Tina O’Grady, a member of the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s “cultural competency initiative” was scolded by her boss after co-workers complained about an e-mail she had forwarded promoting the gay-themed Out@Wex Film Festival in Columbus.
As per the Columbus Dispatch, O’Grady’s co-workers seemed to be particularly offended by the festival’s description of Bruce La Bruce’s Otto; or, Up With Dead People in its release. Otto is summed up as an “art-porn provocation [that] depicts an explosion of cannibalistic, sodomy-seeking zombies in Berlin.”
What exactly in that sentence – art, porn, provocation, explosion, cannibalism, sodomy, zombies, Berlin – offended some of the Ohio Department of Public Safety workers remains unclear.
The judges at the Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival – who apparently aren’t squeamish when it comes to porn, cannibalism, zombies, Berlin, et al. – voted Otto; or, Up With Dead People the best film at the festival’s 2008 edition.
PinkNews reports that teacher Debra Taylor had to resign from Grandfield High School in rural Oklahoma, after showing Moisés Kaufman’s 2002 drama The Laramie Project, a film (based on Kaufman’s own play) about brutally murdered gay teenager Matthew Shepard, and allowing her students to film their own short clips about the subject.
After school officials told her to stop production on the project and eventually canceled her class, she complained about the incident to a school board member. That officially led to her dismissal, though others argue that her project’s gay content played an important role in it as well.
The Laramie Project cast includes Laura Linney, Peter Fonda, Jeremy Davies, Frances Sternhagen, Camryn Manheim, Janeane Garofalo, Steve Buscemi, Joshua Jackson, Amy Madigan, and Christina Ricci.
The Board of Film Independent, the nonprofit organization behind both the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Spirit Awards, has named its new director, Rebecca Yeldham, formerly an interim co-director. Yeldham is replacing Richard Raddon, who resigned (twice – the first time around his resignation was turned down) following the uproar over his contributions to the Proposition 8 campaign which last November banned the rights of gays and lesbians to marry in California.
More details in the Los Angeles Times.