Skip to main content

Award-winning film ‘Two Spirits’ accepted into San Francisco Frameline33 Festival

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

LOS ANGELES – The documentary “Two Spirits: Sexuality, Gender, and the Murder of Fred Martinez,” has been granted early acceptance to Frameline33, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, which takes place June 18 – 28.

The documentary film interweaves the story of the short life and brutal death of a Navajo teenager with a penetrating examination of the Native American two?spirit tradition. “Two Spirits” and the education and outreach efforts of The Fred Martinez Project have received the Monette?Horwitz Distinguished Achievement Award for outstanding activism, research and scholarship to combat homophobia.

“We must raise $19,000 quickly in order to finish the film on time for the Frameline deadline,” says Lydia Nibley, executive producer and director of “Two Spirits.” She explained the money is needed to “cover the cost of the audio mix, color correction, mastering and other technical details needed to finish the film and get it out widely on the film festival circuit.”

Nibley said she receives calls and e-mails every day from organizations, film festivals and individuals asking for the film. “It is clear that powerful stories like Fred’s are needed to help deepen the conversation around gender and sexuality, bring a richer historical perspective on these issues to the mainstream media, and reinforce the truth that society has nothing to fear in gender and sexual variety, and that we all have much to gain from embracing a more humane perspective.”

“Two Spirits” is grounded in the terrible reality of what happened on a night when one boy bludgeoned another with rocks, then bragged to friends that he had “bug-smashed a fag.” Fred Martinez was one of the youngest hate?crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at the age of 16 in Cortez, Colo. Fred was nádleehi (pronounced NOD?lay), a male-bodied person with a spiritual essence that is feminine, a special gift according to his ancient Navajo culture. This cultural tradition treats those who possess a broader understanding of gender with reverence and respect. “Two Spirits” explores the life and death of a boy who was also a girl, and the fluidity and essentially spiritual nature of gender and sexuality. The film makes the case that in the 21st century we need to return to traditional American values – Native American values.

“Two Spirits,” and the educational materials surrounding the film, will be made available at community centers, schools, libraries and other locations. The film will also be distributed to public officials who are in a position to respond to the legislative, public health and criminal justice implications of hate crimes, and it will be used to sensitize law enforcement, the media and communities of faith, educating them about the prevalence of violence, the importance of equality and fundamental human rights, and the proactive steps that must be taken to make permanent change.

“This is one of the best documentaries that I’ve seen this year, and the potential impact of your film and greater LGBTQQI community will be profound,” said Jennifer Morris, director of programming for Frameline. The film “will bring further awareness to two spirit people and the intersection of the spiritual nature of gender and sexuality. The audiences you could reach with your film, such as grassroots organizations working on violence reduction or human rights initiatives, would greatly benefit from seeing your film.”

Outreach partner organizations will promote the film and its messages to their organizational and membership lists and to the media and general public in their areas. This community outreach will continue and intensify at the time of the film’s launch.

For more information call or write Lydia Nibley at Say Yes Quickly Productions, 150 S. San Fernando Blvd. Suite 303, Burbank, CA 91502, (818) 861-7590, Lydia@syqproductions.net.