Q film: LGBT HIS­TORY IN FILM

Q Magazine - - News -

AC­CLAIMED GAY MASS MUR­DER DOC­U­MEN­TARY, UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO, NOW AVAIL­ABLE ON DVD AND BLU-RAY IN AUS­TRALIA In 2013, dur­ing the 40th An­niver­sary of the deadly Up Stairs Lounge Ar­son (one of the most sig­nif­i­cant, yet of­ten over­looked events in LGBT his­tory), Cam­ina En­ter­tain­ment pub­licly an­nounced the pro­duc­tion of UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO, a com­pre­hen­sive and com­pas­sion­ate doc­u­men­tary re­count­ing (what was) the "Largest Gay Mass Mur­der in U.S. His­tory".

UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO can be pur­chased at: http://Pur­chase.AU.Up­stairsIn­ferno.com

On June 24, 1973, an ar­son­ist set fire to the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay bar lo­cated on the edge of the French Quar­ter in New Or­leans, Louisiana. The fire ul­ti­mately killed 32 peo­ple and se­verely in­jured count­less oth­ers. It per­ma­nently al­tered lives and was the root of many life­long strug­gles.

With unique ac­cess (ex­clu­sive on-cam­era in­ter­views from sur­vivors, wit­nesses and friends/fam­i­lies of vic­tims) and a fresh per­spec­tive (in­cor­po­rat­ing long lost ar­ti­facts, news­reel footage and pho­to­graphs that haven't been seen in decades), UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO vividly ex­am­ines this oft-for­got­ten story and is con­sid­ered the most com­pre­hen­sive and au­thor­i­ta­tive film about the tragedy and its af­ter­math.

Nar­rated by New Or­leans' own New York Times best-sell­ing au­thor Christo­pher Rice, UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO is a mes­mer­iz­ing mix of crime drama and hu­man con­nec­tions that cap­tures the heart­break­ing feel­ings of un­con­di­tional love and over­whelm­ing loss. An un­set­tling snap­shot of what was, un­til the early hours of June 12, 2016, the dead­li­est sin­gle event to af­fect the gay com­mu­nity in Amer­i­can his­tory, UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO gets in­side the hearts and minds of a hand­ful of vi­brant peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­enced one of the most im­por­tant and un­der­re­ported mo­ments in LGBT His­tory.

"While UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO re­counts a his­toric event that oc­curred in the U.S., its un­der­ly­ing mes­sage crosses cul­tural bound­aries", Direc­tor Robert L. Cam­ina em­pha­sizes. "It's eas­ier for peo­ple to hate and fear things they don't un­der­stand. No mat­ter your back­ground, in the end, we are more alike than we are dif­fer­ent. I think UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO re­minds of us that."

Cam­ina adds, "We made the film hop­ing au­di­ences would walk away from it with a re­newed call for com­pas­sion: Com­pas­sion for those un­like us. Com­pas­sion for those who are hurt­ing. Com­pas­sion for those in need. Be­cause there def­i­nitely wasn't a lot of com­pas­sion when the deadly ar­son oc­curred."

"Sadly, a lot has hap­pened in the world since the film was re­leased and we started spread­ing the mes­sage of com­pas­sion and the im­pact of hate", Cam­ina con­tin­ues. "It sick­ens me that mass mur­ders have be­come so com­mon. I think UPSTAIR IN­FERNO's mes­sage is as timely as ever: the power of fam­ily, friends and for­give­ness in the shadow of im­mense pain."

With the re­lease of the doc­u­men­tary, Cam­ina En­ter­tain­ment plans to em­pha­size those themes, as well as the over­all preser­va­tion of LGBTQ his­tory. Hope­fully, by the Up Stairs Lounge Ar­son sur­vivors shar­ing their sto­ries, it can pro­vide strength to oth­ers in need. This year marks the 45th An­niver­sary of the deadly fire.

UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO had its WORLD PRE­MIERE in New Or­leans on June 24, 2015: the 42nd An­niver­sary of the Up Stairs Lounge ar­son. Sur­vivors of the fire, fam­i­lies and friends of the vic­tims and wit­nesses filled the au­di­ence. Many trav­eled across the coun­try to at­tend the Pre­miere. Some of the at­ten­dees hadn't seen each other in over 40 years.

The doc­u­men­tary went on to screen at 40 film fes­ti­vals around the world, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia. It won 20 awards, in­clud­ing 11 Jury Awards and 4 Au­di­ence Awards. Frame­line: the San Fran­cisco In­ter­na­tional Gay and Les­bian Film Fes­ti­val awarded UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO with the JURY AWARD: HONOR­ABLE MEN­TION, cit­ing its "Spe­cial Con­tri­bu­tion to Queer His­tory". In ad­di­tion, UP­STAIRS IN­FERNO re­ceived a pres­ti­gious in­vi­ta­tion to screen at the U.S. Li­brary of Congress in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.