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Rainbow Banner Supporting Russian LGBTs Unfurled at St. Petersburg Film Fest After 5 Bomb Threats

Sidebyside
(twitter portlandfilm)

A rainbow flag banner designed and sent by Gilbert Baker (the creator of the Rainbow Flag) was unfurled at the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia over the weekend in the face of laws banning gay propaganda. It was unfurled as Gus van Sant, Bruce Cohen, and Dustin Lance Black, the filmmakers behind the Harvey Milk biopic Milk, discussed the film.

The film fest received 5 bomb threats, organizers report:

On 30th November, at art-space Skohorod, Saint Petersburg the VI Side by Side LGBT Festival came to a close. The festival which has been plagued with major disruption, receiving 5 bomb threats which led to evacuations of buildings, causing scheduling changes, ended in a positive and reaffirming atmosphere in the presence of the creators of the Oscar award winning film MILK, Gus Van Sant, (director), Dustin Lance Black (screenwriter) and Bruce Cohen (producer).

Proving to be unyielding, opponents of the festival were bent on continuing to cause havoc to the very end and just 5 minutes before the start of the Closing Award Ceremony the audience once again were informed that the building needed to be evacuated following yet another anonymous telephone call that a bomb had been left on the premises. After police checks the building was given the all clear and proceedings once again resumed with an hour or so delay.

Following the announcement of the 2013 BOBIK Award winners the evenings main highlight was with the festivals very special guests, Gus Van Sant, Dustin Lance Black and Bruce Cohen, who engaged with the audience talking at length about the film MILK as well issues to relating to the emancipation of the LGBT community in the USA, Russia and around the world.

Van Sant noted that despite significant advances in the USA in the recognition of LGBT rights the situation was not perfect and there was still a lot of work to be done. Black and Cohen reiterated their solidarity for the LGBT community in Russia, to stand by their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and not let crimes committed against them to be ignored but condemned and the perpetrators made accountable for their actions. Black reminded that: “THE WORLD IS WATCHING” the developments in Russia.

A surprise gift, signifying friendship and solidarity, was presented by Black from Gilbert Baker – the creator of the rainbow flag which symbolizes LGBT – was a hand sewn rainbow flag with the words SUPPORT RUSSIAN GAYS.

Vansant

(twitter side by side)


Biopic on Closeted Gay Beatles Manager Brian Epstein Coming from 'Milk' Producer Bruce Cohen

A new biopic on closeted gay Beatles manager Brian Epstein will be the first ever awarded the right to use the band's original songs and is being produced by Oscar-winning producer (and AFER board member) Bruce Cohen (Milk, American Beauty), Deadline reports.

BeatlesPic is scripted by Tony-winning producer Vivek J. Tiwary (Green Day’s American Idiot, Mel Brooks’ The Producers) from his own forthcoming graphic novel with art by Andrew C. Robinson and cartoonist Kyle Baker, which Dark Horse releases November 19. Tiwary will produce alongside Cohen, who won the Oscar in 2000 for American Beauty. Production is set to begin in 2014.

The Guardian adds:

Titled The Fifth Beatle, the film will document the life of Epstein from his discovery of the Liverpudlian group to his death by accidental overdose in 1967 at the age of 32...

Epstein was the closeted gay Liverpudlian entrepreneur who brought the Fab Four to the public's attention. Starting out in the music business by selling records from his father's appliance store in Liverpool, he heard the Beatles on his lunch break at the Cavern Club and relentlessly pursued a record deal with EMI once installed as the quartet's manager...

...There have been efforts to bring Epstein's story to the big screen before, but a planned biopic based on a screenplay by Tony Gittelson floundered in 2009. The manager was played by David Angus in 1991's The Hours and Times, a fictional retelling of a holiday Epstein took with John Lennon (Ian Hart) in 1963. Hart also played Lennon in 1994's Backbeat, about the band's early days performing in Hamburg, in which Epstein was not a major character.


Oscar Producer Explains Cut-Away from Brolin - Bardem Kiss: 'No One Knew It Was Coming'

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Academy Award telecast co-producer Bruce Cohen, who is gay, explains ABC's cut-away from the kiss and dance between Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin to AfterElton:

"It [the dance and the kiss] was unscripted, and the plan in the truck was always to cut to Penelope in the audience applauding Josh's and Javier’s introduction, so that is what happened, just as they were starting to dance. Josh and Javier’s moment (I saw them start to dance, but, to be honest, I have no idea if they kissed — that’s the first I’ve heard of that) would have made a great TV moment, but since no one knew it was coming, we cut to the gorgeous Mz. Cruz as planned. By the time we cut back from her close-up, James and Javier were walking to the podium."

I know Bruce, and he's a good guy, but I'm not sure I buy his explanation.

Previously...
Did Oscar Producers Get 'Gay Panic' When Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem Kissed During the Telecast? [tr]


Producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen Part Ways

Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, the producing team behind Oscar winner American Beauty, Gus van Sant's Milk, and the short-lived but critically-acclaimed TV series Pushing Daisies (among others), have decided to split, Deadline Hollywood reports:

Jinks_cohen "Jinks and Cohen tell me they have decided to amicably break up their Jinks/Cohen Company. "We've had a great 12 years, but we've both decided that we want to explore on our own," Jinks and Cohen told me. Jinks is forming The Dan Jinks Co and keeping Nick Nantell as VP of development, while Cohen is forming Bruce Cohen Productions. The duo will continue to work together under their Warner Bros.-based television company, and say they intend to see through several feature projects that include the Catherine Hardwicke-directed Hamlet with Emile Hirsch attached to the Ron Nyswaner script, My Name is Jody Williams, with Audrey Wells directing her script, and the Robin Swicord-scripted The Rivals, a period drama that once had Steven Spielberg attached to direct."

Note: the pair are not romantically involved, just filmmaking partners. 


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