Announcing the Release of “Salacia,” a New Film by Tourmaline

For Immediate Release

Tourmaline, artist, filmmaker, and Barnard Center for Research on Women Activist-in-Residence (2014-2018), is set to release two new 16mm short films: Salacia, a 6-minute looping film, and Mary of Ill Fame, a 25-minute short, starring Rowin Amone (previously DeJayé Joseph) as Mary Jones.

Salacia and Mary of Ill Fame tell the stories of a day in the life of Mary Jones (born in 1803), a black trans sex worker and outlaw in New York City in 1836. These films take place in Seneca Village, a free Black land-owning community and underground railroad stop in Upper Manhattan. A refuge for Black people and a threat to the white political establishment, Seneca Village existed from 1825 until 1857, when residents were forced out, displaced by the city’s plans for gentrification–the development of Central Park. Jones lived, worked, survived, and dreamed in the face of brutally enforced anti-Black racism and transphobia, and yet, as Tourmaline says, she made “a wayward way out of no way.”

Salacia will be screening on the High Line at 14th Street every night beginning at dusk from May 10-July 3, 2019, and at the Brooklyn Museum as part of the exhibit Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall from May 3-December 8, 2019.

The premiere of Mary of Ill Fame will be announced.

Salacia is co-commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum and High Line Art, presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

The High Line presentation of Salacia is curated by Melanie Kress, High Line Art Associate Curator.

The Brooklyn Museum exhibit, Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall, is curated by Margo Cohen Ristorucci, Public Programs Coordinator; Lindsay C. Harris, Teen Programs Manager, Education; Carmen Hermo, Associate Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art; Allie Rickard, Curatorial Assistant, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art; and Lauren Argentina Zelaya, Acting Director, Public Programs, Brooklyn Museum. Its Resource Room is organized by Levi Narine, Teen Programs Assistant, InterseXtions and Special Projects, in collaboration with the curators.

Production Credits

Directed, written, and produced by Tourmaline; executive produced by Keanu Reeves; produced by BCRW Creative Director Hope Dector and Nina Macintosh. With production support from BCRW Research Assistants Asha Futterman, Em Chu Ying He, Sophie Kreitzberg, Emily Reed, and David Sierra, and administrative support from BCRW Senior Programs Assistant Pamela Phillips. This project received additional material, development, and administrative support from the Barnard Center for Research on Women.

Additional film credits below.

About the Filmmaker

Tourmaline is an activist, filmmaker, and writer. Her work highlights the capacity of Black queer and trans people and communities to make and transform worlds. In her films, Tourmaline creates dreamlike portraits of people whose stories tell the history of New York City, including gay and trans liberation activists, drag queens, and queer icons Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (Happy Birthday Marsha, co-directed with Sasha Wortzel, 2018), Miss Major (The Personal Things, 2016), and Egyptt LaBeija (Atlantic is a Sea of Bones, 2017). Tending to the histories and haunts of disabled, poor, Black, queer, and trans life that echo and vibrate beneath neighborhoods and cultural landmarks, Tourmaline’s films undulate between narrative and non-narrative and illuminate the mundane acts that form the fabric of historical events and mutually supportive communities.

About the Barnard Center for Research on Women

The Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) brings scholars and activists together through its working groups, public events, publications, and multimedia projects to advance intersectional social justice feminist analyses and to promote social transformation. BCRW is committed to vibrant and engaged research, pedagogy, art, and activism, supporting the work of scholars and activists to create new knowledge and to challenge and refine how we understand the world around us. Since its founding in 1971, the BCRW has cultivated collaborative and accountable relationships with community organizations, activists, and cultural workers in New York City, across the US, and transnationally. From its signature annual Scholar and Feminist Conference to its peer-reviewed journal The Scholar and Feminist Online, unique collection of feminist social movement ephemera (housed in the Barnard College Archives), constantly expanding video archive, and recently inaugurated Social Justice Initiative, BCRW remains committed to critical feminist engagement with the academy and the world.


Written, Directed, Produced by Tourmaline

Produced by Hope Dector and Nina Macintosh

Executive Produced by Keanu Reeves

Starring Rowin Amone with Christopher James Murray, Eva Reign, and Frank Woods

Director of Photography Kjerstin Rossi

Production Designer Josephine Shokrian

Editor Zoie Omega

Co-Producers Matt Harvey, Zoie Omega, Kjerstin Rossi

Associate Producer Luce Capco Lincoln

Costume Designer Tess Herbert

Original Music by Geo Wyeth


Mary Jones – Rowin Amone

Peter Dermot – Christopher James Murray

Fernando Woods – Frank Woods

Anne Waters – Eva Reign

Jupiter – Harry Aspinwall

Cop 2 – Philip John Trossarello Jr.

