The documentary “O.T.A. (Open To All)” is a compelling exploration of the Dutch Ballroom scene, embodying a profound symbol of (self) acceptance in modern society. This film follows the transformation of this New York counterculture into a global community committed to fostering awareness and empowering individuals. In doing so, “O.T.A.” delves into a wide array of crucial issues, including contemporary perspectives on gender expression, education, discrimination, self-acceptance, cultural appreciation, and activism, all while emphasizing the pressing importance of creating “safe spaces” for everyone.
Amber Vineyard, the matriarch of the House of Vineyard, serves as the guiding force in the narrative. She offers a refuge for individuals seeking acceptance and self-discovery, using her bold self-expression to challenge societal norms related to gender, sexuality, and freedom of expression. Amber’s mission is to create a “safe space” and connect with those still on their journey. Inspired by New York ballroom icons, she facilitates events like panels, workshops, and balls that unite cultural representatives with the “Dutch kids,” enabling them to exchange life experiences and knowledge while promoting self-empowerment.
The film features interviews with members of the House of Vineyard, as well as icons, mothers, and fathers of the current ballroom community in New York. These include Archie Burnett, Sinia Braxton, Leiomy Maldonado, the late DJ Vjuan Allure, photographer Chantal Regnault, and individuals like Gaby Vineyard and Raphael McCartney.