UPSTAIRS INFERNO Q&A with Rev. Paul Breton at Cinema Diverse Screening (Palm Springs)

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September 18, 2015 – UPSTAIRS INFERNO was proud to be an official selection of Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival! We had a great audience and were HONORED to have Bishop Paul Breton host the Q&A after the film.

As a member of Reverend Troy Perry’s team of ministers and gay activists who traveled to New Orleans to help minister to the dead, injured and hurting, Breton was the primary clergy to minister to the gravely injured victims in Charity Hospital. He also performed funerals for many of the fire victims, including fellow Metropolitan Community Church pastor, Reverend Bill Larson. As someone who was there, Breton provides intimate details about the hours and days after the fire, the struggles in the community and attitudes of the dying. He was also one of the trustees who established the “New Orleans National Memorial Fund”, designed to help pay for medical bills, funerals or various other expenses incurred by the victims.

A HUGE “Thank you” to Vincent Corrales for the video and Jeremy Johnson for the photos!


As featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Advocate Magazine and CNN, the award winning documentary, UPSTAIRS INFERNO, chronicles one of the deadliest attacks on the LGBT community in America.

For over 40 years, it was considered the “Largest Gay Mass Murder in U.S. History”: On June 24, 1973, an arsonist set fire to the Up Stairs Lounge, ultimately killing 32 people. With interviews from survivors, family/friends of victims and witnesses, UPSTAIRS INFERNO vividly examines this oft-forgotten story and captures the power of unconditional love and forgiveness in the face of tragedy.

This riveting film is brought to you by award winning director, Robert L. Camina and Executive Producers behind “Back on Board: Greg Louganis”, “Raid of the Rainbow Lounge” and “Southern Baptist Sissies”.

The OFFICIAL UPSTAIRS INFERNO TRAILER (with nearly 100K views) is available at

UPSTAIRS INFERNO is the story of the Up Stairs Lounge Arson as you’ve never seen or heard it before. The critically acclaimed documentary takes audiences to an unforgettable emotional space unparalleled by the written word alone.

Despite the staggering historical significance, few people know about the tragedy. Nearly three dozen people were killed and some bodies were never identified. Countless others were severely injured. One-third of the New Orleans chapter of the Metropolitan Community Church were killed in the blaze, including two clergy. The primary suspect was never charged with the crime. The tragedy did not stop at the loss of lives. There were also the delayed injuries: lost jobs, fear, public ridicule and severed families. The devastation was compounded by the homophobic reactions and utter lack of concern by the general public, government and religious leaders. The fire permanently altered lives and was the root of many lifelong struggles.

With unique access (EXCLUSIVE on-camera interviews from survivors, witnesses and friends/families of victims) and a fresh perspective (incorporating long lost artifacts, newsreel footage and photographs that haven’t been seen in decades), UPSTAIRS INFERNO is considered the most COMPREHENSIVE, COMPASSIONATE and AUTHORITATIVE film about the tragedy and its aftermath.

Narrated by New Orleans own New York Times best-selling author Christopher Rice, UPSTAIRS INFERNO (96 min) is a mesmerizing mix of crime drama and human connections that captures the heartbreaking feelings of unconditional love and overwhelming loss. An unsettling snapshot of what was, until the early hours of June 12, 2016, the deadliest single event to affect the gay community in American history, UPSTAIRS INFERNO gets inside the hearts and minds of a handful of vibrant people who experienced one of the most important and underreported moments in LGBT History.

UPSTAIRS INFERNO is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. BUY YOUR COPY TODAY at:

UPSTAIRS INFERNO was an Official Selection of 40 esteemed film festivals around the world, winning 20 awards, including 12 Jury Awards and 4 Audience Awards. This includes Frameline: the San Francisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which awarded UPSTAIRS INFERNO with the Jury Award: Honorable Mention, citing its “Special Contribution to Queer History”. In addition, UPSTAIRS INFERNO received a prestigious invitation to screen at the Library of Congress in 2017.

Some of the images in UPSTAIRS INFERNO are graphic in nature and may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

Learn more:

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Twitter: @UpstairsInferno

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