written and directed by

Aline Allegra

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the film

More than thirty years ago, a young MTV News reporter, in an effort to understand herself and get a girlfriend, bought a  video camera and began showing at NY's ACT UP protests and demos, the yearly Gay Pride marches and rallies.  Fearless behind the camera, but awkward in real life, this lesbian virgin got right in the face of a movement a young, hot, strong, smart women, determined to not only fight for their friends dying of AIDS, but for their own self-determination.  The closet door was being kicked open and stomped on. The Lesbian Avengers, Fierce Pussy, Clit Club, Girl World, Dyke TV, Cubby Hole were just some of the places and avenues of expression for this gay girl movement of sex, art and politics.  Madonna, Sandra Bernhard, Gillian Anderson, Anne Heche, Ellen, kd lang were part of an underground milieu where girl on girl lust plus new found freedom  in a few years changed the world.  Free Radicals of NY is a fun, funny, sexy smart film of these rollicking days when queer womxn shook off the chains of patriarchy and homophobia to live "out loud."  Today these women are at the top of their profession as artists, celebrities, business owners and global leaders. In 1989 they were flashing their tits and marching down the streets...let's watch that journey unfold!




It is Fall 2020

and we’ve been sheltered-in-place for 6 months. In the United States, almost 200,000 are dead from COVID-19 and as we write this there is no end in sight. We watch the death count rise as President Trump’s failure to lead, his apathy and his greed remind us of Ronald Reagan’s criminal failure to address the AIDS crisis until 4 years in. Citizen activists make masks for healthcare workers and we rely on State and Local leadership, peer education and mutual aid for our survival.

We are making a documentary from footage we shot 30 years ago during the AIDS epidemic. We intend to use this time of social distancing and staying home to reach out to people who appear in this material.

It's Spring 2021

the filmmakers have been vaccinated.

Still no vaccine for HIV. Funny that.


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Aline Allegra

Aline Allegra is a journalist and nonfiction filmmaker whose career spans more than thirty years from MTV  to Channel One News.  Aline is a pioneer in content creation on early digital platforms both wireless and broadband.  She is passionate advocate for telling our own stories working with former VP Al Gore in an effort to democratize television with Current TV and later the Oprah Winfrey Network. 

After 30 years in the news and entertainment business, Aline is focused on a series of memory and history projects using her own personal video and photo library.

Free Radicals of NY draws from more than 100 hours of interviews and never before seen footage that Aline shot herself over five years from 1989-94 and the 2019 World Pride Week in NYC.  

Aline is the principal and creative director of Homespun Entertainment in Venice, CA.





Emily Nahmanson

Emily was a member of ACT UP New York in the 80s and 90s.


Up until April 2020, she was with the Technology Department at the Burning Man Project.


Since shelter-in-place began, she has become a Zoom expert and has been working as a technical advisor to teachers, creators and performers.

Her films have been shown at MIX New York Queer Experimental Film Festival and the Hella Gay Short Film Festival in Oakland. 


She lives in a rent controlled apartment in San Francisco.

Emily is a co-producer on this film.


we must tell our own stories

Free Radicals of NY also examines the role the camcorder played in the emergence of activism, the lesbian community, as chronicled thru the personal vanguard participation of the filmmaker in these social movements both personally and professional. Coming of age in the late 80's where the confluence of music television, the camcorder and the rise of AIDS activism created a social movement that launched the first generation of queer powerful women true to themselves - out and active -personal and professional lives. 

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homespun entertainment

 In 2002, Aline formed HOMESPUN ENTERTAINMENT, a boutique production company in Venice Beach and Joshua Tree, CA . With Aline's expertise in interview and original storytelling, Homespun created unique branded content  for UCLA Children's Hospital, Oprah Winfrey Network, Current TV, Sony Pictures and many others.


At Homespun, Aline launched her passion project begun in 1987,  to record and collect stories from people and movements historically left out of the conversation,  marginalized and invisible.

Over decades Aline captured video, photos, audio and interviews from pivotal moments in history. The library includes unseen footage and personal narratives from the front line of HIV and AIDS, gang violence, woman's right to choose, transgender rights, anti-war, school killings, conversion therapy, gay marriage, Cuba, and queer liberation.

The SVHS Tapes: Free Radicals of NY is Homespun Entertainment feature length documentary using the SVHS tapes Aline shot in and around NY and Washington DC between 1989-94.