Melanin Pride Festival III Program
Oct. 08 - 18, 2020
"I'm no longer accepting the things I cannot change...I'm changing the things I cannot accept." - Angela Davis
2020 Melanin Pride Festival
Shorts Collection Preview
2020 Melanin Pride Festival
MPF III Features
Thursday, October 08, 2020 (*streaming now through Oct. 18th)
The Cancer Journals Revisited is prompted by the question of what it means to re-visit and re-vision Black lesbian feminist poet Audre Lorde’s classic 1980 memoir of her breast cancer experience today. At the invitation of filmmaker Lana Lin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, twenty-seven writers, artists, activists, health care advocates, and current and former patients recite Lorde’s manifesto aloud on camera, collectively dramatizing it and producing an oration for the screen. The film is both a critical commentary and a poetic reflection upon the precarious conditions of survival within the intimate and politicized public sphere of illness.
Friday, October 09, 2020 (*streaming now through Oct.18th)
Making Sweet Tea is a documentary film that chronicles the journey of southern-born, black gay researcher and performer, E. Patrick Johnson, as he travels home to North Carolina to come to terms with his past, and to Georgia, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. to reconnect with six black gay men he interviewed for the book, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History
Saturday, October 10, 2020 - Premiere
Available Saturday, October 17th @ 7PM EDT via Bingewave
“Caught up in the precariousness of survival and self-preservation, homeless queer and trans youth of color hang out at Christopher Street Pier, forging their own chosen family. Genuine and charming, these eloquent youth must contend with overwhelming amounts of homophobia and abuse. As real as it gets, and with intimate, immersive access to the hazardous life of its vulnerable but fearless protagonists, director Elegance Bratton’s still-hopeful portrait exposes a raw side of New York City many often choose to ignore.”
Filmmakers & Creatives Fireside Chat - Saturday, October 10th | 7PM EDT / 4PM PDT w/ Elegance Bratton + Chester Algernal Gordon
Sunday, October 11, 2020 (*streaming throught Oct. 18th)
Unapologetic | Directed by Ashley O’Shay | Purchase Tickets
After two Black Chicagoans are killed, millennial organizers challenge an administration complicit in state violence against its residents. Told through the lens of Janaé and Bella, two fierce abolitionist leaders, Unapologetic is a deep look into the Movement for Black Lives, from the police murder of Rekia Boyd to the election of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Monday, October 12, 2020 (*streaming through Oct. 18th)
"Three Brazilian men of trans experience portray their daily struggles and triumphs in a fascinating hybrid of documentary and performance. Luca Scarpelli, Raul Capistrano, and Thalles Rocha — three Brazilian men of trans experience — invite director Silvia Godinho into their lives for a bold filmmaking experiment. With an enthralling blend of documentary and performance, Godinho’s vibrant, politically-active subjects navigate romantic entanglements, fights with local government bureaucracy, and plans for the future. Godinho allows these men to exist in heightened versions of their realities, and in doing so, crafts a rare and sensitive portrait of their struggle to live authentically."
Monday, October 12th at 6PM ET/3PM PT we will host a Roundtable Discussion with Director Silvia Godinho and cast. Access the event, use the following link to register!
Breaking Fast | Directed by Mike Mosallam | Purchase Tickets
Mo, a practicing Muslim living in West Hollywood, is learning to navigate life post heartbreak. Enter Kal, an All-American guy who surprises Mo by offering to break fast with him during the holy month of Ramadan. As they learn more about each other, they fall in love over what they have in common and what they don't.
The genesis of the feature film came about from overwhelming positive response to the short film of the same name from writer/director Mike Mosallam. The short film was lucky enough to screen at renowned film festivals such as Cannes, Inside Out, Newport, Boston and many more. The full-length feature is preparing for a promising festival run (Inshallah), and aims to be the first of its kind to feature a practicing Muslim character who is gay and not dealing with those two things in conflict, but rather, in harmony.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 | Lunch + Learn | 1:00 PM EDT / 10:00 AM PDT
Getting Started: First Steps for Independently Producing a Script Facilitated by Jose Alvarez
You finished your script, now what? In this workshop I will use my experience as a full-time independent film producer, to give you a guide on the steps to take in order to bring your screenplay to the screen. From research to action, how do you incorporate the resources available to you, even as a first time filmmaker, in order to make your short or feature film come to life.
