BRATTLEBORO - Screenings will be held at Brattleboro's Hooker Dunham Theater, 7:30 p.m, on Saturday June 21.
The Gay Film Festival in southern Vermont, CineSLAM, will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with its 9th annual screening of LGBT shorts from around the globe. The Stonewall Riots occurred in late June in 1969 and many see it as the opening marker for the modern day LGBT rights movement. The screenings of these diverse short films takes place at the Hooker-Dunham Theater, 139 Main Street, Brattleboro, with a Pride Dance party following at the Brattleboro American Legion Hall, 32 Linden Street, Brattleboro. The festival is sponsored by the Kopkind Colony.
CineSLAM is programmed by Guilford resident and Emmy-Award winning filmmaker, John Scagliotti, who created the first LGBT television show, In the Life, on PBS, which recently ended its 21st season on public television stations.
"One of the exciting things about the Stonewall Riots from the inception was its diversity. Leading those riots were drag queens and people of color", said Scagliotti in announcing CineSLAM's selection of films. "What we have tried to do with CineSLAM is continue that diversity which the LGBT community has become known for as the name of its movement, LGBT, implies. Our films include the L and the G and the B and the T. The choices we make are for a mixed crowd, be they gay, heterosexual, women or men and everyone is welcome over the age of eighteen."
Leading off this year's film screenings is a Swedish film entitled, "A Last Farewell" by director Casper Andreas. In the film, an aging author is haunted by visions of his late husband and in conflict with his pregnant daughter. He must find a way to accept the loss that has devastated his life, and make peace with the family he feels has betrayed him. Last week the film won "Best International Film" at FilmOut San Diego.
CineSLAM's diversity extends beyond storylines and characters to include actual styles of filmmaking. In her animated film "Beyond the Mirror's Gaze" Montreal filmmaker, Iris Moore explores the different physical and psychological roles her characters can play when being intimate with one another by switching body parts and taking on different gender roles.
Gender roles are obviously on Ewan Duarte's mind as is his animated, experimental, personal documentary about the his first year on testosterone. Told from an impressionistic and poetic perspective, the film allows the audience to get a better insight about being transgender. Duarte's film, "Change Over Time," was recently screened at the Pride of the Ocean film festival.
The use of language and giving new meaning to words has also been a big part of change for the LGBT community. In the film "UB2," Dan Goldes explores listings on gay dating sites which increasingly specify that the poster be "clean" and/or "disease-free" and requests that potential matches, "ub2". In the film, Goldes asks, "How does the choice of these words impact the HIV+ men who read them? What image does it give of our community? Do words matter?"
And finishing off the festival screening we will see local resident, Allen Young, a pioneer to the gay movement (author of Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation) discuss gay communes in the film "Lavender Hill." The film, directed and edited by Austin Bunn and Bob Hazen, chronicles a motley group of young writers, artists, political activists, and recent college graduates who purchased over 80 acres of land in 1973 outside West Danby, New York to build, with their own hands, a two story home that became Lavender Hill, one of the few gay and lesbian communes in the "Back to the Land" movement. After the screening, CineSLAM will invite Allen Young up to discuss some of his experiences living in a gay commune back in the 70's.
This year, many of the CineSLAM filmmakers will have the opportunity to win the Chessie Award. The winner of the Best Short, named after the Chessie Foundation, which is financially supporting the festival, will receive a cash prize of $250.
There is limited seating at the Hooker Dunham Theater, so you are advised to make reservations. If you are interested in reserving your seat, please go the web site (www.cineslam.com) or contact John Scagliotti at firstname.lastname@example.org . There is a request for a $10 donation but CineSLAM would like to note that any donation will be accepted.
The Kopkind Colony, a nonprofit project based in Guilford, which brings together political journalists and activists, was launched sixteen years ago as a living memorial to the late Guilford resident and journalist Andrew Kopkind. The Kopkind Colony organizes seminars for its resident participants.