Jeffrey Schwarz says that one of the most empowering things he did upon coming out of the closet was to pick up a copy of Vito Russo’s book The Celluloid Closet.
He wasn’t alone. Soon after the book was first published in 1981, it became a rallying cry for more diverse representations of gay and lesbian characters in film and TV.
Now, Schwarz has taken his considerable research into the life of Russo and turned it into an evocative documentary portrait, titled simply Vito.
Xtra chatted with Schwartz at this year’s Inside Out film festival; you can watch the interview in the video below.