WEDU’s Community Cinema Screens Love Free or Die, the Story of Gene Robinson, the First Openly Gay Person Elected Bishop in Christendom


TAMPA, FL (May 29, 2013) — Community Cinema, a national documentary screening series presented locally by WEDU, West Central Florida’s primary PBS station and Independent Television Service (ITVS) presents a screening of Love Free or Die at Metro Wellness and Community Centers in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, June 19th at 6:30pm.

Directed by Macky Alston, the film looks at church and state, love and marriage, faith and identity — and one man’s struggle to dispel the notion that God’s love has limits. Love Free or Die follows Gene Robinson, the first openly gay person to be elected bishop in the high church traditions of Christianity. His 2003 elevation, in the Episcopal diocese of New Hampshire, ignited a worldwide firestorm in the Anglican Communion that has threatened schism. Even as he has pushed for greater inclusion within his own church, Bishop Robinson has become a standard bearer in the fight over the rights of LGBT people to receive full acceptance in church and state.

Director Alston’s camera follows Bishop Robinson as he steps onto the world stage, travelling from small-town churches to the Lincoln Memorial, where he delivers the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration; from London, where he is scorned and relegated to the fringes of a once in-a-decade convocation of bishops to which he is deliberately not invited, to a decisive meeting in California of the Episcopal Church, where Robinson plays an instrumental role in establishing the full inclusion of LGBT people. Through it all, Robinson steadfastly calls for everyone to stand for equality — inspiring bishops, priests, and ordinary folk to come out from the shadows and change history.

WHAT: FREE screening of Love Free or Die and film discussion.
WHO: Presented by WEDU, Metro Wellness and Community Centers, and ITVS Community Cinema
WHEN: Wednesday, June 19th at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Metro Wellness and Community Centers – 3251 3rd Avenue N. #125, St. Petersburg, FL 33713
RSVP: www.wedu.org/cinema This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and reservations are requested.

About ITVS Community Cinema
ITVS Community is the national community engagement program of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. Through Community Engagement Campaigns in support of groundbreaking, independent films, our innovative educational product ITVS Community Classroom and our flagship community outreach program Community Cinema, ITVS Community works to bring communities together and connect them with information, resources and opportunities for education, engagement and positive change. ITVS Community builds on our 15-year legacy of community engagement activities and makes public broadcasting into a powerful resource for individuals, communities and organizations working on key social issues around the country. For more information visit: http://www.communitycinema.org

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS, the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacArthur Foundation. The senior series producer is Lois Vossen. More information is at www.pbs.org/independentlens. Join Independent Lens on Facebook at www.facebook.com/independentlens.

ABOUT WEDU
WEDU is west central Florida’s leading PBS station and public media company reaching 16 counties through media platforms including on-air programming and online experiences that broaden horizons, transport and transform and open gateways to new ideas and new worlds. Financially supported by the community, the organization offers a wealth of award-winning inspirational, educational and enlightening content over a variety of multi-media platforms including: television programming, station’s website, wedu.org and various social media platforms, monthly member magazine Premiere, educational outreach activities and a myriad of special events. WEDU’s focus on the local community has resulted in the station being regarded as a beacon of trust for men, women and children of every walk of life no matter their age, ethnicity or socio-economic status. WEDU is a treasured community resource; a window to the world for the homebound and a vital educational source for the youngest members of society. WEDU prides itself on its position in the Tampa Bay community as a leader, partner, informed citizen and a member of PBS, the most trusted institution in America (Harris Interactive Trust QuickQuery, February 2012).