published: 2018-05-16 01:15:10
April 5, 2017 – I was delighted to screen UPSTAIRS INFERNO in Phoenix, Arizona during their Pride Month celebration. The screening was extra special because of the Q&A afterwards. I was joined on stage by Skip Bailey, nephew of Ferris LeBlanc (one of the victims of the Upstairs Lounge fire) and (retired) MCC Reverend Elder John Gill.
Reverend Gill was a member of the delegation that traveled with Reverend Troy Perry to New Orleans after the deadly arson, to help care for the grieving and injured. While I spoke to Reverend Gill during production of UPSTAIRS INFERNO, we weren’t able to coordinate schedules for him to be in the film. It was an honor to finally meet him. He is the last surviving member of that delegation. I am incredibly grateful that I’ve now been able to meet and chat with all surviving members (Reverend Elder Troy Perry and Bishop Paul Breton). This was Reverend Elder John Gill’s first viewing of the film and his stories during the Q&A were moving. I had a chance to interview him the day before the screening, so keep an eye out for that Bonus Video in the future.
Thank you John and Skip for joining me on this journey and sharing your personal stories with the Phoenix audience. This was truly a special screening.
ABOUT THE FILM, UPSTAIRS INFERNO:
As featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Advocate Magazine and CNN, the award winning documentary, UPSTAIRS INFERNO, chronicles one of the deadliest attacks on the LGBT community in America.
For over 40 years, it was considered the “Largest Gay Mass Murder in U.S. History”: On June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the Up Stairs Lounge, ultimately killing 32 people. With interviews from survivors, family/friends of victims and witnesses, UPSTAIRS INFERNO vividly examines this oft-forgotten story and captures the power of unconditional love and forgiveness in the face of tragedy.
This riveting film is brought to you by award winning director, Robert L. Camina and Executive Producers behind “Back on Board: Greg Louganis”, “Raid of the Rainbow Lounge” and “Southern Baptist Sissies”.
The OFFICIAL UPSTAIRS INFERNO TRAILER (with over 88.9K views) is available at https://vimeo.com/94900386
UPSTAIRS INFERNO is the story of the Up Stairs Lounge Arson as you’ve never seen or heard it before. The critically acclaimed documentary takes audiences to an unforgettable emotional space unparalleled by the written word alone.
Despite the staggering historical significance, few people know about the tragedy. Nearly three dozen people were killed and some bodies were never identified. Countless others were severely injured. One-third of the New Orleans chapter of the Metropolitan Community Church were killed in the blaze, including two clergy. The primary suspect was never charged with the crime. The tragedy did not stop at the loss of lives. There were also the delayed injuries: lost jobs, fear, public ridicule and severed families. The devastation was compounded by the homophobic reactions and utter lack of concern by the general public, government and religious leaders. The fire 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, UPSTAIRS INFERNO is considered the most COMPREHENSIVE, COMPASSIONATE and AUTHORITATIVE film about the tragedy and its aftermath.
Narrated by New Orleans own New York Times best-selling author Christopher Rice, UPSTAIRS INFERNO (96 min) 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.
UPSTAIRS INFERNO is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. BUY YOUR COPY TODAY at: http://Purchase.UpstairsInferno.com
UPSTAIRS INFERNO was an Official Selection of 40 esteemed film festivals around the world, winning 20 awards, including 12 Jury Awards and 4 Audience Awards. This includes Frameline: the San Francisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which 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 Library of Congress in 2017.
Some of the images in UPSTAIRS INFERNO are graphic in nature and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
Learn more: www.UpstairsInferno.com
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