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Professional Motion Picture Production and Distribution NEWS

"On the Low," a Short Film by Luther M. Mace, Makes Its Film Festival Premiere

By Luther Mace
posted May 10, 2005, 16:06

“On The Low” to be screened at Frameline’s 29th Annual San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, The Seventh Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival, NewFest 2005-- New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival, OUTFEST 2005 and Out Takes 2005-- New Zealand's Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

“On The Low,” a short film, explores the emotional consequences of a hush-hush intimate relationship between two African-American high school boys.

“On The Low” tells the story of a young man, Ty Evans, coming to terms with his sexuality and the inner conflict he experiences. The true extent of Ty’s relationship with his classmate, Kevin Banks, begins to trouble him when the boys get into a schoolyard shoving match. As the tension between them escalates, Ty realizes what began as innocent curiosity and experimentation has blossomed into a deeper infatuation. He recognizes that the only way to come to terms with his feelings is to admit to Kevin that he’s in love with him.

The film will be screened at Frameline’s 29th Annual San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival; the world’s oldest and largest celebration of LGBT cinema. Past festivals have delighted over 80,000 attendees, with over nearly 80 features, including many world and US premieres, and 150 short films. Frameline’s mission is to support, develop, and promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer visibility through media arts. Frameline brings the best in lesbian and gay films and videos to communities across the country through Frameline Distribution, the nation's only distributor solely dedicated to lesbian and gay film and video.

The Seventh Annual San Francisco Black Film Festival will also be screening “On the Low.” The mission of the SFBFF is to celebrate African American cinema and the African cultural Diaspora and to showcase a diverse collection of films – from emerging and established filmmakers – that highlight the beauty and complexity of the African and African American experience. Their film selections highlight the richness of Black culture while recognizing universal themes and the similarities that exist among all cultures.

Founded in 1988, The New Festival, Inc is a non-profit media arts organization dedicated to showcasing the newest and best LGBT media for the greater New York metropolitan area. Programming includes the annual NewFest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival, one of the most comprehensive forums of international LGBT film/video in the world; NewFest@BAM, a bimonthly LGBT programming series at the landmark Brooklyn Academy of Music's Rose Cinemas; and NewFest Wednesdays at the Pioneer Theater, a twice monthly LGBT programming series in Manhattan's East Village.

Outfest is a leading showcase for diverse, international gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender film and video. Outfest produces the oldest and largest continuous film festival in Los Angeles, featuring more than 200 feature and short films, nine venues and attendance of over 40,000 people. Since 1982, Outfest has presented 4,000 film and video titles for audiences of more than half a million people.

Outfest is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to build bridges among audiences, filmmakers and the entertainment industry through the exhibition of high-quality gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themed films and videos, highlighted by an annual festival, that enlighten, educate and entertain the diverse communities of Southern California.

Reel Queer Inc is a group of gay men and lesbians based mainly in Wellington that organises New Zealand's annual gay and lesbian film festival.

Out Takes 2005 will be the eleventh annual festival. The inaugural festival took place at Wellington's Paramount Theatre in 1995. The festival's first expansion outside Wellington was to Christchurch in 1997, followed by Auckland in 1998 and Dunedin in 2001.

Reel Queer Inc is a non-profit incorporated society and its members are all volunteers. The Committee members in particular devote many hundreds of hours collectively to running the festival - a year-round activity.

“On The Low” depicts the cultural phenomenon—“the down low” or “DL”— prevalent in urban communities in which African-American males are intimately involved with both men and women. However, as the title alludes, the homosexual relationship remains a secret. “There’s something universal about integrity and self-respect,” explains the film’s writer-director Luther M. Mace. “Anybody— gay, straight, black, white; male, female— who believes that it’s okay to be in a relationship with somebody who refuses to publicly acknowledge them is in for a rude awakening.”

This film stars Deondray Gossett (“Sister Act 2”), Delpano Wills (“Dark Town”), and Tommy Mikal Ford (“Martin,” “Harlem Nights”). The short also features newcomers Antoine D’Angelo Lattier, Gene Samuel and Austen Parros.

Born and raised in Spanish Harlem, a hard-knocks area of New York City, Luther Mace knows first hand what it’s like to grow up in a machismo environment in which homosexuality is not widely accepted. “I’ve spent so many years fighting the inevitable because I knew I’d be ostracized by everybody around me,” contends Mace. “In fact, this (film) is ripped right out of my personal journal. I know what’s like to keep a relationship a secret because other people finding out could have dire emotional consequences.”


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