PRESS RELEASE: Flaming Classics Awarded Knight Arts Challenge Grant to Celebrate Queerness and Cinema
For immediate release
December 5th, 2017
Flaming Classics announced today that it has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its 2017 Knight Arts Challenge. Knight Arts Challenge funds the best ideas for bringing South Florida together through the arts and Flaming Classics will use the grant to build community, entertain, and educate, with a film series that pairs classic cinema from the queer canon with live performances from local drag artist.
The series is curated and conducted by Juan Barquin and Trae DeLellis and has attracted hundreds of attendees, showcasing queer films like What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and But I’m A Cheerleader, and performances by Queef Latina, Jupiter Velvet, and Miss Toto. Each screening has been an electric and unique experience for audiences. The series has become event cinema that merges film history and appreciation with performance art.
“When we launched the Flaming Classics series it was really about increasing queer representation in the arts around Miami. It has really been a pleasure to watch all these queer performance artists at work up close – to see the effort, thought and care they put into each performance, as well as connecting with an eager audience to read cinema queerly,” said Trae DeLellis.
Last month, Flaming Classics hosted filmmaker Darren Stein for a screening of his film Jawbreaker on 35mm. In addition to a spectacular performance by Miss Toto and Dang-Ho Yu Sickning, audiences were able to interact with the filmmaker during a post-screening discussion about his work. Now, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the series can expand to further connect local audiences with the individuals making their favorite films.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to continue and expand our series thanks to the Knight Arts Challenge,” Juan Barquin added. “With expansion comes an opportunity to showcase essential queer cinema while allowing writers and performers alike to discuss and interpret the works in depth.”
To further the academic component to the screenings, the series will be hiring writers to analyze and explore queerness through complementary essays for the programmed films. These unique performances and essays will be documented on Flaming Classics’ website, so that the work will live on beyond the individual screenings.
The series will be returning in January 2018 with soon to be announced titles and performers.