FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Outfest Presents the Premiere of FULLY RESTORED Landmark Gay Film
“WORD IS OUT: STORIES OF SOME OF OUR LIVES” on July 14th
The Nation’s Leading Gay and Lesbian Film Institution Announces the Completion of
2nd Milestone Film Restoration
(Note to Editors: Digital Images Available Upon Request.)
LOS ANGELES, CA – Outfest – a leading showcase for diverse and international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) film and video – partnered in 2005 with the UCLA Film & Television Archive to create the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation.Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives (1978) is The Outfest Legacy Project’s 2nd restoration. Parting Glances (1986), the seminal film that depicted the lives of gay men in New York at the beginning of the AIDS pandemic, was the project’s first completed film restoration that screened in 2007. The Restoration Premiere of Word Is Out will take place on July 14th, 2008 at Outfest 2008: The 26th Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
Two-time Academy Award winner Rob Epstein, one of the members of the Mariposa Film Group, remarked, "We are extremely pleased and honored to have Word Is Out restored, and apparently just in the nick of time. Even today, thirty years after the film’s premiere, it is incredibly moving to witness the people in this film describe gay bars being raided by police in San Francisco in the 1960's, or getting shock treatment, or being put on a diet of two green salads a day by a psychiatrist, all in the hopes of curing or repressing homosexuality. For younger people, this film will be revelatory. For all, Word Is Out is vital film history. The Outfest Legacy Project has helped to preserve this history forever, and for this we are all very grateful."
“The preservation of Word Is Out” is an important step in ensuring the survival of important and endangered LGBT works,” said Kirsten Schaffer, Outfest Interim Executive Director. “Unfortunately many other LGBT films are in imminent danger of fading away—their original exhibition prints in tatters, their negatives in woeful storage conditions, or even lost. Gay and lesbian independent films – including significant titles from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s – are in particular peril because of a perceived lack of commercial value by the industry and/or the filmmakers’ inability to maintain their work themselves” she continued. “The Outfest Legacy Project is working to raise funds to rescue these films, strike new prints for widespread public exhibition, and expand access to researchers and the public. I am thrilled to see Word Is Out on the big screen - it promises to be a moving experience as the legacy of both the Mariposa film collective and the subjects of this film are now safe and our queer history has been preserved.” she concludes.
"The groundbreaking restoration of Word is Out is a milestone for the Outfest Legacy Project," said Jan-Christopher Horak, Director, UCLA Film & Television Archive. "We shall continue working on the monumental task of rescuing endangered LGBT works and making them available to audiences and scholars worldwide."
Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives impacted audiences around the world in 1978 by destroying stereotypes of the gay experience. Today, the power of this film lies not only in its disarming interviews but in how these beautifully woven interviews stand as a watershed to our history. These stories are a record of our struggles, our dissension, our joys, our loves and our lives.
“Word is Out is often touching and generally engrossing. Its quality lies not just in the fact that it gives us the most intelligent, telling cinematic look to date at the homosexual experience in America, but beyond that, it is quite funny and speaks not only to the homosexual, but to all of us who have experienced the pain of being different; which is to say, all of us.” - San Francisco Chronicle, 1978 John Wasserman
The filmmakers capture the innocence and charm of 26 people - ranging in age from 18 to 77, from San Francisco to New Mexico to Boston, from beehived housewife to sultry drag queen. You will laugh at the irony as one woman explains how doctors put her on a diet of two salads a day to cure her 'sickness'. You might feel humbled or grateful as one ex-member of the Women's Army Corps tells how the women expected to get beat up for dancing in gay bars by angry servicemen in the late 1940s and early 50s. Either way, you will leave the theater affected by the fierce courage and love emanating from these stories, our stories.
Up until this month there was no viable print of Word is Out - the only record of this seminal documentary was falling apart. Now, The Outfest Legacy Project, along with UCLA has created an archival 35mm preservation negative, restored the soundtrack and made two pristine 35mm viewing prints. The legacy of both the Mariposa film collective and the subjects of this film are now safe and our queer history has been preserved.
The Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation
The Outfest Legacy Project is the only program in the world devoted to saving and protecting LGBT film, much of which is already in danger of being lost. In partnership with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Outfest Legacy Project has already established the largest publicly accessible collection of LGBT moving images in the world (over 8,000 titles and growing). Beyond actively collecting LGBT film and video media for permanent conservation and preservation, the Legacy Project strives to fund the restoration of damaged films and videos to their original release quality. In addition, the Project enthusiastically conducts LGBT public education and extensive outreach to filmmakers, archivists and educators.
The Outfest Legacy Project’s next film restorations are the seminal documentaries Queens at Heart (mid-1960’s), a rare and surprising glimpse into pre-Stonewall transsexual life, made by Southeastern Pictures Corporation and Choosing Children (1984), a groundbreaking film about LGBT parenting directed by Academy-Award Winning Director Debra Chasnoff and Kim Klausner.
UCLA Film & Television Archive
The UCLA Film & Television Archive is internationally renowned for its pioneering efforts to rescue, preserve and showcase moving image media, and is dedicated to insuring that the collective visual memory of our time is explored and enjoyed for generations to come. A unique resource for media study, the Archive holds one of the largest collections of media materials in the United States—second only to the Library of the Congress in Washington, D.C.—and the largest of any university in the world.