Local Youth Organize Events to Speak OUT IN THE SILENCE
Against Bullying & Discrimination in California
Screenings of award-winning film to help build bridges
on gay issues, bullying and teen suicides
on gay issues, bullying and teen suicides
Redwood City / Clovis, CA — March 14, 2011 — A series of free community screenings of OUT IN THE SILENCE, "a stunning documentary" (Philadelphia Inquirer) about the harrowing, ultimately successful battle waged by a gay teen and his mother against recalcitrant school authorities when the teen is brutally attacked for coming out in his small town high school, will follow the film's local premier in the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival (Sat., March 19).
The events, organized by Gay-Straight Alliance, parent, church, and other community leaders, include:
March 22, 7:00pm – Mill Valley Public Library
March 23, 7:30pm – Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
March 25, 5:00pm – Leon S. and Pete P. Peters Educational Center – Clovis / Fresno
The screenings will be followed by a Q & A session with filmmakers Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer, GSA leaders, and other community representatives aimed at engaging audiences in conversation about building the movement for inclusion, fairness, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people locally, in California and across the country.
OUT IN THE SILENCE was produced in association with the Sundance Institute, premiered at the 2010 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in New York, and has won praise from critics and film festivals around the world. But Wilson and Hamer are most interested in using it as part of a grassroots campaign to help raise LGBT visibility, support local organizing and advocacy work, and promote dialogue and civic engagement in smaller cities, towns and rural communities.
At the heart of the campaign is a dedication to the idea that small acts of visibility, particularly in places where they are rare, unexpected, and sometimes unwelcome, help to raise awareness, open-up dialogue and create ripple effects and opportunities to organize for change that go far and wide.
California Gay-Straight Alliance leaders have spearheaded the organizing for these events as a way to help communities respond to the tragic rash of suicides among gay youth that captured the nation's attention last fall and to help counter the pervasive harassment and violence LGBT students face on a regular basis in schools across the state.
To see a trailer or for more information about the film, please visit: http://OutintheSilence.com
OUT IN THE SILENCE Campaign work in California made possible by a grant from the Columbia Foundation.
President, Aragon High School Gay-Straight Alliance
Clovis North Gay-Straight Alliance
OUT IN THE SILENCE Director
Film Synopsis: When a popular 16-year-old jock is brutally attacked for coming out at his small town high school, his mother reaches out for help to the only person she feels she can trust, an openly gay man who lives 300 miles away – native son and filmmaker Joe Wilson, whose same-sex wedding announcement ignited a firestorm of controversy in the local paper. Returning home with camera in hand, Wilson documents the harrowing but ultimately successful battle waged by the teen and his mom against recalcitrant school authorities, the efforts of a lesbian couple to restore an historic theater in the face of vitriolic anti-gay attacks, and his own unexpected friendship with an Evangelical preacher. As walls are torn down and bridges built, OUT IN THE SILENCE offers a fascinating and moving commentary on America's culture war.
“A stunning documentary” - The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Film Critics Pick-of-the-Week” - New York Times
“Tough. Wrenching. Inspiring.” - OUT Magazine
“Out in the Silence is recommended for all viewers and deserves a place in all library collections, particularly those libraries serving small and rural communities.” - American Library Association
“The recent Out In The Silence screening was the most significant, public and positive event that GLBTQ people in the Klamath area have EVER experienced. EVER. Really. Our group is experiencing it as a watershed event and it has instilled a lot of energy and hope.” - Christy Davis, Supervising Librarian, Klamath County Library Service District, Klamath Falls, OR
“After 'Out In The Silence' played at Williamsport's Community Arts Center in September 2010, I was compelled to write the following message on the film's official website: “Your film does cause one to reflect on one’s own behavior and prejudice. I consider myself a progressive African-American, but the film caused me to doubt my relatively conservative attitudes about homosexuality and the bigotry against gays and lesbians. Mistreatment of another human being is wrong. But, I have not taken a strong stance against the bigotry. I will do better.” - Richard James, Founder, Billtown Film Festival