THE GET DOWN CAMPAIGN AND MAYSLES CINEMA
SCREENS WE WERE HERE BY DIRECTOR DAVID WEISSMAN
at the NO MORE STIGMA FILM SERIES
WE WERE HERE IS FIRST DOCUMENTARY TO TAKE A DEEP AND REFLECTIVE LOOK BACK AT THE ARRIVAL AND IMPACT OF AIDS IN SAN FRANCISCO
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30TH, 2012
At MAYSLES CINEMA
343 Lenox Avenue, New York, NY
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ORGANIZATIONS A-MARKETING, GMHC,
THE LESBIAN GAY BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER
LOGO NETWORK AND POZ MAGAZINE
|Still image from We Were Here courtesy of New Yorker Films|
The GET DOWN Campaign’s No More Stigma Film Series continues on October 30th at Maysles Cinema in Harlem, NY with the feature documentary film We Were Here.
We Were Here, directed by David Weissman, is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco. It explores how the City’s inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, that calamitous epidemic.
We Were Here documents the coming of what was called the “Gay Plague” in the early 1980s. It illuminates the profound personal and community issues raised by the AIDS epidemic as well as the broad political and social upheavals it unleashed. It offers a cathartic validation for the generation that suffered through, and responded to, the onset of AIDS. It opens a window of understanding to those who have only the vaguest notions of what transpired in those years. It provides insight into what society could, and should, offer its citizens in the way of medical care, social services, and community support.
Filmmakers David Weissman and Bill Weber co-directed the 2001 documentary, The Cockettes, chronicling San Francisco’s legendary theater troupe of hippies and drag queens, 1969 – 1972. We Were Here revisits San Francisco a decade later, as its flourishing gay community is hit with an unimaginable disaster.
The October 30th event will begin with a reception at 6:30pm, the screening at 7:30pm and a post-screening Q&A with director David Weissman. We Were Here will be preceded by a short documentary entitled Something About Katie, directed by Rutger’s University journalism major Kyle Sweet, created under the GET DOWN Campaign’s Summer 2012 internship program.
In 2010, the GET DOWN Campaign launched with goal of educating and spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS to a primary audience of 13-24 year old teens and young adults and a secondary audience of their care givers. Through social media, blogging, viral content, events and now the No More Stigma Film Series, GET DOWN continues using digital media to engage audiences around HIV/AIDS and sexual health. After developing the concept of for the No More Stigma Film Series, GET DOWN’s founder and executive producer Kim J. Ford approached Maysles Cinema’s Jessica Green, cinema director, about getting involved. Says Ford “Since we launched with Harlem’s FACES NY as our charity partner and are now expanding to partner with Harlem United, it made sense to approach Maysles Cinema.” The Maysles Cinema, the only independent film house north of Lincoln Center in Manhattan, is dedicated to the exhibition of documentary film. Ford continues “With their roots in the Harlem community, accessibility, Summer programs for youth, and social issue oriented programming, we knew Maysles Cinema was the right partner.” The short film Something About Katie, produced under GET DOWN’s Summer 2012 Internship Program, is an example of viral content produced by and about the youth that GET DOWN seeks to reach.
GET DOWN understands that there is a need for more HIV, AIDS, and overall sexual health awareness. Additionally, more education is required around gender and sexual identity. Stigma and shame is still a huge barrier to testing. The No More Stigma Film Series seeks to stimulate open conversation about HIV, AIDS, Stigma and Sexual Identity. “The No More Stigma Film Series”, says Ford, “has as its goal to to reinforce the fact that HIV/AIDS does not discriminate.”
The No More Stigma Film Series kicked off in June with the feature documentary The Carrier and a sneak preview of the highly anticipated 25 To Life. The October 30th screening of We Were Here marks the second of a three event screening series in 2012. The final event of 2012 will take place on December 1st – World Aids Day.
--Team Get Down
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