Pride of the Ocean Filmmakers Announced

Fourteen Filmmakers have been selected for the 2nd Pride of the The Ocean Film Festival aboard the Bermuda cruise.
May 29th – June 5th, 2011 on the Norwegian Gem, departing from New York City.

Pride of the Ocean celebrates LGBTQ Cinema on the high seas and are benefits for LGBTQ Film Festivals nationally. Presented by The Pollin Group and After Stonewall Productions the festival is programmed by John Scagliotti, creator of In the Life the first television series on LGBTQ issues, and producer of the award winning films Before Stonewall and After Stonewall. There is also a seminar series sponsored by Center for Independent Documentary, The Kopkind Colony and Q-Me Con; visit the website for information on this year’s esteemed panelists.

Tickets for the cruise are available, with a program discount for booking before January 10, 2011. Visit the website for detailed information on the Festival and information on booking reservations.

Meet the Pride of the Ocean 2011 Filmmakers

Rodney Evans is the recipient of The Independent Feature Project’s Gordon Parks Award for Screenwriting for his screenplay, Brother to Brother. His film premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize in Drama and aired nationally on the PBS Series, Independent Lens in June 2005. His autobiographical film, Close to Home, has been shown at over 30 film festivals throughout the world. His earlier feature-length project, The Unveiling, opened theatrically in Los Angeles and New York in 1998. Currently in development is his second narrative feature Day Dream, the first place winner of the 2008 Newfest Screenplay Competition. Rodney is a Creative Capital Grantee and a Guggenheim Fellow for 2008/09. More detailed information on Brother to

His most recent short drama, Billy and Aaron, chronicles the experiences of the African-American, gay, jazz composer, Billy Strayhorn (Lush Life, Take the “A” Train), and the personal and professional consequences of his decision to live as an openly gay man within the homophobic jazz milieu of the 1940’s. This film premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival and has played over 20 film festivals throughout the world including: Outfest, Frameline and NewFest. This short will be shown at CineSLAM 2011.

Giovanna Chesler is a Director and Producer of award-winning films that explore gender, sexuality and the body. Her films cross genre to include narrative fiction, comedy and melodrama, documentary and experimental film. They have played at over 100 international festivals in fifteen countries. Giovanna received an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University and a BA in Anthropology and Women’s Studies from the University of Virginia. Her films address themes of gender, sexuality and body.

Giovanna’s film Bye Bi Love will be screened at CineSLAM 2011. “An invitation to your ex-girfriend’s wedding. Presided over by your ex-husband. Till death do you part with your past.” Her film Stephanie was awarded the Gold Plaque Award for Best Student Documentary from the Chicago International Film Festival in 2000 and her new media work includes Tune in HPV, a web television channel for awareness, expression and entertainment around the human papillomavirus. She is a professor of film at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City and has worked as a cinematographer and camera operator for video artists Kim Schoen and Monique Moumblow.  Chesler is at work on a feature film script about STD’s, love, lust and longing.  G6 Pictures (, Giovanna’s production company, comes from her name – Giovanna Marie is the 6th in a matrilineal line of Giovannas.

Ewan Duarte was born and raised in Fresno, California.  He completed his undergraduate education at UC Stanta Cruz and studied Film/Digital Media.  Ewan, who currently lives in San Francisco, is a transgender filmmaker pursuing his MFA in Cinema at San Francisco State University.  His film Spiral Transition will be shown at CineSLAM 2011.  It is a compelling, candid, interwoven documentary exploring the filmmaker’s relationship with his mother and how it is changing and evolving as he transitions genders.

Pierre Stefanos is a graduate of Columbia University and a native New Yorker, where he has established himself as a writer, editor, producer, and now director. Working with film and Broadway producer Robert Ahrens, Pierre learned the in’s-and-out’s of film production, going on to become an assistant director and production manager on multiple independent features. He is the recipient of a 2006 Business Emmy nomination for post-production work on the PBS TV news series “Now,” and was an editor on the 2008 Emmy-winning episode of Bravo’s “Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List.” In 2009, Pierre wrote, directed, produced, and edited the 15-minute short film Bedfellows (which will be screened by Richard Corso as part of Flickers: Rhode Island International Festival Day on Pride of the Ocean as well as in CineSLAM 2011).  The film has been accepted at over 50 film festivals on 6 continents, and so far has received 21 nominations and 13 awards.  You can view more at his Facebook Fan page:

