I Still Remember
December 1, 2020 | 12:00 – 1:00p
Virtually on Zoom – click here to register (it’s FREE!)
Join us during the 2020 World AIDS Day Observation for a special screening of the film I Still Remember, a film by Vladimir Rios. Following the screening at 3:00p we will host a special artists talkback with Vladimir Rios and Lester Blum.
ABOUT THE FILM :
The essence of those departed are kept alive in our memories. It has been several years since Andres succumbed to the ravages of AIDS during the pandemic of the late 80’s / early 90’s yet, he is forever with us in the remembrances of his soul mate. – Scott
As he moves forward in life, the memories of their years together still has an impact on Scott’s life. I Still Remember tells a powerful and moving story of the quest for love, devastation, and, ultimately, remembrance. I Still Remember is a fictionalized compilation of the lifestyle of many gay men of the time period.
Everyone was free; no one worried about sexually transmitted diseases. From sex clubs to Fire Island with the notorious Meat Rack to the Meatpacking District of New York, Andres sought an immediate connection, a search for permanence, and a commitment of love. Yet, his world was shattered by the onslaught of HIV/AIDS. Nothing would ever be the same. He had to face fear, parental rejection because of religion, and his declining health. Throughout it all, Scott was by his side. When Andreas passed, Scott and his friends gathered in Fire Island – to celebrate his life.
Scott recounts their story with friends and the spirit of Andres in flashback reminisces. He is their voice for today as the film remembers those who perished from the disease and honors the long term survivors.
World AIDS Day Observation 2020 Partners
Get a Copy of the Book I Still Remember
Before there was the film, there was the book. I Still Remember is an epic, compelling photographic narrative which tells a powerful and moving story of the quest for love, devastation, and remembrance. Purchase your copy now by contacting La Vie Galerie. 10% of sales will be donated to support the New Haven Pride Center’s programming.
About the Artists
Capitalizing on his years of experience in the fashion industry, Lester (he/him) began channeling his talents into other avenues of artistic expression sixteen years ago. During that time, Lester has excelled in photography becoming an award winning photographer. His work has been exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibits in New York and throughout the country.
He has published eleven photography books which were all conceived, edited, and written by him. Lester’s work on social issues (HIV/AIDS and individuals suffering from invisibility), in collaboration with Vladimir Rios, has been exhibited in eight solo shows since inception, has been featured in national and regional magazines and newspapers – POZ and A&U, Out in New Jersey Magazines, Herald-Sun newspaper, and on segments of NY1 TV and NBC 6 Miami as well as regional radio and television programs.
His literary entree has included being the co-author of a one-act play, Letting Go, a children’s book, Beyond the Swirl, a World War II military memoir, Through the Eyes of a PFC 1942-1945 and co-author and videographer of the new film, I Still Remember. Lester is currently collaborating on two non-fiction books pertaining to the Holocaust.
Whether it is through his writing or photography, Lester creates not only a visual image but brings a fourth dimension to all his work. That fourth dimension conveys an emotional connection to his audience. Lester continues to refine his skills and explore new concepts to capture his wide range of interest and subject matter.
“In my search for success, I have stumbled along the way but, continued to climb. Life changing experiences have been a challenge that I have learned to face head on. I am a firm believer that life is our greatest educator. For each negative situation there are at least two positives that result as a replacement which help us in getting through each situation in life.” – Vladimir Rios
This philosophy basically summarizes the development of Vladimir (he/him) as a renaissance man of the 21st Century. After having worked in the social services field for fifteen years, Rios decided to explore his untapped artistic talents. By combining the understanding and sensitivity learned in the course of his social service work, he has managed to begin climbing the rungs of the business and artistic ladder with each rung representing a different venue and stage of artistic development.
His artistic skills were further honed by his work as a model and actor which allowed him to begin to successfully experiment with the creativity of photography. The results were stellar with images being shown in four different exhibits at the prestigious Salmagundi Art Club’s Annual Photography Exhibition in New York City.
Expanding upon this knowledge, Rios began collaborating with Lester Blum to create dynamic and socially powerful photography projects – Despair, Encounters, Warrior of Hope, I Still Remember, and Invisible. Capitalizing on his combined skills and knowledge, Rios opened La Vie Galerie LLC in Livingston, New Jersey to exhibit all aspects of art and to use the gallery to promote public awareness of socially relevant issues.
The film, I Still Remember is an expansion of the previous photography project of the same name with Rios directing, starring, and co-writing the film. The goal is to bring awareness to a wider audience with the film.
Rios is a true chameleon. Whether he is acting, writing, directing, creating concepts for himself or others, he brings his unique sense of creativity to every project. He is a liberated individual, living life to the fullest. Each day doors are opening revealing new, exciting adventures for him.