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Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Imperial Courts of Long Beach, Los Angeles/Hollywood, Orange County and San Diego invite you to a royal fundraiser at Hamburger Mary's Long Beach, Nov. 10


The Imperial Courts of Long Beach, Los Angeles/Hollywood, Orange County and San Diego invite you to a royal fundraiser at Hamburger Mary's Long Beach, Nov. 10, for the film on the Court's founder and first empress, Jose,I, the Widow Norton.  

The Imperial Courts of Southern California are teaming up to raise completion funds for Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria.

Shown as  work-in-progress, Nelly Queen, opened up the Long Beach Film Festival Sept. 5, and won Audience Award for Best Feature Film. Not too bad for a film that still has to go through a professional sound mix, color correction, graphics and titles. Our goal for completion funds is $15,000.

In 1961, Jose Sarria became the first openly gay man to run for public office in the United States, and he ran in heels.

For more information, please see flyer.

Friday, September 27, 2019

WINNER: Audience Award for Best Feature Film "Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria"

Adelante magazine published my story on the Qfilms Long Beach Film Festival which opened up with my film, Nelly Queen: The Life and Times of Jose Sarria, on Sept. 5.  The festival committee presented me with two certificates of recognition: One from the California State Senate and the other from the California Assembly, both thanking me for bringing Jose's story to the LGBT community. I also won Audience Award for Best Feature Film. It was quite a night of accolades and thankfulness. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The 26th annual QFilms Fest highlights the importance of showcasing an array of LGBTQ+ experiences through film. By Jorge Paniagua


The 26th annual QFilms Fest highlights the importance of showcasing an array of LGBTQ+ experiences through film. 

By Jorge Paniagua
Article from The Pride

Lights. Camera. Representation!
"Director Castel claims that this documentary, which showcases the life and trials of the first openly gay candidate for public office in the United States, remains in production. However, the documentary not only looked but felt finished. Furthermore, the documentary went on to win the Audience Award for Best Film Feature at the QFilms Festival, which is impressive considering it’s not entirely finished yet. 
The film walked audience members through the little-known, yet massively influential, life of Jose Sarria. Sarria who served in the military and fought in one of the most violent battles in World War II, the infamous Battle of the Bulge, would go on to use the leadership skills he acquired in the military to lead members of the LGBTQ+ community to new heights. 
During his life, Sarria, along with other members of the community, were oppressed by the police and local politicians. For instance, It was illegal for LGBTQ+ people to congregate in a public space during the ‘50s and early ‘60s. The documentary showcases Sarria’s passion for LGBTQ+ rights and a new kind of activism — one involving a highly-regarded mock court system, The LGBTQ+ Imperial Court. This court is still around to this day and fundraises thousands of dollars each year through a network of courts throughout the country. The documentary successfully highlights the importance of Sarria’s never-ending activism and does a vibrant job of educating those who may be unaware of the great feats accomplished by Sarria, also known as The Grande Mere, Absolute Empress I of San Francisco. Such an icon!"
#JoseSarria
https://thepridela.com/2019/09/lights-camera-representation/

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Nelly Queen: The Life & Times of Jose Sarria opens the Long Beach QFilm Festival Sept. 5, 2019

Nelly Queen: The Life & Times of Jose Sarria at the opening of the Long Beach QFilm Festival Sept. 5, 2019
Photos by Hara AlarconOrange County Imperial CourtJoe Castel, DirectorDanny De La Paz, Producer
Mario J. Novoa, ProducerGregory Davila, Contributor Editor