“Jeanne Cordova” doc plays at Seattle “Twist” Film Festival 10.15.17

Seattle, WA – “Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies and Feminism”, documentary short played on Sunday 10.15.17 at the Northwest Film Forum. Director Gregorio Davila and I took to the stage afterwards to answers some questions about the making of the film.

The audience was really into the film, and we appreciated the number of questions they had about the making of the documentary, “L.A. A Queer History”, and Jeanne Cordova.

Three Dollar Bill Cinema, TWIST, Jason Plourde (Executive Director), Danny Tayara (TWIST Festival Director) and team have been awesome and hospitable. It’s been a great experience for to L.A.-based Latino Filmmakers trekking through Seattle WA. Thank you guys!




The #SchoolsNotPrisons tour and community partners will call for the closure of cruel and unjust immigrant prisons, beginning with the for-profit prison in Adelanto which is the largest immigrant prison in California


On Friday, October 20, Los Rakas and Ceci Bastida will be joined by special guest artists in Adelanto for a free, community #SchoolsNotPrisons concert, to advocate for fair treatment of immigrants who are awaiting a decision on their request to stay in the U.S., as well as the closure of all immigrant prisons. The concert comes just two weeks after Governor Jerry Brown signed a new bill by Sen. Ricardo Lara, which will limit the growth of immigrant prisons and takes a strong stand against profiteering by private prison interests.

The #SchoolsNotPrisons Adelanto concert will bring artists, advocates, and community members together for a historical event, creating a unique platform to advocate for the closure of immigrant prisons and shine a light on the many ways for-profit immigrant prisons harm California communities. Centered at the intersection of art and activism, #SchoolsNotPrisons Adelanto will spark meaningful dialogue around the practice of unjust immigrant incarceration and the cruel conditions of immigrant prisons – generally misrepresented as immigrant detention centers.

 “Nearly 40,000 immigrants are incarcerated each day in facilities across the United States, with over 70 percent of them held in prisons run by corporations profiting off their misery,” said Christina Fialho, Co-Executive Director of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), a national nonprofit that visits and monitors immigrant prisons. “It’s time we close these unnecessary and abusive prisons, and instead use community-based alternatives to ensure immigrants are afforded due process in court.”

The upcoming #SchoolsNotPrisons tour stop is presented by CIVIC, the Inland Empire-Immigrant Youth Collective, the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ICIJ), and produced by Revolve Impact, which has organized the statewide tour since the summer of 2016. The tour promotes a vision of community safety focused on prevention rather than incarceration, and supports local advocacy campaigns that call for more effective, community-based alternatives rather than severe forms of punishment, particularly for vulnerable populations.

 “Having grown up on the Mexican side of the border, I’ve always been aware of how much people risk to get to the other side,” said popular Latin singer-songwriter Ceci Bastida, “I’m honored to play for people who are so brave, who have left their home and everything they know to pursue a different life here. We are excited to share our music with the community of Adelanto, stand up for the rights of everyone who is incarcerated at the GEO immigrant prison, and shine a light on this abusive system.”

 About 1,600 people are incarcerated in Adelanto’s immigrant prison, which is owned and run by the for-profit prison company GEO Group.

 “Conditions inside the immigrant prison in Adelanto are inhumane and abusive, and incarcerated immigrants have launched multiple hunger strikes to protest unclean water and food, denial of medical care, and excessive bail requirements” said Javier Hernandez of ICIJ. “Meanwhile, the CEO of The GEO Group, earns a salary of five million dollars a year, yet GEO pays incarcerated immigrants just a dollar a day to work inside as janitors or cooks.”

The #SchoolsNotPrisons tour stop in Adelanto will take place at the Adelanto Stadium, with gates opening at 5.30pm and the concert starting at 6pm. Guest speakers will include those who’ve been incarcerated inside the Adelanto immigrant prison.

 Admission to the concert is free, but people are encouraged to register in advance through this Eventbrite link because the event is expected to reach capacity. The concert is an all-ages peaceful community event, and will be a tobacco-free, alcohol and drug-free zone.

