Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis + Other Emmy Season Drama Actresses Talk Race, Sexism, Aging in Hollywood Watch: Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis + Other Emmy Season Drama Actresses Talk Race, Sexism, Aging in Hollywood Teaser: Tahir Jetter's Dark Romantic Comedy, 'Occasionally Dating Black Women' Teaser: Tahir Jetter's Dark Romantic Comedy, 'Occasionally Dating Black Women' ‘Straight Outta Compton’ May Be F. Gary Gray's Best. So What’s Your Opening Box Office Prediction? ‘Straight Outta Compton’ May Be F. Gary Gray's Best. So What’s Your Opening Box Office Prediction? Bill Duke Attached to Direct Ensemble Dramedy About a Wealthy, Dysfunctional Black Family Bill Duke Attached to Direct Ensemble Dramedy About a Wealthy, Dysfunctional Black Family 'Jessica Jones' Producers Share Details on How Involved Luke Cage Will Be in the Series 'Jessica Jones' Producers Share Details on How Involved Luke Cage Will Be in the Series Danny Glover's Toussaint L'Ouverture Film That Never Was, But Could Still Be & Other Films on the Haitian Revolutionary Danny Glover's Toussaint L'Ouverture Film That Never Was, But Could Still Be & Other Films on the Haitian Revolutionary HBO Boss Says Issa Rae's Series Casting Now, Slightly Different in Tone from Web Series, Don't Expect Until 2016/2017 HBO Boss Says Issa Rae's Series Casting Now, Slightly Different in Tone from Web Series, Don't Expect Until 2016/2017 Nice! Lupita Nyong’o Will Star in Danai Gurira's Liberia Civil War Drama ''Eclipsed' Nice! Lupita Nyong’o Will Star in Danai Gurira's Liberia Civil War Drama ''Eclipsed' S&A Call for Films That Speak to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement - Cash Award for the Strongest S&A Call for Films That Speak to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement - Cash Award for the Strongest Watch Episode One of Controversial Caribbean-Set TV Series ‘Chee$e’ Watch Episode One of Controversial Caribbean-Set TV Series ‘Chee$e’ John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive Produce WGN America's 'Underground' John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive Produce WGN America's 'Underground' Nollywood Is a Genre of Nigerian Film & Not the Entire Nigerian Film Industry (Watch Al Jazeera's New Documentary) Nollywood Is a Genre of Nigerian Film & Not the Entire Nigerian Film Industry (Watch Al Jazeera's New Documentary) It Looks Like 'Beasts of No Nation' Will Be THE "Black Film" in Awards Season Contention This Year - With 9 Other Potentials It Looks Like 'Beasts of No Nation' Will Be THE "Black Film" in Awards Season Contention This Year - With 9 Other Potentials Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Trailer: Provocative Doc 'Out In The Night' (4 Gay African American Women & A Tragic Miscarriage Of Justice)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 7, 2014 at 7:26PM

Trailer: Provocative Doc 'Out In The Night' - 4 Gay African American Women & A Tragic Miscarriage Of Justice
0
Out In The Night

An update on a project we first profiled 2 summers ago, when it was one of 10 projects selected to receive completion funds 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 documentary, which has been in development since 2009, is now complete and will make its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, which runs from June 11 to June 19.

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 them released, revealing how the media, homophobia, and racism all work together to stigmatize and victimize gay people of color.

Thanks to a 2007 report by 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.

The 4 women are Renata Hill, Patreese Johnson, Terrain Dandridge, and Venice Brown.

Last spring, the filmmaker raised over $26,000 in completion funds, via Kickstarter - a fundraising campaign that was featured on this blog. 

The documentary will make its world premiere at the LAFF on June 12.

Check out the trailer below:

This article is related to: Blair Doroshwalther


Shadow & ActNewsletter