Archive for panel discussions

Stonewall Means Fight Back!


Stonewall Means Fight Back.  And that is what our invited panelists did at the time of Stonewall.  History was being made. Allen Young (activist/author)  brings together an amazing group of Stonewall Era Pioneers on board Pride of the Ocean  to recount how they were part of an young and energetic Gay and Lesbian rights movement that changed forever the landscape of sexual politics and the world.  The present LGBT movement is stronger today because of this important early workby pioneers. Meet our panelists below.
Allen Young was co-editor with Karla Jay of “Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation” (1972) and other gay-themed books, as well as author of his just-published autobiography, “Left, Gay & Green: A Writer’s Life.”  He participated in the 1960s in the New Left and the anti-war movement, and more recently in environmental …
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Charlotte Bunch, Founding Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), Rutgers University, has been an activist, writer and organizer in feminist, LGBT, and human rights movements for over 4 decades.  Bunch was a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in DC, where she was one of the founders of Washington DC Women’s Liberation in 1968 and of The Furies Lesbian … click to read more
Michela Griffo, MFA, MSW, started her political life by becoming a member of the Redstockings after witnessing, at the age of 16, a close friend almost die of an illegal abortion. Michela was one of the first twelve members of The National Organization for Women. She is also a Visionary member of the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; and as an artist continues to create politically provocative …
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John Knoebel was a high-profile member of New York City’s pioneering Gay Liberation Front, after which John pursued a career in gay publishing in California and New York. He served as a senior executive of The Advocate and OUT magazine for over 33 years. After retiring from publishing, he co-created the LGBTQ oral history site: and co-edited the book..
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Let us honor our history and history makers.  Join us on Pride of the Ocean’s Stonewall 50 Festival on board the Norwegian Dawn sailing from the site of the Stonewall Uprising — New York City, this coming June Pride Month (June 8th to June 15th ) as we mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. For each cabin booked, we will be donating $100 to the invited non-profit of your choice. Details below.


The Pride of the Ocean 2019 “50th Anniversary of Stonewall” cruise is now on sale, but only for a limited time.  Sailing with Norwegian Cruise Lines onboard the Norwegian Dawn  from June 8 – June 15, 2019, 8‐day, 7-night we set sail from New York to Canada & New England.

Below please find the corresponding booking form with all the details, which is also available online at If you’d prefer a more personal touch, our cruise associate Geisha Cumberbatch would be happy to talk with you on the phone to find you the perfect cabin for this important Pride of the Ocean cruise, where booking your cabin can even benefit one of our invited non-profits with a $100 donation. Click on one of the non-profit links or images below to learn more.

Posted in: activism, panel discussions, Upcoming Events

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The Agony and Ecstasy: Sports & Films with an LGBT Arm Twist

Published Author and Filmmaker Added to Cruise Lineup

It’s hard to find females in leading roles as athletes, coaches and owners in sports film story lines. With an abundance of male-focused stories, Hollywood continues to reinforce the association of athleticism with masculinity. Viridiana Lieberman will be joining a panel discussion entitled, “The Agony and Ecstasy: Sports & Films with an LGBT Arm Twist”on Pride of the Ocean’s sports themed Western Caribbean cruise, from March 14-21, 2015.  The panel discussion will be moderated by Cheryl Furjanic, director of the recently released documentary film, “Back on Board: The Greg Louganis Story“.

Cheryl Furjanic with John Scagliotti and Greg Louganis on Pride of the Ocean in 2013

Cheryl Furjanic with John Scagliotti and Greg Louganis on Pride of the Ocean in 2013

In her 2014 book, “Sports Heroines on Film: A Critical Study of Cinematic Women Athletes, Coaches and Owners” Viridiana Lieberman, a former Pride of the Ocean filmmaker, discusses sports film heroines, beginning with National Velvet (1944) and ending with Secretariat (2010). Her book addresses the question of whether these story lines do or do not empower women as characters and role models, while offering alternative cinematic choices that reflect the true and ever-growing history of women in sports.

Viridiana Lieberman speaking on Pride of the Ocean in 2013

Viridiana Lieberman speaking on Pride of the Ocean in 2013

There are only 5 days remaining to join Cheryl and Viridiana in the Western Caribbean with ports of call in Miami, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Cozumel. Online reservations will close on December 15, 2014. Click here or on the button below to see available options.



Posted in: 2015, film festival info, filmmaker news, filmmakers on board, panel discussions, Upcoming Events, Western Caribbean

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Saving Our History

with “Brother Outsider”

buttonCo-director Bennett Singer will lead a seminar on the importance of finding, saving, and incorporating archival material into film and film archives, using the making of the film he co-directed with Nancy Kates, “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” as a real-world example of saving African American LGBT history. The seminar will appropriately be taking place on Pride of the Ocean’s, “Selma, Seneca Falls and Stonewall: Films That Made a Difference” cruise June 1-8, 2014 from New York to Bermuda, “Brother Outsider” being a film that made and continues to make a difference.

