VITO Honored at 34th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards

by Emmy Online, Tuesday, 08 October 2013

VITO's producers Jeffrey Schwarz and Jon Glover have received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Research.


VITO Nominated for Two News & Documentary Emmy Awards

by Emmy Online, Friday, 19 July 2013

VITO has received a nomination for Outstanding Historical Programming, Long Form as well as in the Research category.

More at: Emmy Online

OUT SPOKEN Nominated for Lambda Literary Award

by Tony Valenzuela, Monday, 27 May 2013

Finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards were announced today by the Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) in Los Angeles.


Matter-of-Fact Approach Graces GLAAD Awards

by Robert Hofler, Monday, 27 May 2013

The late activist Vito Russo comes home to the GLAAD Media Awards this year in Gotham.

More at: VARIETY


by Christina Raquel, Monday, 27 May 2013

VITO, an HBO documentary film about the life of gay activist Vito Russo, is now available on DVD.

More at: GLAAD

OUT-laws No More

by Chavonny Tillotson, Monday, 27 August 2012

Imagine growing up in a world where the only visible images of people like you in the mainstream media were portrayals of degraded abnormals and tragic victims...

More at: NOHO Arts District

An Army of Lovers: Inside the Inspirational Documentary "Vito"

by Peter Hanson, Monday, 06 August 2012

“Making documentaries is not glamorous, but it’s what I’m put on Earth to do, so I think about Vito in that context—that he was doing what he was put on Earth to do,” notes filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz. “That’s so inspiring for anyone, no matter what your passion is.”


The Critic Shall Live: A Film Critic's Duty As Cultural Activists and Instigators

by Lawrence Ferber , Monday, 06 August 2012

Do we need a Vito Russo today? In our increasingly integrated culture, with the likes of Glee and anything James Franco does, and considering that loads of film critics and entertainment writers are gay anyway, is “the gay film critic” essential?


"Vito" and Jeffrey

by Nathaniel Rogers, Monday, 06 August 2012

It's not a subject one hears much about in terms of what goes on behind the curtain -- The Making of The Making of! -- perhaps that's diving too deep down the DVD/Bluray rabbit hole?


This Way Out interviews producer / director Jeffrey Schwarz

by Steve Pride, Monday, 06 August 2012

Steve Pride of This Way Out interviews producer / director Jeffrey Schwarz. Starts at about 12:40.


Ever Believe It Was Wrong to Be Gay?

by Jeffrey Scharlach, Saturday, 28 July 2012

"I never once, not for a second, believed that it was wrong to be gay," says Vito Russo in the HBO documentary VITO, which premiered this week. How many of us can say the same? And why not?


Preserving a Hero's Legacy

by Angela Montefinise, Saturday, 28 July 2012

When the legendary activist and pioneer in the at-times brutal fight for gay rights was just a young boy growing up on the rough streets of East Harlem in New York City, he was teased mercilessly by older boys, who constantly yelled gay slurs at him and, sometimes, beat him up...


Vito is an unforgettable human rights story

by Ken Eisner, Saturday, 28 July 2012

It’s not often that someone is admirable in seemingly disparate areas, but it’s likely that Vito Russo never viewed his success as a human-rights activist, media personality, and film scholar as separate things.


LGBT Documentary “Vito” Premiering Tonight on HBO

by John M. Becker, Saturday, 28 July 2012

If, like me, you don’t know much about longtime LGBT activist Vito Russo, you should definitely tune in tonight to HBO at 9 Eastern and Pacific for the premier of Vito, a new documentary by filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz.


Remembering Russo: Director Jeffrey Schwarz on the making of the 'Vito' documentary

by Jerry Nunn, Saturday, 28 July 2012

Vito Russo passed away from AIDS complications in 1990 but his legacy lives on in a new documentary by director Jeffrey Schwarz, the president and CEO of Automat Pictures which specializes in documentary feature films.