Cop 3 – Scott Watson

Seneca Villagers – Lehna Huie, Simone Octavia Huie Durant, Max-André Kajou Valbrune, Yanic Emmanuel Valbrune

Working Girls – Aaryn Lang, Maya Monès, Natasha Tori, Vachensky Vieux

People in Cell – William Howard Blair, Divad Durant, Asha Futterman

Prison Guard – Griffin Stanton-Ameisen, Cat Kubo


First Assistant Director Ariel Mahler

Second Assistant Director Tae Braun

Script Supervisor Anthony Louis Lee

First Assistant Camera Nicalena Iovino

Second Assistant Camera Matt Harvey and Natalie Tsui

Gaffer Vuk Lungulov-Klotz

Key Grip Brian de la Cruz

Electric Warut Snidvongs

Additional Grip Ryan Colletti

Grip and Electric Swing Erin Bailey

Special Effects Cinematographer Zoie Omega

Special Effects Gaffer Vance Spicer

Special Effects S.O. O’Brien

Steadicam Jordan Tetewsky

Sound Mixers S.O. O’Brien, Elizabeth Rakhilkina, Pat Zimmon

Set Decorator Anne Cousineau

Leadman Ehm West

Prop Master Vita Kurland

Set Dresser Charlie Mai

Set Dresser Mariana Sanchez Bueno

Set Dresser Melissa Belardo

Greenskeeper Gareth Stacke

Greens Assistant James Scales, Chloe Smith, Zach Strein

Graphic Designer Dana Bishop-Root

Costume Assistants Rhylli Ogiura and Tyler Okuns

Key Makeup Artist Dotty Peterson

Hair Artist Andrita Renee

Stunt Coordinators Travis Staton-Marrero and Natalie Strasser

Catering Harvest & Revel

Production Assistants Craig Almquist, Rhi Collins, Divad Durant, Asha Futterman, Edda Gonzalez, Em Chu Ying He, Sophie Kreitzberg, Luce Capco Lincoln, Rhea Parimoo, Emily Reed, David Sierra, Jade Ureña

Special Effects Guest Camera Directors Rowin Amone, Melissa Belardo, Tae Braun, Mercer Dector, Divad Durant, Luce Capco Lincoln, Nina Macintosh, Ariel Mahler, Danyelle Minor, S.O. O’Brien, Rhea Parimoo, David Sierra, Natalie Strasser, Natalie Tsui

Additional Editing Adam Knowles

Re-Recording Mixer Isaac S. Derfel

Colorist Marika Litz

Storyboard Artist Tiffanie Young

Animation Mores Mcwreath

Graphics Dana Bishop-Root and Leslie Stem

Titles Virgil B/G Taylor


Prose excerpt from “The People Could Fly” by Virginia Hamilton

With permission granted from Arnold Adoff

Archival Footage and Video Stock courtesy of Adobe Stock, Axiom Images, Denver Open Media, NASA, New York Public Library, Prelinger Archives, Stocksy

Shot on location at Seneca Village, present day Central Park, the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, and Castle Williams Prison, Governors Island

With Support From
Brooklyn Museum
High Line
Barnard Center for Research on Women

Thank You
Abelcine, Arcus Foundation, Arnold Adoff, Karl-Mary Akre, Kazembe Balagun, Barnard IMATS, Morgan Bassichis, Sara’o Bery, Luca Borghese, Joanna Bovay, Effie Campbell Bowen, Erick Boustead, Melissa Branfman, Elizabeth Castelli, Rebecca Choi, Jeffrey P. Coleman, Brenda Davis, Michael D. DeCandia, Kimberly Drew, Zackary Drucker, Amalle Dublon, Tracy Fenix, Alex Fialho, Migdalia Figueroa-Pinedo, Che Gossett, Governors Island Trust, Billie Jean Grey, Vanessa Haroutunian, Melanie Hibbert, Lauren Hollender, Arthur Jafa, Janet Jakobsen, Jari Jones, Mary Jones, Aurélie Jouan, Beck Kitsis, Melanie Koch, Melanie Kress, The LGBT Center, Kelsey Livingston, Hannah Lucal, Lorna Macintosh, Zoë Macintosh, Cosi Marks, Jade Marks, Materials for the Arts, Metropolis Post, Museum of the City of New York, Bunny Michael, Maryse Mitchell-Brody, Ben Mosca, Laramie Moser, Miriam Neptune, Cara Page, Juana Peralta, Pam Phillips, Karen Pittelman, Marika Plater, Red Hook Winery, Darius Reed, Irit Reinheimer, Jen Rhee, Margo Cohen Ristorucci, Amy K. Rosenthal, Molly Rosner, Anya Rous, James Scales, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Kelindah Schuster, Dean Spade, Ripley Soprano, Eric A Stanley, Albert Tholen, Sylvana Valeri, Sam Vinal, Visual AIDS, Lewis Wallace, Jo McPhedran Waltzer, Thomas Weinreich, Ethan Weinstock, Nicholas Weist, Alisha Williams, Tina Zavitsanos