Jose Alvarez is a Colombian born, New York-based award winning film & theatre writer and producer. Jose is mostly known as the mind behind the cult classic queer slasher film, "Killer Unicorn” (Now available on all major platforms), as well as the upcoming "Guys at Parties Like It” and “S&M Records”. He is also the co-creator and co-host of the popular podcast ‘Queers From The Crypt’ where he discusses horror through a queer lens. Some of José's other production credits include Sasha Velour's "One Dollar Drag's” series, and the short films "A Single Evening" (2020), "Tumble Dry" (2019), and "Neon Boys" (2019).
October 15, 2020 (*streaming through Oct.18th)
Stonewall: Paving the Way for Gay Pride + Discussion | Directed by Mathilde Fassin | Purchase Tickets
“2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Gay Pride which first occurred when gays and lesbians walked the streets in New York, claiming publicly to be out, in commemoration of the Stonewall riots. Back in 1969, a police raid in a Greenwich Village gay bar called the Stonewall turned into a total melee when street kids, people of the neighborhood, gays and lesbians, drag queens all came together to claim territory around the bar for several nights. These few nights of rebellion became a major historical turning point as a few dozens of young gays and lesbians decided to start a movement. Coming out of Stonewall was thus born the Gay & Lesbian Liberation Movement.”
October 16, 2020 (*streaming through Oct. 18th)
Access Film and Purchase Tickets Here
Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Queerness Shorts Collection | Curated by Charlie Hidalgo and Lucy Mukerjee (Meraki Moving Pictures)
Escape from quarantine with this upbeat and empowering short-form collection of queer and trans stories. Serving as an injection of unbridled joy with the unapologetic attitude of the global uprising, these films fiercely defend our culture and humanity; demanding the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of queerness. Fuelled by music, dance, and defiance, all ten films are directed by, and center on LGBTQIA+ BIPOC voices.This collection is a much-needed antidote to our community’s daily marginalization.
Kiss of the Rabbit God | Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang A Chinese-American restaurant worker falls in love with an 18th century Qing dynasty god who visits him at night and leads him on a journey of sexual awakening and self-discovery.
Kapaemahu | Directed/Created by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu Kapaemahu reveals the healing power of four mysterious stones on Waikiki Beach, and the legendary spirits within them.
Bodies of Desire | Directed by Varsha Panikar & Saad Nawab The film captures four sets of lovers amid passion; to create a portrait of tender intimacy, of longing, of discovery, of desire, of embrace and care, of profound companionship. It is a sensual celebration of genderless love and desire, inspired by the poet’s lived reality.
What Are You Wanting For? | Directed by Alli Logout Two bad bitches fall in and out of love in record time
Transplant | Directed by Steven Liang A dancer tries to bridge the gap between him and his mother when he discovers that a house is not a home.
Passing | Directed by Lucah Rosenberg Lee Passing profiles the lives of three transgender men of color as they navigate their lives in Toronto, New York and Houston.
Care For You | Directed by OHYUNG (he/they) OHYUNG's Care For You is a tender and heartfelt music video that captures a queer Asian American intimacy unfolding in dreamy, lush vignettes set in a 1960’s diner. The music video draws deeply from visuals inspired by Wong Kar-wai's In The Mood For Love.
Swinguerra | Directed by Barbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca In the sports court of a public school, dancers rehearse highly disciplined routines under the watchful eye of a choreographer. Tensions haunt personal desires as they are observed by a rival troupe.
Got Game? | Directed by Fatimah Asghar (she/her) After a long period of sexual drought, Khudejha is awkward as hell and desperately wants to hook up with someone again. Newly single and with the help of her wing-woman Natasha, their new adventure at a kink party awaits.
Heavenly Brown Body | Directed by Leslie Foster (he/him) "Heavenly Brown Body" is a theatrical version of a four-channel video installation that portrays a ritual of cleansing and blessing, which uses the text of Mark Aguhar’s (she/her) poem “Litanies to My Heavenly Brown Body” as a vibrant and rich queer liturgy.
October 17, 2020 (*streaming through Oct. 18th)
Access Film and Purchase Tickets Here
'20 Melanin Pride Festival Shorts Collection "Our Existence is Defiance"
A vivid collection showcasing an intimate look into the spirit and soul of trans, non-binary, LGBQIA+ BIPOC creatives. Welcome to the movement.
A Normal Girl | Directed by Aubree Bernier-Clarke | USA | 13:41
Bringing the widely unknown struggles of intersex people to light through the story of intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis.
Assata | Directed by Mikaela Rose | USA | 8:11
Activism and liberation through artistic movement
Down Dog | Directed by Shae Xu | USA | 9:10
In the two weeks they've known one another, yoga instructor Tammy hasn't had a chance to talk to Marcus about her trans experience. Does she have to? A question considered by thousands of transgender people daily.
