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'Out In The Night' - 4 Black Women Defend Themselves Against Attack (Fundraising)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 9, 2013 5:46 PM
34 Comments
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A project we first profiled last summer, and have been tracking since then, it was also one of 10 projects to receive completion funds last fall from The Women In Film Foundation's Film Finishing Fund (WIFF FFF), which supports films by, for or about women by providing cash grants of up to $15,000 and in-kind services.

Previously titled The Fire This Time, and now called Out In The Night, and directed by Blair Doroshwalther, the feature doc has been in development since 2009, as the filmmaker and her production crew have been working diligently, with little money, earned from grants (like the one abovek) and donors here and there, in order to complete its long journey to completion.

Its synopsis reads:

Under the neon lights of the gay-friendly West Village neighborhood of New York City, four young African-American women are attacked by an older man, and then face slanderous media coverage and egregious sentences as they are charged and convicted as a "Lesbian Gang" for defending themselves.

The women came to be known as the New Jersey Four.

Out In The Night tells the story of the women's trial and prison sentences, and the years-long fight by relatives and activists to get the women released, revealing how the media, homophobia, and racism all work together in American culture to stigmatize and victimize gay people of color.

Thanks to Colorlines, here's a description of the real-life incident:

On Aug. 16, 2006, seven young, African-American, lesbian-identified friends were walking in the West Village. The Village is a historic center for lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) communities, and is seen as a safe haven for working-class LGBT youth, especially youth of color. As they passed the Independent Film Cinema, 29-year-old Dwayne Buckle, an African-American vendor selling DVDs, sexually propositioned one of the women. They rebuffed his advances and kept walking. “I’ll f— you straight, sweetheart!” Buckle shouted. A video camera from a nearby store shows the women walking away. He followed them, all the while hurling anti-lesbian slurs, grabbing his genitals and making explicitly obscene remarks. The women finally stopped and confronted him. A heated argument ensued. Buckle spat in the face of one of the women and threw his lit cigarette at them, escalating the verbal attack into a physical one. Buckle is seen on the video grabbing and pulling out large patches of hair from one of the young women. When Buckle ended up on top of one of the women, choking her, Johnson pulled a small steak knife out of her purse. She aimed for his arm to stop him from killing her friend. The video captures two men finally running over to help the women and beating Buckle. At some point he was stabbed in the abdomen. The women were already walking away across the street by the time the police arrived. Buckle was hospitalized for five days after surgery for a lacerated liver and stomach. When asked at the hospital, he responded at least twice that men had attacked him. There was no evidence that Johnson’s kitchen knife was the weapon that penetrated his abdomen, nor was there any blood visible on it. In fact, there was never any forensics testing done on her knife. On the night they were arrested, the police told the women that there would be a search by the New York Police Department for the two men—which to date has not happened. After almost a year of trial, four of the seven were convicted in April. Johnson was sentenced to 11 years on June 14. Even with Buckle’s admission and the video footage proving that he instigated this anti-gay attack, the women were relentlessly demonized in the press, had trumped-up felony charges levied against them, and were subsequently given long sentences in order to send a clear resounding message—that self-defense is a crime and no one should dare to fight back.

You can read a lot more about the incident HERE.

The filmmaker is looking towards completion the by the end of this year/early next year, for a 2014 debut. I won't be surprised if it's a Sundance 2014 selection actually - provided the remaining necessary completion funds are raised. Which is where YOU come in.

Director Doroshwalther has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $23,700 in completion funds. As she states:

The funds will directly support the completion of OUT IN THE NIGHT. We are working full time on the edit and plan to release it in early 2014. Our immediate expenses that will be covered by this campaign include:

- Working with our experienced editor to finish the film

- Renting an editing space where we work our magic

- Create key animation and motion graphics with a graphic designer

- Archival Research

If we raise more than our goal (which would be a DREAM COME TRUE!) we can hire a composer and musician to create the film’s original score.

