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ImageOut: The Rochester LGBT Film Festival

Next Generation Series – We Will Resist

There’s no question that it’s been a tough year for everyone, and we in the LGBTQ community are no exception. For so long, we’ve been able to look back on each passing year and marvel at the great strides we’ve made, achieving new levels of rights and acceptance. But now we’re suddenly facing a period where those rights are once again being chipped away by those in the highest offices of the land.

Still, as dismal as the situation has often seemed, there’s been a light in the darkness. We’ve seen our country’s marginalized communities come together in profound ways with other like-minded individuals: contacting public officials, holding public demonstrations, and marching through the streets to make our voices heard as we say, “We will NOT go backward. We will fight. We will resist.” And more often than not these efforts are led by our nation’s young people. It’s been a heartening reminder that yes, these days the kids are alright.

The Next Generation Series is always a highlight of our festival, shining a spotlight on the lives of LGBTQ youth while also educating them on the history that brought us to where we are today. The experiences and issues young people face today are different and often more complicated than ever before, and we hope the films in this series inspire and empower not just our youngest generations, but everyone in our community, regardless of age.

This year’s Next Generation lineup features a mix of narratives that demonstrate the resiliency of our LGBTQ youth, as well as a few docs that look back and remind us how far we’ve come.

Lavender Scare takes us back to the 1950s, examining how our own government, led by Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, under the cloak of “morality,” vilified and discriminated against those in the LGBTQ community. But nevertheless, we persisted.

David France, Oscar-nominated director of How to Survive a Plague, chronicles The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson. A pioneer of the gay rights movement, Johnson was an outspoken activist, veteran of the Stonewall Riots, and the “saint of Christopher Street.” The film takes the form of a mystery, as activist Victoria Cruz investigates Johnson’s still unsolved death, but in so doing it also celebrates her remarkable life.

Offering a realistic depiction of the long and difficult emotional journey every trans person goes through, the powerful Just Charlie focuses on a young high school athlete who finds the strength to live an open and authentic life.

In Saturday Church a young African-American teen struggles with gender identity, but finds a place where he belongs, bonding with members of the New York City ballroom scene. Plus it’s a musical!

And of course, our Safe Space shorts program is back again this year, delivering a collection of short films that spotlight the broad spectrum of LGBTQ youth experiences.

As always, all programs in this series are free to anyone under the age of 21. Tickets can be obtained only during advance in-person ticket sales or at the box office before each screening. Please be prepared to show proper ID.

Find out more about the films in the Next Generation Series HERE.