Poster for NYFFW
New York Feminist Film Week 2017 From 5 to 7 link
New York Feminist Film Week 2017 Anthology Film Archives link

I am humbled and thrilled to be part of the inaugural NY Feminist Film Week, and all the programs look amazing. My movie “…Until Justice Rolls” will be shown as part of the BODIES program on March 8, 2017 at 6:30 at Anthology Film Archives in the East Village in NYC. I will also be part of the Feminist Genealogies Roundtable discussion on Saturday, March 11 at 5:00pm.

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(I’m a member of this group, and on the Media & Communications Team)

Business as usual is over.
Two visions were on the table in this election:
One, a nationalistic America that recycles our founding myths and takes us back to a time when our country was whiter, our economy was national, and before social movements won civil rights for women, Black people, LGBTQ people, disabled people and others. Small towns that have been decimated by automation and globalization will bounce back along with attacks against Muslims, immigrants, women, and people of color.
The second, an inclusive, meritocratic America, where anyone can get ahead no matter your skin color, gender or sexual orientation. Except of course, the poor and dispossessed, who continue to struggle for jobs, healthcare and other basic needs that are out of reach in the global neoliberal system embraced by Democrats.
The basic problem with each of these visions is that they don’t fit our lives: The poor and dispossessed come from every racial and ethnic background, are of every gender and every ability. We are in small towns, rural and urban areas. We are Muslim, trans, Black, white and undocumented. Neither major political party has a vision that works for us.
This may be why less than 20% of the electorate voted for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and almost 50% of the population was completely disengaged. Thousands went to the polls to vote for down ballot candidates and never even cast a vote for any presidential candidate.
We aren’t demanding diverse representation in the ranks of the rich. We are calling out a system that reproduces poverty, racism, militarism and environmental destruction.
Both of the scenarios on offer rely on increasing state violence, surveillance, more money for war, detention and incarceration, and an economy based on unsustainable energy that does harm to people and to the planet. These are false choices.
There is no way to express our will in the current political system, but we have to build it from the ground up. No politician is going to come and save us. We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for. And the time is now to step forward and connect to build something which can change what is politically possible.
Our political culture is toxic, our communities hyper-segregated. There is little way to truly understand our conditions unless we witness them firsthand. We are consistently fed misinformation from a corporate controlled media system that it is interested more in clickbait and spectacle than telling the truth. We need to connect rural and urban areas, have conversations about what struggles we’re going through, and share our stories. We need to learn about each other through direct experience. But that’s only the first step. There’s a lot we need to unlearn as well. We have to be committed to changing. All of us. If we want to change others, first we have to be willing to change ourselves. Our political environment leads us to give up on people. Not to believe in people. To believe that we’re not worth it. But we are.
Separation leads to isolation. Isolation leads to targeting. Targeting leads to destruction, whether you live in a small rural community being poisoned by coal ash or you are undocumented inside a detention center. We have to break our isolation.
We have to understand why we are facing the problems that we face. Too many false solutions are out there, and not enough opportunities to come together, learn from history and understand power. Who’s really making the decisions? Who benefits and who is harmed? We point a lot of fingers at other people. We must create spaces to ask and answer these questions collectively.
We must build solidarity with people having different experiences. Fred Hampton said “We can’t fight racism with racism, we have to fight it with solidarity.” Similarly, we can’t fight ignorance with ignorance, we have to fight it with education and community. Whatever we’re battling against, we have to find a solution to it. We have to cultivate new social relationships where bias, xenophobia, and racialized hatred has taken root.
We believe that Pennsylvania is open. It’s open to a future in which poor and working class people come together across all lines of division and identify together the root causes of our problems and take powerful action to change things. It’s also open to a future in which scapegoating, fear, hatred and violence take hold. We’ve already been living in that reality but it could get worse. Put People First is making real strides to change that.
Our formula is simple. We unite around our basic needs. We break down silos between issues. We bring together people who’ve never been brought together before. We develop community. We wrestle with the ways systemic oppression has impacted our belief system. We need unity now more than ever, but not a false unity that doesn’t stand for anything. A unity that stands for something. That stands for human rights of all people. That stands for our human needs as human rights. That stands for our public goods.
When we’re united their game is up. When we’re divided, they play games with us. Join today.