So watch the video pitch below, and to make a contribution click HERE, or within the widget underneath the video (there are 23 days left in a campaign that has raised 7,600 thus far):

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34 Comments

  • Jamil | April 11, 2013 12:18 PMReply

    Seems like you guys are incapable of making an intelligent comment backed up with facts. Therefore in closing:

    I INVITE ANYONE WHO WANTS TO KNOW THE REAL FACTS ABOUT THE NEW JERSEY 4 CASE TO LOOK UP DOCKET 2006-NY-055877 AND INDICTMENT 04361/2006. OR CALL THE NEW YORK CITY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE.

  • Tgirl | April 11, 2013 12:08 PMReply

    Blair Doroshwalther is making money off of a crime with her documentary, Out in the Night. She saw an opportunity to benefit herself and she has. She is using the victim, the perpetrators, and the gay community to cash in. In the words of Beyonce, “Bow Down Bitches!” and give her some more money!

  • MalcolmX | April 11, 2013 12:04 PMReply

    I love it when white people beat around the subject matter and use insults.

  • Dwayne | April 10, 2013 11:56 PMReply

    These women just won’t stop attacking him! Why does Dwayne Buckle have to make his own documentary when he was the victim of this crime? His story is documented in criminal and civil court documents that can be obtained in court transcripts. He is still suffering from a stab wound to his liver and stomach. He still has hospital bills from the attack. He has suffered many kinds of defamation of character in all forms of the media. He has not received any financial backing from organizations like Sundance Film Institute - Documentary Fund, Abigail Disney, Astraea Lesbian Justice Foundation - Joyce Warshow Award, Frameline, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Women in Film Finishing Fund and hundreds of duped backers like Blair has.

    Dwayne has made his own films about social injustice with his own resources. Shadow and Act refuses to talk to him about anything. Dwayne is available for interviews, Shadow and Act, just name the time and place.

  • Sergio | April 13, 2013 8:57 AM

    "Shadow and Act refuses to talk to him about anything. Dwayne is available for interviews, Shadow and Act, just name the time and place."


    Sorry, I just don't have the time. I've been so busy lately.

  • Dwayne | April 11, 2013 12:41 PM

    All Blair Doroshwalter, Sundance, and Indiewire HAVE is their mouth! They don't have any factual evidence! They have been spinning this story, Out in the Night (they even had to change its name), and using mega corporations to make this story a reality. They have been going with the perception is reality theory. Truth is not perception. It is truth. You cannot change it. You cannot bury it. Eventually, it will come out. Like it is right now!

  • WISEGUY | April 11, 2013 12:14 PM

    He's also the guy in the picture they have posted on their website.

  • WISEGUY | April 11, 2013 12:13 PM

    The reason S&A would probably want to talk to him is so that they can get the other side of the story.

  • CC | April 11, 2013 9:46 AM

    "Why does Dwayne Buckle have to make his own documentary when he was the victim of this crime?"

    DUH! You tell us why, you're the one crying the blues. I mean, if it's true that S&A refuses to talk to Dwayne, maybe he needs to call Tyrone. Nawl, I'm being funny but for what reason would S&A want to talk to him? Didn't you get the news? Shadow and Act IS NOT a newspaper. In other words, Dwayne will have to bring some to get some... something other than his mouth. Check it out--> On Cinema Of The African Diaspora

  • Troy | April 10, 2013 9:40 PMReply

    Hey Nadia, you make me laugh. That's what people say when they have nothing to say. It's obvious you can't make an intelligent comment.

  • Troy | April 10, 2013 11:48 PM

    LOL Nadia! See you at the Oscars!

  • Nadia | April 10, 2013 10:13 PM

    Oh shut up troll! I've contributed to the campaign, and will encourage everyone I know to contribute. And I hope S&A continues to feature the film. It's already finished and she's received lots of support from other organizations, major organizations too, so it's just a matter of getting it to festivals, and you know when that happens, it'll be featured on S&A again, and again, and again. They'll probably interview the director too. The film will get picked up for distribution and make it to theaters. PBS will probably pick it up for TV broadcast. And it'll get even more press. So if there's a documentary film out on your friend Mr Buckle, maybe you should consider sending it to S&A instead of coming on here and bitching about someone else's film. That would be far more productive don't you think Troy? SMH.

