As you know, HBO was a presenting sponsor for this year’s Outfest film festival, and the documentary Vito was the opening night film for the festival's 30th anniversary. The highly regarded film airs tonight on HBO. As a preview, check out the interview Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges of Traipsing Thru Films conducted with director Jeffery Schwarz, composer Miriam Cutler and Russo's friend Bruce Vilanch, who says that Russo left him the only film of Bette Midler with Barry Manilow on piano performing at the gay Continental Baths.
Gay and AIDS activist Vito Russo thought it was critical that LGBT people understand the history of how we have been represented on film—which contributed to how society saw and treated us in real life. In that vein, I’ve been working on an overview piece on Outfest and some of the films I saw. I am writing two “stand alone” pieces on How to Survive a Plague and Love Free or Die about Bishop Gene Robinson in order to go more in depth. Please see the list of Outfest award winners at FrontiersLA.com.
Vito Russo and Bette Midler