this socially and economically vulnerable population. Lack of exposure to transgender people can lead to discomfort when a provider encounters a transgender individual in healthcare settings, often resulting in a failure to successfully and sensitively meet the healthcare needs of the transgender patient. This short training video designed to give healthcare providers the opportunity to understand the needs of the transgender community. The film shows a diversity of transgender people speaking about their experiences accessing medical care with a focus on concrete advice and best practices toward improving the skills of health care providers.