BRATTLEBORO — Sponsored by the Kopkind Colony, founded 18 years ago in memory of celebrated political journalist Andrew Kopkind, CineSLAM returns to the Latchis Theatre in downtown Brattleboro with a Pride Film Festival of Shorts on Friday at 6:30pm. CineSLAM is Vermont's first LGBTQ film festival, celebrating 11 years in 2016.
The intention of CineSLAM is to offer a glimpse into the diversity of life, struggles and triumphs of LGBTQ people and their allies in short narrative, documentary and art video formats. It is programmed by John Scagliotti, creator of the first LGBT series on PBS, In the Life, producer of Before Stonewall and After Stonewall, programmer of the Vermont Bear Film Festival Administrator, Kopkind Colony.
Festival Director John Scagliotti has chosen films to "reflect the amazing diversity of the LGBTQ community. In these sad times after Orlando, one needs to reflect on how much love there is in our community and I think this year's films frame those sentiments."
Leading the festival will be "Float," celebrating gender diversity with Sam Berliner's experimental short film shot completely underwater of trans and genderqueer folks swimming nude to the music by trans musician Rae Spoon. It has been called "stunningly celebratory" (Frameline) and "exuberant."
"A Legacy Of Devotion" by filmmaker Samantha Stark tells the story of a shy widower named Jim Obergefell, who was thrust into the media spotlight as the lead plaintiff in the first legalized same-sex Supreme Court ruling. But his win was bittersweet – he had been fighting to list his name as 'surviving spouse' on his husband's death certificate. His love story behind one of the biggest Supreme Court cases in history is told with great intimacy from the perspectives of Mr. Obergefell, his deceased husband's aunt, their funeral director and the local civil rights lawyer who asked to represent them.
Other shorts include "From Baghdad To The Bay" which looks into the life of a gay Iraqi refugee, Ghazawan Alsharif who now lives in San Francisco, and the full-length documentary "Reel In The Closet" by Stu Maddux, being screened across the country at other festivals, which connects the LGBTQ community of the past with the present through footage of rare home movies.