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HomePress Release 1.13.20

Filmmaker Looks Back to Historic 1979 March for Lesbian and Gay Rights

For Release January 13, 2020

Contact: Marcia Freedman 510-367-9688
Frances Reid 510-682-4586

A documentary film producer who was on the frontlines of the early fight for lesbian and gay rights will share her experiences at an upcoming East Bay event.

  Frances Reid, an acclaimed Bay Area producer, will read from her in-progress memoir on January 26 from 2-4 pm at the Epworth United Methodist Church, 1953 Hopkins Street, Berkeley. One chapter of the book describes the making of documentary, Greetings from Washington, that chronicles the first-ever National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. It will be shown at the event—one of the few times the film has been publicly screened in over 30 years. 

  Reid’s appearance, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Ashby Village, a non-profit organization that helps older adults live independently in their own communities. Reservations are required ( or 510-204-9200).

  “The film is historic. It shows the first time the Gay and Lesbian community celebrated itself and came out in a national arena to demand civil rights,” says Marcia Freedman, an Ashby Village Board member. The Village’s Arts and Culture committee is hosting its first LGBT-themed program.

  For her part, Reid notes there is heightened interest now in events that happened in the seventies and eighties. “It’s a good time to remember what things were like —and how far we’ve come,” she says, adding, “And how vulnerable all these rights are.”

   Although the film was shown often when it was made, it hasn’t been seen very much since, in part because the 16mm format is outdated.  Reid says the UCLA film archive is exploring how to restore it in a digital mode. Her films include the Sundance Grand Jury winning and Oscar nominated film “Long Night’s Journey into Day” and “Skin Deep.” She was also the cinematographer for the Oscar winning “The Times of Harvey Milk.” 

   Ashby Village is one of hundreds of villages across the country that is supporting older adults to reframe how we age in our communities. Highly trained volunteers support this mission by providing services like transportation, light gardening and home repairs, and Ashby Village has found that many of our members come for the services and stay for the community. To learn more about Ashby Village please visit ###