Ready to be Remembered

by Jerry Portwood, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

While many people discovered a way to look at film history in a decidedly queer way by reading Vito Russo's book THE CELLULOID CLOSET, and later watching the film adapted from it, director Jeffrey Schwarz realized an entire generation of younger LGBT people had no idea who the pioneering writer and activist was.

More at: OUT

Vito Russo documentary premieres on HBO

by Greg Hernandez, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz was afraid that a growing number of people had no idea who Vito Russo was.


Coming Out with the Filmmakers of HBO's "Vito" Jeffrey Schwarz and Lotti Pharriss Knowles

by The Lip TV, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Interview with producer / director Jeffrey Schwarz and co-producer Lotti Pharriss Knowles.

More at: YOU TUBE


by Jeffrey Schwarz, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Gay kids are still being taught to hate themselves and there's still a lot to be angry about. But he and his generation envisioned a world where living a gay life is possible and now it is.

More at: HBO.COM

“Vito” is a must-see on HBO tonight!

by Greg Hernandez, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I attended a wonderful Q&A yesterday at Outfest with Jeffrey Schwarz, the director of the superb documentary, Vito, which will premiere tonight on HBO at 9 p.m.


Philip Harrison on Editing the HBO Documentary “Vito”

by Chris J. Russo, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

It takes someone who really knows the material and has a true passion for the subject matter in order to make a film that is as engaging, articulate, and thoughtfully crafted as the documentary, VITO.



by Trudy Ring, Monday, 23 July 2012

To LGBT people who came of age in the 1970s and ’80s, Vito Russo is an icon. But among younger generations, Russo is barely known — and that’s something Jeffrey Schwarz set out to change with his comprehensive, affecting documentary Vito, premiering tonight on HBO.


HBO documentary 'Vito' honors late gay-rights activist and onetime Lodi resident

by Virginia Rohan, Monday, 23 July 2012

Filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz got some especially gratifying feedback at a recent San Francisco screening of "Vito," his documentary about late gay-rights activist and onetime Lodi resident Vito Russo...


HBO Documentary Films: Vito - Red Carpet Featurette

by HBO Documentary Films, Monday, 23 July 2012

New York Film Festival red carpet interviews featuring producer / director Jeffrey Schwarz, editor Philip Harrison, brother Charlie Russo, couisin Phyllis Antonellis, and friend Arnie Kantrowitz.

More at: YOU TUBE


by Dan Avery, Monday, 23 July 2012

Vito will resonate with anyone who lived through the grassroots years of the LGBT movement, and should be considered required viewing for anyone who didn’t.

More at: QUEERTY


by Nathaniel Rogers, Monday, 23 July 2012

If you've ever viewed the movie theater as a sanctuary or cherished the community that entertainment can create, you must tune in to VITO Monday night on HBO.


MSNBC / Thomas Roberts Interview with Jeffrey Schwarz

by Thomas Roberts, Monday, 23 July 2012

MSNBC's Thomas Roberts talks to Jeffrey Schwarz, Producer and Director of "Vito."

More at: MSNBC


by Matt Kane, Monday, 23 July 2012

Directory Jeffrey Schwarz’s film is a fascinating look at the man himself and the passions that drove his work during a tumultuous period in the LGBT community’s history.

More at: GLAAD


by Jake Mulligan, Monday, 23 July 2012

Both one of the most in-depth and personally driven documentaries to ever cover the topic of gay culture, "Vito" is sure to both inspire and invigorate.

More at: EDGE


by Alex Erikson, Monday, 23 July 2012

Vito director Jeffrey Schwarz schools us on the homo trailblazers that still inspire his work today.


Vito Russo, Founding Father of Gay Liberation, Gets His Star on HBO

by Rev. Malcolm Boyd, Monday, 23 July 2012

He was an authentic original. It was a remarkable experience knowing him. Vito was a bit like a whirlwind -- funny, an automatic center of attention in virtually any crowd, yet underneath a painstakingly thoughtful philosopher, a guy possessing an instinctive natural humility, and a natural actor having the best stories and lines in town.


