Wednesday, October 21, 2020

NewFest's New York LGBTQ Film Festival Announces New Initiative and Cash Prizes for Black LGBTQ+ Filmmakers

NewFest, New York’s leading LGBTQ+ film and media organization and one of the world's most respected LGBTQ+ film festivals, has announced a new initiative, the Black Filmmakers Initiative, which will provide festival-related cost assistance to Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers, as well as three new cash prizes for Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers participating in this year’s festival. The announcement was made today by NewFest’s Executive Director David Hatkoff.

NewFest's Black Filmmakers Initiative has been created in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and in recognition of the need to create opportunities for queer Black artists and amplify their voices. The Initiative will take a four-pronged approach to empowering Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers and communities: 1) provide funding for Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers to start or continue existing film projects; 2) help with covering festival submission fees to ensure that all Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers can submit their projects to NewFest; 3) provide funding for travel-related costs for Black LGBTQ+ filmmakers to attend NewFest events; and 4) contribute free tickets to Black-led organizations to attend NewFest events/programming.

“NewFest is very proud of its diverse programming, but there is no question that we as an organization, and the industry at large, can do more in combating systemic racism and injustice, and can do a better job of representing all aspects of the LGBTQ+ community,” said NewFest Executive Director David Hatkoff. “By subsidizing festival-related costs that can prevent Black filmmakers from getting their work exhibited or from utilizing professional development opportunities, and by putting cash directly into the hands of filmmakers to make or complete their projects, The Black Filmmakers Initiative is our way of taking steps toward changing the pipeline process and contributing to a more equitable ecosystem.”

NewFest’s Black Filmmakers Initiative is generously supported by sponsors Ralph Lauren Corporation, Blackstone and Vimeo.

The new awards presented by the Black Filmmakers Initiative at NewFest include the Directorial Feature Debut Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Award, awarded by NewFest to a Black LGBTQ+ filmmaker whose directorial feature debut is being presented at NewFest’s 32nd edition of the festival. This award comes with a $2,000 cash prize, and the inaugural recipient is Olivia Peace for her film TAHARA.

Says Olivia Peace of receiving the award, “I’m excited to put this award money towards making a new piece, and I look forward to a festival circuit that is easier for my community to navigate. This initiative is a step in the right direction, and I hope that next year, there are even more talented Black filmmakers screening their work at NewFest.“

NewFest said, “Through Peace’s lens, TAHARA insightfully navigates the tribulations of a young queer person just coming into her own. Even when the path seems utterly unknowable, Peace compassionately depicts a light at the end of the teenage tunnel, eliciting impressive performances from her ensemble, and creating a cohesive, transportive film that seamlessly interweaves stop-motion animation, improvisation, social media, and animated daydreams. NewFest awards this grant with the hope that Peace will continue her empathetic, visually creative storytelling, and bring their vision to other LGBTQ+ passion projects and to the world.”

Additionally, The Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Award, decided upon by a jury of Black LGBTQ+ film industry professionals, will be awarded to three directors whose short films screened during NewFest’s 32nd edition of The New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival. Each recipient will receive a $1,000 cash prize. The recipients of these awards will be announced at the Festival’s award ceremony on Saturday, October 24.

More details on eligibility requirements and how filmmakers can apply for future opportunities will be released in the weeks to come.

NewFest’s New York LGBTQ Film Festival is currently running through October 27 and more than 120 new films are accessible to ticket holders nationwide via NewFest’s on-demand platform throughout the festival. Individual tickets and all-access passes are all available at

Tune In for the Unlucky 13th Ep of The Boulet Brothers' 'Creatures of the Night' Podcast

Calling all horror fans! Tune into The Dread Central Podcast Network at midnight on Thursday, October 22nd for the 13th episode of The Boulet Brothers' CREATURES OF THE NIGHT podcast.

"The Boulet Brothers celebrate their unlucky 13th episode with terrifying news updates about upcoming horror releases and the Boulets’ guide to celebrating Halloween at home this year. The team dives into Josh Boone’s “New Mutants” on the episode’s movie review, and in their special Halloween Haunting of History they explore the folklore behind modern day Jack-O-Lanterns."