The #SchoolsNotPrisons is funded by The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation. The tour stop is presented by Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), the Inland Empire-Immigrant Youth Collective, and the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ICIJ), and produced by Revolve Impact. The tour is in partnership with more than 50 organizations from across California, including:

A New Way of Life, ACLU-CA, Advancement Project, American Friends Services Committee, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus (ICE out of CA), Black Alliance for Just Immigration, BLU Educational Foundation, Brave New Films, Centro Del Inmigrante, Children’s Defense Fund-California, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE), CultureStrike, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Fathers and Families of San Joaquin Valley, Homie UP, Inland Congregations United for Change, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, MILPA, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, Movement Generation, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), Nile Sisters Development Initiative (NSDI), Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA), PICO CA, Pomona Economic Opportunity Center, Presente.org, Project Kinship, Resilience Orange County, San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, Sanctuary Task Force of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Sankofa, Self Help Graphics & Art, Sol Collective, The Place4Grace, Training Occupational Development Education Communities (TODEC) Legal Center, Trans Latin@ Coalition, UFCS Local 770, UnidosUS, Warehouse Workers Resource Center (WWRC), Young Women’s Freedom Center, Youth Action Project, Youth Justice Coalition, and Youth Law Center.


About The California Endowment

The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people’s health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno, and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. For more information, visit www.calendow.org.


About The California Wellness Foundation

The California Wellness Foundation is celebrating 25 years as a private, independent foundation with a mission to advance wellness for all Californians by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Since its founding in 1992, Cal Wellness has awarded more than $987 million in charitable contributions, which include matching gifts and 8750 grants. For more information, visit www.calwellness.org/.


About Revolve Impact

Revolve Impact is an award-winning social action media and creative company that utilizes radical imagination, art and culture to transform global power, politics and people. Founded in 2014, Revolve Impact provides marketing, campaign management, event production, as well as policy advisement and strategic media expertise to a wide range of influential artists, nonprofit and government entities, corporate communities, and philanthropic foundations. For more information, visit www.revolveimpact.com

Disrupt Yourself; Innovate Your Life

As some of you know, I participate in a lot of Q&As about filmmaking. Here is a Q&A from our recent LA Film School Alumni Association mixer a few weeks ago. Neto Pimenta breaks down his coaching methods to get you out of your creative obstacles.

The event took place at Birns & Sawyer in North Hollywood, CA on September 27, 2017.


Disrupt Yourself; Innovate Your Life. Listen to the iTunes Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/disrupt-yourself-innovate-your-life/id1209871924?mt=2&i=1000393261081

As Bruce Lee used to say “If you always put limits on yourself, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no Limits. There are only Plateaus, and you must not stay there – you must go beyond them.” 

This is a podcast about going beyond the limits of today, to inch toward a better tomorrow. It’s about recreating ourselves anew, about letting go of the certainty of “arriving” for the journey of growth of always becoming… Always evolving, innovating; disrupting the old, creating the new.

Listen to the Podcast


Below is what will be on the show description:


#102 – On Location: Q&A w/ Mario Novoa Part I

This is Part I of a spirited and intimate conversation with Filmmaker and LAFS Alumni Association Founder & President Mario Novoa. 

I was invited to speak at an intimate event that he hosts for Creative and Filmmakers as part of his LAFSAA.  

We spoke about getting clear on our goals, taking a hard look at our present circumstances as a way to design what we want and don’t want; and how to commit and consistently work to inch forward toward that ultimate vision.  

Stay tuned for Part II… 

Find, Follow, Friend and Flat Out Engage Neto about any and all things creativity, leadership, productivity, peak performance and execution:

@SparkToFinish on twitter & facebook

@netodepauladisrupts on Instagram & facebook 

Outfest West Hollywood Series – Outfest Los Angeles

This month’s edition of the Outfest West Hollywood Screening Series, as part of the city’s Pacific Standard Time event Made in LA.
WHEN: Wednesday October 4th, 7:30pm
WHERE: West Hollywood Library, 625 N San Vicente Blvd. West Hollywood. CA 90069
The full lineup and more info is available here:
Please use the Facebook event page to spread the word:
If you are available to participate in the post-screening Q&A please let me know. It will begin at 9pm and last for 20-30mins.
You will all have tickets for you and a plus one at the door. Parking is free.

Wednesday October 4, 2017 730p


Outfest West Hollywood Series


Presented by showtime-logo-svg


Wednesday | October 4 | 7:30 pm


Latinx Retrospective: Made in LA is a collection of short films from the Outfest archives showcasing the queer Latinx diaspora.

Lineup includes:

NANCY FROM EASTSIDE CLOVER (Directed by Gregorio Davila)
Nancy Valverde, an 83-year-old butch Chicana Lesbian from East L.A. was thrown in jail nearly two dozen times for ‘masquerading’, a law which prohibited citizens from wearing clothing that was typically associated with the opposite gender.

