The Party, 2004, Dvcam to Beta.

Abigail Child: Camera, Director, Producer; 2nd Camera: Robert Banks; Editor: Yael Bitton and AC

"I was interested in a film on bisexuality and someone said to me that downlow – having clandestine sex with men while leading apparently heterosexual lives – is “the bisexuality for the 21st century.” I researched and found a downlow networking party in the heartland of Cleveland, Ohio whose organizer invited me out. We filmed in a weekend and the results were remarkable, a complex intersection of sexuality, race, and class, that had never been seen before. Intimate and startling." -Abigail Child

About On the Downlow:
Abigail Child explores a little-acknowledged aspect of African-American culture in this documentary. Using a combination of new footage and found images, Child sets the scene in Cleveland, Ohio with a rhythmic visual barrage that portrays the urban landscape in a unique and striking manner. Child alternates this absorbing vision of the city with interviews conducted with four African-American men living in Cleveland, who discuss their lives and their relationships. All four men live "on the downlow" -- while their primary sexual and romantic relationships are with other men, they strive to maintain the outward appearance of straight men, and keep their sexuality a secret. Despite their common sexual preference, each man views his situation in a different way and has his own opinions about gay life within the city's African-American community. An ongoing and evolving documentary project, a version of On The Downlow was screened as part of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, while an earlier (and considerably shorter) version, called The Party, appeared at the 2005 New York Underground Film Festival. - Mark Deming, Rovi

Distribution: Abigail Child