LUSH Film Edition

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LUSH: A SOMArts Series returns on Thursday, April 15, 7:00 PM PST with a Film Edition featuring clips and conversation centering the disruptive works of Brontez Purnell, Heather María Ács of FemmePower Productions, and Leo Herrera. Moderated by SOMArts’ Director of Events and Hard French producer Devon Nandagiri, LUSH Film Edition celebrates the multiplicity of queer histories and futures.

LUSH: A SOMArts Series is a three-part series of conversations between socially-engaged artists across a variety of mediums. Launched in January 2021 with a Literary Edition, LUSH is grounded in a Solarpunk ethos that rejects dystopian narratives and favors visions of sustainability and interconnection, and asks us how we, as artists and activists, can create a future where we are thriving in abundance?

This program contains explicit content and language that might not be appropriate for people under the age of 18. By RSVPing or through direct stream, you are confirming that you are 18+.

Closed captioning will be provided during the virtual stream

$5-20 sliding scale; no one turned away for lack of funds. Your donation ensures that SOMArts continues to provide critical space and support to Bay Area artists and curators for years to come while ensuring the arts are accessible to all!


Devon Nandagiri photo

DEVON NANDAGIRI is currently the Director of Events at SOMArts where he works with and mentors artists and event organizers. He is also the co-founder of the award winning dance party Hard French – which has brought legendary artists and DJs to San Francisco. He is the director of Malaqueerche, a cult film that inspired the JUNK film festival which he curated and screened throughout the US and Europe. He has also produced the youtube show BrownDownCrownTV for the now defunct open mic night – K’vetch. He has collaborated with artists throughout his 15 years in SF — from throwing punk shows at local dive bars to wallpaper exhibitions in nightclub bathrooms. He has a deep love of events and supporting artistic endeavors that help shape and create community. He is currently consulting on a script for a TV series about queer adventures in the Bay.

BRONTEZ PURNELL is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children’s book, and the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down. The recipient of a 2018 Whiting Writers’ Award for Fiction, he was named one of the thirty-two Black Male Writers of Our Time by T: The New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Purnell is also the frontman for the band the Younger Lovers, a cofounder of the experimental dance group the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School, and the director of several short films, music videos, and the documentary Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock. Born in Triana, Alabama, he’s lived in Oakland, California, for more than a decade.

HEATHER MARÍA ÁCS (she/her/Mx.) is a working-class raised, Appalachian, mixed-race Anglo-Xicana writer/director whose work explores queer, radical subcultures and femme-inine identities. Her films have played Big Apple Film Festival NY (Best LGBTQ Short, FLOURISH, 2020), Hollyshorts, Brooklyn Academy of Music, London Short Film Fest, Newfest, Mardi Gras FF (Australia), and Oaxaca IFF, among others.

Her company, FemmePower Productions, commits to intersectional representation on screen and behind the scenes. She launched the free streaming platform, FemmePowerTV – queer content for quarantine – in May 2020 at, where you can watch her film, FLU$H, and a program of innovative and intersectional short films, docs, and series.

Mx. Ács is also an intimacy coordinator (PLAN B, Hulu) and a consultant for authentic representation of BDSM/kink and LGBTQIA+ communities. [@FemmePowerProductions]

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LEO HERRERA is a Mexican writer, activist and filmmaker. His work focuses on the American queer experience. His short films explore LGBTQ culture, politics and history, paying homage to our past and educating a younger generation. Leo is the director of Fathers, a sci-fi documentary and multimedia project which imagines the AIDS pandemic never existed and a generation lived to change the world. Fathers weaves real-life events, survivor histories and fiction, creating a surreal vision of an alternative universe (streaming now at Leo’s viral “essay memes” explore queerness, race, Covid and HIV stigma, and can be found on Instagram @herreraimages

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