From award winning director, Robert L. Camina and Executive Producers behind "Back on Board: Greg Louganis", "Raid of the Rainbow Lounge" and "Southern Baptist Sissies", comes UPSTAIRS INFERNO, the award winning documentary chronicling the deadly 1973 New Orleans gay bar arson: an event that for over 40 years, was considered the "Largest Gay Mass Murder in U.S. History".
On June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay bar located on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. The fire ultimately killed 32 people and severely injured countless others. 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. The primary suspect was never 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. Despite the staggering historical significance, few people know about the tragedy.
With unique access (EXCLUSIVE on-camera interviews from survivors, witnesses and friends/families of victims) and a fresh perspective (incorporating long lost artifacts, newsreel footage and photographs that haven't been seen in decades), UPSTAIRS INFERNO vividly examines this oft-forgotten story and is considered the most COMPREHENSIVE, COMPASSIONATE and AUTHORITATIVE film about the tragedy and its aftermath.
It's the story of the Up Stairs Lounge Arson as you've never seen or heard it before. This critically acclaimed documentary takes audiences to an unforgettable emotional space unparalleled by the written word alone.
Narrated by New Orleans own New York Times best-selling author Christopher Rice, UPSTAIRS INFERNO (96 min) is a mesmerizing mix of crime drama and human connections that captures the heartbreaking feelings of unconditional love and overwhelming loss. An unsettling snapshot of what was, until the early hours of June 12, 2016, the deadliest single event to affect the gay community in American history, UPSTAIRS INFERNO gets inside the hearts and minds of a handful of vibrant people who experienced one of the most important and underreported moments in LGBT History.
UPSTAIRS INFERNO has been featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Advocate Magazine, CNN and more.
DVD BONUS FEATURETTES INCLUDE:
- "Behind-the-Scenes: The Making of UPSTAIRS INFERNO"
- "Present Day Tour of the Up Stairs Lounge"
UPSTAIRS INFERNO was an Official Selection of 40 esteemed film festivals around the world. It won 20 awards, including 12 Jury Awards and 4 Audience Awards. This includes Frameline: the San Francisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which awarded UPSTAIRS INFERNO with the Jury Award: Honorable Mention, citing its "Special Contribution to Queer History". In addition, UPSTAIRS INFERNO received a prestigious invitation to screen at the Library of Congress in 2017.
Some of the images in UPSTAIRS INFERNO are graphic in nature and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
Learn more about UPSTAIRS INFERNO and the history of the Up Stairs Lounge Arson on the Camina Entertainment website.
[Original Release Date: June 24, 2015]