Last spring, local film buffs mourned the end of an era when the Bloomfield independent video store Dreaming Ant closed its doors. When the fate of the establishment’s inventory came into question, one group saw an opportunity to do something for the community. With the help of some donors, Queer Video Vault (QVV) was able to raise enough money to purchase all 337 titles in Dreaming Ant’s extensive LGBTQ collection. The acquisition was made with the intention of donating the DVDs to organizations and businesses where the public could then access them for free. In addition, QVV also hosts screenings at various venues throughout the year (they held one last May at the Silver Eye Center for Photography). To learn more about QVV and their impact on the Pittsburgh film scene, please see the official press release below:
Queer Video Vault (QVV), a project to connect Pittsburgh queer community to queer film, donated 286 LGBTQ-themed DVDs to the Oakland Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. QVV was instrumental in the creation of a new LGBTQ section in the Film and Music department. Now these DVDs are available to anyone in the county for free to rent, so long as they have a library card.
Additionally, 51 DVDs were donated to the Big Idea, a worker-owned cooperative café and bookstore in Bloomfield that specializes in radical and progressive literature. Bookstore members can borrow those movies – plus 400 additional documentaries also purchased from the Dreaming Ant – for free. Membership is pay-what-you-can and comes with additional perks.
In Fall 2013, when the independent video rental store Dreaming Ant announced it was going out of business, Rayden Sorock thought it would be a great idea to pool resources with some friends to purchase all of the LGBTQ-themed movies and keep the collection together. Two-dozen individual donations and one organizational donation raised enough to purchase a total of 337 DVDs.
The collection includes blockbuster hits, documentaries, classics and some really unusual finds.
Queer Video Vault’s intention is to make the DVDs accessible to as many people as possible and host film screenings throughout the year so community members can meet each other, discuss the films, and support queer filmmakers and projects.