Netflix topped the list of media award nominations announced Thursday by the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD with 26, including “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for outstanding film; “Disclosure” for outstanding documentary; and “The Umbrella Academy” for outstanding drama series.
HBO Max followed with nine nominations, and Amazon, Hulu and HBO each received four. The Hallmark Channel received its first nomination for “The Christmas House,” the network’s first holiday movie featuring a gay lead character.
GLAAD has honored filmmakers, musicians, journalists and other media creators for three decades for fair, accurate and inclusive representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people on screen. Its latest list includes 198 nominees across 28 categories, including outstanding comedy series, outstanding video game and outstanding TV journalism segment.
“During an unprecedented year of crises and isolation, the nominees for the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards reached LGBTQ people with powerful stories and inspired countless others around the world with bold looks at LGBTQ people and issues,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “As GLAAD continues to lead the fight for LGBTQ acceptance, this year’s nominees remind us that even in times of political and cultural division, diverse LGBTQ representation and visibility can enlighten, entertain, and create lasting change.”
In its “Where We Are on TV” report, released this month, GLAAD found that queer visibility declined by 33 percent on cable, 13 percent on streaming services and a little over 1 percent on network television in the current TV season. The organization attributes the declines to production halts due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chris Rudolph, an editor and a producer for Logo, ViacomCBS’ LGBTQ lifestyle and entertainment channel, said that even with the decline, the queer community appears to have an array of viewing options.
“Despite the reported dip in representation, this expanded list of nominations shows us there’s an impressive range of quality content across genres, networks and platforms for LGBTQ audiences to connect with,” Rudolph told NBC News. “I remember when queer content wasn’t so plentiful and when we didn’t see these shows or characters on mainstream television. Now, even as a queer person in media, I haven’t even seen all of these titles. The decline in visibility is evidence there’s still work to be done, but the diverse list of nominees also shows us how far we’ve come.”
For the first time, GLAAD’s report on TV representation found that LGBTQ people of color outnumbered their white counterparts. And several of this year’s GLAAD award nominees are titles created by and/or star LGBTQ people of color, including Lena Waithe’s BET series “Twenties”; Hulu’s “Love, Victor”; and Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star,” which made history for casting the first out Black trans man, Brian Michael Smith, in a regular series role on network television.
“It’s incredible and powerful to see a Black trans actor in the lead on Fox,” Rudolph said of Smith. “People across America get to see him on their screens, and that visibility is vital for the trans community. I love that they are being recognized for that.”
Award winners will be announced during a virtual ceremony scheduled for April. The full list of nominees can be found on GLAAD’s website.
The SF IndieFest is pleased to screen the following LGBTQ+ themed films as part of the 23rd anniversary of the festival which returns February 4-21, 2021. More information at www.sfindie.com.
DENNIS: THE MAN WHO LEGALIZED CANNABIS Brandon Moore Local Film This is the story of veteran, LGBTQ+ and cannabis activist, Dennis Peron, who fought to get cannabis to HIV/AIDS patients in 1990s San Francisco despite repeated arrests and intimidation from authorities.He’s known as the “father of medical marijuana.” He was an early advocate of its health benefits for HIV/AIDS patients and, with his partner John Entwistle Jr., started the first Cannabis Buyer’s Club to distribute cannabis to AIDS patients and others in medical need.
EACH AND EVERY NIGHT Julie Robert Since childhood, Lea has been seeing ghostly deer looming around her. Now that she is in a relationship with Maud, the visions are getting worse. How can she prove to her girlfriend, and to herself, that this is a real problem to be dealt with?
GNT Sara Hirner, Rosemary Vasquez-Brown Glenn is a woman on an unwholesome mission, but just how far will she go to conquer the clique – and social media at large?
JUMBO Zoé Wittock Jeanne (Noémie Merlant) is a shy, young woman that lives at home with her uninhibited bartender mother and works the graveyard shift as a cleaner at an amusement park. Her mother wants her to meet a man, but Jeanne prefers tinkering in her bedroom with wires, light bulbs, and spare parts, creating miniature versions of theme park rides. During her late-night shifts she begins spending time with the alluring new Tilt-A-Whirl ride that she decides to call Jumbo. Finding herself seduced by “his” red lights, smooth chrome, and oily hydraulics, Jeanne concludes that the thrilling new relationship she wants to pursue is with the park’s newest attraction, Jumbo.