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Celebrating Women In Front Of And Behind The Camera
Women Over 50 Film Festival
At WOFFF we champion the work of older women on both sides of the camera.
Each of the 44 films on offer this weekend (2016) has a women over 50 at its centre on the screen or behind the lens in the core creative team as the writer, director or producer.
We’re hosting an all-female panel event on women in film and a practical workshop for anyone who’d like to have a go at filmmaking but doesn’t quite know where to start.
We’re delighted to have many of our filmmakers with us
at the festival. We’ll be having a short Q & A after each screening so we can hear more about them, their work and their inspiration.
So please sit back, relax and enjoy this year’s WOFFF!
Nuala, Natalie, Hilary, Priscilla and Rebecca
The WOFFF team

Saturday 1 October 2016 18:30
Screening 3 | Love, death and legacy
Patience by Robert Hackett (7 mins)
Memorial by Helen Selka (30 mins)
Carol by Krissy Mahan (7 mins)
Old Friends, Out to Pasture by Marlijn Franken (11 mins)
The Wake by Oonagh Kearney (20 mins)

In 2016 we held our second festival. We screened 44 international short films, hosted an all-female panel event and a beginners’ filmmaking workshop. A full festival report will be published soon.

For a film to be eligible for submission to WOFFF it has follow one of these two simple rules. The film has to have a women over 50 at its centre OR have a woman over 50 in the core creative team (writer, director or producer)

Our next festival is in 2017 in Brighton. So we hope to see you beside the seaside with us soon!

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I’m so pleased when my movies is set out on their journies to increase justice and happiness!

Subject: Queer America film screenings, 6.15pm 3 November 2016
With all eyes on America’s presidential election, Out@UCL is screening a programme of short films that look at some of the variety of queer stories in America. We’re looking especially at the often marginalised voices within the LGBT+ community, including older people, QTIPOC and trans and genderqueer experiences. Stick around for the Q&A afterwards with some of the directors who, fortunately for us, are in London.
When: 6.15 – 8pm, Thursday, 3 November
Location: Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building (entrance on Gower Street)
“Faggotgirl Gets Busy In The Bathroom” will be shown

There is also talk that this video will screen in Australia as a public service announcement at a lesbian film fest, and might be included in the December Boston tour for GenderReel 2016!

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imageThis will be shown as part of the Women Over 50 Film Festival in Brighton, UK October 1, 2016.

I didn’t like the Haynes’ film at all. No matter how many rain-splattered windows there are, and no matter how beautifully filmed with a surging cello score, the story being told is a schmalty snoozefest about white rich people behaving badly, that even it’s author was embarrassed to claim (Highsmith published it under a pen name). If it was about a straight white couple, it would be both boring amd offensive in its class politics. Like every other movie, no? I saw Haynes’ “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story” 15 years ago, and maybe it influenced my movie-making. So I am disappointed that he chose to make this earnest melodrama.

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The IPF on 2016 Wotever Film Festival

Celebrating and prioritizing real accessibility at 2016 Wotever DIY Film Fest

Shoddy sensationalist press trying to discredit Scottish Queer International Film Festival for the festival’s porn workshop
http://www.theskinny.co.uk/sexuality/lgbt/sqiff-porn-tabloid-outrage

Nuala O’Sullivan on BBC for the Women Over Fifty Film Festival to be held on 1 October 2016 in Brighton, UK
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p047d2m6#play
(about 37 minutes in)

“Faggot Girl Gets Busy in The Bathroom”
Dir. Krissy Mahan, USA, 2016, 03:39
World premiere: Specially commissioned for WDIYFF 2016
We’ve been showing Krissy Mahan’s work since 2012 when Faggot Girl, Mahan’s disability-rights campaigning, alter-ego superhero, first burst on to our screens. Since then, Faggot Girl has crusaded relentlessly for greater accessibility for all body types, arguing that access is a queer issue. We’re delighted to commission Faggot Girl Gets Busy in the Bathroom for this year’s festival, in which our fearless hero/ine demonstrates why public bathrooms are a crucial frontier in the fight for equality (and can also be great spots to hook up in, too).

