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‘Out In The Night’ – 4 Black Women Defend Themselves Against Attack (Fundraising)

'Out In The Night' - 4 Black Women Defend Themselves Against Attack (Fundraising)

A project we first profiled last summer, and have been tracking since then, it was also one of 10 projects to receive completion funds last fall from The Women In Film Foundation’s Film Finishing Fund (WIFF FFF), which supports films by, for or about women by providing cash grants of up to $15,000 and in-kind services.

Previously titled The Fire This Time, and now called Out In The Night, and directed by Blair Doroshwalther, the feature doc has been in development since 2009, as the filmmaker and her production crew have been working diligently, with little money, earned from grants (like the one abovek) and donors here and there, in order to complete its long journey to completion.

Its synopsis reads:

Under the neon lights of the gay-friendly West Village neighborhood of New York City, four young African-American women are attacked by an older man, and then face slanderous media coverage and egregious sentences as they are charged and convicted as a “Lesbian Gang” for defending themselves.

The women came to be known as the New Jersey Four.

Out In The Night tells the story of the women’s trial and prison sentences, and the years-long fight by relatives and activists to get the women released, revealing how the media, homophobia, and racism all work together in American culture to stigmatize and victimize gay people of color.

Thanks to Colorlines, here’s a description of the real-life incident:

On Aug. 16, 2006, seven young, African-American, lesbian-identified friends were walking in the West Village. The Village is a historic center for lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) communities, and is seen as a safe haven for working-class LGBT youth, especially youth of color. As they passed the Independent Film Cinema, 29-year-old Dwayne Buckle, an African-American vendor selling DVDs, sexually propositioned one of the women. They rebuffed his advances and kept walking. “I’ll f— you straight, sweetheart!” Buckle shouted. A video camera from a nearby store shows the women walking away. He followed them, all the while hurling anti-lesbian slurs, grabbing his genitals and making explicitly obscene remarks. The women finally stopped and confronted him. A heated argument ensued. Buckle spat in the face of one of the women and threw his lit cigarette at them, escalating the verbal attack into a physical one. Buckle is seen on the video grabbing and pulling out large patches of hair from one of the young women. When Buckle ended up on top of one of the women, choking her, Johnson pulled a small steak knife out of her purse. She aimed for his arm to stop him from killing her friend. The video captures two men finally running over to help the women and beating Buckle. At some point he was stabbed in the abdomen. The women were already walking away across the street by the time the police arrived. Buckle was hospitalized for five days after surgery for a lacerated liver and stomach. When asked at the hospital, he responded at least twice that men had attacked him. There was no evidence that Johnson’s kitchen knife was the weapon that penetrated his abdomen, nor was there any blood visible on it. In fact, there was never any forensics testing done on her knife. On the night they were arrested, the police told the women that there would be a search by the New York Police Department for the two men—which to date has not happened. After almost a year of trial, four of the seven were convicted in April. Johnson was sentenced to 11 years on June 14. Even with Buckle’s admission and the video footage proving that he instigated this anti-gay attack, the women were relentlessly demonized in the press, had trumped-up felony charges levied against them, and were subsequently given long sentences in order to send a clear resounding message—that self-defense is a crime and no one should dare to fight back.

You can read a lot more about the incident HERE.

The filmmaker is looking towards completion the by the end of this year/early next year, for a 2014 debut. I won’t be surprised if it’s a Sundance 2014 selection actually – provided the remaining necessary completion funds are raised. Which is where YOU come in.

Director Doroshwalther has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $23,700 in completion funds. As she states:

The funds will directly support the completion of OUT IN THE NIGHT. We are working full time on the edit and plan to release it in early 2014. Our immediate expenses that will be covered by this campaign include:

– Working with our experienced editor to finish the film

– Renting an editing space where we work our magic

– Create key animation and motion graphics with a graphic designer

– Archival Research

If we raise more than our goal (which would be a DREAM COME TRUE!) we can hire a composer and musician to create the film’s original score.

So watch the video pitch below, and to make a contribution click HERE, or within the widget underneath the video (there are 23 days left in a campaign that has raised 7,600 thus far):

This Article is related to: News



Seems like you guys are incapable of making an intelligent comment backed up with facts. Therefore in closing:



Blair Doroshwalther is making money off of a crime with her documentary, Out in the Night. She saw an opportunity to benefit herself and she has. She is using the victim, the perpetrators, and the gay community to cash in. In the words of Beyonce, “Bow Down Bitches!” and give her some more money!


I love it when white people beat around the subject matter and use insults.


