The VITO Project


Wednesday 28th September, 2016


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


The Cinema Museum
2 Dugard Way (off Renfrew Road)


The VITO Project, is a series of free monthly screenings showing on the last Wednesday of the month. The project was created in association with the Cinema Museum to promote dialogue between different generations of LGBTs. The series provides an alternative space for LGBTs of all ages to watch films that have shaped and fuelled our combined LGBT histories, revisiting some key cinematic moments to provide debate for different generations of LGBT people to get together and meet and talk and share

This original idea was developed by the team at ReShape and then provided with a home by the fabulous Cinema Museum, a truly unique venue devoted to keeping the spirit of pre-multiplex cinema alive in a hidden corner of the Elephant and Castle. In honour of his pioneering work in reclaiming and celebrating the queer history of cinema the project was named after Vito Russo, author of “the Celluloid Closet” and a visionary AIDS activist.

Vito Russo

After graduating from New York University, Russo joined the Gay Activists Alliance and archived old films at the Museum of Modern Art. In the early 1970s, he started research for “The Celluloid Closet” (1981), which entailed watching hundreds of films that included gay content and stereotypes. What originated as a lecture with film clips became one of the most informative books about gay people and pop culture. Diagnosed with HIV in 1985, Russo was a frequent protestor with ACT UP. In 1986, Russo lost his longtime partner, Jeffrey Sevcik, to AIDS. Outraged by the media’s inadequate and inaccurate coverage of the pandemic, Russo co-founded GLAAD, an organization that monitors LGBT representation in the media, he died from AIDS-related complications in 1990. In 1996, “The Celluloid Closet” was made into a documentary film by Academy Award winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and co-produced and narrated by Lily Tomlin.

Doors to the cafe/bar open at 6pm for a 7pm screening.Venue capacity is 120, these events do sell out, so plan to arrive before 6.45pm. Although free, each event costs £500 to run (space rental and film licensing etc.), so a donation of £5 is suggested for those who are able to pay to help support this evening running. The venue is a converted 19th century Victorian Workhouse, and films are screened upstairs in a stunning vaulted cafe/bar meeting space.

Check for the next upcoming event (every last Wednesday of the month).

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