“Like A Riot”
Dir. Krissy Mahan, USA, 2016, 02.00
Krissy Mahan is back again this year with this wonderful short in which puppet Sophie Mayer hangs out with Campbell X’s puppet self. The two super heroes embark on a campaign to deal with the white, male overkill prevalent in the film industry. And what better way to incite a riot to the soundtrack of London-based punk band Big Joanie?”
( WWDIYFF 2016 program notes )

“Like A Riot” 2m
Dir. Krissy Mahan, USA, 2016
“Like anyone who grew up with the Muppets and Fraggle Rock, I have always wanted to have a puppet self. And of course I want my puppet self to hang out with Campbell X’s puppet self. Krissy Mahan has made it happen!” Dr. Sophie Mayer
( SQIFF 2016 program notes )

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Faggotgirl with accessible bathroom sign

Faggotgirl

FullSizeRenderWho could have guessed how surreal things would actually become when I first put “As Surreal As It Gets” on my website 15 year ago? I am glad that I have a body of work that stands in opposition to the status quo, and hopefully uses joy and goodwill to challenge white mainstream complacency in the face of such deadly threats to vulnerable people.

Here’s a rundown of some of my activities this summer, and some festivals coming up in the fall. (In reverse order of things happening.)

I was able to catch my friend Saul in Philadelphia, and he let me record him and Veronica talking about Informe-SIDA. They tell the story of how their HIV/AIDS information service began — in Texas, where consensual gay male sex was illegal, and there were no health services in Spanish. That is just the kind of history that I try to make sure doesn’t get lost. I hope someone will make an even bigger/better record of their important and lifesaving work. I started Dykeumentary as a way to make a record of people, especially my queer friends, in their own words, and owned by them.

I am working on my first commissioned movie! Wotever DIY Film Festival, based in London, asked me to make a Faggotgirl short to play at their 2016 festival, happening the DIY Space For London September 3-4, 2016 — an accessible venue! I’m flattered and I am happy that I have made a movie that addresses the issue of bathrooms AND accessibility. Everyone has bathrooms on the brain because of the hateful North Carolina HB2 bill, and I figured while we are thinking about bodies in bathtrooms, why not use the political will of this moment to make sure truly ALL bodies enjoy the privacy and accessibility of public restrooms?

My movie “Like A Riot” was chosen to show at Wotever DIY Film Festival on 3-4 September 2016, and the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, in Glasgow, Scotland on September 29 – Ocotober 2, 2016, to be shown as part of their feminist shorts program. Hilarious. They sent me laurels and everything. I wish I could go, I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland.

This weekend,“Faggotgirl Does(n’t Do) The MTA” showed at GAZE International LGBT Film Festival in Dublin, Ireland, as an example of Wotever DIY films. The WDIYFF has been doing an outstanding (and international) job of promoting DIY film, and I am very appreciative of their work. I’m happy that something I made showed in Ireland, because both sides of my family emigrated (unhappily) to America from Ireland in the 20th century, as Roman Catholics from the British-controlled northern counties. I hope they are all having a good laugh and a drink that their great/granddaughter is poking fun at oppressive abuses of power.

There was also this big lezbo camping fest, LFEST, that i absolutely MUST go to one day, and Theresa Heath curated the film tent. She showed “The Genesis of Butch and Femme” and reported that the audience laughed at all the appropriate places!! Triumph!