The Boulet Brothers' 'Creatures of the Night’ features co-host Ian DeVoglaer, and a roster of esteemed special guests from the intersection of queer media and horror, including enigmatic cyber witch and pop singer Poppy, burlesque star Dita Von Teese, actress Rose McGowan, Darren Stein (writer and director of Jawbreaker), and Rachel True (star of The Craft), with the list growing every episode. The Boulet Brothers welcome listeners as they discuss their latest projects, provide behind-the-scenes sneak peaks, review the latest horror movies, and give listeners real life horror history lessons on famous hauntings from the past.

The Boulet Brothers’ ‘Creatures of the Night’ joins Dread Central’s roster of horror programs including The Who Goes There, G.U.T.S, and Real Professional podcasts. Unveils Revealing New Interview with Male Model River Viiperi

Mr. Man, the Number One Authority on Male Celebrity Nudity, talks to top male model River Viiperi about this year’s triumphs, challenges, favorite new shows and his ‘third comeback’ in an exclusive new interview with

The 29-year old Spanish runway star says that in 2020, “my biggest challenge has been to actually focus on myself and my dreams. I always put my life on pause for other people and that has only led to disappointment and me having to reset my career. Let me tell you, it’s never easy.”

Viiperi, who was born in Ibiza and moved to New York ten years ago to try his hand at a modeling career, didn’t wait long to find work: “My biggest success I’d have to say was booking my first casting, which was for Calvin Klein back in 2010. The same day I landed in New York I was asked to go see them, booked the job, and that’s basically what put me on the map.”

While stuck in quarantine with the rest of the world these past few months Viiperi says that he has “officially watched and re-watched every movie and TV show Netflix has to offer” and misses “the traveling! Getting to discover new countries, new cities, new cultures - all while working - is something I’m very grateful for.”

What’s in store for River’s fans in 2021? “My true goal has always been acting. I recently took on a small role in a film that has been wrapped now and am currently working on a project that I’d LOVE to lock in. When I do, it will hopefully start shooting in April/March of 2021.

“I’ll be able to talk more about it, but as of right now all I can say is that the people who have been following me for the past 10 years will LOVE my role too hahaha,” he says, adding, “Stay loyal, stay healthy, stay positive, and don’t give up on your dreams. Also, follow me on Instagram @RiverViiperi.”

Read the full Mr. Man article with River Viiperi here.

DVRKO - The Power of Love

In celebration of Back to the Future Day, DJ & producer DVRKO today released a scintillating reimagining of classic pop/rock track “The Power of Love,” and accompanied highly-produced animated music video, out now and streaming on all available digital platforms via independent label L1N3 Records. The cover features an icy female vocal, a death-defyingly powerful and booming bassline with a banging 4/4 beat, ossicular builds and dynamic synths – a rework fit for the mainstage of a dance music festival. The track also revels in a trap and dubstep vibe after the second chorus, showcasing DVRKO’s new-age interpretation that will appeal to the masses. 

Tonight, fans are invited to travel through time with DVRKO and award-winning producer/DJ, Damon Sharpe as they present Power of Love: A Back to the Future Day Livestream Special Event. The duo will join forces for a 1-hour DJ set with blooming beats and nostalgic treats. Tune in tonight, Wednesday, October 21st at 4:29pm PT exclusively at

Jake Bain Partners with the It Gets Better Project


It Gets Better Project's latest video featuring Jake Bain, former Division 1 football player and one of the first openly LGBTQ+ D1 football players. For the last decade, the It Gets Better Project has upheld a mission to empower, uplight and inspire the next generation of LGBTQ+ youth, and today Jake is an activist for the LGBTQ+ community and identities as Pansexual. Growing up Jake was always known for being a jock, which placed a lot of stress on him to fit into society’s stereotype for what a jock should be. From a young age, he was aware he was different and always knew he was attracted to boys and girls, but his eyes were not opened to the LGBTQ+ community until his older brother John came out as openly Gay during college.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Jamie Lynn Spears - Follow Me (Zoey 101)

Jamie Lynn Spears, with producer and internationally renowned DJ, Chantel Jeffries, announce the release date for their brand-new single “Follow Me (Zoey 101)” to be available commercially for the first time via 10:22 PM / Republic Records on October 22. The new single reimagines the original theme song, co-written by Britney Spears, from Nickelodeon’s award-winning television show Zoey 101.

