Public Humanities Cinema Project: The Celluloid Closet

Culture & Identity  •  Grants

Riverviews Artspace

901 Jefferson St Lynchburg, VA
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Adjunct Professor at Randolph College and Executive Director of the Lynchburg Diversity Center, Andi Miller, will host a public film screening and dialogue series as part of the Public Humanities Cinema Project.

The Celluloid Closet, the first film in the series, is a documentary based on the book of the same by Vito Russel. Both works examine the portrayal of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual characters in the film industry, in particular Hollywood, over time. Throughout the business’ history, characters have been portrayed as archetypal sissies, subjected to censorship by the Hollywood Production Code, slipped secretly into films, and depicted using cruel stereotypes before changes were made in the early 1990s. The documentary interviews various men and women connected to the Hollywood industry to comment on various film clips and their own personal experiences with the treatment of LGBT characters in film.

The film was honored with four Emmy Award nominations in 1996. It was nominated for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Informational Programming for editing, sound recording and director of photography. It was also nominated for Outstanding Informational special. Additionally, the film received both a Peabody Award and recognition at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival by winning the Freedom of Expression award.

A public discussion and open dialog on the LGBT culture of the 1990s and in cinema will follow, lead by a TBD guest speaker and host Andi Miller.

Sponsored in part by a grant from Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

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