ABOUT THE FILM
OUT IN THE NIGHT is a documentary that tells the story of a group of young friends, African American lesbians who are out, one hot August night in 2006, in the gay friendly neighborhood of New York City. They are all in their late teens and early twenties and come from a low-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. Two of the women are the focus—gender non-conforming Renata Hill, a single mother with a soft heart and keen sense of humor, and petite femme Patreese Johnson, a shy and tender poet.
As they and their friends walk under the hot neon lights of tattoo parlors in the West Village, an older man sexually and violently confronts them. He says to Patreese “let me get some of that” as he points below her waist. When she says that they are gay, the man becomes violent and threatens to “fuck them straight.” He spits and throws a lit cigarette. Renata and Venice defend the group and a fight begins, captured by security cameras nearby. The man yanks out hair from Venice’s head and chokes Renata. Then, Patreese pulls a knife from her purse and swings at him. Strangers jump in to defend the women and the fight escalates.
As the fight comes to an end, all get up and walkaway. But 911 has been called and the man involved has been stabbed. Police swarm to the scene as their radios blast out warning of a gang attack. The women are rounded up and charged with gang assault, assault and attempted murder. Three of the women plead guilty. But Renata, Patreese, Venice and friend Terrain claim their innocence. They are called a “Gang of Killer Lesbians” by the media. In activist circles they become known as The New Jersey 4.
Director blair dorosh-walther
Producers Giovanna Chesler, Mridu Chandra, Yoruba Richen
Executive Producer Abigail E. Disney
Executive Producer for ITVS Sally Jo Fifer
Editors Kristen Huntley, Sarah Devorkin
Cinematographer Daniel Patterson
Music Mario Grigorov, Toshi Reagon
2014: Los Angeles Film Festival (World Premiere), Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Frameline, Outfest
Jury Award for Excellence in Filmmaking—Best Documentary, Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; Audience Award, Best Documentary Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; Audience Award, Best Documentary (tie) Reel Q Pittsburgh LGBT Film Festival; Special Documentary Jury Prize for Courage in Storytelling, Image Out The Rochester LGBT Film Festival, Joyce Warshow Award—Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
HCDAM, Blu-Ray, DVD
Available Press Images (click to preview)