Serving Oakland’s Diverse and Vibrant LGBTQ+ Community
*All screenings are free to the public and presented for educational purposes.
Seating is limited.
Start time: 6pm
Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in this HBO Films presentation, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees from a screenplay by Dee Rees and Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois. With a story by Dee Rees and Horton Foote, the film focuses on Smith’s transformation from a struggling young singer into “The Empress of the Blues,” who became one of the most successful recording artists of the 1920s and is an enduring icon today. The film won 4 emmys and was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Start time: 2pm
*Portuguese with English subtitles
A story inspired by the life of one of the most remarkable figures in Brazilian popular culture, João Francisco dos Santos (1900-1976). In turn, bandit, transvestite, street fighter, brothel cook, convict and father to seven adopted children, dos Santos--better known as "Madame Satã"--was also a notorious gay performer who pushed social boundaries in a volatile time. The story begins in 1932, in Rio de Janeiro's bohemian Lapa district, when João Francisco is about to achieve his dream: becoming a stage star. In the sordid yet lively world of Lapa--populated by pimps, prostitutes and other denizens of Rio's underworld--João battles the streets and presides over a surrogate family that includes the charming prostitute Laurita, and her baby daughter whom everyone dotes on; the flamboyant hustler Taboo; João's teenage lover, Renatinho; and Amador, the owner of the Blue Danube club which is their second home. It is at the Blue Danube that street tough João begins to sing, and the mythic drag artiste Madam Satã is born.
Start time: 5pm
On November 20, 2013, Bayard Rustin was posthumously awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Who was this man? He was there at most of the important events of the Civil Rights Movement - but always in the background. BROTHER OUTSIDER asks "Why?" It presents a vivid drama, intermingling the personal and the political, about one of the most enigmatic figures in 20th-century American history.
One of the first "freedom riders," an adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Philip Randolph, organizer of the march on Washington, intelligent, gregarious and charismatic, Bayard Rustin was denied his place in the limelight for one reason - he was gay. This film contributes a fascinating new chapter to our understanding of both progressive movements and gay life in 20th-century America.
Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival.
"For young folks who take their freedoms for granted, the entire documentary is an important reminder that some people fought hard and put their lives on the line to attain those freedoms." - Philadelphia Inquirer
Start time: 7pm
Pariah is a 2011 American drama film written and directed by Dee Rees. It tells the story of Alike (Adepero Oduye), a 17-year-old African American embracing her identity as a lesbian. It premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Excellence in Cinematography Award.
Start time: 7pm
If there’s any one artist who represents everything that was revolutionary about disco music, it was Sylvester. It doesn’t matter how many Bee Gees, Ethel Mermans, Rod Stewarts, Boney Ms et al you can throw at the genre as a reason to hate it, the fact is that if it wasn’t for disco there is no way that a linebacker-sized, black, openly gay, outrageous, gender-bending performer like him could have reached the top of the world’s charts.Sylvester broke every taboo going. In fact he didn’t just break them: he tore them up, threw them on the floor and stamped on them with uproarious glee, all while dragging you out to dance with his irresistable energy. He didn’t have to shout about any of his social or political inclinations because he was already living them, out in the open, for everyone to see.
Start time: 7:20pm
“Out. The Glenn Burke Story” tells the dramatic tale of Burke’s Major League career as an outfielder for the Dodgers and as a starter in Game One of the 1977 World Series, to being traded to the Oakland Athletics the following season, and then walking away from the game that he deeply loved in 1980. Many of Burke’s teammates were aware of his homosexuality during his playing career, as were members of management. And many of those teammates believe that his sexuality led to the premature derailment of his baseball career.
Start time: 5pm
Jennie Livingston's documentary offers a behind-the-scene glimpse at the golden age of New York "Drag Balls" where rival fashion houses come together to celebrate, vogue and compete for bragging rights. Shot between 1985 and 1989, the narrative inter-cuts between individual stories that chronicle the experiences of the African-American and Latino, gay and transgender subculture in a time when the city was consumed by the ideals of wealth and glamour.
DATE & TIME CHANGE
Start time: 6:30pm
Happy Birthday Marsha P. Johnson
Happy Birthday, Marsha! is a fictional short film that imagines gay and transgender rights pioneers Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera in the hours leading to the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City. The film stars Mya Taylor as Marsha P. Johnson.
Start time: 6:30pm
The seminal documentary on Black gay life, Emmy Award-winning director Marlon T. Riggs’ 1989 Tongues Untied uses poetry, personal testimony, rap and performance (featuring poet Essex Hemphill and others), to describe the homophobia and racism that confront Black gay men.
The stories are fierce examples of homophobia and racism: the man refused entry to a gay bar because of his color; the college student left bleeding on the sidewalk after a gay-bashing; the loneliness and isolation of the drag queen. Yet they also affirm the black gay male experience: protest marches, smoky bars, “snap diva,” humorous “musicology” and Vogue dancers.
A quarter of a century after its release, director Marlon T. Riggs’ documentary, winner of the Los Angeles Film Critics Award, and Best Documentary prize at the Berlin Film Festival, is as relevant as ever.
“My struggle has allowed me to transcend that sense of shame and stigma identified with my being a black gay man. Having come through that fire, they can’t touch me.” — Marlon T. Riggs
Start time: 4:00pm
Screening: Pump Up The Music
In The Cafe
Learn how "House" music was born out of a racist & homophobic backlash against disco, a music style that was basically danceable r&b. Black gay men took the music underground and the rest is history.
Debra directed, wrote, and co-produced the award-winning 30-minute documentary Butch Mystique. After receiving a grant from Showtime, she produced/directed her documentary on gay marriage in the black community Jumpin’ the Broom: The New Covenant, that also premiered on Showtime and aired on Logo from 2004-2012. In 2010, Debra directed the 5-minute documentary Ward 86 that is part of the compilation feature Still Around. She also co-produced the narrative feature film Mississippi Damned that aired on Showtime in 2011 and debuted on Netflix 2015. In 2012 she produced the short narrative Crossover, and in 2014 produced another short narrative Ant for ITVS Futurestates. Debra has directed numerous corporate and branding videos, and is a location manager and scout working in the industry.Debra earned a B.A. degree in Television/Film Production at Cal-State University Northridge.