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All A Broughton Reader

We love it when BIG JOY is shown in University or organizational settings. To help fuel your process we’ve added some resources and suggestions below. And please feel free to tell us in the comment section what type of presentation or event you are working on. You might fuel other’s ideas too.


  • Buy the BIG JOY Package (this grants you the rights to play the film for an audience of 100 or less in perpetuity). Kino Lorber has all the detail on this and other packages here.
  • Peruse our resources below. (We have lots for FREE.)
  • Consider inviting our filmmakers to give a talk. See details below.
  • Check out our extended event suggestions if you’d like to make it bigger and broader than just showing the BIG JOY the film. We’ve got some creative ideas for you. See details below.
  • If you’d like to know what others are saying about our film in University settings, check out our Testimonials section below.


James was my teacher, a beautiful man, an inspiration at San Francisco Art Institute, in the 1970’s. He opened my mind, spirit and began crafting my cinematic vision. He also laughed. The film, Big Joy, is a portrait of this man of pithy insights: ‘Follow your own weird. If you don’t fill your days with love, you are wasting your life.  I am happy to report that my inner child is still ageless.’ This film captures his complexities amidst his joy.
Caroline Savage Program Director, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
Big Joy is a rich examination of one of queer history’s most provocative, wild, and overlooked figures — but it is more than this, as it paints a portrait of what it means to make art that electrifies, dazzles, and shakes you — art that stimulates you. Big Joy’s tribute to James Broughton is a lesson on the potentialities of risky creativity and unbridled sexuality. Fun and instructive, it opens the eyes to the poetic and erotic world of avant garde film.
Hunter Hargraves, Dept of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
Educators seeking to engage twenty-first century students with the complexity of twentieth-century queer lives, yearnings, expressions, and belonging can find a fantastic trampoline in Big Joy. A tale of James Broughton’s loves, anxieties and artistry, it will provoke passionate discussions about what to make of a full and messy life well-lived. This Is It!
Don Romesburg, Ph.D., Chair of Women's and Gender Studies, Sonoma State University
…in a manner of speaking, James invented and perfected a poetic cinema.
Janis Lipzin, American Multimedia Artist

Yes, I’m ready to show Big Joy in my classroom! But I’ve got a couple of questions.


  • Movie Discussion

    BIG JOY MOVIE Discussion Guide

  • Big Joy Theme Page

    Also check out our BIG JOY Themes page. You may find something in there that will add to your class or event discussion, or fuel your creative juices regarding theme discussions.

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    Download Seeing the Light

    You can download the original version of James Broughton’s book, Seeing the Light, (later updated and retitled Making Light of It) here FOR FREE. It’s his original textbook on Filmmaking.

Also please note, for those doing in depth research, Kent State holds James Broughton’s archive which includes his journals, correspondence, photographs, doodles and more.

The Anthology Film Archives in New York holds all of James Broughton’s films.  You can rent them in original 16 mm format from Canyon Cinema in San Fransisco or Film-Maker’s Coop in New York.


Stephen Silha: Executive Producer, Co-Director and friend of James Broughton

Possible presentation topics include: James Broughton in Queer history; Moving from journalism to documentary filmmaking; James Broughton’s poetry translated to film; Following your own Weird.
Email Stephen now .

Eric Slade: Co-Director & Producer.

Possible presentation topics include: Archival Research, Overview of the Process of Creating a Feature Documentary, Documentary Film Distribution Models and Approaches, Documentary and Gay Liberation (Overview of best gay liberation docs and their role in the movement), and Specifics on any of the parts of filmmaking: research & development; interviewing; directing & visual style; music & sound; graphics & animation; editing; finishing; sound design and color correction.
Email Eric now .

See their full bios here.


_Education_-004Here’s some of our ideas for hosting several day events. Most of these are ones we’ve done ourselves. You can mix or match depending on your audience or interest.

  • Day 1: Show Big Joy
  • Day 2: Exploring Broughton’s poetry
  • Day 3: Exploring Broughton’s films (The compilation DVD is available in our store. One good line-up is: Four In The Afternoon (15 min), The Pleasure Garden (38 min), The Bed (20 min), The Water Circle (3 min), Scattered Remains (14 min). On our Themes page (link) we’ve also got specific Broughton works that resonate with particular Big Joy themes listed there.
  • Other: Add or sub a Meet the Filmmakers talk in place of one of these or as another event.
  • Other: Hold a dance. We’ve got two albums of Big Joy DJ Music to get you going. You could even encourage “Follow Your Own Weird” costuming.
  • Other: Invite local artists whose work is resonant to read, show, talk or teach on their creative process.
  • Other: Big Joy Salon. That’s what we call it. Basically it includes people chatting, eating, drinking, and randomly reading poetry aloud—Broughton’s or others. See our formula.