MORGANA Josie Hess, Isabel Peppard US Premiere After 20 years as a dutiful housewife stuck in a loveless, sexless marriage, Morgana has had enough of her dreary life. Desperately lonely and starved of intimacy, she books a male escort for one last hurrah before ending it all. Her final night takes an unexpected turn when her relationship with the escort opens up a new world of personal and sexual freedom. After hearing about a competition for first time erotic filmmakers, Morgana directs and stars in a film about her own story, Duty-Bound. Unexpectedly, her film wins, catapulting her into the international Feminist Porn community. Life merges with art as Morgana uses erotic filmmaking as a tool for creative catharsis, while struggling with demons from her past.
THE PASSING ON Nathan Clarke Three professions ushered Black former slaves from poverty to the American dream: preacher, teacher, and undertaker. Today, renowned embalmer James Bryant puts his faith in a new generation to continue this vanishing legacy. He’s met with resistance from his young intern, Clarence Pierre, who himself is conflicted about his commitment due to the judgment he feels from the Black community as a queer, Christian man.
“Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life. I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community. Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society,” he wrote.“I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive. To all the trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse, and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you, and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better,” Page continued.
Page uses both he/him and they/them pronouns, and describes himself as transgender and non-binary, meaning that his gender identity is neither man nor woman.
Page broke out from his native Canada in 2005 with the revenge thriller “Hard Candy.” Two years later, he starred in Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody’s landmark indie “Juno,” for which Page received an Academy Award nomination among other accolades.
HIs notable roles include Kitty Pryde in the “X-Men” series, Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” “Whip It!” and Sony’s reboot of “Flatliners.” He has produced and starred in films such as “Tallulah” and “Freeheld,” and last year marked his directorial debut examining environmental racism faced by people of color and the First Nations communities of Canada.
Prior to transition, Page was one of the most visible out gay actors in Hollywood. The Tuesday announcement further enriches his legacy, and adds him to a small but growing number of out trans creators and stars in Hollywood. This includes performers (Laverne Cox, Trace Lysette, Brian Michael Smith) and creators (The Wachowski Sisters, “Transparent” creator Joey Soloway).
Last year, Varietybroke the news of the groundbreaking overall content production deal that Netflix signed with Janet Mock, a noted trans storyteller and director of shows like “Pose” and “Hollywood.”
Beginning November 20, SDFF will present the final two films in its 2020 festival, Docs Make House Calls, and its collaboration with “Who Are You?”, a SebArts online exhibition that reflects on identity and community—how we understand our identity within our communities and how our communities are defined. Butterfly is also co-presented with OutWatch, Wine Country’s LGBTQI film festival. This film program ends on Nov. 29 and costs $12.
We encourage donations beyond your ticket cost. Consider matching what you might have spent on that medium popcorn plus Milk Duds or Raisinets. Thank you for joining us online for our SDFF 2020 virtual program Docs Make House Calls. These two documentaries are the end of a year full of surprises and challenges. But thanks to our filmmakers and the SDFF community we made it through. Stay connected through our website for documentary news and events. Behind the scenes SDFF 2021, April 22 – 25, is already taking shape.
“I first met Shilpa when she was a 9-year-old girl hawking clothes and cheap jewelry on a hippie-lovers’ beach in Goa, India. She was cracking jokes, bursting into spontaneous song, and clearly possessed a personality much larger than her tiny frame. I turned the camera on her and learned she’d been working on the beach since she was five. I learned she belonged to a community of modern-day gypsies and was the primary breadwinner for her family. I learned that her dream in life was to go to school… And I was hooked.” -Christopher McDonell, Director of Queen of The Beach QUEEN OF THE BEACHDirector: Christopher McDonell (Cleetche), 2019, Canada, India, UK, TRT: 106 min Language: English Subtitles: YesSocials: @cleetche, @californiapicsincA Canadian filmmaker befriends a 9-year-old girl and returns 3 times over the next 7 years to capture her story and help her achieve her childhood dream of going to school. Synopsis: “Come look my shop! Very cheap, okay!” While on vacation in Goa, India, Canadian filmmaker Chris McDonell turns his camera on Shilpa Poojar, a funny, charming and skilled beyond her years she is a migrant worker from the unique Banjara people. Forging a connection in this chance encounter, Chris helps Shilpa achieve her childhood dream of going to school – a relentless effort that will test them both along the way. From child-labourer to teenage-entrepreneur to one of the “lucky” ones who learned how to read and write (in a culture that favours boys over girls), Shilpa is now an inspiration to many and has been lovingly nicknamed: “Queen of the Beach”.
