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NewFest 2007 Official Selection NY Premiere of THE GODFATHER OF DISCO

By Maria Esteves - May 23, 2007

THE GODFATHER OF DISCO, directed by Gene Graham will have its N.Y. Premiere at NewFest 2007: The 19th Annual New York LGBT Film Festival on Friday, June 1, 5:45 p.m., and Saturday, June 2, 1:30 p.m. at the AMC Loews 34th St Theater.

Winner of the 2007 Emerging Filmmakers Award, Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, THE GODFATHER OF DISCO will also screen at the 20th Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Saturday, June 2, 2007, 4:00 p.m.; FramelIne 31 - San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Saturday, June 16, 2007, 3:30 p.m., Victoria Theatre; Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, July 12 - 24, 2007, and Portobello Film Festival, August 2-21, 2007.

THE GODFATHER OF DISCO is a historical documentary film based on the autobiography "My Life and the Paradise Garage: Keep On Dancin" by Mel Cheren.

Mel's participation was instrumental in capturing an unforgettable era in dance music during the 1970's and 1980's. The success of West End Records (recording artists & songs), the Paradise Garage dance venue, DJ Larry Levan, the horrific AIDS epidemic, and his empowerment to help form the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) made history.

The series of interviews by artists, activists, filmmakers, physicians, and music industry professionals were provocative, compelling and compassionate.

The film begins and ends with Mel riding the ferry to and from Fire Island, N.Y. His life story unfolds during his visit to the Pines & Cherry Grove community. The opening and closing songs "Kind A Life, Kind a Love" by North End, and "Save A Place On The Dance Floor For Me" by Dawn Tallman captures the moment. Those of you who can remember this era and the music first hand will find yourself transported back in time!

Cowboy, Randy Jones of the Village People concluded so eloquently when he said, "Mel has figured out that you get more back by sharing."

THE GODFATHER OF DISCO, directed by Gene Graham, New York, 2007, 82 minutes.

Casts: DJ/Radio Personality DJ Red Alert, KISS FM NYC; DJ/Producer/Remixer Louis Benedetti; DJ/Producer/Remixer/Film Producer John "Jellybean" Benitez; Executive Director John Cannelli, LIFEBeat; Singer/Songwriter/Performer Joi Cardwell; CEO & Founding Partner Mel Cheren West End Records; DJ/Producer/Remixer Lady D; DJ David DePino, Paradise Garage; A&R Director Simon Dunmore, Defected Records; DJ/Promoter Johnny Dynell, Jackie 60; Author/AIDS Activist Brent Nicholson Earle; DJ/Radio Personality Deli G, Traxsource.com; Owner Charles Grappone, Vinyl Mania Records; DJ/Producer Tony Humphries, Residency Club Zanzibar; DJ/Producer/President Kevin Hedge, West End Records; Musician/Producer Butch Ingram, Loose Joints; Cowboy Randy Jones, Village People; DJ/Producer/Remixer Danny Krivit, Body & SOUL/718 Sessions; DJ Barry Lederer, Fire Island, NY; DJ Joey Llanos, Paradise Garage; Director, Joseph Lovett; DJ/Producer/Remixer Marley Marl; Dr. Lawrence Mass, Author/AIDS Activist/CO-Founder GMHC; Artist Josh Milan, Blaze; Pat Monaco, VP Distribution, Motown/Universal; Musician/Arranger/Bandleader Vince Montana, SalSoul Orchestra; Singer/Songwriter/DJ Ultra Nate; Producer/Songwriter Kenny Nix; Owner Andy Reynolds, Penetration Inc.; Founder/President Cory Robbins, Robbins Entertainment; Buyer Judy Russell, Vinylmania/Downtown Records; DJ/Producer Nicky Siano, Owner, The Gallery; Label Owner Will Sokolov, Sleeping Bag Records; Asst. Dir. Comm Relations, Krishna Stone, GMHC; Singer/Songwriter/Performer Barbara Tucker; DJ/Producer/Remixer Junior Vasquez; DJ/Promoter Richard Vasquez, The Choice; and DJ/Producer/Remixer Louis Vega, Vega Records. For information, contact Director Gene Graham.

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