Center for Conflict Studies Knowledge as Action, Action as Change

Event III: Out in the Night - Documentary Screening and Discussion

Saturday, November 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM

1 Venice Terrain Patreese Renata   Out In The Night   Signature Image by Lyric Cabral

Out in the Night is a documentary based on the story about a group of young friends who were out one summer night in 2006. They are all in their late teens, African American lesbians, from a low-income neighborhood in Newark, NJ. The incident takes place in a gay friendly neighborhood of New York City when a man confronts the women with lewd, sexual remarks. The situation escalates and others get involved, the police are called, the women are charged with gang assault, assault and attempted murder. Three women plead guilty but four claim innocence. Following Renata, Patreese, Venice and Terrain, Out in the Night depicts their stories of how race, gender, identity and sexuality became criminalized in mainstream media and criminal legal system.

Out in the Night was awarded the Joyce Warshow Fund from Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, a Special Jury Prize for Courage in Storytelling and Best Documentary – Audience Award from ImageOut Rochester, the Jury Award and Audience Award at the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Favorite Documentary at ReelQ Pittsburgh International LGBT Film Festival, the Jury Award at the ARC Queer People of Color Film Festival, the Audience Award for Documentary Feature at the New Orleans Film Festival, the Audience Award and Jury Award for Best Documentary at Image- Nation Montreal LGBT Festival and the Audience Award from the Baltimore International Black Film Festival as well the 2016 Telly Award.  Out in the Night partnered with the United Nations’ Free and Equal Campaign to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide.

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Discussion with:

Blair Dorosh-Walther: Producer and Director

Renata Hill - Documentary Subject

Patreese Johnson - Documentary Subject


Blair Dorosh-Walther: Producer and Director


Blair Dorosh-Walther identifies as gender non-conforming and uses both male and female pronouns, is a social issue documentary director, and artist with a passion for inspiring action for social justice through media. A recent Guggenheim Fellow, Blair graduated with a BFA in Film from NYU and was awarded the Adam Balsano Award for social significance in documentary filmmaking. Out in the Night is hir first feature documentary and kicked off the 2015-2016 season of POV on PBS with a simultaneous broadcast on the Logo Network. Out in the Night had its international premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival June 2014 and has since been in over 90 film festivals and won over a dozen jury and audience awards at film festivals around the world. Blair has supported hir artistic career by working in direct care with adults living with developmental disabilities, mental illness, addiction issues, homelessness and HIV/AIDS for the past 12 years.

Renata Hill - Documentary Subject


Renata Hill is currently a full-time student on the path to earn an Associates degree in Human Services at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and then she will work to get her master’s degree in social work. She has toured the country speaking out about this incident and for all women who are incarcerated for defending themselves. She spoke to a room of over 1600 people at the national INCITE! Color Of Violence Conference in Chicago in March 2015. Renata won the 2015 Beyond Measure Award at New York Fashion Week for her dedication to activism and social justice. Most recently she was asked to speak at the Sadie Nash Leadership Project as well the National Convening of Black Lives, organized by the Black Lives Matter national movement. Renata is ferociously protective of people around her and she has an incredible sense of humor that has probably been her greatest source of strength throughout her life. Renata has spoken at a dozen colleges and universities as well as dozens of film festivals.

Patreese Johnson - Documentary Subject


Patreese Johnson is a femme-identified poet. She is the youngest of four brothers and one sister. She grew up as the youngest on the block in her tight-knit community in Newark, New Jersey. She is fiercely empathetic with a big heart. While incarcerated, she received her GED and ran a support group for women who were survivors of domestic violence. Since her release, she has enrolled at Essex County Community College, studying for Associates degree in Liberal Arts. She has been touring nationally with the film and spoke at the Creating Change Conference in Denver in February 2015. Patreese has also spoken at dozens of film festivals and forums on the topic of racial inequality and LGBT awareness and rights. Most recently, Patreese was asked to speak at the Sadie Nash Leadership Project in Newark, NJ. Patreese dreams of opening a spa one day “so that women will have a place to take a break from the every- day struggles of life.” She is currently working two part-time jobs, one as a personal assistant to children’s author, Jacqueline Woodson.