Drip Like Coffee | Directed by Anaiis Cisco | USA | 17:01
An intimate portrait of a Black woman whose desire for her female co-worker complicates her relationship with her boyfriend.
Otherland | Directed by Jan Pieter Tuinstra | Netherlands | 13:27
A vogue dancer performs at a Voodoo Carnival Ball, an important dance contest where he will have to prove himself to be accepted by the local ballroom community. Based upon the biographical story of Elvin Elejandro Martinez.
Tender | Directed by Felicia Pride | USA | 14:53
After an unexpected one night stand, two women at very different stages of their lives, share an even more intimate morning after.
Available Saturday, October 17, 2020 | 9PM via Bingewave
Razor Tongue | Directed / Created by Rain Valdez | 2020 | USA
A no-bullshit web series starring Rain Valdez, Sterling Jones and Alexandra Grey. Razor Tongue explores the complexities of finding a voice of self-love in a world filled with misogyny and discrimination.
Razor Tongue deftly navigates the calling out—and the being called out. Whether sitting through a floundering Tinder date or a terrible job interview Belle calls out micro-aggressions and bad behavior from men whenever she sees it. But when antagonized by Ariel (Grey), who turns the tables on her, she begins to wonder about how effective public shaming actually is. There has been ample talk recently about the call-out culture, especially in LGBTQ+ communities, and Razor Tongue—a new web series from Rain Valdez of Transparent—cuts to the heart of the issue.
Song Lang | Directed by Leon Le | 2018 | Vietnam | 101 Minutes
Set in a richly imagined 1980s Saigon, Song Lang is a gritty underworld noir hiding a tender, romantic heart. At the film’s core is the unlikely bond that develops between hunky, brooding Dung (Lien Binh Phat), a tough debt collector for a ruthless loan shark, and Linh Phung (popular V-pop singer Isaac), a charismatic young opera singer for a struggling company that performs cai luong, a modern form of traditional Vietnamese folk opera.
The two meet when Dung comes to forcefully collect a debt from the opera troupe, but when their paths cross again, a friendship—and then more—develops, awakening surprising, tender feelings in both men. Their story, too, soon scales operatic heights. With his first feature film, director Leon Le (Dawn, Frameline38) has delivered a rich drama: a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites—equally uncompromising—set against the backdrop of a gorgeous, fading art form. For his breakout performance, Lien Binh Phat has picked up rising star awards at festivals across Asia.
w/ E.Patrick Johnson, Ph.D. | Artist and Scholar + Nora Gross, Ph.D. | Co - Director
Facilitated by Paul Renolis
An engaging, in-depth conversation with the creators and crew of the film Making Sweet Tea. We will explore the need for visual storytelling about the QTBIPOC experience and the importance of implementing scholarship to support this work.
E. Patrick Johnson, Ph.D. , Artist and Scholar; Johnson is Dean of the School of Communication and Annenberg University Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University and a 2020 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Nora Gross, Ph.D. , Documentarian, Scholar and Educator; Core Fellow / Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston College where she teaches courses in the University Core Curriculum related to race, gender, violence, and social inequality. Her research focuses primarily on under-explored sources of educational inequality, particularly at the intersection of adolescent students' racial identities, gender identities, academic identities, emotionality, and future orientation. As a documentary filmmaker, Dr. Gross is committed to using visual and participatory methods as part of my scholarly research practice.
The conversation will be facilitated by Paul Renolis, a black queer artist and creative from San Francisco. He is a professional actor, choreographer/dancer, and is a drag queen performer in the local Bay Area queer nightlife and entertainment scene. Having been a professional educator for nearly a decade, Paul is dedicated to creating art and entertainment that tells a story, is socially conscious, and illustrates self-love.
Directed by Lucah Rosenberg-Lee | 00:21:00 | United States
What Are You Wanting For?
Directed by Alli Logout | 00:03:14 | United States
Directed by Barbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca | 00:22:55 | Brasil
Kiss of the Rabbit God
Directed by Andrew Thomas Huang | 00:14:39 | United States
Directed by Steven Liang | 00:08:20
Directed by Fatimah Asghar | 00:14:38 | United States
Heavenly Brown Body
Directed by Leslie Foster | 00:06:03 | United States
Care For You
Directed by OHYUNG | 00:04:13 | United States
Bodies of Desire
Directed by Varsha Panikar & Saad Nawab | 00:03:41 | India
Directed/Created by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu | 00:08:00 | United States (Hawaii)