Yoruba Richen
is a journalist and documentary filmmaker who has worked on films that have aired on HBO, A&E and BET.  Her film, Promised Land received a Diverse Voices Co-Production fund award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and aired on the PBS program POV in July 2010. The film  has also screened at festivals around the word and won the Fledgling Fund Award for Social Issue Documentary.  She was the co-producer of Take It From Me,  a documentary exploring the effects of welfare reform on New York City women, which was broadcast on POV in 2001. Richen was also an associate producer for the investigative unit of ABC News, as well as a producer for the independent radio and television news program “Democracy Now.” She is the recipient of numerous grants, including a Fulbright Award and an International Reporting Project (IRP) grant.

Yoruba is currently developing The New Black, a documentary that examines the complicated, combative and overlapping histories of the African-American and LGBTQ civil rights movements. (a short version will be screened at CineSLAM 2011.) Richen was born and raised in Harlem in New York City and currently resides in Brooklyn.

Jonathan Gann is the founder of the DC Film Alliance, a non-profit group supporting Washington, DC’s  film and video community, and the creator of the DC Shorts Film Festival; now in its seventh year, the event attracts national and international filmmakers, and has become one of the country’s premier short film showcases.  As a filmmaker, Jon’s notable past projects include: Cyberslut, the first gay-themed short film to screen at over 50 festivals and broadcasts worldwide; Signs, a national 48 Hour Film Project award winner, and Offline, a modern dating parable.  His latest short Breathe. Focus. Octopus. will be screened at CineSLAM 2011. Jon’s new venture, Reel Plan, consults with filmmakers on the festival circuit.  His “festival tips” blog is read by hundreds of filmmakers every week, and through his work, has bridged the communication gap between competing film festivals, so all can share film information, sponsor strategies and filmmaker data.

Before creating DCFA, Mr. Gann created theGannAgency (marketing and design services) and GannFilms (video and film production) — continuously run commercial enterprises since 1989.  tGA has provided web programming services through in-house and contract programmers and designers since the early 1990s.  From 1996-2000, he spun off, a division specifically created to serve the growing dot-com market, and was instrumental in the launch of major web initiatives, including AOL, MCI, Network Solutions, and others.

Sam Berliner is an emerging filmmaker and a genderqueer/trans graduate film student at San Francisco State University.  Sam’s goal as a filmmaker is to provide a positive voice for the trans, genderqueer, androgynous and gender-fluid folks not yet represented on screen, documenting their history, serving as a call to action to be recognized and respected by society at large and forcing our culture to evolve.  Sam graduated from Smith College in 2005 and moved to the Bay Area to crew on a film, and decided to never leave.  His film Genderbusters, (to be screened atCineSLAM 2011) resolves the gender-binary dilemmas of folks all over San Francisco.  In his nonexistent free time, Sam enjoys sailing on the Bay and playing the bass guitar.

Blair Doroshwalther has directed two award-winning documentary shorts.  In 2004 she was nominated for the Directors Guild of America’s East Coast Student Award and won New York University’s Adam Balsono Award for Social Significance at the First-Run Film Festival for her documentary Metsi.  Blair’s Production Design reel includes dozens of short films, commercials, PSA’s and music videos airing on HBO, PBS, LOGO generating numerous awards.  Her recent project is called The Fire This Time (we are showing a short version at CineSLAM 2011) It is a feature length documentary in production focusing on four teenage women who went from being victims of a physical assault to being incarcerated as perpetrators. The film aims to create a dialogue around the ways race, gender identity and class are all used as tools in both the mainstream media and in the criminal justice system.

