Monday, February 23, 2015

Filmmaker Jane Clark Soars With Diversity

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with director/writer Jane Clark (“Meth Head” & “Elena Undone”) about her new comedy horror cult classic "Crazy Bitches". The movie is about eight gay and straight friends who go to a remote ranch for a week of gossip and fun but after a number of drinks on their first night a dark secret is revealed. The house they rented is the site of an unsolved mass murder of teenage girls fifteen years earlier and bloodstains are discovered under the replacement carpets. At first they take it as an intriguing horror story for a rainy night by a roaring fire but after one of them disappears and is discovered dead, the story isn’t fun anymore. Then one by one they die, killed by their own vanity and their fun-filled week turns into a race against death of who will make it out alive. The cast includes Mary Jane Wells, Cathy De Buono, Guinevere Turner and Candis Cayne just to name a few. We talked to Clark about casting her movies to reflect our evolving diverse society and her spin on LGBT equality.

When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT equality Clark stated, “I don’t necessarily think of myself as an activist in any way. I’m a filmmaker and a storyteller first but I have quite a number of dear friends that are LGBT and I mean all of them. So the way I see the people around me, I see people just like me who love the same sex, love the opposite sex, love both, have chosen to change their gender because they feel more truthful about themselves and more whole as another gender. But they may be gay as another gender or they may be straight as another gender; I mean it’s all one piece to me. I see everybody as we’re just living in this world and love all my friends equally and don’t see a difference in them. So for me, telling stories that fit into the LGBT community because the characters in the films are in the gay community is just a matter of saying I don’t see a difference, truthfully. I think that it is important to tell stories that are unique to the LGBT community. I also think it’s important to tell stories where being gay is just part of a whole rather than unique on its own because in my world my friends are just a part of my whole. The only way to reach a wider straight audience and to say we are part of this whole community of human beings is to tell stories that bridge that divide as opposed to just fall separately into one category or another.”

Jane Clark began her career as an actress including a recurring role on “Chicago Hope”. She has spoken on panels covering film production, fundraising, marketing, distribution and most recently addressing the topic of filmmakers and social change. She is currently writing a book on making short films from idea through distribution and has devoted time as a board member and programmer to the Woods Hole Film Festival in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. "Crazy Bitches" is currently available online on VOD platforms and will be released on DVD and Blu Ray on April 1st 2015.
For More Info: thecrazybitchesmovie.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Walter Naegle Shares Bayard Rustin’s Legacy (AUDIO)

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Walter Naegle who was pioneer civil rights activist Bayard Rustin's partner for the last decade of Rustin's life who died in 1987. Rustin taught Martin Luther King Jr. strategies of nonviolence during the Montgomery Bus Boycott and reached international notoriety in 1963 as the openly gay organizer of the March on Washington. With the racial unrest in this country and in recognition of Black History Month Cleis Press has just published a new ebook edition of “Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin” with the timely message of nonviolent and peaceful protest. In 2013 President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor posthumously to Bayard Rustin. Naegle accepted the award on Rustin's behalf stating "Being black, being homosexual, being a political radical, that’s a combination that’s pretty volatile and it comes along like Halley’s Comet. Bayard’s life was complex, but at the same time I think it makes it a lot more interesting." We talked to Naegle about what Bayard was really like, how they met, the importance of Rustin’s work and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Naegle stated, “My personal commitment is to be who I am as an LGBT person and more broadly a human being to support LGBT equality and issues whenever I can, which nowadays is very often speaking at colleges and community centers and libraries and lifting up the fact that Bayard was a very important leader in the civil and human rights movement who happened to be LGBT and lived during a time when these kinds of things weren’t discussed. And yet he was able to live fairly openly as a gay man. He paid the price for it but actions that were taken to try and quiet him never really succeeded. He rose above all that stuff and was able to make a significant contribution to the democratization of our society as a whole, so that is really the reason why a lot of younger LGBT folks kind of lift him up now as an inspiration and as a hero. I guess my commitment would be to sort of continue promoting his legacy and his values and to live as an integrated person myself.”