  • Nadia | April 10, 2013 9:22 PMReply

    Y'all make me laugh. The opposition army trolls are out in full force. I hope the film gets the money it needs to make sure it's completed. Keep on trolling.

  • Troy | April 10, 2013 9:06 PMReply

    If you let viewers decide what is right & wrong, then where is Dwayne Buckle's side of the story on Indiewire?

  • CC | April 10, 2013 9:42 PM

    Is there a doc supporting Dwayne Buckle's position? If so, send it to S&A so they can bring it to the light. If not, what do you expect them (S&A) to do?

  • CareyCarey | April 10, 2013 8:33 PMReply

    Who's right and who's wrong... this is a very tough call. But first, in defense of Indiewire (Shadow & Act), like movie theaters, they are presenters of films, not producers. Consequently, they are in the business of presenting/providing an opportunity for us to view films/movies/documentaries "On Cinema Of The African Diaspora". It should be noted that their efforts/mission are not only understood (by many), they are appreciated:

    "Without Shadow and Act I wouldn't hear about half of the projects that are released concerning black tv/cinema. You could ignore topics that you don't like, there certainly are enough entries here to do so [... ] They cover international black cinema and everything from "chitlin circuit" plays, to web series, to big blockbuster budget films." ~ KELEA

    So when I seeing S&A being unjustly attacked, I'm compelled to stand up and say "That's not right". For the most part they don't take sides, they let their viewers decide "right" and "wrong", they just present it for our consideration.

    Now on to the details of the post.

    The documentary -- like most documentaries -- has an agenda. The producers "side", their view, their perspective of a very controversial issue, an issues that's complicated by strong and powerful apposing forces, will be front and center. Each camp is saying they're "right" and the other is wrong. Well, it's obvious this documentary focuses on supporting the women who were sentenced for "allegedly" protecting themselves. So it behooved me to discern the source of their "supporting documents".

    Take for instance the Colorlines description of the real-life incident. Although it's described as "real life" it's actually an account/description/interpretation written by FIERCE, a LGBTQ youth organization. So it's safe to say their wording will weight heavily toward the accused, not the "victim" 29-year-old Dwayne Buckle.

    That said, I am not taking a side for or against either side, I believe the doc has the makings for an intense thought provoking film. However, I think it should be noted that a contribution to this fundraiser, is essentially supporting the position of the producers (including the director and her "agenda" whatever that may be) of this doc and the NJ4.

    Btw, everyone knows this but I repeat it. This documentary centers on the alleged injustices directed at the gay & lesbian community, but as one commenter said "Not everyone in the gay community buys into this crap!"

  • CareyCarey | April 10, 2013 10:08 PM

    Chris, since you're replying to my comment... I didn't write this article. So it does not behoove me to pen one telling/highlighting Dwayne Buckle's side of the story. In fact, I said "I believe the doc has the makings for an intense thought provoking film."

    Therefore, as a mere film enthusiast, that's my position. I'd be just as interested in seeing Mr. Buckle's story. Do you have access to one?

    In reference to Sundance "funding" this documentary, how did you come to that conclusion?

  • Chris | April 10, 2013 8:58 PM

    In order for your viewers to be able to decide what is "wrong or right", they must have access to BOTH sides of the story. A one sided story is propaganda. Where is Dwayne Buckle's side of the story on Indiewire? And why would Sundance fund a "documentary" that is one sided? Dwayne Buckle's side of the story has been systematically erased or ignored by the media. Why don't you do an article about his side of the story?

  • Joe | April 10, 2013 6:13 PMReply

    FYI, God is real. Everyone is subject to the law of cause and effect, otherwise known as you reap what you sow. Everyone that is involved with this project, Blair, Sundance, Indiewire, you will have to answer to God for promoting lies.

