University of Rochester

'Brother to Brother' Director Screens Major Work on Gay Black Men

March 27, 2006

Director and screenwriter Rodney Evans will show his award-winning film about African-Americans lives and the Harlem Renaissance at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at the University of Rochester. Brother to Brother, the 2004 film considered a sophisticated and historic look at relationships between men, will be shown in Hoyt Auditorium on the River Campus. It is free and open to the public.

The University's Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies and the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies are sponsoring the event as part of their series on Visual Culture & the African Diaspora. Evans will introduce the film and answer audience questions after the showing.

Brother to Brother won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and has been recognized with awards at other festivals. Black-and-white footage of African-American historical figures, including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Wallace Thurman, is blended into this color film about the legacy of that 20th-century artistic and literary period.

Evans spent six years working on the script, inspired by poet Bruce Nugent, who died in obscurity in 1987. The cast for his first dramatic feature includes Anthony Mackie, Roger Robinson, Duane Boute, Larry Gilliard Jr., and Aunjanue Ellis.

Now in his 30s, Evans has directed several projects since his autobiographical film, Close to Home, which has been shown at more than 30 film festivals around the world. He holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Brown University, and a master of fine arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts.

The co-sponsors of the event are the Pride Network, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies, the Film and Media Studies Program, Black Students' Union, the Department of English, and the Department of History at the University of Rochester. Parking will be free in the nearby Library Lot beginning at 7 p.m., and in most other campus lots.

For more information on the film, contact the Frederick Douglass Institute at (585) 275-7235 or e-mail