BUTTERFLYDirectors: Alessandro Cassigoli + Casey Kauffman, 2018, Italy, TRT: 78 min Language: Italian, Subtitles: Yes Socials: Facebook: @butterflyfilm, Twitter: @infoindycaIn partnership withOutWatch, Wine Country’s LGBTQI film festival Filmed over 3 years, Butterfly follows the developing story of a teenaged, Italian boxer, Irma, trying to find her path in life. Synopsis: Butterfly is the delicate story of an Italian teenager who sees her life plan collapse in eight minutes. Raised in one of Naples’ most troubled neighborhoods, Irma focuses on boxing and reaches the Olympics at just 18 years old. Her dramatic defeat there shakes the core of her identity while family tensions, economic strain, and unrealistic dreams complicate her return home. She struggles to reconnect until a new opportunity forces her to decide who she really is. This is a real-life story, but its irresistible protagonist and cinematic storytelling style allow Butterfly to be experienced like a fiction film. Watch Trailer l Film Website l Buy Tickets
It’s still hard to perceive that even in 2020 public nudity still evokes a torrent of negativity. On one hand there are the juvenile reactions from people who left their teen years decades ago, and on the other hand there is still so much overwhelming out-of-place Victorian censorship . If you show more than a naked ankle on Facebook their narrow minded self-appointed expurgators will banish you and your FB page from public view until you recant.
It’s a regrettable situation that was part of reason why Belgian choreographer THIERRY SMITS developed a dance piece with 11 male nude dancers. Smits claims that this work is depicting a world “overrun by right-wing and neoliberal” ideals, conflating the unabashed nudity with leftism.
So Bare is a film by ALEKSANDR VINOGRADOV that documents the 11th month journey of Smits creating ANIMA ARDENS from the very start to the premiere performance.
The cameras are there for the very intensive couple of days of auditions. Interestingly one of the dancers questions the fact that they are being filmed naked, and he is concerned what will happen with these images especially if he is not cast. It’s a sad indictment of today’s culture where nude images are so often crudely exploited without permission.
Smits ‘ballet” is strictly about male nudity which is unusual in itself and some of the pieces in it are very phallic. Others however switch from the masculine and in one of the most profoundly moving segments, he has the men giving their own concepts of a birthing experience.
The nudity is not intended to be either erotic or provocative but it does show the sheer beauty of the male form. It actually turns out that most of this diverse group men that make up the cast are gay. This may (or may not) have added a level of both personal freedom and more sensitivity on how they perceived their own nudity
Kudos not just to the dancers and their sheer vitality but also to Vinogradov’s camera capturing so many close-ups that he wove into his beautifully edited film
If there is a novelty at seeing 11 naked men on the screen at the start of the film, that completely dissipates by the end. It’s a celebration of masculinity that was a joy to watchhttps://player.vimeo.com/video/405184049
Today, just in time for Halloween, The True Adventures of Wolfboypremieres in select theaters and anywhere you can rent or buy movies. This isn’t a horror movie though – it’s a beautiful coming-of-age film written by Olivia Dufault, a transgender woman, about the fears and emotions trans people may experience as they approach transition.
Paul (Jaeden Martell) is the wolfboy of the title (he has hair all over his face) and he is struggling with his fear that his condition means the world will only ever see him as a freak. As Paul stumbles toward self-acceptance, he meets Aristiana (Sophie Giannamore) who has already made that journey herself as a young trans girl. As she accompanies Paul on their adventures, Aristiana embodies the self-knowledge that many trans people possess, and she quietly shows Paul what it looks like to accept yourself as you are. Giannamore, a young trans actress, stars alongside Martell, John Turturro, Chloë Sevigny, Eve Hewson, and Chris Messina.
Wolfboy has been on GLAAD’s radar since 2017 when the casting director reached out to us for help finding a trans teen to play Aristiana. When Wolfboy premiered at NewFest last year, we published an interview with Sophie Giannamore and you can read that here.
There are very few feature films with transgender characters that are written by trans people, and Wolfboy is a shining example of why trans stories are more rich, compelling, and profound when trans people tell them. Wolfboy is a transition narrative, but since it’s written by a trans woman, it’s told from the inside-out, not the outside-in. We’re so excited to talk to Olivia Dufault about her thought process behind the creation of this beautiful film.