AND “Until Justice Rolls” was shown in Scotland as part of “Queers In The City” curated by SQIFF. “A selection of shorts looking at the relationship of LGBTQ+ people to cities. In depicting anonymous cruising, lamenting gentrification, showing cities as a backdrop to loneliness and personal pain, and creating comedy subversion of urban imagery, these films recognise the unique place of queers in the city space. Featuring work by both international and local artists plus a filmmaker Q&A”

Until Justice Rolls” was an Honorable Mention at the Superhero Film Festival, but other than that, I’ve been rejected from 23 film festivals. Becky and Ellen laugh at me every time I am sad to be rejected, and now that its happened so many times, I understand what they were saying.

WDIYFF

WDIYFF

honorableSQIFF selection

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Honoring police as grand marshals defies spirit of 2016 Philadelphia parade (petition)

As members of Philadelphia’s queer and transgender communities, we are writing in response to the decision by Philly Pride Presents to host GOAL (the Gay Officer Action League) as one of the grand marshals for this year’s Pride Parade. We are deeply concerned about the message this decision sends about which LGBTQ lives matter and the impact this will have on accessibility and safety at the Pride event for the members of our community most harmed by police violence. We urge the staff and volunteers of Philly Pride Presents to rescind their decision to make GOAL one of the grand marshals this year.

We believe that the honoring of GOAL is antithetical to the spirit and history of Pride, which grew out of the commemoration of the Stonewall riot — a riot against police violence — started by black and brown trans women and drag queens, who were then and continue to be the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community.

This choice is not only grossly ironic. It also participates in a revision of history that erases queer and trans resistance to state violence as well as the ways in which the majority of queer and trans people have had to literally fight for survival in a system that has used every mechanism, including and particularly policing, to marginalize and harm us.

It is our understanding that GOAL grew out of a desire to recruit LGBTQ individuals to the police force. We are aware that institutionalized and interpersonal workplace transphobia, homophobia, and racism harm LGBTQ police officers. We support all queer and trans people in their struggle for freedom from violence and oppression. However, we refute the notion that LGBTQ cops’ ability to be out on the job is a measure of our movement’s progress, when the police, as an institution, continue to carry out racist and transphobic violence.

Just last month, the Boston Pride Parade revoked the invitation for an openly gay police officer to serve as a grand marshal after it was discovered that the officer had written racist messages online shaming poor residents of Boston. As civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer said, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

In the midst of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which affirms the value of black life and fights anti-black racism and police violence, choosing GOAL as the grand marshals for 2016 is a move that is at best privileged and isolated, and at worst directly undermines this critical work. It indicates a disturbing lack of awareness for the existence of marginalized queer and trans people of color and ignores both the symbolic and practical consequences of such a decision.

The Pride festival at Penn’s Landing is already financially inaccessible to many due to its entrance fee, but to literally place the police (gay or not) at the front of the parade through the gayborhood into the Pride celebration creates an environment that is unwelcoming and even unsafe for many members of our community. Additionally, it creates yet another barrier to accessing the critical resources available at Pride, such as free condoms, HIV testing, case managers, and information on community organizations for those who need them the most — including LGBTQ youth.

So, as the theme of this year’s Pride celebration is, “Are You Connected?” we ask the organizers of Philly Pride Presents: What connections do you value? For at least the second year in a row, the marshals and friends of the parade have been chosen from the same pool of people, primarily centered in Center City and City Hall. Yet Philadelphia does not lack for inspiring leaders who are creating a new vision for the future. We are fortunate to have LGBTQ communities full of people and organizations doing transformative work to improve the lives of LGBTQ people, to create more space for marginalized voices, and to work towards a world with greater freedom from violence for us all.

It is for these reasons that we cannot condone Philly Pride Presents’ celebration of an institution that continually targets queer and trans people of color with deadly state violence. Instead, as stated above, we urge the staff and volunteers of Philly Pride Presents to rescind this decision, as well as listen to and engage with members of our communities who are working to dismantle the root causes of violence and create a new future for queer and trans liberation.

Dean Spade is an Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law and the author of “Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law.”
This talk was organized by the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside. May 12, 2016

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“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” – Audre Lorde

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