The VITO Project & The Food Chain – special screening – “Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt”


Wednesday 28th November, 2018


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


The Cinema Museum
2 Dugard Way (off Renfrew Road)


The VITO Project is teaming up with The Food Chain to present a special screening of “Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt”, a 1989 documentary film that tells the story of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The event marks the 30th year anniversary of the Food Chain, which also coincides with the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day and is part of the ENDAIDS2030 festival.

The screening will be introduced by Siobhán Lanigan, the Food Chain Chief Executive Officer and followed by an open discussion with 4 guests: Siobhán Lanigan, CEO of the Food Chain and Mark Santos CEO Positive East – members of the UK AIDS Quilt Partnership – and Gill Brigg and Josef Muller – Quilt panel makers.

A small charity with a huge heart, the Food Chain has been providing vital food and nutrition support services for the most vulnerable and marginalised people living with HIV in London, since Christmas day 1988. At the time of referral to the Food Chain, the people they work with are in crisis, often with little or no food at home, low or no income, and grappling with a complex range of health and social care issues arising from their HIV status.

The Food Chain is also one of the conservation partners of the UK AIDS Memorial Quilt and a full-size panel of the Memorial Quilt will exceptionally be on display in the Cinema Museum auditorium for this event.

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.

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.

The screening will act as a fundraiser for the Food Chain and they will be selling red ribbons on the night.

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

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