Long before Martin Luther King, Jr. became a national figure, Bayard Rustin routinely put his body and his life on the line as a crusader for racial justice.  He was openly gay during the fiercely homophobic era of the 40s and 50s; as a result, he was frequently shunned by the very civil rights movement he helped create.

Brother Outsider

Though he had to overcome the stereotypes associated with being an illegitimate son, an African American, a gay man and a one-time member of the Communist Party, Rustin the ultimate outsider eventually became a public figure and respected political insider. He not only shaped civil rights movement strategy as a longtime advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr., but was known and respected by numerous U.S. Presidents and foreign leaders.

Your joining this cruise helps support filmmakers maintain their work by creating works that save LGBT history, including the precious archival materials that make up our  LGBT African American experience. Click here to book your cabin on Pride of the Ocean.



Posted in: 2014, activism, Bermuda, film festival info, filmmaker news, filmmakers on board, films, films on board, lgbt media, NCL, On Board Events, panel discussions, partner organizations, screenings, Upcoming Events, upcoming festivals, workshops and film labs

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Pride of the Ocean Doubles in Size for 2013

The fourth Pride of the Ocean LGBT Film Festival sails for Glacier Bay, Alaska, in August with over twice as many passengers as the preceding third cruise. On board the Norwegian Pearl luxury cruise ship, the film festival will host groundbreaking film screenings, seminars, workshops and a wide variety of filmmakers and special guests.

Group MontageOnly a Few Cabins Remain on the only LGBT Film Festival at Sea

Anticipating the leap in size this year, Program Director John Scagliotti and Cruise Director Jim Pollin planned for more cabins to be available for the expanding audience of 2013.

James Pollin“Our cruise has leaped in size every year,” states Pollin, “and this year we knew we would see another burst of interest for our first West Coast departure.”

“We are delighted that our growth even surpassed our expectations.”

As the passenger list expanded, Pollin ensured the group had the space they needed. “Interest has been so high, the railroad car reserved for the group shore excursion in Skagway on the White Pass Railroad sold out. We quickly added another car, and that (more…)

Posted in: alaska, cineslam, film festival info, filmmakers on board, films, films on board, lgbt media, networking, On Board Events, panel discussions, partner organizations, Pride of the Ocean Parties, registration, seattle, Uncategorized, workshops and film labs

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Post-Supreme Court decision on Gay Marriage Discussion On Pride of the Ocean

This very month the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments on the future of marriage equality for same-sex couples – an unprecedented step in the forward march of LGBT rights. Married couples and marriage activists from all states can take to the seas while exploring the outcomes with one of the most recognized figures in the fight – activist Michael Crawford of Freedom to Marry, the Washington DC-based nonprofit leading the national campaign.

Michael Crawford

Michael Crawford, from Freedom to Marry
leads the discussion

By the time you set sail with us up the Pacific Northwest’s Inside Passage to Glacier Bay, watching our array of ground-breaking films, we will already know the Supreme Court’s conclusions. Decisions are due in June on the vital challenges both to California’s Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in that state, and to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, prohibiting the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage under federal laws.

Your Pride of the Ocean film festival will examine the outcomes of this historic event, through the lens of our artistic medium, by hosting a screening of the multiple award-winning film “I DO” followed by a special discussion led by Crawford.

“I DO” presents the story of a British (more…)

Posted in: activism, film festival info, filmmakers on board, films, films on board, lgbt media, On Board Events, panel discussions, partner organizations, screenings

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Logo and ITVS join Pride of the Ocean

Christopher Willey, Head of East Coast Development and Production for Logo Television, has overseen projects including “The A-List”, “NewNowNext Awards”, “NewNowNext Vote Hosted by Wanda Sykes”, “Be Good Johnny Weir”, “Scandalicious”, “The Big Gay Sketch Show” and “Jeffery & Cole Casserole.”Willey Sommers James Sommers, Senior Vice President of Content for The Independent Television Service (ITVS), oversees the Content Strategy Team, also known as the “greenlight” team, which finalizes (more…)

Posted in: filmmaker news, lgbt media, networking, On Board Events, panel discussions, partner organizations, Uncategorized, workshops and film labs

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Today on Pride of the Ocean | Friday June 15

Friday was our final day in Bermuda, and although it was raining, we still had a great day!

