Entertainment :: Television

Here TV Gives Filmmakers a Chance to Show Their Work

by Steve Weinstein
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Friday Feb 8, 2013
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Here TV (better known as "Here!") has been changing with the times. The first nationally available gay TV channel in the United States began cablecasting 10 years ago strictly as a subscription video-on-demand service. More recently, it can be viewed as an SVOD service with all major U.S. cable operators, as well as having developed partnerships with online services such as Hulu, YouTube, iTunes and Blockbuster to increase availability.

The channel made its first splashes in the gothic genre with two sex-and-soap serials, "Dante’s Cove" and "The Lair." Among current offerings are "Just Josh," a talk show hosted by Here TV’s head of original programming, Josh Rosenzweig; and drag queen Sherry Vine’s variety show "I’m Living for This." The channel periodically broadcasts documentaries either made independently or specifically commissioned for the channel.

It’s in that vein that the channel has announced a new initiative. The New Frontiers Film Project is a chance for striving gay filmmakers to have a nationwide audience view their work. Here TV is calling for submissions of new, completed film or TV projects "that carve out new frontiers around the LGBT experience," as per the news release.

Accepted works will be shown throughout 2013 across all cable and Web platforms.

"We are proud of the work Here TV has done in showcasing the work of LGBT filmmakers," Here TV CEO Paul Colichman and Chairman Stephen Jarchow said in a joint statement, "and we look forward to the next decade of bringing unapologetically gay programming to audiences across the country and around the world."

TV industry watchers would be forgiven for assuming that that phrase "unapologetically gay programming" was a sly dig at Logo, that "other" LGBT cable-tiered channel. Logo has been making waves by announcing that it would be offering programs not limited to LGBT content. The channel has had something of an unexpected breakout success with its shows hosted by RuPaul -- with the viewership strong among adult (straight) women.

Here TV executives aren’t shy about pointing out who was the first. "When we launched the network, a purely LGBT network was met with great skepticism and tremendous resistance," Rosenzweig said. "The television and film projects that have aired over the past decade have all been part and parcel in entertaining and inspiring our LGBT audiences and motivating our allies to help us change hearts and minds across the country"

Budding Michael Moores, Steven Spielberg wannabes, Michael Sorcese worshippers or just plain cineastes should submit their completed projects on a DVD to New Frontiers c/o Here TV, 120 West 45th Street, Suite 2300, New York, NY 10019 or send a link to NewFrontiers@heremedia.com. For more information about the New Frontiers Film Project, go to http://heretv.com/newfrontiers/.

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early ’80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).

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