In 2013, during the 40th Anniversary of the deadly Up Stairs Lounge Arson (one of the most significant, yet often overlooked events in LGBT history), Camina Entertainment publicly announced the production of Upstairs Inferno, a comprehensive and compassionate documentary recounting (what was) the “Largest Gay Mass Murder in U.S. History”.
Today, Camina Entertainment proudly announces the release of the critically acclaimed film on DVD and Blu-ray!
Both formats are packed with Bonus Features including: “Behind-the-Scenes: The Making of Upstairs Inferno” and a “Present Day Tour of the ‘Up Stairs Lounge.”
Upstairs Inferno can be purchased at: http://Purchase.UpstairsInferno. com.
On June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay bar located on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. The fire ultimately killed 32 people and severely injured countless others. It permanently altered lives and was the root of many lifelong struggles.
With unique access (exclusive on-camera interviews from survivors, witnesses and friends/families of victims) and a fresh perspective (incorporating long lost artifacts, newsreel footage and photographs that haven’t been seen in decades), Upstairs Inferno vividly examines this often-forgotten story and is considered the most comprehensive and authoritative film about the tragedy and its aftermath.
Narrated by New Orleans’ own New York Times best-selling author Christopher Rice, Upstairs Inferno is a mesmerizing mix of crime drama and human connections that captures the heartbreaking feelings of unconditional love and overwhelming loss. An unsettling snapshot of what was, until the early hours of June 12, 2016, the deadliest single event to affect the gay community in American history, Upstairs Inferno gets inside the hearts and minds of a handful of vibrant people who experienced one of the most important and underreported moments in LGBT History.
“While Upstairs Inferno recounts a historic event, its underlying message crosses cultural boundaries”, Director Robert L. Camina emphasizes. “It’s easier for people to hate and fear things they don’t understand. No matter your background, in the end, we are more alike than we are different. I think Upstairs Inferno reminds of us that.”
Camina adds, “We made the film hoping audiences would walk away from it with a renewed call for compassion: Compassion for those unlike us. Compassion for those who are hurting. Compassion for those in need. Because there definitely wasn’t a lot of compassion when the deadly arson occurred.”
“Sadly, a lot has happened in the world since the film was released and we started spreading the message of compassion and the impact of hate, “Camina continues. “It sickens me that mass murders have become so common. I think Upstairs Inferno’s message is as timely as ever: the power of family, friends and forgiveness in the shadow of immense pain.”
With the release of the documentary, Camina Entertainment plans to emphasize those themes, as well as the overall preservation of LGBTQ history. Hopefully, by the Up Stairs Lounge Arson survivors sharing their stories, it can provide strength to others in need.
Upstairs Inferno had its world premiere in New Orleans on June 24, 2015: the 42nd Anniversary of the Up Stairs Lounge arson. Survivors of the fire, families and friends of the victims and witnesses filled the audience. Many traveled across the country to attend the premiere. Some of the attendees hadn’t seen each other in over 40 years.
The documentary went on to screen at 40 film festivals around the world. It won 20 awards, including 11 Jury Awards and 4 Audience Awards. This includes Frameline: the San Francisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, where they awarded Upstairs Inferno with the Jury Award: Honorable Mention, citing its “Special Contribution to Queer History”. In addition, Upstairs Inferno received a prestigious invitation to screen at the Library of Congress in February 2017.
Christopher Rice (narrator) is a New York Times best selling author. His debut novel, A Density of Souls, was an overnight bestseller, and was greeted with a landslide of media attention, much of it due to the fact that Christopher is the son of legendary vampire chronicler, Anne Rice. Much of his writing is heavily influenced by the years he and his Mom lived in New Orleans. Rice considers New Orleans his “hometown”. Christopher currently co-hosts his own Internet radio show, The Dinner Party Show, with fellow New York Times best-selling novelist, Eric Shaw Quinn. Rice recently published the novel, The Vines, which is set in the outskirts of New Orleans. Christopher Rice also wrote the adapted screenplay for Anne Rice’s novel, The Tale of the Body Thief, which was acquired by Universal Pictures in November 2014, according to Variety Magazine.
Robert L. Camina (director) wrote, directed and produced several short films before premiering his first full length documentary, Raid of the Rainbow Lounge (2012) to sold out audiences, rave reviews and a media frenzy. Raid of the Rainbow Lounge recounts the widely publicized and controversial June 28, 2009 police raid of a Fort Worth, Texas gay bar that resulted in multiple arrests and serious injuries. The raid occurred on the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Inn raid. The film, narrated by TV icon Meredith Baxter, screened during 33 mainstream and LGBT film festivals across the United States, Mexico and Canada. The film won several awards including 5 “Best” Film and 3 “Audience Choice” Awards. The film also received attention from the Office of the White House, Department of Justice and a division of the U.S. State Department. At their invitation, the Library of Congress hosted a screening in October 2014. (www. RaidoftheRainbowLounge.com)
For more information, visit www. UpstairsInferno.com