These women just won’t stop attacking him! Why does Dwayne Buckle have to make his own documentary when he was the victim of this crime? His story is documented in criminal and civil court documents that can be obtained in court transcripts. He is still suffering from a stab wound to his liver and stomach. He still has hospital bills from the attack. He has suffered many kinds of defamation of character in all forms of the media. He has not received any financial backing from organizations like Sundance Film Institute – Documentary Fund, Abigail Disney, Astraea Lesbian Justice Foundation – Joyce Warshow Award, Frameline, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Women in Film Finishing Fund and hundreds of duped backers like Blair has.

Dwayne has made his own films about social injustice with his own resources. Shadow and Act refuses to talk to him about anything. Dwayne is available for interviews, Shadow and Act, just name the time and place.


Hey Nadia, you make me laugh. That's what people say when they have nothing to say. It's obvious you can't make an intelligent comment.


Y'all make me laugh. The opposition army trolls are out in full force. I hope the film gets the money it needs to make sure it's completed. Keep on trolling.


If you let viewers decide what is right & wrong, then where is Dwayne Buckle's side of the story on Indiewire?


Who's right and who's wrong… this is a very tough call. But first, in defense of Indiewire (Shadow & Act), like movie theaters, they are presenters of films, not producers. Consequently, they are in the business of presenting/providing an opportunity for us to view films/movies/documentaries "On Cinema Of The African Diaspora". It should be noted that their efforts/mission are not only understood (by many), they are appreciated:

"Without Shadow and Act I wouldn't hear about half of the projects that are released concerning black tv/cinema. You could ignore topics that you don't like, there certainly are enough entries here to do so [… ] They cover international black cinema and everything from "chitlin circuit" plays, to web series, to big blockbuster budget films." ~ KELEA

So when I seeing S&A being unjustly attacked, I'm compelled to stand up and say "That's not right". For the most part they don't take sides, they let their viewers decide "right" and "wrong", they just present it for our consideration.

Now on to the details of the post.

The documentary — like most documentaries — has an agenda. The producers "side", their view, their perspective of a very controversial issue, an issues that's complicated by strong and powerful apposing forces, will be front and center. Each camp is saying they're "right" and the other is wrong. Well, it's obvious this documentary focuses on supporting the women who were sentenced for "allegedly" protecting themselves. So it behooved me to discern the source of their "supporting documents".

Take for instance the Colorlines description of the real-life incident. Although it's described as "real life" it's actually an account/description/interpretation written by FIERCE, a LGBTQ youth organization. So it's safe to say their wording will weight heavily toward the accused, not the "victim" 29-year-old Dwayne Buckle.

That said, I am not taking a side for or against either side, I believe the doc has the makings for an intense thought provoking film. However, I think it should be noted that a contribution to this fundraiser, is essentially supporting the position of the producers (including the director and her "agenda" whatever that may be) of this doc and the NJ4.

Btw, everyone knows this but I repeat it. This documentary centers on the alleged injustices directed at the gay & lesbian community, but as one commenter said "Not everyone in the gay community buys into this crap!"


FYI, God is real. Everyone is subject to the law of cause and effect, otherwise known as you reap what you sow. Everyone that is involved with this project, Blair, Sundance, Indiewire, you will have to answer to God for promoting lies.


Wow, a black filmmaker is the least likely to raise money on kickstarter because of a major imbalance of generational wealth & access to credit cards & bank accounts. It's good to know that not only can they raise thousands, but also get support from major corporations such as Sundance, & Indiewire, if they can stab another black person. I love Amerikkka.


The director of this documentary is profiting off a crime victim. Please don't give her any money.


BLUTOPAZ, Mr. Buckle doesn't eat swine and is not out hangin in the hood. He is an Independent Black Filmmaker who owns his own film studio & film distribution company, of course the Hollywood guys don't want this. The Hollywood guys want to perpetuate white supremacy. These women are no different from the jugaboos and mantans of the last century. They will do anything to support the white master at the expense of the entire black race.


The truth is that 7 women jumped 1 guy and stabbed him. He was outnumbered, not them. They were not scared for their lives. The 4 women, the NJ4, did not want to take responsibility for their actions so they decided to try and flip the script by making it into a homophobic issue and say they were "defending themselves". Not everyone in the gay community buys into this crap!


A: Black filmmaker selling his own films in front of the Independent Film Center gets stabbed by a large group of armed thugs. Gets no financing. Shadow & Act (A black magazine) refuses to talk about his films.

B:White filmmaker, who was not present at the event, gets 100's of thousands of dollars from Sundance, Kickstarter & other grants, then makes documentary demeaning the victim, with the aggressors posing in front of The Independent Film Center, Shadow & Act gives them 2 articles.

C: Black People, loose again.


Two things: if these women were White, they would have been called heroes in the media. Even if they were lesbians.

If Buckle was White (and I've seen plenty of black swine like him out in the street, and not just in the hood), Al Sharpton would be involved.

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