The global livestream pop culture event, See it First: The Follow Me (Zoey 101) Experience, will take place on Sunday, October 25 with Jamie Lynn Spears reuniting with the original cast of Zoey 101, and include today's hottest stars Chantel Jeffries, JoJo Siwa, Dixie D'Amelio, and more surprise guests seen in the event trailer out today. Exclusive VIP tickets are available now HERE. Advance tickets available for $20, exclusive merch bundles also available for a limited time. Follow Me (Zoey 101) premiere experience will be an unforgettable event that fans will not want to miss. Watch See it First: The Follow Me (Zoey 101) Experience Trailer HERE.

Also revealing today, NYLON Special Report: Reintroducing Jamie Lynn Spears, an in-depth interview and exclusive photos with Jamie Lynn Spears including discussion of the new single for the very first time, check out the story and photos HERE.

Hollywood's LGBTQ+ Council Launches Mobilization March Of Equality Voters

On Saturday, October 24th The Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council will lead a march of "Equality Voters to the Polls" at 9:00am from 2131 Hollywood Blvd. to the Hollywood Branch Library for Early Voting. The Council believes that Equality is on the ballot this year from the Presidency at the top all the way down to the last candidate and issue that voters will encounter. The Council is hoping to mobilize local voters that support Equality in order to ensure the community retains and expands our hard-won rights.

The Council is inviting all voters and candidates that support Equality to march with them, whether they have already voted or not. The Council's members (80% of which self-identify as LGBTQ+) and guests should all wear a mask and maintain social distancing guidelines. Meet up at 8:30am and step off is at 9:00am. Once the group reaches the Hollywood Branch Library, voters may either join the line to early vote, drop off their vote-by-mail ballot, or may simply encourage those waiting to vote to stay in line and make sure their voices are heard. Ample parking can be found along Hollywood Blvd. near the Boulevard Landmark Office Building.

Council President Todd Delmay and his husband Jeff Delmay, who were plaintiff couples in the same sex marriage case that helped overturn the ban in Florida in 2015, and were one of the first two same sex couples to marry in Florida (the very first from Broward and Hollywood) will be among the marchers. According to Todd Delmay, "Winning the rights associated with Equality is not enough. We must continue to support candidates and the issues that will safeguard and expand those rights. If you don't think they are at risk, just consider for a moment there are Supreme Court justices interested in revisiting Obergefell (the landmark 2015 decision that brought marriage equality to all 50 States)." Mr. Delmay continued to say that "matters of Equality are very much local issues as well. Municipalities, Counties and our State all have opportunities to choose Equality every day. Whether they are serving people of color, people of LGBTQ+ experience, or those from other marginalized communities, the choice must always be on the side of Equality if we are to fulfill on the ideals of our Founders."

The Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council was formed in April 2019 and made history with the Hollywood Commission in June 2019 when the Commission issued a Proclamation recognizing Pride in Hollywood for the very first time. In June of this year, the City of Hollywood again made history becoming the 1st City in Florida (the 2nd in the United States) to fly the "Progress Pride" flag over City Hall, which centers the voices of queer people of color, and those of trans experience. The Council and the City have worked diligently on improving its Municipal Equality Index Score, which has grown from 49 to 70 (out of 100) and is anticipated to show significant improvements again this year.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Parasol Arts Presents: The Seasons

At a time when a worldwide pandemic has shut down theatres and caused typical fundraising events and their annual gala to be cancelled, Parasol Arts has created a truly unique artistic endeavor, combining the mediums of Argentine Tango dance, music, visual arts and poetry while making this exciting new project available to anyone, anywhere. This outside-of-the-box thinking is called The Seasons and it will be available to stream this November via SeriesFest. A one-week viewing ticket is just $15 and will be available for purchase starting November 14. The film will be available for viewing starting November 28 for one week only.


