Monday, July 15, 2013

Outfest And UCLA Film & Television Archive To Launch Landmark Online LGBT Resource

Los Angeles, July 15, 2013, – Outfest – the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen – and UCLA Film & Television Archive have announced plans for an online lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving-image research area that will feature all 208 episodes of the groundbreaking public television series "In the Life" at its core.

The new, publicly accessible digital portal, expected to launch in late 2013, will include two decades' worth of broadcasts of the Emmy-nominated LGBT newsmagazine and will link to the UCLA archive's already substantial collection of LGBT moving-image study resources.

The "In the Life" project is funded by the Estate of Ric Weiland (managed by the Pride Foundation), the Arcus Foundation and Henry van Ameringen and is part of UCLA Film & Television Archive's partnership with Outfest.

Beginning as a variety show in 1992, "In the Life" quickly evolved into a newsmagazine format, becoming an honored and respected source for LGBT journalism at a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were often invisible in media. Produced by In The Life Media, the series was the first — and remains the only — LGBT newsmagazine broadcast on public TV. "In the Life" ran for more than 20 years in more than 200 markets around the country; its final episode aired in December 2012.

"I am immeasurably proud of the critical role 'In the Life' played in the LGBT movement," said Van Ameringen, a board member of In The Life Media. "We're committed to preserving this invaluable resource and maximizing access to it with an online presence that will continue to advance equality in new and innovative ways."

"Preserving and providing public access to LGBT media materials is important not only for scholars, researchers, filmmakers and historians worldwide but also for the broader society," said Jan-Christopher Horak, director of UCLA Film & Television Archive. "This new initiative with 'In the Life' builds on the archive's longstanding commitment to underrepresented communities, including the LGBT community."

In 2005, UCLA Film & Television Archive partnered with Outfest to create the Outfest–UCLA Legacy Project, which has since assembled the largest publicly accessible collection of LGBT moving-image materials in the world, with more than 25,000 titles stored at UCLA. The project also works to preserve both the history and the future of LGBT moving-image materials by convening symposia, creating study guides, educating filmmakers about proper stewardship of their work, restoring materials that are at risk and encouraging the wide propagation of collection materials.

The new "In the Life" initiative will build on previous Legacy Project efforts, with a specific focus on enhancing public access by putting program episodes — along with outtakes, interviews and other valuable content — online. And importantly, all materials will be accompanied by detailed descriptions to facilitate meaningful searchability.

"'In the Life' provided an invaluable voice for the LGBT community for over two decades, and we are thrilled that its legacy will live on," said Outfest executive director Kirsten Schaffer.

"This living legacy of 'In the Life' will provide generations with documentation and history that exists nowhere else and will help chronicle and explain the LGBT movement over the past 20-plus years," said Jayne Baron Sherman, a board member of In the Life Media.

Richard W. "Ric" Weiland was a noted computer software pioneer and dedicated philanthropist. He was one of the first five employees of Microsoft Corporation and left the significant majority of his estate to support LGBTQ organizations across the nation and globe. The donor-advised fund created in his name is held at and managed by Pride Foundation and, in honoring his vision and wishes, has been a significant supporter of In the Life Media.

Henry van Ameringen is a philanthropist whose main interests lie in the LGBT community and in mental illness and mental health.

The Arcus Foundation, founded in 2000 by Jon Stryker, is a leading global foundation advancing pressing social justice and conservation issues. Specifically, Arcus works to advance LGBT equality, as well as to conserve and protect the great apes. The Arcus Foundation works globally and has offices in Kalamazoo, Mich., New York City and Cambridge, UK.

Outfest, founded by UCLA students in 1982, is the leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world to audiences of nearly a million, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers and protected more than 25,000 LGBT films and videos through the Outfest–UCLA Legacy Project.

UCLA Film & Television Archive is internationally renowned for its pioneering efforts to rescue, preserve and showcase moving-image media and is dedicated to ensuring that the collective visual memory of our time is explored and enjoyed for generations to come. A unique resource for media study, the archive is one of the largest repositories of moving-image materials in the world. The archive's Research and Study Center provides free access to its holdings to international researchers from all disciplines. The archive is well known for its moving-image restoration efforts, and many of its important projects are invited to screen at prestigious events around the globe, as well as screening locally in UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater.

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SOURCE MPRM Communications

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