Friday, June 4, 2021

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Pride Programming with films by Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein

Epstein (left), Friedman (right)
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will be celebrating Pride Month with a special night of programming on Monday, June 28 hosted by Dave Karger and featuring the LGBTQ-centric documentaries of Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein, including both the Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk and Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (a TCM premiere.)

Rob Epstein directed The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), for which he won the first of two Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature, as well as Peabody and Emmy Awards and a special Sundance jury prize. The film was named Best Documentary by the New York Critics Association and was inducted to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. It is now part of the Criterion Collection.

In 1987, Rob and Jeffrey started Telling Pictures, a San Francisco-based production company. The first film they directed and produced together was Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989). a feature documentary for HBO about the first decade of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. Common Threads won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature as well as a Peabody Award.

Their film The Celluloid Closet (1995), a hundred-year history of queer images in Hollywood movies, featured interviews with Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon, Shirley MacLaine, Tony Curtis, Gore Vidal, Paul Rudnick, and many others. It premiered at Sundance (Freedom of Expression Award), the New York Film Festival, and the Berlin Film Festival (Teddy Award, Best Documentary). The film won a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award for Directing. It was released by Sony Pictures Classics and premiered on HBO.

Paragraph 175 (2000) told the hidden history of Nazi persecution of homosexuals. It premiered at Sundance, where it won the Jury Prize for Directing, and the Berlin Film Festival, where it received the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film from the International Federation of Film Critics.