Originally planned for the stage in September 2020, The Seasons is a story about the cycles of the universe, the planet, human lives and relationships. Set in an art gallery on a Saturday night where a few tango couples have gathered to dance, a few new people enter to look at the artwork. Three strangers, inspired by the paintings depicting the seasons of nature imagine different seasons of romantic relationships through stunning choreography.


Award winning filmmaker Mitch Dickman of Listen Productions is working closely with Parasol Arts’ Creative Director, Lorita Travaglia to build an artistic dance film which will contrast the macrocosm of the universe and the microcosm of the intimacy of human relationships.


In this unique look at the seasons of human connection, world class Argentine Tango stars, Diana Cruz and Donato Juarez — who previously starred in Parasol Arts’ production Carmen the Tango — are joined by Domenico Luciano, former principal dancer with Colorado Ballet.


In addition to the thrilling dance, multiple artistic mediums are represented as well. The show will incorporate the visual artwork of Michelle Courier from Denver’s Westward Gallery, the music of Astor Piazzolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aries” played by The Austin Piazzolla Quintet and the poetry of Vivaldi. Truly, this is one project that will thrill fans of nearly any artistic style.


“The arts are more necessary than ever right now as a way to inspire and lift the spirits,” says Creative Director Lorita Travaglia. “And Argentine Tango in particular has been affected by the pandemic. This film project is also generating much needed work for dancers, musicians, artists and theatre technicians.”


Partially funded by a Colorado Cares Act grant from Colorado Creative Industries and the National Endowment of the Arts, The Seasons will be available in November on the Series fest platform.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Lund - Downhill

Southern California singer, producer, and multi instrumentalist Lund releases a new single entitled “Downhill” today.

On the track, which premiered with Ones To Watch, airy guitar tightly curls around a glitchy beat. Hovering over the luminously layered production, his raw vocals resound. The mood culminates with a moment of unrestrained longing as he admits, “I guess it’s all downhill from here, cuz every word I speak girl you don’t hear.”

On the track Lund said, “One of my favorite quotes is ‘Love is giving someone the power to destroy you but trusting them not to’ by E. Lockhart. I wrote downhill from the perspective of someone in a one-sided relationship and the thoughts and feelings they go thru trying to keep it from falling apart.”

The track arrives on the heels of “Red Tide” last month. His first label release for Republic Records has already garnered 254K Spotify streams and counting.

Both songs pave the way for the arrival of his debut Project Of A Person EP—coming October 30, 2020. Once again, the EP highlights his magnetic melodies, entrancing sonic alchemy, and nuanced lyricism, showcasing the scope of his talents.

On the soon to be released EP Lund noted, “Perfection doesn’t exist, we are all projects. Puzzles with missing pieces we are forever searching for. Not because we aren’t capable of being whole with who we are but because we can always be a better version of ourselves. I have put so much of me into this body of work and I’m beyond ready to share it with you.

SCREAMFEST 2020: Awards Announced

The 20th annual Screamfest Horror Film Festival awarded their 2020 top movies, filmmakers, actors and screenplay during the fest’s closing night on Thursday, October 15. The festival, which ran from October 6-15, 2020, is the largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States. This year, the festival made an unprecedented move entirely to drive-in screenings with a lineup of ten back-to-back nights of fright, kicking off with Hulu’s Books of Blood at Calamigos Ranch and following with nine nights at the Regency Theaters’ The Plant Drive-In. 

