In 1967, as patrons of The Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles, California were ringing in the New Year, undercover LAPD police raided, brutally beat and ultimately arrested 14 patrons for “assault and public lewdness,” sparking an ensuing riot and more police brutality in the nearby neighborhood. The LGBTQ community gathered together to protest the raid, organized by a relatively new radical group called P.R.I.D.E. (Personal Rights In Defense and Education). The protest was a defining moment for the organization as they quickly became the angry, unapologetic voice of the gay activist community. The organization produced a single page newsletter which would go on to become one of the most influential publications of the LGBTQ culture—The Advocate

Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGTBQ Film Festival is proud to present the documentary A LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM: 50 YEARS OF THE ADVOCATE which chronicles the pivotal moments, like The Black Cat Tavern raid, in the LGBTQ struggle for equality as our opening night feature. Come join us as we recognize and celebrate the magazine- taking a look back at those moments which paved the way to the hard-earned freedoms enjoyed today.

A LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM, opens Cinema Diverse on September 20, 2018. Red Carpet Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The film screens at 7:30 p.m. inside the Historic Camelot Theatre. Cinema Diverse, in its' eleventh year, runs from September 20 – September 23 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center with a bonus weekend September 29 and 29 at the Mark Pickford Theatre in Cathedral City. 


“50 Years Of The Advocate” Contest

The Palm Springs Cultural Center is hosting a contest to discover which community member has the oldest physical copy of the Advocate. That person will win an All Access Pass to Cinema Diverse. The contest runs from September 1 – September 16. Photos of their physical copy can be submitted to as well as contacting us on Facebook @CinemaDiverseFilmFestival where we will be posting the photos as they come in. Once the winner is announced staff will work with the person to display the copy during the course of the festival. All others are encouraged to bring their copies opening night for a display table during the festival. 

Cinema Diverse
Opening Night/ Red Carpet
w/ special guests Executive Producer David Millburn, Director Billy Clift
Sep 20
Red Carpet: 7:00 p.m. –  7:30 p.m.
Film Screening: 7:30 – 9:15 p.m.

Narrated by Laverne Cox with music by Melissa Etheridge, this moving documentary tells the story of our lives through the pages, covers and first fifty years of our most prized LGBTQ magazine: THE ADVOCATE. This stunning documentary focuses on major events and watershed moments in LGBTQ history through never-before-seen archival footage and engaging interviews (Ricky Martin, Darryl Stephens, John Waters, Gloria Allred, Gavin Newsom, Dustin Lance Black, Margaret Cho, Robbie Rogers, and many more). Sponsored by HERE TV.