Middlebury

Academy Award winning director to present short documentary April 23

April 10, 2008

Event Calendar Listing
Wednesday, April 23
7 p.m.
Dana Auditorium in Sunderland Language Center, located on College Street (Route 125)
Free and open to the public

Academy Award winning director Cynthia Wade will present her short-subject documentary "Freeheld," followed by a discussion about the film and period for questions and answers from the audience. 

"Freeheld" was the 2007 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary (Short Subject). The 38-minute film documents the story of Laurel Hester, a police lieutenant of 25 years in Ocean County, New Jersey, who is dying of cancer and trying to secure her earned pension benefits for her life partner, Stacey. The filming took place over the last months of Laurel's life and, though struggling with chemotherapy and the effects of the disease, Laurel fights valiantly against the New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders who have the sole authority to award same-sex couples the same privileges allowed to heterosexual couples. The film, which almost only plays at film festivals around the country, also won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Legislators from all over the state of Vermont, including Governor Douglas, have been invited to attend the screening and lecture. The event is made possible through the efforts of Ryan Tauriainen, co-president of the Middlebury Open Queer Alliance (MOQA), as part of MOQA's month-long programming in April. Co-sponsors of the event include MOQA, the Middlebury College Activities Board (MCAB) Speaker's Fund, and Wonnacott Commons.

For more information contact Ryan Tauriainen at rtauriai@middlebury.edu.