Staying true to their mission of steadfastly supporting filmmakers and screenwriters in the horror and science fiction genres, Screamfest was home to 91 independent filmmakers during the course of its 10-day drive-in series, including 83 short film directors, 67 short film producers, 11 feature film directors, and 13 feature film producers, including 16 female directors and 15 POC filmmakers. In addition to the full festival line-up, the festival also hosted a variety of classics programming including favorites such as Halloween, Halloween II, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Halloween 4 and Halloween 5

Film entries are accepted in the categories of Best Picture, Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Special Effects, Musical Score, and more.  This year’s Best Picture and Best Director went to Adam Stovall’s imaginative paranormal romance A Ghost Waits, which also nabbed Best Actor for MacLeod Andrews. Best Actress and Best Cinematography went to Australian psychological horror Sweet River. French film Anonymous Animals took home Best Editing and Best Musical Score, while the first ever Icelandic gay splatter vampire flick Thirst (pictured) won Best Special Effects Makeup and Best Visual Effects.

Take the 2020 Black LGBTQ Community Survey

The 2nd Black LGBTQ Community Survey is a partnership between the Center for Black Equity, Community Marketing & Insights (CMI), and many leading media, organizations, and thought leaders who serve the Black LGBTQ community. The survey will provide free data to help nonprofits, universities, and organizations better understand and serve the Black LGBTQ community. The research report will be published for free download, available to all.

Answering the mostly multiple-choice questions should take approximately 15 minutes. and your responses helps gather important information about our community and supports the initiatives of Black LGBTQ community organizations and media.

Everyone who completes the survey by October 30, 2020 may enter into a drawing to win one of twenty US $100 gift certificate prizes from Apple, Amazon, Etsy, Starbucks, Target, TomboyX, or Wildfang (your choice).

Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) works hard to ensure that your personal information will remain SECURE and CONFIDENTIAL. For more about CMI's privacy policy, please click here.

To begin the survey, CLICK HERE.

Biden, JLo Address Queer Community for QueerX Live! + Festival Winners Announced


Queer Steaming TV Network, Revry debuted QueerX Live! on Sunday (National Coming Out Day) with powerful messages to the LGBTQ+ community from Joe Biden, Jennifer Lopez, Angelica Ross, Karamo, and Sarah Kate Ellis. The show also featured showstopping original performances by HBO Max’s Legendary ballroom winners, House of Balmain and VINCINT.  

Highlights of QueerX Live! included heartfelt words from Jennifer Lopez, who presented the Revry Visibility Award to Brendon Scholl, her non-binary “nibbling”. The show also screened Brendon’s emotional appearance in the documentary, Draw With Me, which examines Brendon’s story of coming out as trans. “The act of being unapologetically yourself is so important to promoting acceptance and change,” said Ms. Lopez. “This is why honoring those individuals who are bold and courageous enough to be themselves is so important. Brendon is the embodiment of these virtues.” Ms. Lopez further urged anyone struggling with self-acceptance to try to “find the courage to be themselves and discover their own unique gifts to share with the world. Just like my precious nibling.” 

Other Visibility Awards were presented by basketball legend and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas to his entrepreneur and activist son, Joshua ‘Zeke’ Thomas; and Carmen Carrera, who presented to actress, advocate, entrepreneur, and veteran, Angelica Ross.  

Part awards show, part political rallying cry, QueerX Live! gave a wonderful forum for influential queer voices to send powerful messages to their community, including such notables as Queer Eye’s Karamo; influencer, AmbersCloset; outspoken political activist, Blossom Brown; and GLAAD CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis. Most timely was the featured speaker of the eve, Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President, Joe Biden. Biden spoke about the assault on LGBTQ+ rights under the current administration and he touched on specific discriminatory policies within adoption agencies, homeless shelters, and public services including the military. The Vice President specifically called out the Trump administrion’s refusal to respond to the epidemic of violence against transgender women of color.“The White House should never be a source of opposition or fear or oppression. It should be a source of hope and moral courage and unification,” said the Vice President. "I will be an ally of the light not the darkness” 

The evening screening, which can now be seen On-Demand for free on Revry, also announced and screened the QueerX film festival winners for Drama (Flush, by Igor Lovato and directed by Diego Freitas), Music Video ("Star of Bethnal Green" by Bear's Den and directed by Jake Graf) and Comedy (Being In, created and directed by Victor M. Rocha). The respective winners all accepted the awards and introduced the films in moving video messages. 

