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POSTED ON Sep 28, 2015 BY Three Dollar Bill Cinema

SLGFF20 Documentary Spotlight: UPSTAIRS INFERNO

SLGFF20 Documentary Spotlight: UPSTAIRS INFERNO

Upstairs Inferno is a full length documentary about the largest gay mass murder in U.S. history. On June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay bar located on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. The result was the largest gay mass murder in U.S. history. Despite the staggering historical significance, few people know about the tragedy.

With the assistance of narrator, CHRISTOPHER RICE (famed New Orleanian and New York Times best selling author), uses a mix of emotional interviews and archival footage to tell the little known story about how this neighborhood bar became the notorious site of a horrific tragedy which would permanently alter their lives and the course of the gay rights movement in New Orleans.

Director, Robert L. Camina, was invited ​to the White House for President Obama's 2012 LGBT Pride Month Reception and was able to screen his previous film, Raid of the Rainbow Lounge,​ for the U.S. State Department. This film was made to strengthen the grassroots organizations, while engaging local communitites and advancing social change, leaving Upstairs Inferno to be looked at in a similar way.

"The more I learned about the fire, the more important this project became. I believe it is crucial to acknowledge, preserve and honor our history as LGBT people. The LGBT dialogue has changed SO much in teh past few years. As popular attitudes shift on LGBT issues, we risk losing the stories of the struggles that got us where we are today. It's our responsibility to honor the memories of those who came before us, including those who died at the Up Stairs Lounge. The people who experienced this tragedy paved the way for the freedoms enjoyed by the New Orleans LGBT community of today, as well as the overall LGBT movement. I wanted to create a film that honored their forgotten stories." 

 

Upstairs Inferno is playing October 17th at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival @ 12:30pm.

AMC Pacific Place

Runtime: 96 minutes