Thursday, November 27, 2008

My short film: 575 Castro St.

575 Castro St. from FilmInFocus on Vimeo.

a film by Jenni Olson
(2008) USA 7 mins. HD

575 Castro St. reveals the play of light and shadow upon the walls of the Castro Camera Store set for Gus Van Sant’s film Milk. These mundane shots are almost bereft of movement and sound. So quiet, so still. All the better to showcase the range of emotions evoked by Harvey Milk’s words on the soundtrack. The audio track is an edited down version of the 13-minute audio cassette that Harvey Milk recorded in his camera shop on the evening of Friday, November 18, 1977 (a few weeks after his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors which made him one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States). Labeled simply: “In-Case” the tape was to be played, “in the event of my death by assassination.”

The sensibility of 575 Castro St. hearkens back to the style of the dozens of Super 8 gay short films of the ‘70s that passed through Harvey Milk’s hands to be processed and developed at the Castro Camera Store.

575 Castro St. is now available for viewing on the Focus Features Milk Website or just by clicking on the player above — but it's better if you go to the Focus site and get the player coming up larger (please go watch and be generous with your comments, I would love to see your comments).

And look for 575 Castro St. coming soon to a film festival near you (hopefully). I'll be posting screening info and such on my 575 Castro St. blogsite very soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Transgender Day of Remembrance: November 20th

Thursday, November 20, 2008 marks the 10th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgender — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgender people.

Click here to find a Trans Day of Remembrance event near you.