BRATTLEBORO — Sponsored by the Kopkind Colony, founded in memory of celebrated political journalist Andrew Kopkind, CineSlam returns to the Latchis Theatre in downtown Brattleboro with a Pride Film Festival of Shorts on Saturday, June 24, at 4 p.m.
CineSlam is Vermont's first LGBTQ film festival.
“During these turbulent times for our LGBTQ+ community, when anti-LGBT laws are being passed by right-wing legislatures and LGBT Pride Events are being threatened and even canceled, it is vital for the New England community to come out to show a recommitment for our human rights. To show we are queer, we are here, and we will fight!” said Program Director John Scagliotti in a news release.
“Rainbow humanity is like a beauty bush,” said JoAnn Wypijewski, president of The Kopkind Colony. “Many flowers, one name. In politics, the name is solidarity. No one is free, no one flourishes, unless we all do.”
CineSlam 2023 will focus on putting the COVID-19 pandemic of the past few years behind us and on the uplifting stories of New England LGBT History, past and present. Leading off the festival will be a humorous look back at our shared experience of isolation during the past few years of the pandemic.
Director Sibyl OMalley, a theater artist whose practice includes writing, directing, teaching, and community organizing writes of her film, Love and Hate in the Time of COVID, “With theaters closed during the past two years, I began experimenting with stop-motion animation. This video captures one of the many moments of heartbreak and rage that marked the past few years. It was a way to express my fury and also let my heart do what it wants to - love you and this stupid world we've made.”
Workwear, from Director Emily Everhard, is about the collapse of our public and private lives during the pandemic. Inspired by lead actor Jebreel Samples's personal experiences, she said she wanted to explore how gender performance influences work and pleasure - and what happens when we can no longer neatly separate these different aspects of our day-to-day lives.
Local history is also included in this festival. Bar Stories from Queer Maine offers funny and often poignant accounts of gay bars as important venues for community, organizing, sex, and safety, revealing the threat to queer culture of our disappearing social spaces in urban and rural Maine.
CineSlam presents more local flavor this year with Rewritten: The Screendance, a mediated extension of a multi-disclinary performance project created by Tom Truss and Matthew Cumbie. It explores the mysterious connection and sudden parting of American authors Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, filmed at Herman Melville's Arrowhead Estate, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
CineSlam will also be presenting the theatrical premiere of (1)Here She Comes from filmmaker Sybil Patten, which offers a unique and personalized perspective on the final years of her grandmother's life in Hartland Four Corners, Vermont.
A ticketholder after-party will feature Pride cake and sparkling cider at The Latchis Pub. For more information and to reserve your ticket, visit cineslam.com.