QueerX Live! brought to you by Lexus, also had its live premiere in person at a pop-up Drive-In in downtown Los Angeles, with plenty of celebrities attendees including performers: House of Balmain, ROB.B ‘Heartthrob Robb,” and the headliner, VINCINT. The show’s hosts from The Q Agenda and What’s Trending—as well as activist influences Blossom Brown, AmbersCloset—also attended. Other guests included trans performers Mila Jam and Laith Ashley, as well as reality star, On Mekahel, and Carmen Carerra amongst others.  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

US Conference on HIV/AIDS: USCHA Goes Virtual for 2020


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 United States Conference on HIV/AIDS (USCHA) will take place online Oct. 19-21. Registration is FREE for the first 4,000 community/non-profit registrants.* And all content will be available online for FREE after the conference.

The health and safety of our constituents is always top priority. While
USCHA is very disappointed to not be able to meet in person this year, the organization felt that a live gathering was too great of a risk.

With all of this year’s extraordinary events, many in our community are dealing with isolation and other triggering issues right now. That’s why
USCHA decided to return to a recent theme: Family Reunion II. USCHA 2020 will give everyone a meeting that is welcoming and embracing and inspiring even if we can’t be together in person. Now more than ever, we need our family.

NMAC sees family as more than blood. Family is the people you trust to have your back, especially now. Family is the people you want to hug when you should be socially distancing. The HIV movement is a large and diverse family. During these uncertain times, USCHA celebrates the HIV Family!

The Virtual 2020 USCHA will have five plenaries, 60 workshops, 12 institutes, and an Exhibit Hall. New this year will be a Jobs Fair. The new federal resources for the Ending the HIV Epidemic plan means thousands of new jobs. USCHA wants to bring together the people who need jobs with the organizations who receive the new EHE funding.
USCHA also wants to make sure that the people who get these jobs represent the communities hit hardest by HIV.

While there are many critical issues impacting HIV, right now the house is on fire and COVID-19 is stoking the flames. USCHA will prioritize trainings that help the HIV community manage the impact that COVID-19 has had on HIV prevention, treatment, and care.

Equality Federation: Are you a pro-equality voter?

All year long, our member groups across the country have been taking care of their communities. They have been advocating for policy change, creating hubs and toolkits to uplift local and statewide resources, and providing support for folks who are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are 19 days away from the election, member groups are making sure we are all informed equality voters.

Are you ready to vote in CO?

Groups like Georgia Equality, Equality Ohio, and Equality Florida have worked all year to build strong volunteer bases that are now working to help get out the vote in what will be one of the most significant elections in our lifetime.

Thanks to Equality Federation’s Project Game Changer, our member groups have received one-on-one training and support on everything from grassroots organizing to running digital campaigns in order to foster year-round community engagement. By helping member groups to build year-round plans, groups now have dedicated volunteers who are giving hundreds of hours of their time to help get out the vote in their states.

Check out what some of our members are doing to provide you with resources to be an informed voter and to learn more about getting involved in your community.

We can’t do this work without you!

National LGBTQ Task Force: Today Is the Last Day for Census!

By Kierra Johnson, Deputy Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

Today, October 15, is the last full day to fill out your Census! Don't be counted out! Here's how to fill out your Census right now:

• ONLINE at by October 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm Hawaii Standard Time. (HST) (6:00 am Eastern Daylight Time on October 16, 2020)
• BY PHONE at 844-330-2020 (English) or 844-468-2020 (Spanish) through October 15.
• PAPER census questionnaires must be postmarked by October 15, 2020.

Take the Census Now!

Census data is used to distribute over one trillion dollars in funding, to distribute political power, and to make decisions about our everyday lives—competing the Census is one of the most important ways you can fight for your community!

The Census has faced challenges this year, from the coronavirus to interference from the Trump Administration. But you still have time to secure the political power and federal funding that you and your community deserve, by responding by October 15 to the 2020 Census.

Be you and get counted!