BRATTLEBORO — Sponsored by the Kopkind Colony, founded 19 years ago in memory of celebrated political journalist Andrew Kopkind, CineSLAM returns to the Latchis Theatre with a Pride Film Festival of Shorts Saturday, June 30, 4:30 p.m. CineSLAM is Vermont's first LGBTQ film festival and this will be its 12th annual presentation in Brattleboro.
The festival this year, said Program Director John Scagliotti, will focus on LGBT history. "Next June, the 50th anniversary of Stonewall will attract the biggest gay crowds ever assembled in the history of the world to celebrate the accomplishments of LGBT people over the past five decades. And we think the history they made is something to explore in films and books." The Stonewall Riots occurred at a bar in New York City's Greenwich Village in June 1969 and is noted as having begun the modern LGBT rights movement.
Leading off the festival will be local author Allen Young who will read a short except from his new book "left gay & green, a writer's life," as he celebrates his birthday.
Young said, "At 77, I represent an older generation of gay men and lesbians with many stories to tell, and most of them include the concepts of oppression and liberation. We celebrate freedom and pride this year, 49 years after the Stonewall rebellion, and one of the things I'm most proud of is participating in the very first gay pride march June 28, 1970 in New York City. We have had many victories and yet there are those who want to turn the clock back. Young and old, we need to know our history, learn from it, and take action." Young's activism is well-known in the local area.
There will also be a tribute short film to the many historians and archivists saving LGBT history. "We Started With an Old Shoe Box," a Vermont premiere, takes a look at how small and independent groups of gay and lesbian archivists began reconstructing the fragmented story of the LGBT past. And in a short piece from "Before Stonewall" we look at the youth movement of the '60s and see how important the "counterculture" was in building for the Stonewall Uprising.
Local history is also included in this festival. CineSLAM will show a clip from HB Lozito's "Andrew's Inn Oral History Project." This short video is an excerpt interview with Jeremy Youst which is accompanied by photos by Evie Lovett and digitized slides by Jeremy Youst. The project looks at the history of Andrew's Inn, a disco, bar, hotel, and community space catering to the LGBTQ community in Bellows Falls which was in operation from 1973 to 1984. HB Lozito is the executive director of Green Mountain Crossroads, which works to build power of rural LGBTQ people.
And CineSLAM presents more local flavor this year with a selection from "Out Here." This documentary film was an official selection at the Frameline Film Festival and explores the hearts and hard work of queer farmers in the United States. It was made by local Green Mountain Crossroads board member, Jonah Mossberg.
CineSLAM will also be presenting the theatrical premiere of "The Fathers Project" from filmmaker Leo Herrera, which imagines what the world might be like today, had AIDS never happened.
Intermission will feature a Pride cake and sparkling cider. The event is underwritten by a grant from the Chessie Foundation. For more information and to reserve your ticket, visit cineslam.com or email email@example.com.