By wonderful happenstance, Loving Day is named for Richard and Mildred Loving, whose marriage is validated not just by a marriage license but a 1967 Supreme Court case (Loving v. Virgina). The case ended race-based restrictions on the issuance of marriage licenses, and Loving Day (June 12) celebrates the civil rights victory. The New Orleans Loving Festival presents a series of films about interracial relationships and multiracial identity, as well as an art show at Antenna Gallery. Richard Friedenberg's Mr. & Mrs. Loving is about the Virginia couple and their fight against antiquated miscegenation laws. It screens at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Antenna Gallery.
The festival kicks off at Ashe Cultural Arts Center at 7 p.m. Friday with a screening of One Big Hapa Family, Jeff Chiba Stearns' largely autobiographical documentar about Canadians of Japanese descent. It examines a burst of interracial marriages, when a great number of Canadian-born citizens of Japanese and European descent intermarried. The trend relates to the internment of Japanese-descended Canadians during World War II. Stearns examines the history of internment and contemporary notions of how race and nationality are perceived. Much of the film focuses on how people in multiple generations of his family describe themselves, and it ultimately offers a very optimistic outlook on changing attitudes and tolerance. Stearns will attend the screening and discuss the film. For a full schedule of festival events, visit www.press-street.com or www.charitablefilmnetwork.org. Free admission. — Will Coviello
New Orleans Loving Festival