  • AbeJules | April 10, 2013 6:00 PMReply

    Wow, a black filmmaker is the least likely to raise money on kickstarter because of a major imbalance of generational wealth & access to credit cards & bank accounts. It's good to know that not only can they raise thousands, but also get support from major corporations such as Sundance, & Indiewire, if they can stab another black person. I love Amerikkka.

  • Kelly | April 10, 2013 5:30 PMReply

    The director of this documentary is profiting off a crime victim. Please don't give her any money.

  • Doug | April 10, 2013 5:26 PMReply

    BLUTOPAZ, Mr. Buckle doesn't eat swine and is not out hangin in the hood. He is an Independent Black Filmmaker who owns his own film studio & film distribution company, of course the Hollywood guys don't want this. The Hollywood guys want to perpetuate white supremacy. These women are no different from the jugaboos and mantans of the last century. They will do anything to support the white master at the expense of the entire black race.

  • Sergio | April 13, 2013 8:46 AM

    "Just make sure you look at the date, because they might just throw something up after this comment, since they seem to be concerned with what we say about them on these boards.'


    Nope

  • NYC | April 11, 2013 1:09 PM

    I see their publicity campaign has claimed another victim. We've already heard their side of the story, sure, lets all speak on behalf of Mr. Buckle and use insults to get our points across, let's do everything we can except actually having to hear his side of the story.

  • BluTopaz | April 11, 2013 12:47 PM

    lol--oh that's right, those are all in my Netflix queue.

    And it's not my responsibility to try and prove you all blowing hot air. It does not matter how many student films he affiliates himself with, still does not dispute the fact that he even HE admitted attacking these women first. He's a thug who messed with the wrong crowd and ended up in the hospital. That is what this article is about, not how many masterpieces he has graced with his skillz. He/ya'll should think about that every time it hurts when he/you laughs.

    #DeflectionFail

  • NYC | April 11, 2013 12:34 PM

    BLUTOPAZ, please let us know when you learn how to use the google search engine.

    Dwayne's Work:
    www (dot) theminoritymovie (dot) com
    www(dot) cybornetics (dot) net
    www (dot) 360soundandvision (dot)com


    This was taken off IMDB

    DWAYNE BUCKLE
    Filmography
    Jump to: Sound Department | Director | Writer | Producer | Editor | Camera and Electrical Department | Cinematographer | Visual Effects | Production Designer | Special Effects
    Sound Department (29 titles)

    Director (4 titles)
    2015 Cybornetics 2: Rise of the Cyborgs (announced)

    2012 Cybornetics

    2006 The Glasses (video short)

    2006 The Minority

    Writer (4 titles)
    2015 Cybornetics 2: Rise of the Cyborgs (announced)

    2012 Cybornetics

    2006 The Glasses (video short) (original screenplay)

    2006 The Minority

    Producer (3 titles)
    2012 Cybornetics (executive producer, producer)

    2006 The Glasses (video short) (executive producer)

    2006 The Minority (executive producer, producer)

    Editor (3 titles)
    2012 Cybornetics

    2006 The Glasses (video short)

    2006 The Minority

    Camera and Electrical Department (2 titles)
    2009 The Child Within (video playback operator)

    2006 The Minority (additional camera operator)

    Cinematographer (1 title)
    2012 Cybornetics

    Visual Effects (1 title)
    2012 Cybornetics (visual effects supervisor)

    Production Designer (1 title)
    2012 Cybornetics

    Special Effects (1 title)
    2006 The Glasses (video short) (special effects supervisor)


    2012/II No Strings (short) (additional dialogue recordist) (completed)

    2012 Cybornetics (sound designer)

    2011 Money Has No Value (short) (sound editor)

    2009 Counting to infinity (sound recordist)

    2008 Beauty Mark (documentary) (sound)

    2007/I Blue Moon (short) (sound)

