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About The Film

A Message From the Producer/Director

Sheri L. Wright, Director"Thank you for visiting Tracking Fire online. Our story begins in 1973 with the unsolved case of arson at The UpStairs Lounge, a New Orleans gay bar, which resulted in the deaths of thirty-two people. It chronicles the facts and faces surrounding this tragedy - including a mother who perished with her two sons and a man whose family only recently learned of his death in the inferno. As the film progresses, we'll meet the victims, hear from their friends and family, and learn how they were forced to suffer in silence as the World looked the other way. Then, we'll move forward 43 years for a look at another horrific evening in June when hate once again claimed innocent lives - this time at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. We'll discuss how the global response to the Orlando tragedy has given so many in the LGBTQ community hope for a future free of hatred and violence - and we'll explore ways in which concerned citizens all over the globe are working to build bridges of love and support between members of the LGBTQ community and the rest of the World.

Despite recent victories for LGBTQ Americans, people of all ages continue to struggle with their sexual identity. Far too many take their conflict out on themselves; and some lash out against others. This film and the community of people working to bring it about are united in our common goal - to create a better, more supportive culture for those struggling with their sexual identity in America and around the World. We seek to build greater understanding and compassion for all citizens so these struggles need not end in tragedy. I encourage you to join us in this cause. Together, we will make this film available to schools, libraries, churches and universities around the World. With your support, we can save lives. We can prove that - no matter what hate or violence we face - in the end, love wins."

- Sheri L. Wright

About the Producer/Director

Two-time Pushcart Prize and Kentucky Poet Laureate nominee, Sheri L. Wright is the author of six books of poetry, including the most recent, The Feast of Erasure.

Wright’s award-winning photography has appeared in numerous journals, including Blood Orange Review, Prick of the Spindle and Subliminal Interiors. In 2012, Ms. Wright was a contributor to the Sister Cities Project Lvlds: Creatively Linking Leeds and Louisville. Her photography and watercolor/ink paintings have been shown across the Ohio Valley region and abroad. Tracking Fire is Ms. Wright's first feature-length documentary film.

Meet the Tracking Fire Crew

Jessica Mathis, Associate Producer

Jessica MathisJessica Mathis is an award-winning comedian, writer and producer/director. Best known in the Arts Community as "Divinity Rose," Mathis calls herself an experience engineer, having been afforded some of life’s highest and lowest experiences. She's a noted speaker, newspaper editor, writer, actor (for stage and film), and producer. Through her many talents, she has connected with thousands of people - all while juggling life as a single mom. You can read more at www.divinityrose.com.


Jennifer Noll, Cinematographer

Jennifer Noll, CinematographerJennifer Noll is the President of Videosphere Production, a high-quality film production and editing company that specializes in documentaries, artists and musicians. Film Credits include: Your Friendly Neighborhood Big Band - 2013, Ashley Brossart - 2013, Billy Keith - 2014, Joshua Huettig – 2014, and more.


Seth Cornelius, Secondary Cinematography

Jennifer Noll, CinematographerSeth Cornelius is a free-lance producer, videographer and editor. Mr. Cornelius currently studies film and TV production at Delgado Community College and the University of New Orleans.


Sophia Stevenson, Secondary Cinematography

Jennifer Noll, CinematographerSophia Stevenson worked on Tracking Fire as part of her internship program. A student at student at Loyola University in New Orleans, Ms. Stevenson specializes in film editing and cinematography.


Michael Hayes, Secondary Cinematography

Jennifer Noll, CinematographerAlso interning on Tracking Fire, Mr. Hayes is an actor, photographer, filmmaker and writer. Known for his one-acts and poetry, Mr. Hayes currently works as a photographer and videographer at Asanisimasa Films and lives in Louisville, KY.


Alanna Nash, Research

Jennifer Noll, CinematographerAlanna Nash is the author of several acclaimed biographies, a featured writer for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and USA Weekend. Ms. Nash was named the Society of Professional Journalist’ National Member of the Year in 1994. Some of her noted works include: Baby Let’s Play House: Elvis Pressley and the Women Who Loved Him (2010), Harper Collins The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Pressley (2003), Simon & Schuster Behind Closed Doors: Talking With the Legends of Country Music (2003).


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