We began with our morning screening of SHELTER, presented by producer JD Disalvatore, and followed with an impromptu screening of CineSLAM Film Slam Seminar participant Cheryl Furjanic’s documentary SYNC OR SWIM.

After our lunchtime break, we began again in Michael’s Lounge on board the Summit for our CineSLAM Film Slam Seminar/ Webisode panel discussion with Randall Jenson (50FAGGOTS), Sebastian La Cause (HUSTLING), and JC Calciano (STEAM ROOM STORIES). It was truly an exciting and educational discussion. Click the links above to see for yourself!

Finally, we closed the day with our second official group dinner, sponsored by The Advocate!

Our festival Cruise Director Jim Pollin (left) and festival Program Director John Scagliotti (right) at our second official group dinner, sponsored by The Advocate.

Posted in: cineslam, film festival info, filmmakers on board, films, films on board, On Board Events, panel discussions, partner organizations, screenings, the advocate, workshops and film labs

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Today on Pride of the Ocean | Tuesday June 12

Today was our second full day on the ocean, and we are well underway. This morning we opened with the awkwardly hilarious short GAYBY by Jonathan Lisecki, and the powerful documentary WISH ME AWAY, starring Chely Wright.

In the late morning, Miriam Cutler, musical composer, held an enlightening seminar titled “Know the Score: What Film Music Brings to Storytelling”, followed by our second round of CineSLAM Film Slam Seminars.

Tomorrow morning we will arrive in Bermuda, and we will post pictures from the previous days’ events.


Posted in: cineslam, film festival info, filmmakers on board, films, films on board, networking, On Board Events, panel discussions, screenings, workshops and film labs

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FROM THE GROUND UP | Panel on Pride of the Ocean 2012

Announcing our second Q-Me Con panel on Pride of the Ocean 2012,



“From grants & foundations, to private investors & “soft moneys,” join top industry members as they discuss what capital and other resources are out there for you and your project — and share tips on how you can go out there and get them!”

Tuesday, June 12th, 3:00PM
In the DECK 3 Conference Room.

Q-Me Con Panel Film Festival Directors, moderated by Jennifer Howd (far right), 2011

This panel will be moderated by Jennifer Howd (co-founder of Q-Me Con), featuring panelists:

Lesli Klainberg (managing director, Film Society Lincoln Center)

Cheryl Furjanic (filmmaker, SYNC OR SWIM)

Andrea Meyerson (filmmaker and founder of Women On A Roll)

Casper Andreas (director, GOING DOWN IN LA-LA LAND)

Kareem Mortimer (director, CHILDREN OF GOD)

JD Disalvatore (producer, SHELTER)

JC Calciano (director, eCUPID, webisode creator)

Posted in: film festival info, filmmaker news, filmmakers on board, lgbt media, panel discussions

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Films with a Cause! on Pride of the Ocean 2012

Nancy Johnson (right) and Susan Stryker (left) at screening of "Screaming Queens"

We’re pleased to announce that the Q-MeCon/CID panel for Films with a Cause will take place on Pride of the Ocean, Saturday, June 16, 2012 @ 11:15am – 1:15pm in the Deck 3 Conference Room.

The panel will be facilitated by Jennifer Howd, founder of Q-MeCon.

How do non-profits and NGO’s like PFLAG or Amnesty International use films and short web videos to spread their messages, build membership and conduct outreach for their mission? Are you looking for a way to get involved?… Join us for an in-depth conversation with leading change-makers to learn how YOU can make a difference through grassroots efforts to promote content for a cause.

The panelists are Nancy Johnson (PFLAG Oak Park, IL), Susi Walsh (Executive Director of the Center for Independent Documentary), Stu Maddux (director of GEN SILENT, to be screened on board), John Scagliotti (creator of IN THE LIFE, PBS), and Matt Paco (producer at IN THE LIFE and MTV WORKS).

Pride of the Ocean is pleased to be in collaboration with Q-MeCon for the third consecutive year.

Jennifer Howd, co-founder of Q-MeCon

The Queer Media and Entertainment Conference (Q-Me Con) creates events designed specifically for industry professionals working in, or looking to break into, LGBT content creation for the burgeoning queer TV, music, film and new digital media arenas. Q-Me Con features engaging seminars, tons of networking events and outrageous off-site parties designed specifically for queer industry professionals and content creators.

Q-Me Con was created by Punkmouse, a NYC-based queer-owned and operated media and entertainment group, founded in 2005 by industry veterans John Baez and Jennifer Howd.

Films with a Cause is one of two seminars Q-MeCon is presenting on board Pride of the Ocean. We will be announcing the other seminar with panelists in a few days.

Posted in: film festival info, filmmakers on board, lgbt media, panel discussions, partner organizations, upcoming festivals, workshops and film labs

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