Jon Bryant Crawford is from Little Rock, Arkansas.  He is a graduate of Hendrix College where he made his first feature documentary, Pink Houses, which won the Stonewall Society Pride in the Arts Award in 2005.  After graduating, he shot news at the local NBC affiliate while simultaneously making a documentary for the National Homeless Coalition.  Jon moved to the San Francisco to attend the San Francisco Art Institute.   Due to lack of finances he postponed education to earn a living.   While working a number of jobs from “Bearbucks”- the nickname for the Castro Starbucks- to the circus, he interned at production houses like the legendary Film Arts and worked for the Academy Award winning team of Fawn Yacker and Dee Moshbacher.  He continued to freelance as a videographer and editor while building a career in advertising.  Deciding to return to school, he was admitted to  UCLA’s graduate film program where he is currently pursuing his MFA. Recently, he returned to Arkansas to make his newest short film, Foot Soldier.  After production wrapped, he went directly into making Leveling The Playing Field, a short documentary for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  He is excited to be sharing Tell Me A Memory in CineSLAM 2011. The film is a recipient of the Carl David Memorial Award for excellence in LGBT film.

Ryan Logan likes to migrate.  Born and raised in Kansas, he’s lived in Wyoming, Ohio, Arkansas, and Salt Lake City, UT.  His first film, The Single Mother, about a big-hearted transvestite embarks on a perilous journey to obtain the nuclear family featured in his tattered Home and Garden Magazines has been seen in more than15 festivals.    It was the 1st place winner of the Alternative Spirit Award at the 2009 Rhode Island Intl. Film Festival and will be part of the programming on Rhode Island day on Pride of the Ocean as well as being screened at CineSLAM 2011.  Ryan is currently living in Chicago pursuing a career in film while waiting tables.  Common with smaller scale productions, he had virtually no crew “…and this crew is tired.” We hope Ryan will get what we call at Kopkind: “some radical relaxation” while he is on the Norwegian Gem.

Kiel Adrian Scott, an award-winning writer/director was born and raised in New Orleans, La. Scott is a graduate of The Cooper Union’s highly selective School of Art and is currently a Master’s Candidate and Dean’s Fellow at NYU’s prestigious graduate film program, where he also served as Professor Spike Lee’s Teaching Assistant. Scott’s filmic works have garnered high praise. Of Scott’s latest writing and directorial effort The Roe Effect, Academy Award winning director Jonathan Demme said, “…exquisitely made, fantastic in every single aspect, the themes are profound. Kiel is an incredibly exciting new American filmmaker. Bravo!!!” Scott’s works have played on HBO, Centric, PBS, and BET. They’ve garnered him several film festival wins, including Urbanworld Film Festival, The American Black Film Festival, and CineSLAM Film Festival, as well as a Regional Finalist position for Best Alternative Student Film at the Student Academy Awards. In addition to developing two feature film projects, Scott is currently working on his thesis film, entitled Epilogue, which was recently awarded Spike Lee’s Thesis Production Grant.

Nia Fairweather Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Caribbean parents recalls her earliest memories of performing back to her days as a six year old putting powder on the floor to perfect her moonwalk. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2006 Nia found herself in numerous theatrical and filmic productions, portraying characters as diverse as Eva, a suicidal housewife in need of love and affection, to Jared, an 11 year old boy finding escape from the travails of everyday life in the landscape of his mind. Whether working with the LAByrinth Theater Company’s Intensive Ensemble or starring in the award winning film The Roe Effect, now playing on HBO, Nia can always be found exploring the inner life of her characters, peeling back their layers, traversing their depths.

Kelsy Chauvin is a filmmaker who looks for nuances in the ordinary and humor in the monotonous. She has written several feature and short screenplays and theater sketches, and has produced and directed several short films through her company, Over/Under Productions. Her first two shorts, Can’t You Re-Tie It and Bridal Party, screened at festivals across North America, with Bridal Party winning the Sappho Award at the 2009 Vermont CineSlam Film Festival. Her latest short, Reality Check, takes a satirical view of reality entertainment; it will premiere in 2011.

Lauren LoGiudice started making films when she was 10, having written, directed and co-starred in an adaption of Gone With the Wind inspired by her mother’s porcelain collector’s plates of Scarlett and Rhett. Today, it is her intention to craft truth and laughter through art to inspire and enrich her communities.  As an actor, Lauren works in indie film and commercials in New York. Her latest feature When Harry Tries to Marry premieres in 2011. Lauren is also a stage performer and toured her first solo show Queens Girl to worldwide acclaim. She produces short films with Over/Under Productions, most recently Reality Check. Her Italian grandmother character, Carmella Ravolli, is now starring in a new web series — check it out at: