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|Something for everyone at 24th annual Out on Film fest|
|Written by Steve Warren|
|Friday, 30 September 2011 00:00|
From musicals to documentaries, comedies to romance, there’s something for every film taste and every stripe in the LGBT rainbow at this year’s 24th annual Out on Film festival.
Out on Film launched Sept. 28 with a pre-event screening of “In the Eye of the AIDS Storm,” and officially kicked off Sept. 29. The festival runs through Oct. 6.
All-access festival passes cost $115 and are available on the Out on Film website. Individual tickets are also available for each show.
“The Lulu Sessions” • 3:50 p.m.
Dr. Louis Nutter has just discovered a new anti-cancer drug when she finds out she is dying of breast cancer at age 42. “The LuLu Sessions” was shot in the last 15 months of her life.
“Photos of Angie” • 5:40 p.m.
A documentary about Angie Zapata, a young transgender woman murdered in 2008.
“eCupid” • 7 p.m. (Followed by Q&A with actor Noah Schuffman)
After seven years Marshall and Gabe still love each other, but their workaholic schedules don’t leave time for sex. An app called “eCupid” practically downloads itself onto Marshall’s computer. It supplies him with hot guys, but makes Gabe leave.
Despite cyberspace conspiring against them, neither man is interested in anyone else.
Morgan Fairchild helps resolve things in an extended cameo as a warm-hearted waitress.
“Cho Dependent” • 9 p.m. (Followed by Q&A with director Lorene Machado)
Does Margaret Cho get gayer with every concert tour? “Cho Dependent,” shot at Atlanta’s Tabernacle, will be hard to top in that regard.
How can you not love a self-described bisexual fag hag who says, “I used to not like anal sex but I turned myself around”? Apart from what she says with it, the tongue Cho displays could get her recruited by KISS and elected to the Lesbian Hall of Fame.
“Kink Crusaders” • 11 p.m.
Documentaries about competitions essentially condense a whole season of a reality show into 90 minutes. “Kink Crusaders” applies this formula to the International Mr. Leather contest.
Micheal Skiff filmed the 30th annual competition in 2008. Six former titleholders and several current contestants comment, but the focus is on Chuck Renslow, who created the contest in 1979 and is portrayed as the daddy of the whole leather community.
You don’t have to be a leatherman to enjoy “Kink Crusaders,” and it may explode some myths about this subculture of our subculture.
SATURDAY, OCT. 1
“Our Lips Are Sealed” • 11 a.m.
A documentary about two gay college students, Matty Daley and Bobby Canciello, who set out to break the Guinness world record for the world’s longest continuous kiss.
“August” • 12:10 p.m.
“What Would J.C. Do?”, J.C. being Joan Crawford. Except that the romantic triangle has three male sides, Mommie Dearest could have made “August” in the 1940s.
Troy returns to L.A. after five years and calls Jonathan, whom he’d dumped following a summer fling before he left. Jonathan’s with Raul now, but selfish Troy wants him anyway.
Women’s Shorts • 1:30 pm. (Followed by Q&A with film subject Genie Hargrove and director Joe Windish of “For Such a Time as This”)
“Changing Times,” “Come Back to Me,” “Cupcake: A Zombie Lesbian Musical,” “Cyclicity,” “For Such a Time as This,” “No Direction”
Men’s Shorts • 3:15 p.m.
“Baldguy,” “Finding Judy,” “I Don’t’ Want to Go Back Alone,” “The Queen,” “The Rescue,” “Verona”
“Jamie and Jesse are not Together” • 5:05 p.m. (Followed by Q&A with director Wendy Jo Carlton; preceded by short “Girl Scouting”)
Jamie is moving from Chicago to New York hoping to become a Broadway actress; Jessica, her best friend, is convinced she is in love with Jamie and tries to make her jealous by dating other women. But Jessica’s plan backfires in a way she could never imagine.
“Leave it on the Floor” • 7:25 p.m. (Followed by Q&A with actor James Alsop)
“Leave It on the Floor” is set in the ball scene immortalized in “Paris Is Burning,” at least its West Coast equivalent. It’s discovered by teenaged Brad after his mother throws him out for being gay. His guide, Princess Eminence of the House of Eminence, steals him from hostile house mother Queef Latina and takes him to the competing House of Allure.
Despite dealing with some heavy issues the film maintains the sweet innocence of old Hollywood musicals, with people bursting spontaneously into song, as Brad comes of age and comes into his own, discovering who he is and who he loves.
“Eating Out: The Open Weekend” • 10 p.m. (preceded by short “The Itch”)
The fifth installment in the popular, raunch gay comedy franchise features plenty of the low-brow humor and nudity you’ve come to expect.
“Cho Dependent” • 11:50 p.m. (encore)
SUNDAY, OCT. 2
“This is What Love in Action Looks Like” • 11 a.m.
In 2005 16-year-old Zach Stark of Memphis posted on MySpace that his parents were sending him to the Refuge program of “ex-gay” ministry Love in Action.
Zach breaks his subsequent silence on the subject. Other alumni share their experiences and feelings, but the most interesting contributions come from Rev. John Smid, LIA’s executive director from 1990 to 2008.
“Legalize Gay” • 1 p.m. (Followed by Q&A with director Christopher Hines and subject Jeshawna Wholley)
A sneak preview of the upcoming LOGO documentary looking at the new generation leading the campaign for LGBT equality. Includes rugby star Ben Cohen, who visited Atlanta earlier this year, as well as Jeshawna Wholley, a lesbian activist at Atlanta’s Spelman College.
“Mary Lou” • 2:30 p.m.
A modern fable with a musical message. Meir, a young man searching for his mother in Tel Aviv, learns about love with the help of the gay community and Israeli pop music.
“Man 2 Man: A Gay Man’s Guide to Finding Love” 5:30 p.m. (world premiere; Q and A to follow with Christopher Hines)
Christopher Hines makes vaguely annoying documentaries (“The Butch Factor,” “The Adonis Factor”) that belabor obvious ideas and push his idea of eye candy, even while preaching against the worship of superficial beauty.
“Man 2 Man” devotes roughly three quarters to the search for love and one quarter to maintaining a relationship once you’re in one. Marginally better than “Butch” and “Adonis,” it shares their faults, including vague, unreferenced statistics.
“The Green” • 7:20 p.m.
Together 15 years, former Manhattanites Michael (Jason Butler Harner) and Daniel (Cheyenne Jackson) are accepted in their small Connecticut town, where Michael teaches at a private high school.
A minor incident incites a rumor that Michael behaved inappropriately with Jason (Chris Bert), his favorite student. He’s arrested, though the charges are unclear, and a lesbian lawyer (Julia Ormond) helps him fight.
“Buffering” • 9:10 p.m.
“Buffering” shows the English can make silly sex comedies too.
Being laid off gives Aaron more time for Internet porn, but he and his partner Seb are in danger of losing their home.
Aaron secretly tapes their sex life and posts it on a pay-per-view pornsite. With money pouring in even Seb consents, with limitations.
A buff neighbor provides the visual stimulation in this movie that’s sweet and amusing, more artistic and less sexy than its U.S. counterparts.
MONDAY, OCT. 3
“Out for the Long Run” • 3:40 p.m.
This documentary about LGBT athletes in high school includes appearances by openly gay former baseball player Billy Bean and Olympic diver Greg Louganis.
“Tomboy” • 5:20 p.m.
After the ten-year-old “Tomboy” introduces herself to kids in her new neighborhood as Mikael, “the new boy in the building,” writer-director Céline Sciamma throws in a full-frontal shot to reassure us she’s a girl.
Young Zoé Héran grounds “Tomboy” with an amazing, incredibly natural performance as Mikael, whose birth name is Laure.
As summer fades and school approaches, surprises sweet and bitter await.
“Tomboy” is worth making a big deal of, precisely because it allows a child to find her/his place in the universe without getting hysterical about it.
“The Wise Kids” • 7 p.m. (Followed by Q&A with director Stephen Cone)
“The Wise Kids” is one of those sweet surprises that make film festivals worthwhile. Wonderfully natural, it’s set in a Charleston neighborhood anchored by a Baptist church.
In the year three teenagers graduate high school and start college, the story is bookended by Easter and Christmas church pageants staged by Austin (writer-director-producer Stephen Cone), who’s not exactly Marcus Bachmann gay, but his wife has been having a dry spell in the bedroom.
Preacher’s daughter Brea is questioning her faith. Her BFF Laura questions the faith of their friend Tim after he comes out to them. Laura tells Tim he can’t be gay and Christian, although he seems to manage.
“Morgan” • 9:10 p.m. (World premiere followed by Q&A with director Michael Akers)
Morgan is a young man whose spirit and drive prevent him from accepting his new life as a paraplegic. When he meets Dean, Morgan finds himself reverting to his old ways that led to his crippling accident.
TUESDAY, OCT. 4
Noon Shorts • 12 p.m.
“It’s Just a Community Place,” “A Family Portrait,” “Go-Go Alice in Andrews Land”
“That’s My Nun” • 4:15 p.m.
A documentary about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who use their irreverent humor and street theater to support men and women facing discrimination, especially homophobia and HIV.
“The Night Watch” • 5:35 p.m.
“The Night Watch” shows a 544-page Sarah Waters novel can’t be condensed into a 90-minute screenplay.
In 1947 mannish Kay walks to the abandoned headquarters of her wartime ambulance corps. Gay Duncan is pursued by Fraser, his straight former cellmate. Duncan’s sister Viv recently resumed seeing her married lover, Reggie. Viv works with Helen, whose insecurity is wearing on her lover, Julia.
Before you can process all these people and situations you’re whisked back to 1944 for a longer chapter that reveals some history. For more (but not all) answers you have to check 1941, then return to 1947 in the finale for partial resolutions.
“We Were Here” • 7:20 p.m.
Speaking as objectively as possible (though no gay man who survived the ‘80s and ‘90s can watch it objectively), “We Were Here” is a well-made documentary by David Weissman about the early years of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. Five eyewitnesses, each with a unique perspective near the center of the action, detail their experiences during the plague years, while archival material fleshes out the broader story.
From our pre-AIDS partying to hope for a post-AIDS future, “We Were Here” spans modern queer history, showing how AIDS brought us together as a community, including uniting lesbians and gay men.
“Genderblind” • 7:45 p.m. (Ansley Park Playhouse, 1545 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta GA 30309)
LaNita Joseph’s film tells the story of a young, African-American Christian woman who grapples with her identity.
“Longhorns” • 9:10 p.m.
Set in Texas in 1982, this sexy comedy explores what happens when a straight frat boy’s heart starts to flutter for an openly gay student, and a weekend fueled by beers and straight porn leads to bed-hopping and questions about sexual identity.
Wednesday, OCT. 5 • GA VOICE NIGHT
TBD encore • 12 p.m. (film chosen by popularity during festival)
Finding Their Own Voice shorts • 4 p.m.
“Finding Judy,” “Loop Planes,” “Poker Face,” “Slip Away”
“Gone” • 5:35 p.m.
If “Gone” weren’t a documentary, Kathryn Gilleran would be a Best Actress nominee.
Kathy tells her story in closeup, with occasional visual aids. Retired after 21 years as a police officer, she was informed her gay son Aeryn, who worked for the United Nations in Vienna, hadn’t been seen for two days, since he ran naked from an exclusive sauna (bathhouse).
When Kathy goes to Vienna our movie expectations kick in: She’s going to kick some ass! Well, not quite... Stonewalled by the police, she determines to unearth the truth. Sadly, despite her training and experience, real life doesn’t always play out as neatly as a movie script.
“Wish Me Away” • 7:15 p.m.
This biographical documentary about Chely Wright could premiere simultaneously on Lifetime, Logo and CMT. Non-fans of country music may not have known her before she came out as a lesbian in May 2010, then promoted her new book and album on the Pride festival circuit.
Filmed prior to coming out, Wright tells her life story, often tearfully. Aware early that she was gay, she tried to pray it away. When she couldn’t she kept vowing to come out at the next career milestone, until it became a choice between potential career suicide and actual suicide.
“Private Romeo” • 9:10 p.m.
A Shakespearean reboot, “Private Romeo” is oddly conceived but strangely watchable.
Alan Brown’s all-male production is set in a contemporary military school. Some characters are spoken of as female but not portrayed that way. Juliet is as macho as Romeo.
The actors, mostly from the stage, are amazingly good, keeping “Private Romeo” interesting, even when the concept doesn’t make sense.
THURSDAY, OCT. 6 • CLOSING NIGHT
“Leave it on the Floor” • 3 p.m. (encore)
Best of Fest Shorts • 5 p.m. (Followed by Q&A with local filmmakers Cindy Abel and Parthiban Shanmugam)
“Expressions,” “Facing a New Age,” Men’s Shorts Audience Award winner, Women’s Shorts Audience Award winner
“Hollywood to Dollywood” • 6:45 p.m. (Followed by Q&A with director John Lavin and subjects Gary and Larry Lane)
Gay twin brothers Gary and Larry Lane ride from “Hollywood to Dollywood” in a rented RV to hand Dolly Parton a script they’ve written for her at the opening of Dollywood’s 25th anniversary season.
Raised in North Carolina, the twins, 35, came out to each other at 16 and to their parents when they were 25.
Everyone, including strangers along the road, gushes about Dolly, and several talk about growing up gay in the South.
“Judas Kiss” • 8:45 p.m. (Followed by Q&A with producer Carlos Pedroza and actor Sean Paul Lockhart) (preceded by the short “Lunchtime”)
One person at three different ages comes together at one time and place. The one in the middle counsels his younger self to keep him from repeating his mistakes, while ignoring the older man’s efforts to do the same for him. It’s very “Christmas Carol”!
Zachary Wells (Charlie David) returns to his alma mater as a judge in their prestigious student film festival. Zach won it 15 years ago, changed his name and went to Hollywood to party and fail.
Zach hooks up with a student (Richard Harmon), who turns out to be a competition finalist. His name is Danny Reyes — Zach’s name before he changed it — and his film “Judas Kiss” is the same one Zach had made.
Top photo: ‘Leave it on the Floor’ (Publicity photo)
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