What inspired you to write The True Adventures of Wolfboy?
It was my final semester of college, and I’d waited until the last moment to fulfill my science course requirement. I ended up begrudgingly enrolled in a genetics class, wherein I was exposed to a presentation on unusual conditions passed down hereditarily. One of these slides displayed folks living with hypertrichosis, which results in thick hair that grows on the entirety of one’s face and body. It’s where many believe the “wolfman” myth originated from.
Immediately I was struck by this intersection between the mythological and the mundane, the fantastical and the very real.
But to be brutally honest, my interest in this topic was much more personal. I’d always struggled with my own relationship to my, at the time, unruly facial hair. This potential story felt like a poignant allegory for my issues, though one which I was uncertain how much I’d fully allow myself to explore.
GLAAD and other trans advocates have repeatedly urged cisgender creators to stop writing transition narratives. For one thing, like LGB coming out stories, it’s been done repeatedly and can be reductive if that’s the only story told about trans people. More importantly, the “before during and after transition” stories written by cis people are just not well done or authentic. But for me, Wolfboy is what a transition narrative looks like when a trans person writes it. Were you conscious of trying to write a different type of transition narrative?
I didn’t necessarily set out to write a transition narrative, but as my life and this script proceeded forward in parallel, I soon realized what this story wanted and needed to be.
I began writing Wolfboy about seven years ago, when I was twenty-six. At that time, I was grappling with gender dysphoria, before ultimately reaching the conclusion that I needed to transition in order to essentially survive. It was a thrilling and terrifying time; I was giddy and raw, confronting decades of internalized self-loathing and fear of societal acceptance. I desperately needed to process these feelings, and overcome the insecurities that had festered for so long in my brain. In many ways, writing Wolfboy was essentially the act of me mustering up the courage to transition.
Even at that stage of my life, however, I’d grown tired of the typical “transition narrative” tropes. I didn’t want to underplay the challenges of self-acceptance, but I also didn’t want to see a young trans person struggle endlessly onscreen. There’s enough trans trauma in this world.
As such, employing an allegory (as is so often done in fairytales!) felt like the perfect opportunity to discuss these complicated topics in a way that was unique, honest, and compassionate.
I really appreciate the fact that Aristiana isn’t subjected to the “trans trauma” that we’ve seen in other films.
Other writers might have chosen to leave the transgender story allegorical, but you chose to create Aristiana, a young trans girl who befriends Paul. For me, Paul and Aristiana both represent trans people at different stages of transition: one just starting out and full of fear, and the other comfortable with herself and her place in the world. Is that just me? Or did you choose to write Paul and Aristiana that way?
It’s not just you! This was absolutely intentional on my part. Paul and Aristiana very much represented my internal dialogue with myself, as I was processing my anxieties and overcoming my fears associated with transitioning. Paul was where I was, Aristiana was where I wanted to be.
I love allegories, but one of the problems associated with them is that they can often result in the erasure of a marginalized group of people that they’re intended to represent. As such, it was very important to me from the gestation of this project to depict a vibrant young trans person who was resilient, self-assured, and had already found a community of folks who embraced her.
ted to create a character that I could have watched at age thirteen and both resonated with and been inspired by.
Not to spoil anything about the story, but there is a scene where Paul gets to talk to an elder who also has hair all over his face and body, and Paul asks him “How hard is my life going to be?” I feel like young queer people often long to ask that question of queer elders, yet we rarely have them in our own families. That scene nearly brought me to tears. Did you have any trans elders in your life that you could talk to, or is this scene a moment you wish you could have had?
Sadly, this scene was absolute wish fulfillment on my part. At that time in my life, I would have very much appreciated a trans mentor figure to provide me with practical knowledge and emotional reassurance. I didn’t have that person, so I did the next best thing, and wrote one (of a sort) into existence!
What was it like to work with Sophie Giannamore as she brought Aristiana to life? Are you still in contact with her?
Sophie’s a brilliant actor and an even more brilliant human being. Getting to collaborate with her was one of the highlights of this whole experience. The first time I saw her and Jaeden Martell rehearse a scene together, I got chills. It’s impossible to imagine the character being portrayed by anyone else.
I’m fortunate enough to still remain in contact with Sophie and her family. I just had a socially distanced dinner with them a month ago! We spent the majority of the time gleefully bad-mouthing the Republican party.
I know you’ve written for AMC’s Preacher and FX’s Legion, is there anything else coming up on the horizon for you that we should keep an eye out for?
I have a few exciting projects currently in development, but unfortunately none that I can speak of officially. But stay tuned! I have an indefatigable determination to force the stories I want to see out into this world.
Check out the trailer below for The True Adventures of Wolfboy which is now available in select theaters and anywhere you can rent or buy movies.
Sonoma Film Institute Announces Virtual Screenings for Fall
Sonoma Film InstituteAnnounces Virtual Screenings for Fall 2020 The link for watching the films will be posted on the SFI website by Friday at noon and will be good for 72 hours https://sfi.sonoma.edu
A White, White Day
Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 through Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 A WHITE, WHITE DAY Trailer | TIFF 2019In a remote Icelandic town, an off-duty police chief (a chilling Ingvar Sigurdsson, who received Cannes’ Critics’ Week award for Best Actor for his performance) begins to suspect a local man of having had an affair with his late wife, who died in a tragic accident two years earlier. Gradually his obsession for finding out the truth takes over his life and inevitably begins to endanger himself and his loved ones. Combining classic thriller tropes with a distinctly Nordic arthouse sensibility, the second feature from Hlynur Palmason “engages in storytelling that’s both powerful and fresh throughout, marking him as a talent to watch.” – The Hollywood Reporter (in Icelandic with English subtitles)Free for SSU Students $12 for 72-hour rental to the General PublicReleased: 2019Run time: 109 min.
Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 through Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020 Sunless Shadows (official trailer) Mehrdad Oskouei’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed Starless Dreams (2016), Sunless Shadows takes another look at the lives of incarcerated teenage girls. As they serve time in a Tehran juvenile correction facility for the murder of their abusive fathers, husbands, and brothers-in-law-some of them abetted by their mothers, now on death row-a group of Iranian teenage girls share intimate, harrowing stories of the past and their adolescent dreams of the future. “It says everything that many of these long-mistreated young women finally find liberty in incarceration,” Guy Lodge writes in Variety . “The great grace of Oskouei’s subtly devastating film is that he doesn’t take it upon himself to say so.” ( in Farsi with English subtitles)Free for SSU Students $12 for 72-hour rental to the General Public Released: 2019Run time: 74 min.
SONOMA COUNTY VIRTUAL JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL October 13 – November 16, 2020
October 13 – November 16, 2020
The Jewish Community Center Sonoma County is proud to present the 25th Anniversary of the Jewish Film Festival, VIRTUALLY. Ten of the newest and best international films will be available online on a dedicated, user- friendly, film platform. Highlights include the newest release, SUBLET, a moving Israeli LGBTQ drama, and THEY AIN’T READY FOR ME, a documentary about an African American rabbinical student and mother singlehandedly fighting against violence on Chicago’s South Side. The films will be available on-demand throughout the weeks. Embracing the new medium, four live filmmaker talks will allow the community to interact with the creative minds behind the works. There will an audience award for best feature and best short film. Season passes and individual tickets are now on sale.
We’re thrilled to introduce the gracious hosts of our virtual Gala, Peaches Christ and Marga Gomez.Join them on October 16 for Reunion: Making History, an evening of powerful performances, inspiring presentations and a heartfelt celebration of LGBTQ History Makers.
Make sure to get your tickets now for Reunion: Making History, for access to the live broadcast on October 16, as well as sneak peeks of early content along the way!
Peaches Christ is a filmmaker and cult leader living in San Francisco. Her infamous movie events are self-produced at the Castro Theatre and regularly draw over 1,000 attendees to each new production before they tour. Events have featured special guest stars John Waters, Cloris Leachman, Bruce Campbell, Barry Bostwick, Pam Grier and others. Peaches is the alter-ego of Joshua Grannell, the writer and director of the feature film All About Evil. This award-winning dark comedy gore film stars Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Dekker, Cassandra Peterson, Mink Stole and Peaches Christ herself. Peaches Christ has been featured in the films Milk, I Am Divine, Diary of a Teenage Girl, Mansfield 66/67, Scream Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street, You Don’t Nomi and more. Her website is peacheschrist.com.