Vito: The man, the mirth, the movement

by Jeremy Hooper, Monday, 23 July 2012

For me it is not so much the story of one man as it is the story of one triumphant fight projected onto/channeled through this one key figure...

More at: GOOD AS YOU

Vito Russo doc hits Canadian screens

by Matthew Hays, Monday, 23 July 2012

Jeffrey Schwarz says that one of the most empowering things he did upon coming out of the closet was to pick up a copy of Vito Russo’s bookThe Celluloid Closet.

More at: XTRA!

Vito: The Activist and the Film

by Kristen Meinzer, Monday, 23 July 2012

Radio interview with Jeffrey Schwarz, producer / director of VITO on THE TAKEAWAY.


Jeffrey Schwarz on 'Vito,' his AIDS documentary

by Richard Knight, Jr., Monday, 23 July 2012

Out filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz continues to hold a torch for Russo with his new, enthralling documentary portrait of the man, the writer, the queer visionary and, most definitely, the activist. Simply titled Vito, the movie premieres Monday, July 23, on HBO.


VITO the Documentary

by Traipsing Thru Films, Monday, 23 July 2012

Red carpet interviews with director Jeffery Schwarz, composer Miriam Cutler, and friend Bruce Vilanch.

More at: YOU TUBE

Outfest 2012 Opening Night Gala

by Skip Bolden, Monday, 23 July 2012

Red carpet video of the opening night gala of Outfest 2012 on July 12th, 2012 featuring an interview with Jeffery Schwarz, director of VITO.

More at: YOU TUBE

Vito Russo's 'Why We Fight': Revisiting the Explosive 1988 AIDS Speech

by Jeffrey Schwarz, Monday, 23 July 2012

Today, July 11, on what would have been Vito's 66th birthday, we present "Why We Fight" in its entirety and encourage readers to discover more about this inspirational figure.


Back to Outfest's future

by Todd Kushigemachi, Monday, 23 July 2012

The past of LGBT cinema is also reflected in this year's opening night film, Jeffrey Schwarz's "Vito." The docu details the life of activist and "Celluloid Closet" author Vito Russo. As Schwarz notes, Russo paved the way for cinema-centric events for LGBT audiences.

More at: VARIETY

Outfest 2012 marks 30th anniversary

by Danielle Paquette, Monday, 23 July 2012

On opening night, Schwarz's "Vito" — a cinematic portrait of "The Celluloid Closet" author Vito Russo, who is best known for fighting offensive portrayals of gays in film — takes center stage at the opening gala.


Come Out And Play: Outfest Film Festival Opens in Downtown

by Richard Guzman, Monday, 23 July 2012

It started 30 years ago with just three films on the campus of UCLA. It was organized by a group of graduate students frustrated by not seeing images of gay and lesbian people on the big screen.


Histories of Acting Up: Frameline at 36

by Frako Loden, Monday, 23 July 2012

Opening Night's Vito is director Jeffrey Schwarz's enthralling tribute to Vito Russo, the defiant film historian-writer-lecturer and early gay-rights/AIDS activist until his death from HIV in 1990.


HBO Documentary Summer Series: Director's Interview

by HBO, Monday, 23 July 2012

Interviews with producers of HBO Documentary Summer Series, including VITO director Jeffrey Schwarz.

More at: YOU TUBE

Neon to screen new ‘Vito’ documentary

by Russell Florence, Jr., Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The influential legacy of gay activist/author Vito Russo (1946-90) is the focus of a fascinating, educational and revealing documentary by Jeffrey Schwarz.


V is for Vito (& Victory)

by Robert Friedman, Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Director Jeffrey Schwarz made some heartfelt remarks from the Castro Theatre stage introducing his film Vito, about the late legendary gay activist, film scholar and charismatic leader Vito Russo, last Thursday night opening Frameline 36.


Vito & Toward a Better World

by Amanda Campbell, Tuesday, 26 June 2012

This should be required viewing for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.


