“My first evening in Club Quarantine, I kept my camera off. I was anxious about having my face broadcast to hundreds of strangers on the internet. But quickly that fear was replaced with awe; I attended the party each evening and increasingly became comfortable with my camera on. Whenever I logged onto Club Quarantine, hundreds of beautiful, brightly lit boxes twinkled at me. As a young queer person coming into my own identity, gay clubs have been my refuge. In college I would frequent a predominantly Latinx gay club in Pomona, Calif., called 340. There I experienced a sense of ease and safety that I could not find elsewhere. My friends and I grew into ourselves in that club. When the pandemic began, I found similar comfort in Club Quarantine. Historically, nightlife has been one of the few safe spaces for the queer community. It is no surprise that in this time of devastation, queer people have once again sought community in the club, albeit a virtual one. The nightly parties lasted for nearly four months, and in June 2020 they came to an end. Club Quarantine still exists, but the parties happen weekly now. As life begins to creep back to normal, I feel nostalgic for that time. In the midst of such intense isolation, my life came alive each evening as I was absorbed in a glittering world of queer people all seeking to connect.”
Aurora Brachman is an award-winning documentary filmmaker drawn to stories about intimate relationships within families and communities. Her film Club Quarantine, about a virtual queer dance party, premiered on the New York Times Op-Docs. And her short documentary, Joychild, about a young gender-expansive child, was acquired by The New Yorker, broadcast on POV, and shortlisted for an IDA Award. Her work has screened at numerous festivals including Sundance, True/False, Hot Docs, AFI Docs, DOC NYC, and selected for Vimeo Staff Picks. Aurora primarily makes work about the experiences of Black, brown, and Queer people and is committed to collaborative and ethical storytelling. Aurora is a graduate of the MFA program in Documentary Film at Stanford University, a 2020 Sundance Ignite Fellow, and a 2022 SFFilm House Resident. She is also the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in filmmaking. She currently works as a producer for A24.