Marga Gomez is a GLAAD Award winner and one of the first out lesbians in stand-up comedy. Robin Williams called her “Amazing…a lesbian Lenny Bruce.” Armistead Maupin called her “astonishing.” Gomez’s comedy has been featured on HBO, LOGO, Showtime, Comedy Central and PBS. She has been a guest on leading comedy podcasts, including Marc Maron’s WTF and Kevin Allison’s Risk. Her comic style has been described as “deliciously cheeky and incendiary” by the New York Times and “salaciously surreal” by the San Francisco Chronicle. She is also the author/performer of 13 solo plays which have been presented off-Broadway, nationally and internationally. Gomez can be seen in season two of the Netflix series Sense8. Her website is margagomez.com.
Interested in becoming a Sponsor or a Virtual Table Captain? Click on the buttons below to learn more about how you can get involved and help us raise funds to continue preserving and sharing our irreplaceable history.
Beginning September 25, SDFF’s Docs Make House Calls streaming festival will be streaming two films in which the relationship between performance and identity is focalized. For the performers captured on-screen in Gay Chorus Deep South (David Charles Rodrigues) and Siudy Entre Mundos: 50 Performances of the American Dream (Pablo Croce, 2019), stage performances are a means of expression overtly linked to perceptions and experiences of identity. These films not only examine this paradoxically intimate relationship, they also examine how reception figures into such deeply personal expressions, and reveal as much about the identity of culture in general as they do about the performers. This film program begins streaming Sept. 25 and ends on Oct.4 and costs $12. DMHC passes are $50, include this program, and knock the price per program down to $10. Plus, you’ll get a very special piece of SDFF history as a free gift!
We encourage donations beyond your ticket cost. Consider matching what you might have spent on that medium popcorn plus Milk Duds or Raisinets. Online delivery of films is not free for us.
More extraordinary feature length and short films from SDFF 2020 are coming directly to you online through Docs Make House Calls. Check in to sebastopolfilm.org to keep up with special interest stories, news and the opportunity to view more movies that matter.
Gay Chorus Deep South
Director: David Charles Rodrigues, 2019, United States, TRT: 98 min
In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South.
Led by Gay Chorus Conductor Dr. Tim Seelig and joined by The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir; the tour brings a message of music, love and acceptance to communities and individuals confronting intolerance. Over 300 singers travelled from Mississippi to Tennessee through the Carolinas and over the bridge in Selma. They performed in churches, community centers and concert halls in hopes of uniting us in a time of difference. The journey also challenges Tim and other Chorus members who fled the South to confront their own fears, pain and prejudices on a journey towards reconciliation. The conversations and connections that emerge offer a glimpse of a less divided America, where the things that divide us—faith, politics, sexual identity—are set aside by the soaring power of music, humanity and a little drag.
Siudy Entre Mundos: 50 performances of the American Dream
Director: Pablo Croce, 2019,Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, TRT: 60 min
Language: English, Spanish, Subtitles: Yes
“This film is a commentary and reflection over perseverance… a road map on how to overcome obstacles and achieve ones goals. Me, as a documentarian, [I] had the privilege to be involved and had so much access to capture the necessary scenes to tell a story that otherwise would be only in the memories of those involved therefore more than exhibiting a film we share an experience.”
—Pablo Croce, Director
An exquisite film testimony to dance, music and heritage now at risk in a failed state.
Siudy Entre Mundos (Between Worlds) – 50 performances of the American Dream, tells the story of the now Miami-based Siudy Flamenco Dance Theater (SFDT) and titular flamenco prodigy, Siudy, as they pursue their own version of the American Dream. The heritage and roots of the performance group are in Venezuela and Spain, but its members are transplanted artists, refugees and immigrants who see themselves accepted in their adopted American homeland and society.
Celebrated as artists in South America and Europe, the dance troupe, and Siudy, seem to have realized their version of the American Dream when their planned 10-week run of the original New York stage production entitled, “Between Worlds” (Entre Mundos in Spanish), achieves acceptable critical and box office success, even selling out in the last weeks of its run. But a scathing review of the show from a New York Times arts critic decimates the company’s self-esteem, leaving its members demoralized and even encouraged to close the show, quit and give up. Instead, the devastated and bewildered troupe work through this heartbreaking low-point, resulting in sold-out houses and winning over critics. This new documentary is a gritty chronicle, bordering on coming-of-age redemptive tale for the artists, but also a universal reflection of what becomes of the human spirit when our dreams seem to die, and then we’re forced to face down our inner dragons of fear and inadequacy, and whatever the challenge, always pick up and start over.