25th New York Queer Experimental Film Festival

Founded in the 1980s, Mix NYC, a non-profit organization based in New York City, New York, has dedicated its existence to the promotion of previously marginalized works from gay, lesbian, transgender and queer artists in the field of cinematography. November 13th, 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of Mix NYC’s continued commitment to, and celebration of, film with the start of the 25th New York Queer Experimental Film Festival. For 6 days, extending from November 13th through November 18th, 2012, over 120 films with run times from 2 minutes to 64 minutes will captivate New York audiences.

Erzulie’s Tears, Photo Courtesy of MixNYC.org

On Wednesday November 14, 2012 Mix NYC presented Exploding Lineage! a collection of 14 short films rooted in and inspired by the Harlem Renaissance. BullDagger Women and Sissy Men, produced by KB Boyce, captures in 6 minutes the role of queers in the Harlem Renaissance movement while MA Brooks film Erzulie’s Tears takes a poetic look at the spirit of a Haitian Voudoun goddess of love. Other films, like Renaissance Redux by Oriana Bolden, function as documentaries, focusing on the history, thoughts, and stories of individuals, queer and straight, growing up in Harlem and during the Harlem Renaissance.

O Happy Day, Photo Courtesy of MixNYC.org

On Thursday, November 15, Mix NYC presented a retrospective look at past film screenings, spanning the first 13 years of Mix NYC Film Festival. A notable inclusion was the showing of O Happy Day (Charles Lofton).  By splicing together footage from Black Panther gatherings, gay black porn, and other early footage from the 1970s, Lofton re-contextualizes the Black Power movement as the beginnings of a gay uprising and awakening.

Mommy is Coming, Photo Courtesy of MixNYC.org

To end the festival of films, Mix NYC will host the New York premiere of Mommy is Coming on Sunday November 18th at 3:00PM. The director, Cheryl Dunye, will be present during the screening. Described as a “comedic pornographic exploration of love” on Mix NYC’s website, Cheryl Dunye’s latest work attempts to explore the identity issues complicit in the navigation of sexually and racially bound relationships. The film follows Claudia, the main character of the film, as she attempts to fulfill her girlfriends wishes by adopting a more strongly male persona, Claude.

With three nights of films galore in the days ahead, residents of New York City and incoming visitors still have plenty of time to catch screenings of Cheryl Dunye Mommy is Coming along with the vast array of other films investigating queer, racial, and sexual topics of discussion. This is not to mention the installations and live performances hosted at the Mix Factory for the 25th New York Queer Experimental Film Festival.

~Ardea Smith

About BFC/A

The Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University was established in 1981 as the first archival repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making available historically and culturally significant films by and about black people. The BFC/A's primary objectives are to promote scholarship on black film and to serve as an open resource for scholars, researchers, students, and the general public; to encourage creative film activity by independent black filmmakers; and to undertake and support research on the history, impact, theory, and aesthetics of black film traditions. View all posts by BFC/A

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