Thursday, June 2, 2011

Out In The Silence in Springfield -- Film Screening to Kick-Off Week of Pride Celebrations

Springfield, MA – June 1, 2011 – In an effort to raise lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) visibility and engage the community in new conversations about inclusion, fairness, and equality for all, the Springfield Pride Committee is sponsoring a free community screening of the acclaimed film OUT IN THE SILENCE at 6:00pm, Wed., June 8 at Springfield Technical Community College's Scibelli Hall Theater to Kick-Off a Week of Pride Celebrations.

A dynamic post-screening dialogue will be led by members of the Pride Committee and feature special guest, filmmaker Joe Wilson.

OUT IN THE SILENCE shows Wilson being drawn back to his small Pennsylvania hometown to share the story of a teenager tormented at school because he is gay, and the struggle the teen's mother goes through to get school authorities to do something about it. In the film, Wilson also strikes up an unexpected friendship with a conservative evangelical pastor and his wife, and follows the trials and tribulations of a local lesbian couple who can catalyze the rust-belt town’s economic revitalization if they find community acceptance. Intertwined with these heartfelt stories is Wilson's exploration of the role that a local 'family values' group plays in stoking anti-gay bigotry in the town. At once wrenching, entertaining, and inspiring, the film ultimately shows the individual and community transformations that are possible when people, on all sides of these challenging issues, speak out and take the time to get to know one another.

“Time and time again I've seen how screenings of this film have helped to bring diverse audiences together, have an uproariously good time, and begin to imagine how they can take collective action to make positive change in their community,” said Wilson. “I have great feelings about this Springfield event and the foundation it's going to help lay for important future work there.”

OUT IN THE SILENCE was produced in association with the Sundance Institute and Penn State Public Broadcasting, premiered at the 2010 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival in New York, and won an Emmy Award for Achievement in Documentary, but Wilson and his partner and co-director Dean Hamer, are more interested in using it as part of a grassroots campaign to promote dialogue and civic engagement in smaller cities, towns and rural communities.

A press kit and more information about OUT IN THE SILENCE and the campaign are available on the website:



Holly Richardson
Springfield Pride Committee
T: 413.348.8234

Joe Wilson
T: 202-320-4172



“A stunning documentary” - The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Film Critic's Pick of The Week” - The New York Times

“Though the film is made by two gay men, it doesn't seek to promote a “gay agenda” or to stereotype the “religious right.” It's simply a matter of trying to understand attitudes in small-town America.” - Christianity Today

“Most moving are the stories of heterosexuals who transform because of their relationships with GLBT people.” - American Library Association

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