Beyond being Bayard Rustin's partner for the last decade of Rustin's life, Naegle has served as Rustin's executor and archivist and is the Executive Director of the Bayard Rustin Fund, which promotes Rustin's legacy and values. “Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin” showcases the extraordinary career of this black gay civil rights pioneer. Spanning five decades the book combines classic texts from Bayard Rustin ranging in topic from Gandhi’s impact on African Americans, white supremacists in Congress, the antiwar movement and the assassination of Malcolm X, with never-before published selections on the call for gay rights, Louis Farrakhan, affirmative action, AIDS and women’s rights. Also included in the book are twenty-five photos from the Rustin estate with a Foreword by Barack Obama and Afterword by Barney Frank.
For More Info: cleispress.com

Monday, February 9, 2015

First LGBT Millennia Scope Oscar Gala

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks to Shahid Manning, Founder and Executive Director of Millennia Scope Entertainment Foundation about their upcoming gala for the LGBT entertainment community. The first annual Millennia Scope Gala is a post Oscar ceremony celebration event honoring the best, brightest and emerging LGBT talent shaping entertainment in Hollywood and takes place on Sunday February 22nd at Los Globos in Los Angeles, California. During this unprecedented fabulous event Millennia Scope will acknowledge the contributions of significant players whose creative work raises awareness and rewrites a modern image of our LGBT community in the world of entertainment and well beyond. Honorees include Martin Gero, Creator “LA Complex” (CW), Ben Cory Jones, Creator and Writer “Bro’s” (HBO), Producer Toni Newman “Heart of A Woman” and Actor Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent” (Amazon Prime). We talked to Shahid about making the Millennia Scope Gala an annual event and his spin on our LGBT issues.

 When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Manning stated, “I’m a gay black man. I am 100% committed to it. My mother taught me in the seventies that ‘it doesn’t matter what other people think, it matters what you think of yourself. I love you for who you are.’ So that’s just who I am and of course as a member of the LGBT community I firmly believe we should have the same rights as any other citizen in this country. I am actually proud that we have more states than not who have equal marriage rights and that’s the way it should be. Equality, equality, equality, that’s what this country is suppose to be about anyway.”

Shahid Manning is a graduate of Howard University’s theatre and business schools. A former corporate executive, Manning moved from New York to Southern California to become an active participant in the theatre and film community in Los Angeles. He has worked in a number of capacities within the entertainment industry uniquely promoting LGBT media and film. In 2009 Manning launched Millennia Scope Entertainment Foundation a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports independent filmmakers of LGBT visual media. Millennia Scope is dedicated to fostering the careers of a community of artists traditionally underserved and underrepresented in mainstream media, who embody diversity, innovation, uniqueness of vision and the next generation of talented filmmakers. Their important fundraising event DIVERSIFYING HOLLYWOOD: 1st Annual Millennia Scope Oscar Gala takes place February 22nd in LA.
For More Info & Gala Tix: msefoundation.org 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Gay Veteran Making History In Boston Speaks OUT

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Bryan Bishop, Founder and Executive Director of OUTVETS, the first LGBTQ nonpartisan, nonpolitical veterans organization in the nation. OUTVETS mission is to recognize and honor the contributions and sacrifices of LGBTQ veterans through social interaction and community service. Last December OUTVETS made LGBT history when the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council (AWVC) voted 5-4 in favor of allowing this LGBT veterans organization to march in South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade next month. Since 1995 when the U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously to not allow LGBT groups to march via freedom of speech for the AWVC the parade has been boycotted by Massachusetts politicians. Whether other LGBT organization will be permitted to march is doubtful. AWVC’s decision to allow OUTVETS to participate was because of OUTVETS nonpolitical agenda and after OUTVETS’ historic appearance as the first LGBT group to march in Boston’s Veterans Day Parade last November. We talked to Bryan about the controversy surrounding the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade and his spin on our LGBT issues.

When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Bishop stated, “Every person in this country deserves to be treated fairly and equally. Now to say that yeah yeah yeah, but does it ever happen? I do everything in my power to ensure that I treat everyone with dignity and respect and equally as the best I can. I mean I come from North Carolina. I come from a place where there is no equality, racially, socioeconomically, you know whether you’re gay or straight it doesn’t matter. I mean the bigots run wild down there. But living here (Boston) for the last 25 years I’ve moved beyond that and I think that my commitment to LGBT civil rights is the fact that we just keep going. We’ve won some major, major battles but we haven’t won the war. I think that struggle is something that we continue to do everyday but as I said before I don’t have a political pull in that. My commitment to LGBT civil rights is that LGBT veterans are honored for the service they gave to this country and nothing more, nothing less. I don’t get into the activism side of it other than that one agenda and that is to honor the service and sacrifice of LGBT veterans and all veterans, but that’s where I draw the line.”

Bryan Bishop retired from the US Air Force after twenty years of service. He now serves as Chief of Staff of the Boston Department of Veteran Service. OUTVETS is currently working on establishing OUTVETS chapters in all 50 states by the end of 2016 and making September 20th the day “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was repealed as LGBT Veteran Freedom Day.
For More Info: outvetsamerica.org