RAD QUEERS: PAYASOS LA (Directed by Graham Kolbeins)
Smashing taboos and redefining philanthropy, Payasos L.A. is a group of gay Latino men who wear clown makeup, go-go dance at leather bars and try to make the world a better place. Featuring the Mr. Los Angeles Leather title-winner for 2011, Leonardo Iriarte.

YOU’RE DEAD TO ME (Directed by Wu Tsang)
A grieving Chicana mother confronts an uninvited family member before her Dia de Los Muertos celebration.

THE ROOKIE & THE RUNNER (Directed by Augie Robles)
A jogger in the park gets more than he bargained for when he encounters two handsome strangers.

REMEMBER ME IN RED (Directed by Hector Ceballos)
When tragedy strikes a tight-knit group of transgender Latina women in Los Angeles, Fidelia plans her dear friend Alma Flora’s funeral as a tribute to her life as a woman.

GOLD STAR (Directed by Karla Legaspy)
Iliana dedicates a love song to her teacher during an elementary school talent show, but the ensuing homophobic reactions from school officials and her mother taint the experience.

PURA LENGUA (Directed by Aurora Guerrero)
A young Xicana searches for ways to heal maladies of the heart.

THE BABY CRIES (Directed by Mario Novoa)
Marco is going to all lengths to unite his protective husband David, his estranged conservative parents and his newborn daughter in a dramedy about love, faith, and devotion.

*Free Validated Parking will be available in the five-story public parking structure.

About this Series

Outfest_LogoFamily_WeHoSeries_Outlines_V2Outfest, the leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) stories on the screen, announces a new program: Outfest West Hollywood Series, a monthly program featuring films and discussions of interest to LGBT audiences at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers at West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. in West Hollywood. The program will be the first Wednesday of the month throughout the year and is made possible in part by a grant from the City of West Hollywood through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission

About the City of West Hollywood

The City of West Hollywood, also known as The Creative City, has a strong commitment to providing accessible arts and cultural events programming for its diverse community and visitors. This commitment led to the building of the West Hollywood Library in 2011, which has served as a hub of cultural programming in the area. Through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, the City presents numerous film screenings, exhibitions, concerts, and other cultural events throughout the year, as well as an entire month of LGBTQ arts events during June Pride month. For more information on these West Hollywood arts and cultural events, please visit www.weho.org/artsand www.weho.org/pride.


YouTubers Ethan And Hila Klein Win Copyright Case, Court Says h3h3Productions’ Use Of Video Is Fair Use

“Overall, this decision can provide important guidance to YouTubers when it comes to fair use and commentary videos. The opinion of Forrest is valuable in that it provides insight into how a court may interpret the fair use defense when it comes to commentary and reaction videos.”

Source: YouTubers Ethan And Hila Klein Win Copyright Case, Court Says h3h3Productions’ Use Of Video Is Fair Use

Is this the golden age of queer coming-of-age film?

A new trend appears to be taking hold: the coming-of-age film in all its glorious diversity

Source: Is this the golden age of queer coming-of-age film?

Occasionally a film could break through as an uproarious comedy, like The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, or a story about aging like Gods and Monsters. Still, it took a while for queer films to evolve beyond an obsessive focus on gay men dying or coming out.

With San Francisco’s Frameline drawing to a close and the LA-based queer film festival Outfest kicking off now, a new trend appears to be taking hold: the coming-of-age film in all its glorious diversity. These stories deal with long-tread subjects like coming out, fighting for equality and finding love, but with a new twist—coming out now feels more like part of growing up rather than an earth-shattering revelation.

That doesn’t make the process easy, however, nor does it make for a lack of drama. Just as the LGBT community continues to progress and evolve as an essential aspect of American culture, so do our stories.

Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies, and Feminism

Source: Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies, and Feminism

Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism plays in Latinx Ladies

Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism plays in Latinx Ladies

Screenings for Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism  

Directed by Gregorio Davila

Produced by Mario J. Novoa, Film Bliss Studios

Running time: 38 minutes

City of West Hollywood “One City One Pride”


Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism plays in Latinx Ladies Outfest 2017

Tickets for 2017 Outfest Film Festival : Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism
plays in Latinx Ladies

July 12, 2017 715pm at the Director Guild of America – Theater DGA 2

Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism

Rediscovering Jeanne Cordova: World Premiere at One City One Pride Screening by Joe Castel from Adelante Magazine

Shakespeare once famously chided, “Get thee to a nunnery!” But in the mid-1960s, Jean Cordova did just the opposite, fleeing the nunnery to find her inner self. But unlike Maria Von Trapp, she wasn’t running away from a bunch of club wielding Nazis. Instead, this brazen Chicana LGBT activist did the chasing and stood up to her homophobic oppressors empowered with nothing more than self-awareness. The former nun claims she was able to find her higher self by “kicking the habit” and embracing a sexual revolution that kept reinventing itself, as well as redefining her own sexual identity.

Director Gregorio Davila captures a poignant portrait of the native Los Angeleno in the documentary, Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies, and Feminism. This year’s West Hollywood’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival will screen the documentary at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers on June 29 at 7:30 p.m., followed by a discussion with the director and Cordova’s partner, Lynn Harris Ballen.

From sleeping with Mother Superior’s best friend at the convent to heading up a national lesbian magazine, Cordova chronicles her life in unabashed archival footage from the 1980s up to 2016. Through the continuous reexamination of politics and sexuality, she carved out a unique pathway to her destiny in the LGBT movement.

After leaving the nunnery, Cordova becomes disillusioned with the carefree lesbian lifestyle of softball, beer, bars and balling. She asks herself, “Is this all there is to gay life?” The UCLA student challenges her intellectual side and joins the first lesbian organization, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), only to realize that the women in the homophile movement are more like the Daughters of the American Revolution in their conservative thinking. Still, she runs for the organization’s Presidency and wins. However, after taking DOB members to an anti-war rally with a group of her Marxist leaning lesbian friends, Codorva is pegged as a radical, and finally voted out of DOB, much to her delight, but not before she revolutionizes their newsletter, The Ladder.

Cordova believes the outdated periodical needs a feminist facelift and takes the newly named Lesbian Tide to international status, becoming the go-to-guide for intellectual feminism.

When Cordova ditches DOB, she joins up with lesbian feminists at the Los Angeles Women’s Center. It’s there she discovers that it’s disempowering to be butch or fem and that identifying with the masculine is the worst because it’s aligning with the patriarchal oppressor. “That was a big sin,” she confesses. So in the closet with her habit, went the boots, ties and anything else that would identify her as a man.

It seems that for most of her life, Cordova is constantly reexamining herself and her position in the movement.  She even justifies the break lesbians had with gay men in the early 70s, claiming they needed alone time to figure things out. She confides that feminism unfortunately tended to lump straight and gay men together, where as earlier in the movement, “we saw gay men as our brothers.”

However it would take Anita Bryant, a national commercial Florida Orange Juice peddler and former beauty queen to bring the two sexes together again in order to fight California’s Proposition 6, more commonly known as the Briggs Initiative. The initiative, a national homophobe campaign started by Bryant (of all people), would have banned gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights from working in California public schools.

Cordova jokes that Bryant ruined the summer of 1978 as lesbians and gays dropped their differences and diligently worked together with Harvey Milk to beat the statewide discriminatory legislation. Cordova complains that there wasn’t any time for the beaches or softball that year as they poured all their energies into lobbying various organizations, politicians and celebrities to join their cause. In the end, their sacrificed summer paid off as they defeated Proposition 6 at the polls and scored a big fat WIN!

What’s satisfying about Davila’s documentary is that it reclaims a bit of our history. It demonstrates that Harvey Milk wasn’t the only one out their fighting the system in the 1970s. A Latina stepped up to the plate and took a swing at sexism and homophobia in the early years of the LGBT rights movement. Most importantly, we have a role model to learn from and be inspired from, because, shamefully, the Anita Bryant’s of the nation are on the rise again and unfortunately, Cordova is unable to shake up the system, as the feminist rabble rouser passed away last year at the age of 67.

However, at the end of Davila’s film, Cordova looks directly into the camera and passes the torch“I want you to know, that I told you this story, so you too can start a movement. Come up with a creative idea that grips people and you too can start a movement. And tonight’s creative idea will be to march down Santa Monica Blvd. So march with me.”

The City of West Hollywood, through its One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, celebrates pride in 2017 with the festival theme “Go West”. One City One Pride comprises mostly free interactive, performing and visual arts events between May 22 (Harvey Milk Day) through the end of June Pride month. For more information on Jeanne Cordova’s documentary or One City One Pride, visit: http://weho.org/pride