Vito Power: Queer Activism at the 36th SF Int'l LGBT Film Fest

by Mark Taylor, Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The festival remains vital by collecting a diversity of queer images from around the world and presenting them in concentrated form for eleven glorious days.

More at: KQED

Lights, camera, social action!

by David Lamble, Thursday, 14 June 2012 one of the rare politically constructed films with a strong emotional through-line, an undertow that sweeps you out into a sea of feelings normally verboten in the politically constipated world of American politics.


Frameline 36

by Michael Fox, Thursday, 14 June 2012

Russo embarrassed L.A. power-brokers by exposing the thinly masked loathing that permeated mainstream movies.

More at: SF WEEKLY

Frameline36: Truth or Consequences

by Kelly Vance, Thursday, 14 June 2012

Vito embodies Frameline's commitment to remembering the LGBT past. Fittingly, it's the story of a rebel.


Badass Hall of Fame: Vito Russo

by Meredith Borders, Thursday, 14 June 2012

Protector of gay rights, AIDS activist, film historian and author of the revolutionary CELLULOID CLOSET. Ladies and gentlemen, Vito Russo was a badass.


Vito Russo: Dying From Indifference and Red Tape

by Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Thursday, 14 June 2012

It’s fitting that a man who devoted so much of his life to critiquing the celluloid world is now permanently etched in that medium, though these days it’s digital and not acetate.


Inside Out Youth Reporters: "Vito"

by Inside Out Toronto, Thursday, 14 June 2012

Toronto's Inside Out roving Youth Reporter interviews director Jeffrey Schwarz.

More at: YOU TUBE

Frameline36 Press Conference & Film Festival

by Emelina Minero, Thursday, 14 June 2012

The documentary reached its hand into my heart and grabbed it, pumping it to life, charging my passion for activism and connecting me to my history in a way that nothing else has.


Black Sheep Interviews Jeffrey Schwarz

by Joseph Belanger, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Make sure you see Jeffrey Schwarz’s latest documentary, VITO, as soon as possible because, believe you me, whether you’re gay or straight, you need to know this man’s story.


Vito Russo documentary opens LGBT Film Festival

by G. Allen Johnson, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

"Vito," a documentary by Jeffrey Schwarz, will open the 36th San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, presented by Frameline, on June 14 at the Castro Theatre.


Vito, Jeffrey Schwarz's New Documentary, Delivers LGBT History (AUDIO)

by Charlotte Robinson, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I talked with director Jeffrey Schwarz about his brilliant new HBO documentary Vito, which truly honors Russo's memory, his sacrifice, and his dedication to LGBT equality.


Director Jeffrey Schwarz Revives Vito

by Charlotte Robinson, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Jeffrey Schwarz, Producer / Director of the new must-see HBO documentary VITO.


QDOC holds a mirror up to the queer community

by Nick Mattos, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival stands in a class of its own. One of only two LGBTQ documentary film festivals in the world, the 6th annual QDOC promises to continue its legacy of bringing ground-breaking nonfiction films about queer subjects to Portland audiences.


Vito to Open 30th Outfest

by Guido Götz, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Outfest – the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media – announced today that Jeffrey Schwarz’s documentary “Vito” has been selected as the Opening Night gala of the 30th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.


30th Outfest Opens With Documentary "Vito"

by Seth Abramovitch, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The country's leading LGBT film festival kicks things off with a look at the life of gay rights pioneer Vito Russo, and bestows its 16th annual Achievement Award on John Waters.


Out of the Celluloid Closet

by Matthew Hays, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Jeffrey Schwarz says one of the most empowering things he did upon coming out of the closet was to pick up a copy of Vito Russo’s book The Celluloid Closet. “That really rocked my world,” Schwarz recalls.


DOXA 2012: Vito profiles the life of the influential gay-rights activist

by Craig Takeuchi, Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Jeffrey Schwarz's film traces the life of this charismatic, inspirational man from his formative years, a time when homosexuality was still considered a mental illness, no one was openly gay in New York City, and police raids of gay establishments were the norm.

More at:


by Peter Dickinson , Wednesday, 09 May 2012

Last night barbara findlay and I were part of a post-screening Justice Forum panel at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival's Vancouver premiere of a new documentary about the life of US film historian and queer activist Vito Russo at the Denman Cinemas. Forum coordinator Meghna Haldar had asked me to prepare a brief blog post that would "go live" on the DOXA website immediately after the screening. You can find it here, or simply read what I had to say below.

More at: Performance, Place, and Politics

Maryland Film Festival - Interview with Jeffrey Schwarz

by Creative Alliance, Monday, 07 May 2012

VIDEO: Interview with Jeffrey Schwarz at Maryland Film Festival 2012

More at: YouTube

The Marc Steiner Show: Interview with Jeffrey Schwarz

by Marc Steiner, Wednesday, 02 May 2012

PODCAST: Tomorrow night is the opening night of the Maryland Film Festival!  As part of our annual tradition to highlight some of the festival's offerings, we bring you this interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, Producer and Director of "Vito." 

More at:

From Dog Ownership to Marina Abramovic: HBO Announces Its Summer Docs Schedule

by Alison Willmore, Monday, 30 April 2012

HBO has announced its summer doc schedule, which includes nonfiction films about performance artist Marina Abramović, "Leave Britney Alone" internet celeb Chris Crocker and gay activist Vito Russo, as well as examinations of dog ownership, birdwatching in Central Park, the 2011 tsunami in Japan, supermodels and unemployment in Long Island. The films will air Monday nights, kicking off on June 18th.

More at:

Look for the subtle gay references as 'A Streetcar Named Desire' from 1951 arrives on Blu-ray

by Steve Rothhaus, Sunday, 29 April 2012

One of the best-known films in gay cinema is a movie about the movies. The Celluloid Closet, based on the book by Vito Russo, documents how American films depicted gay culture throughout the decades.

More at: The Miami Herald

2012 Q Fest St. Louis Primer Pt: 1

by Liz Laventure, Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Come get your Q on! The Fifth Annual QFest St. Louis, presented by TLA Releasing, runs April 22-26 at the Tivoli Theatre.The St. Louis-based LGBTQ film festival, QFest will present an eclectic slate of 21 films – 14 features (10 narratives and four documentaries) and seven short subjects – from the United States , Canada , Belgium and Italy . The participating filmmakers represent a wide variety of voices in contemporary queer world cinema.

More at:

QDOC holds a mirror up to the queer community

by Nick Mattos, Friday, 20 April 2012

The Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival stands in a class of its own. One of only two LGBTQ documentary film festivals in the world, the 6th annual QDOC promises to continue its legacy of bringing ground-breaking nonfiction films about queer subjects to Portland audiences when it comes to McMenamin’s Kennedy School May 17-20.

More at: PQ Monthly

Pearl Snap Discount interview with Jeffrey Schwarz and his movie VITO

by George Wada, Sunday, 15 April 2012

Red Carpet interview with Jeffrey Schwarz director of Vito.

More at:

In VITO: The Story of a LGBT Rights Movement Forefather

by Irene I. del Corral, Wednesday, 11 April 2012

With an impressive collection of vintage footage, Jeffrey Schwarz’s VITO documents the engaging and extraordinary story of a man considered a hero by some and the first gay celebrity by others, but who was inarguably one of the LGBT community’s first champions for equal rights, both voluntarily and involuntarily.

More at:

BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival: Round-Up

by James Waygood, Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Jeffrey Schwartz’s documentary – with backing from HBO – is incredibly slick. Thankfully, the contents are as alluring as the packaging. What’s great about Schwartz’s approach is that while there is a large focus on Vito as a prominent persona of the gay rights movement through the 1970s right through the 1980s, he takes the viewer through a lot of broader context of the social climate, politics, and tensions, that Vito experienced and was soon to get involved with. This gives a much more rounded picture to the life he lived and stops him from being a hollow historical figurehead.

More at: So So Gay

Keepers of the Gay Film Legacy

by Erik Piepenburg, Sunday, 18 March 2012

“It’s a cliché, but I think gay people really do have special relationships with movies,” said the filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz, whose new documentary, “Vito,” about the gay film historian and AIDS activist Vito Russo, played at the New York Film Festival last year and is scheduled to be shown on HBO later this year.

More at: The New York Times

VITO Southeastern Premiere

by Richard Eldredge, Saturday, 17 March 2012

 Russo may not exactly trip off the tongues of today's LGBT youth. Documentary filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz is hoping to change that with his latest doc, "Vito," a thorough through-line of Russo's many contributions to gay and lesbian civil rights. The film will have its Southeastern premiere tonight at 7:30 at Landmark Midtown Cinema as a benefit for Atlanta's annual Out on Film LGBT film festival celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012.

More at: Atlanta Magazine

Making VITO: For director, it was personal

by Jim Farmer, Sunday, 11 March 2012

Like many just coming out, Jeffrey Schwarz turned to Vito Russo’s landmark book “The Celluloid Closet” to find depictions of others like him. Decades later, he directs “Vito,” a look at Russo’s life premiering in Atlanta on Wednesday as part of Out on Film’s 25th anniversary year.

More at: Project Q Atlanta

Remembering Vito

by FENUXE: Modern American Gay, Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Before his death in 1990, Vito Russo served as a gay activist, author and historian...His fight against injustice serves as the inspiration for the documentary “Vito” directed by Jeffrey Schwarz. The film makes its Southeastern premiere on Wednesday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Midtown Art Cinema as a fundraiser for Out On Film’s 25th anniversary year. Jeffrey spoke with Fenuxe about his interest in the vocal gay advocate.


More at: FENUXE

Revolution is My Boyfriend

by Teddy Award, Friday, 17 February 2012

'Born activist' Vito Russo was a New York film critic, screenwriter and LGBT activist. Over decades he was to become one of the most charismatic, eloquent and inspiring personalities of the American gay movement post-Stonewall. He gained fame for his live lecture performances of his 1981 book The Celluloid Closet which explored the representation of homosexuality in film and has today become a standard work on this topic, in which Russo could ideally combine his love of show business with radical gay politics.

More at: Teddy Award

Best of 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival

by Brad Schreiber, Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The 23rd presentation of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, concluded January 14, presented 188 films from 73 countries, including 40 of the 63 foreign language offerings for the Academy Award. But as is often the case at this top showcase for foreign films, some of the most creative work is not yet nominated, nor even distributed, but most deserving of discovery.

More at: Huffington Post

Vito Russo: from "Celluloid Closet" to cinema star

by Chris Michaud, Friday, 23 December 2011

More than anything, Vito Russo loved the movies. More than 20 years after the gay activist and film historian's death, he is finally starring in one. Entitled simply, "Vito," the HBO documentary takes a comprehensive look at the life, loves and battles of the East Harlem native who as a boy eschewed neighborhood stickball games and navigated his way to Times Square where he would revel in matinees and tap the pulse of the city.


More at: Reuters

In Theatres: VITO

by Basil Tsiokos, Friday, 23 December 2011

Jeffrey Schwarz's portrait of LGBT activist Vito Russo had its world premiere at this Fall's New York Film Festival. Since then, the doc has screened at a number of LGBT festivals, with more engagements forthcoming. The Quad brings the film back to Russo's NYC stomping grounds with daily screenings at 1PM and 3PM through December 29.

More at: what (not) to doc

The Stephen Holt Show - Charles Russo & Phyllis Antonellis

by Stephen Holt, Saturday, 26 November 2011

Stephen Holt talks to the relatives of the late Gay Activist & author of "The Celluloid Closet" Vito Russo who is the subject of "Vito" at the New York Film Festival '11. Brother Charles Russo & cousin Phyllis "Perky" Antonellis.

More at: YouTube

Seattle Gay Scene TV: Interivew with VITO director Jeffrey Schwarz

by Michael Strangeways, Wednesday, 23 November 2011

As film nerds, it was great fun to geek out with Mr. Schwarz and we could have spent hours blathering about mutual pop culture interests.

More at: Seattle Gay Scene

Not just another AIDS doc: VITO @ Image + Nation

by Ryan Conrad, Thursday, 03 November 2011

A moving documentary tribute to one of the reluctant heroes of the AIDS movement, Vito screened last night to an appreciative audience at Image + Nation. A labour of love by Jeffrey Schwarz, assistant editor to the acclaimed film version of Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet (Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Freidman, 1995), Schwarz’s ode shows the inspirational ACT-UP co-founder in all his complexity. Review by Conrad Ryan.

More at: 2Bmag

NYFF Forum: indieWIRE Meets Jeffrey Schwarz

by Basil Tsiokos, Wednesday, 02 November 2011

 Basil Tsiokos of indieWIRE talks with Jeffrey Schwarz, director of the documentary "Vito" about the life of gay activist and author Vito Russo ("The Celluloid Closet"), for a free forum in the Film Center Amphitheater during the 49th New York Film Festival.


More at: indieWIRE

VITO - New York Film Festival Post Screening Q&A - Pt. 1

by New York Film Festival, Friday, 28 October 2011

VITO New York Film Festival Post Screening Q&A on October 14, 2011. Featuring producer / director Jeffrey Schwarz, editor & co-producer Philip Harrison, Vito's brother Charlie Russo, cousin Phyllis Antonellis, friend Arnie Kantrowitz, and "Celluloid Activist" author Michael Schiavi. Moderated

More at: YouTube

VITO: A Gay American Hero

by Signorile, Thursday, 27 October 2011

Vito, a new film about the great activist and film historian Vito Russo, premiered at the New York Film Festival last week and it's getting raves already. It fills in an important and critical time in gay history, includes dazzling footage of old Hollywood films and amazing footage of early gay rights marches. Moving and powerful, it's one of the most important films about LGBT history to come along in a long time.

More at:

Interview with Jeffrey Schwarz

by Alonso Duralde, Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Documentary filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz’s fascination with some of the more colorful figures in show business have led to such acclaimed films as WRANGLER: ANATOMY OF AN ICON (Outfest 2008), about pioneering gay adult film star Jack Wrangler, and 2007’s SPINE TINGLER! THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY, a celebration of the director-producer who attracted movie audiences with such huckster gimmicks as insuring audiences from death by fright or wiring seats to buzz patrons’ rear ends.

More at: OutFest

New York Film Festival 2011

by Lame Adventures, Monday, 17 October 2011

The final two films Milton and I saw together at this year’s New York Film Festival were excellent documentaries, Vito and Pina.

More at: Lame Adventures

Inside the Celluloid Closet

by Boy Culture, Monday, 17 October 2011

This past weekend, I attended the New York Film Festival's world premiere of Vito, Jeffrey Schwarz's new documentary on film historian and LGBT activist Vito Russo. Russo died of AIDS complications a couple of decades ago, but his influence on gay activism and film criticism is still keenly felt. His The Celluloid Closet is one of my favorite books; it truly opened my eyes to the concept that everything matters in popular art forms.

More at: Boy Culture

Divine Activism at the New York Film Festival

by David Savage, Sunday, 16 October 2011

In Vito, a new documentary examining the life of Vito Russo, the pioneering AIDS activist and author of the landmark book The Celluloid Closet (published in 1981, updated in 1987), director Jeffrey Schwarz pays tribute to a man whom he credits with being the first to break down the long history of Hollywood’s defamation against gay people in the movies, and in so doing, advanced the cause of gay rights on a crucial front.

More at: CINEMAretro

Behind the Celluloid Closet

by Laura K. Marsh, Saturday, 15 October 2011

Okay. Eyes forward. This one is a must see for all LGBT youth, straights of every flavor, and actually, pretty much everyone. It’s a documentary called “Vito”, about the life of gay activist Vito Russo. A man, I am ashamed to say, I knew nothing about before watching this film.

More at: Santa Fe Film Festival

VITO - New York Film Festival Post Screening Q&A - Pt. 2

by New York Film Festival, Friday, 14 October 2011

VITO New York Film Festival Post Screening Q&A on October 14, 2011. Featuring producer / director Jeffrey Schwarz, editor & co-producer Philip Harrison, Vito's brother Charlie Russo, cousin Phyllis Antonellis, friend Arnie Kantrowitz, and "Celluloid Activist" author Michael Schiavi. Moderated by Melissa Anderson.

More at: YouTube

The Godfather

by Modern Tonic, Friday, 14 October 2011

Vito Russo wrote the book on gay cinema. Literally. He mined decades of film history, unearthing a previously unseen (or at least unspoken) world of cinematic gays, lesbians and transvestites in his seminal book The Celluloid Closet, exposing decades of representational repression. But as Jeffrey Schwarz's new documentary Vito (world premiere tonight at the New York Film Festival) proves, Russo's contributions to the fledgling gay community went well beyond academia.

More at: Modern Tonic

Vito! Vito! Vito!

by Jeffrey Schwarz, Friday, 14 October 2011

After coming out and becoming secure in my identity as a gay man, I naturally gravitated toward films with LGBT themes. This was the early '90s, and movies like My Own Private Idaho, The Living End, Poison and Swoon were formative. These films were outré, edgy and empowering for a young queer. Even though I was a newbie, there was one book that everyone knew was the Bible of gay film. It was called The Celluloid Closet, by somebody named Vito Russo.

More at: Huffington Post

NYFF Vito Poster Exclusive, Jeffrey Schwarz Talks Gay Activist Vito Russo

by Anne Thompson, Thursday, 13 October 2011

Growing up in the New York film community, I knew Vito Russo, and read his influential 1981 landmark book about gay images in the media, The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in Movies, which was revised in 1987 and has never fallen out of print. Russo travelled the world with his Celluloid Closet presentations.

More at: indieWIRE

New York Film Festival Red Carpet - My Week with Marilyn and Vito

by Athena Reich, Thursday, 13 October 2011

NealB TV correspondents Athena Reich and Hilary Schwartz interview Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Elizabeth McGovern, director Simon Curtis, Jeffrey Schwarz (director of Vito), Susan Bernard (author: Marilyn: Intimate Exposures). Video and editing by Jill Pomrantz.

More at: NealB TV

Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival...history lessons at this year's festival

by Brian Miller, Wednesday, 12 October 2011

If modern gay history started at Stonewall, the 1981 identification of HIV/AIDS began its postmodern chapter. Thirty years later, when safe(r) sex and drug cocktails have at least contained that menace (with a vaccine possibly on the horizon), it may be hard for kids born in the '80s and '90s to understand the panic and confusion that crushed the '70s spirit of a gay (or pansexual) utopia from Greenwich Village to the Castro.

More at: Seattle Weekly

Exclusive interview: Jeffrey Schwarz

by Kylie Bolton, Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I spoke with Jeffrey Schwarz from his home in Los Angeles days before the world premiere of his feature documentary, Vito. The director is especially thrilled that the film is premiering in New York. “Vito was a quintessential New Yorker,” he says of the man whose extraordinary life is the subject of the documentary.

More at: SBS

Our Celluloid Activist

by Mike Ciriaco, Saturday, 17 September 2011

My first exposure to homosexuality was watching In Living Color. My 9-year-old brain was boggled by David Allen Greer and Damon Wayans' turns as the combustibly flamboyant 'Men on Film." They acted and dressed as women. They drooled over Hollywood muscle studs. But, they were clearly men; albeit swishing, mincing, cartoonishly gay men. It took me years to dissociate homosexuality from effeminacy.

More at: Frontiers LA