On June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the Up Stairs Lounge, a bar located on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans, LA. The result was the largest gay mass murder in U.S. history. Despite the staggering historical significance, few people know about the tragedy. Thirty-two people were killed and some bodies were never identified. One-third of the New Orleans chapter of the Metropolitan Community Church were killed in the blaze, including two clergy. No one was ever charged with the crime. The tragedy did not stop at the loss of lives. There were also the delayed injuries: lost jobs, fear, public ridicule and severed families. The devastation was compounded by the homophobic reactions and utter lack of concern by the general public, government and religious leaders. The fire permanently altered lives and was the root of many lifelong struggles.
UPSTAIRS INFERNO is poised to be the most comprehensive and authoritative film about the fire and its aftermath. However, UPSTAIRS INFERNO isn't simply a stagnant exposition of facts. UPSTAIRS INFERNO brings humanity into the headlines by shining a light on the very painful effect the tragedy had on survivors, witnesses and loved ones. Their interviews have been gut wrenching, yet insightful. Some of the people interviewed haven't publicly discussed the fire until now, especially on camera. Many granted the production exclusive on-camera interviews. Featuring over 20 powerful interviews, it's specifically noteworthy to mention that the film includes a rare, heartbreaking interview of a survivor who lost her lover, Reggie Adams in the blaze. As part of her long healing process, she legally changed her name to "Regina Adams" in honor of her "one true love". In addition, the film includes Ricky Everett and Francis Dufrene (two survivors who barely escaped the inferno), a son of one of the victims, Reverend Elder Troy Perry (Founder of the Metropolitan Community Church), Johnny Townsend (Author, "Let the Faggots Burn"), Clayton-Delery Edwards (Author, "The Up Stairs Arson"), Clancy DuBos and Ronnie LeBouef (Two former employees of the Times-Picayune newspaper) and many more.
UPSTAIRS INFERNO is different than any other project the public has ever seen about the fire! UPSTAIRS INFERNO reveals facts and interviews audiences have never heard and it uncovers long lost artifacts, few people have ever seen.
Learn more about the film at UpstairsInferno.com
Camina's previous documentary, "Raid of the Rainbow Lounge" recounted the widely publicized and controversial June 28, 2009 police raid of a Fort Worth, Texas gay bar that resulted in multiple arrests and serious injuries. The film, narrated by TV icon Meredith Baxter, continues to engage sold-out audiences across the country! Over the past 15 months, the documentary has screened over 35 times, including 29 mainstream and LGBT film festivals across the United States, Mexico and Canada. The film has won several awards including 5 “Best” Film and 3 “Audience Choice” Awards. The film also received attention from the Office of the White House, Department of Justice and a division of the U.S. State Department. (RaidoftheRainbowLounge.com)
Anticipated release: 2015
Estimated run time: 95 minutes.
Directed and produced by Robert L. Camina ("Raid of the Rainbow Lounge")
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