    2007 Texas Hold'em (video short) (sound)

    2007 Pocket Pair (short) (sound)

    2007 Serial (sound re-recording mixer)

    2006 The Glasses (video short) (sound designer)

    2006 The End of The Beginning (sound recordist)

    2006 In the Blood (sound recordist)

    2006 Twenty Dollar Drinks (short) (sound mixer)

    2006 The Minority (sound designer)

    2006 Dress Rehearsal (sound)

    2006 Annual Review (short) (sound recordist)

    2006/I Still Life (sound recordist)

    2005 Black Wine (sound mixer)

    2005 The Undercover Man (sound)

    2004 Superstore (short) (sound mixer)

    2004 The Guerrero Project (documentary) (sound mixer)

    2004/II Limbo (production sound mixer)

    2004 Peoples (sound mixer)

    2004 A-Wol (short) (sound mixer)

    2003 The Fast Life (video) (sound mixer)

    2003 Vespertine (TV movie) (sound recordist)

    2003 Coming Down the Mountain (short) (sound recordist)

    2002 Bumping Heads (short) (sound mixer)

    2002 Corporate Dawgz (short) (sound recordist)

  • BluTopaz | April 11, 2013 12:15 PM

    Perhaps Mr. Buckle can write a script about an angry character who creates multiple screen names who are determined to clear his name. You know the saying, write what you know.

    Btw, Oscar Micheaux was a legendary pioneer whose life is worthy of a biopic itself. Don't even attempt to use his legacy as a comparison to defend violent street trash.

    But if all ya'll insist on making Buckle out to be a cinematic force to be reckoned with that even Hollywood suits are shaking in their boots, do as others have suggested here and post some of his work so we can judge ourselves--or stfu and get off the public library's computer.

  • NYC | April 11, 2013 12:03 PM

    Actually Oscar Micheaux knew, but his story is not published in Shadow & Act either.

    Just make sure you look at the date, because they might just throw something up after this comment, since they seem to be concerned with what we say about them on these boards.

  • MALCOLMX | April 11, 2013 11:40 AM

    Who knew selling your own films on the street can lead to your owning your own film studio and numerous distribution deals.

    Who knew that any black man not shuffling for his master can be such a threat to the establishment.

  • CC | April 11, 2013 9:33 AM

    "Who knew selling bootleg DVDs (& weed) on the corner and uploading rant videos on Youtube was such a threat to Hollywood?!"

    That, imo, was the line of the week.

  • BluTopaz | April 11, 2013 3:46 AM

    "He is an Independent Black Filmmaker who owns his own film studio & film distribution company, of course the Hollywood guys don't want this"

    Who knew selling bootleg DVDs (& weed) on the corner and uploading rant videos on Youtube was such a threat to Hollywood?!

  • Lily | April 10, 2013 5:09 PMReply

    The truth is that 7 women jumped 1 guy and stabbed him. He was outnumbered, not them. They were not scared for their lives. The 4 women, the NJ4, did not want to take responsibility for their actions so they decided to try and flip the script by making it into a homophobic issue and say they were "defending themselves". Not everyone in the gay community buys into this crap!

  • MalcolmX | April 10, 2013 5:00 PMReply

    A: Black filmmaker selling his own films in front of the Independent Film Center gets stabbed by a large group of armed thugs. Gets no financing. Shadow & Act (A black magazine) refuses to talk about his films.

    B:White filmmaker, who was not present at the event, gets 100's of thousands of dollars from Sundance, Kickstarter & other grants, then makes documentary demeaning the victim, with the aggressors posing in front of The Independent Film Center, Shadow & Act gives them 2 articles.

    C: Black People, loose again.

  • BluTopaz | April 9, 2013 7:07 PMReply

    Two things: if these women were White, they would have been called heroes in the media. Even if they were lesbians.

    If Buckle was White (and I've seen plenty of black swine like him out in the street, and not just in the hood), Al Sharpton would be involved.

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