A day-long event featuring films and a discussion will examine the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. The films that will be screened are Tina Mabry’s Mississippi Damned, based on a true story of three poor, Black kids who reap the consequences of their family’s cycle of abuse and addiction; Lydia Nibley’s Two Spirits, a documentary about gender and sexuality in Native American culture and the brutal murder of a transgendered Navajo teenager; and Peter Bratt’s La Mission, a powerful story about masculinity, family, redemption and community. A panel featuring filmmakers and scholars will critically reflect on family dynamics, cultures of violence and what it means to live at the intersections.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
1 p.m.: Two Spirits
Directed by Lydia Nibley
The documentary Two Spirits tells a nuanced story of what it means to be poor, transgendered and Navajo. The film examines the life of Fred Martinez, a Navajo boy who was also a girl. In an earlier era, Martinez would have been revered. Instead, he was murdered. Two Spirits interweaves the tragic story of a mother’s loss of her son with a revealing look at the largely unknown history of a time when the world wasn’t simply divided into male and female and many Native American cultures held places of honor for people of integrated genders. Between tradition and controversy and freedom and fear lies the truth—the bravest choice you can make is to be yourself.
2:30 p.m.: Mississippi Damned
Directed by Tina Mabry
Wanting to escape was the easy part. Based on a true story, Mississippi Damned presents three poor, Black kids in rural Mississippi who reap the consequences of their family’s cycle of abuse, addiction and violence. They independently struggle to escape their circumstances, forced to decide whether to confront what’s plagued their family for generations or succumb to the same crippling fate.
4:30 p.m.: Panel Discussion
Reception to follow
Join filmmakers and community activists for a panel discussion addressing the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. Participants include filmmakers Tina Mabry, Lydia Nibley and Peter Bratt, producer Antonio Brown and community organizers Elton Naswood of the Red Circle Project of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and Victoria Elizabeth Ortega, Queen of the Royal Court of West Hollywood.
6:30 p.m.: La Mission
Directed by Peter Bratt
Q&A with Peter Bratt to follow
Having grown up in San Francisco’s Mission District, Che Rivera (former Law & Order star Benjamin Bratt) is a powerful man respected throughout the barrio for his masculinity and feared for his street smarts. Che worked hard to redeem his life and provide a good one for his son following the death of his wife. Che’s path to redemption, however, is tested when he learns his son, Jess, is gay. To survive his neighborhood and preserve his relationship with his son, Che must embrace a side of himself he’s never known.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS:
Tina Mabry is the writer/director of Mississippi Damned and is a native of Tupelo, Mississippi. Mabry graduated from the USC School of Cinema-Television (now School of Cinematic Arts) with an MFA in film production in 2005. While participating in Film Independent’s (FIND) Project: Involve, Mabry finished developing her short film, Brooklyn’s Bridge to Jordan. The film has been accepted into over 50 film festivals worldwide and has won multiple jury and audience awards along with an award for best director. In 2008, Mabry participated in the FIND Director’s Lab with Mississippi Damned and was later awarded the Kodak Film Grant. Tina Mabry was named among the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker magazine in 2009.
Lydia Nibley is the director, co-producer and co-writer of the award-winning documentary Two Spirits, which aired on the Emmy Award–winning PBS series Independent Lens and received the Audience Award in 2011. Two Spirits has screened at over 60 film festivals around the world and will be broadcast in Canada and Australia in 2012. The American Library Association named Two Spirits as one of the most important films of the past two years. Nibley has written, directed and produced award-winning films, television programs and books and is currently directing and producing a new documentary entitled In Her Honor.
Peter Bratt is a director, writer and producer whose films include Follow Me Home (1996), an honest, humorous look at race and identity, and La Mission (2009). Both films star Bratt’s brother and collaborator Benjamin Bratt. Bratt co-founded 5 Stick Films, Inc. with his brother Benjamin and their producing partner, Alpita Patel. La Mission premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It was also selected as opening night film for a number of prestigious festivals including the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival, 2009 Outfest in Los Angeles and the New York Latino International Film Festival.
RSVP requested at: https://usccollege.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0echedP3xvqY8K0
Organized by Ange-Marie Hancock (Political Science and Gender Studies), Kara Keeling (Cinematic Arts and American Studies and Ethnicity) and Vincent Vigil (LGBT Resource Center). Co-sponsored by American Studies & Ethnicity, Center for Feminist Research, Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, El Centro Chicano, Gender Studies, Latino Alumni Association, the USC Office of Black Alumni and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
For further information on this event: