Black Nations/Queer Nations? Film & Talk with Filmmaker Shari Frilot

Two-part event with free streaming (June 21–25) and talk with filmmakers (June 24)

Third World Newsreel and Family Pictures USA are pleased to present a special Pride event with filmmaker Shari Frilot.

This two-part event will start with the free streaming of experimental documentary video BLACK NATIONS/QUEER NATIONS? (BNQN) from June 21–25 on Vimeo, followed on June 24 by a talk with filmmakers Shari Frilot with Thomas Allen Harris and guests about the 1995 BNQN conference and film and its meaning for today.

About the film: Black Nations/Queer Nations? is an experimental documentary chronicling the March 1995 groundbreaking conference that brought together an array of dynamic scholars, activists, and cultural workers including Essex Hemphill, Kobena Mercer, Barbara Smith, Urvashi Vaid, and Jacqui Alexander to interrogate the economic, political, and social situations of diasporic lesbians, gay men, bisexual, and transgender peoples. The video brings together the highlights of the conference and draws connections between popular culture and black gay media production of the time. The participants discuss various topics: Black and Queer identity, the shortcomings of Black nationalism, and homophobia in Black communities. Drawing upon works such as Isaac Julien’s The Attendant and Jocelyn Taylor’s Bodily Functions, this documentary illuminates the importance of this historic conference for Black LGBTQ-SGL people.

The film will stream from June 21–25 and on Thursday, June 24, 6 PM EST, filmmaker Shari Frilot will be in conversation with maker Thomas Allen Harris, along with other guests, to discuss that conference and time, and its connection to the present.

With your RSVP, you will get a link to the film and to the Zoom talk:


About Shari Frilot

Shari Frilot is a senior programmer for Sundance Film Festival and the chief curator of the New Frontier program. In New Frontier, she has created an experience where film, art, and multimedia technology coincide to hatch new ways to tell stories. Her career in cinema began in the 1990s with her indie documentary Black Nations/Queer Nations? She served as director of the MIX festival in New York, co-founded MIX Brazil and MIX Mexico, and was the co-director of programming for Outfest before aligning with Sundance. A filmmaker, curator and festival programmer for events including MIX International Festivals and LA’s Outfest, Shari also has been a pioneer in the development of immersive cinematic environments, and the creative force behind New Frontier since its inception.

About Thomas Allen Harris

Thomas Allen Harris uses film, video, photography, and performance to explore family and identity in a participatory model of filmmaking that he has been pioneering since 1990. Harris’s television series Family Pictures USA, which was broadcast on PBS in August 2019, explores America through the lens of the family photo album. The series grew out of Harris’ decade-long socially engaged art project Digital Diaspora Family Reunion. Harris has received numerous awards including Guggenheim, Rockefeller and United States Artist Fellowships as well as an NAACP Image Award, an African Oscar and Emmy nominations. A member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Harris is a Senior Lecturer at Yale University where he teaches courses around family narratives and community storytelling. Read his latest interview here:

About Family Pictures USA

FAMILY PICTURES USA journeys through a rapidly changing landscape where the hallmarks of a familiar and idealized “America” are being transformed. From the streets of Detroit, to the shores
of Southwest Florida, to the farm fields of North Carolina, we are creating a new purpose for the family photo album…as an integral part of our collective social and cultural history.



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Third World Newsreel

Third World Newsreel

Third World Newsreel is a media arts organization that fosters independent, social justice BIPOC films.