2008 Festival Lineup
Thursday, November 6
7:30 PM Piper‘s Alley Opening Night Feature: Breakfast with Scot Laurie Lynd Canada, 2007, 90 Min Sports commentator Eric (Tom Cavanagh of NBC's Ed and Scrubs) and his lawyer boyfriend Sam (Ben Shenkman of Angels in America) happily live a gay– but discreet–lifestyle. That is, until Scot, Sam‘s brother‘s dead girlfriend‘s abandoned kid (stay with us, here), flaunting purple boas and full makeup, flamboyantly turns their world upside down. Eric and Sam are given custody of Scot while they try to track down his legal guardian. As they draw the line on personal expression and try to teach the abundantly self-assured Scot how to be a ―proper‖ boy, the cautious couple is forced to confront their own deep-rooted insecurities and fears. As 11-year-old Scot, Noah Bernett clearly steals the show, as he is everything a young, budding queen should be: vibrant, confident, and ever so fashionable.
Friday, November 7
7:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Mulligans Chip Hale Canada, 2008, 89 Min The Davidson family, summering at their lakeside home in the quaint cottage town of Prospect Lake, seems picture perfect in every way. But when Tyler Davidson brings home his college buddy Chase (Charlie David, Kiss the Bride) for the summer, a secret is revealed that threatens to tear his family apart. Not only does Chase try to hide that he is gay, but he has the challenge of controlling his attraction to Tyler‘s handsome father Nathan. But Chase isn‘t the only one struggling to resist his feelings in this stirring romance about grasping for second chances.
7:15 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Changing Spots Susan Turley U.S., 2008, 93 Min Molly Brite may be a washed up, martini-soaked former child star, but things are finally looking up. Peg, her ex-rocker partner of five years, is pregnant, and the director of a high profile film wants her for his star. But just when she thinks her days of auditioning for taco ads and wearing chicken suits are over, her personal and professional worlds begin to simultaneously unravel and the actress must confront the past. Lane West is both heartbreaking and hilarious as Molly, and the chemistry between her and co-star Danielle Egnew as Peg is spot-on, particularly in some steamy bedroom (and bathroom!) scenes.
9:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Watercolors David Oliveras U.S., 2008, 106 Min Winner of the audience award at Outfest, this debut feature by writer/director David Oliveras is the tale of two star-crossed lovers. Sensitive and artistic, Danny is an outcast, more accustomed to perusing guys in magazines than in real life. But when Carter, the hunkiest swimmer in school, ends up bunking with him one weekend, an unexpected romance unleashes both positive and negative consequences for both. Oliveras gives the actors (including Golden Globe winner Karen Black) plenty to work with in his well-rounded script that plays like a first love story anyone can identify with.
9:30 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Sugar Rush Sean Grundy UK, 2005, 72 Min If you miss My So-Called Life, but not the angst, Sugar Rush is the show for you! The first series (episodes 1-3) of this groundbreaking British TV show follows the bumpy adolescent life of Kim, a lesbian teenager adjusting to her family‘s move to Brighton. Desperately in love with her straight best friend, Sugar, Kim tries to navigate through sexual self-discovery, while dealing with her unhinged family. This sardonic and sweet series succeeds not only through the well-developed plot, but the portrayals of the young leads, as well. Olivia Hallinan‘s Kim is
relatable and wry, while Lenora Crichlow‘s portrayal of Sugar will turn you on and break your heart. Sugar Rush is surely an invigorating ride.
Saturday, November 8
12:00 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Lesbian Potpourri This shorts program is a sweet mixture of forbidden Jewish-Aryan love, cowgirl androgyny, sadomasochism, first orgasms, biker chicks, and librarian sex, and includes two compelling shorts written and directed by L Word writer and dykon, Guinevere Turner. Berated Women (Anya Meksin, USA), Loving Loretta (Andrea Gutsche, Canada), The Thorny Rose (Carrie Schrader, USA), Dandelion Fall (Lauren Wolkstein, US), Late (Guinevere Turner, USA), Quiet Please (Guinevere Turner, USA), True Colors, the Siren’s Story (Denise Petrizzo, USA). Total: 104 minutes.
1:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Ice Blues Ron Oliver USA, 2008, 85 Min Don Strachey (played by out and proud star Chad Allen), America's most famous gay private eye, is back. Don's life partner, Tim, is approached by a mysterious man who offers him three million dollars for his pet charity, the Albany Youth Center. After finding the man‘s cold, dead body in the front seat of their car, Don and Tim are pursued by hit men determined to get the money back. Don sets off with his sidekick, Kenny, to try and unravel the deceased man's story. They soon find themselves involved with a twelve-year old murder mystery, shady business deals, missing persons, and the leader of a child pornography ring. This oft-funny mystery will keep you entranced with every chilly twist and turn.
2:00 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Out in India: A Family's Journey Tom Keegan USA, 2007, 70 Min A film which will speak to those who want to make a difference in the world, this remarkable documentary is the tale of an inspirational gay man using art to educate people about AIDS in the new frontier of the battle: India. David Gere, an instructor at UCLA, whose academic interest in art and AIDS has turned him into
a community activist, embarks on a mammoth voyage to India, with longtime partner Peter Carley and their two adopted young children in tow. Consistently hopeful and persistent, David‘s mission is nonetheless rife with obstacles, as he and Peter face the struggle to maintain their family circle in a foreign environment and confront a culture that stigmatizes those who are HIV positive and has little understanding of two gay men living together as part of a family unit. When his brother, Richard Gere, shows up to support him at the conference he has organized, one can‘t help having even more admiration for David as he toils in anonymity.
3:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) The World Unseen Shamim Sarif South Africa/UK, 2007, 94 Min First-time director Shamim Sarif brings her critically acclaimed novel, The World Unseen, to the big screen. Set amidst the sweeping landscapes of South Africa, the film is a multifaceted love story between Miriam, a housewife disillusioned by her marriage, and freethinking, independent Amina. The tenderness of their growing affection works in direct contrast to the film‘s setting during apartheid. Actresses Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth are both physically stunning as Miriam and Amina, respectively, and they have a palpable chemistry that is enhanced by the film‘s sultry soundtrack. Through the intertwining romances of this drama, Sarif paints a vivid picture of the divide between ―coloureds‖ and blacks, Indians and whites, in addition to the racism in South African society and the familial duties of Indian culture.
3:30 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Trinidad PJ Raval & Jay Hodges USA, 2008, 85 Min Tucked into the mountains of Colorado lies tiny Trinidad, an Old West frontier outpost with a quiet distinction that has brought it proud notoriety to some and shameful infamy to others—it is known as the ―sex change operation capital of the world.‖ With its intriguing disparate elements, the town functions as a main character of the film. But it is those who come to Trinidad to change their bodies and their lives that truly make this a fascinating story, as the film follows surgeon Dr. Marci Bowers, who has undergone the surgery herself, in her fight to build a post-op clinic for her patients.
5:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Dream Boy James Bolton USA, 2008, 90 Min Based on a novel by Jim Grimsley set in Louisiana in the 1970s, Dream Boy is an evocative drama that will stay with you long after the film‘s startling conclusion. Finding himself once again in a new town, quiet and reclusive teen Nathan (Stephan Bender) can‘t take his eyes off Roy (played by Max Roeg, son of Nicolas Roeg and Theresa Russell), a long-haired, handsome farm boy that drives the school bus. Seemingly straight, Roy nonetheless seems to welcome Nathan‘s glances at him in the bus mirror. Soon Nathan is tutoring Roy, which leads to friendship and then to touching, and then to more. But as Nathan and Roy bask in a sweet budding relationship, Bolton‘s use of ominous music and dark innuendos signal that the plot will likely lead to a much darker place for our duo.
5:30 PM Landmark (Theater 6) The Polymath or, The Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman Fred Barney Taylor USA, 2007, 75 Min The Polymath documents the life of award winning African American author Samuel R. Delany. The film explores how Delany‘s life experiences as both an African American and a gay man have shaped his career and the themes that continue to occur throughout his work, from his famed science fiction writings to his non-fiction observations. This insightful documentary allows the viewer to see the inner workings of an artistic genius and observe how the scope of his life has formed the power and enormity of his written works. Delany is truly the embodiment of the history of gay life in New York City.
7:30 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Antarctica Yair Hochner Israel, 2008, 110 Min Combining raw sexuality with intense emotion, Antarctica belies its title with a steamy cast of some of the hottest men of Tel Aviv. It is the story of Omer, a geek-cute librarian who is approaching his thirtieth birthday and searching for love through a string of unsuccessful blind dates. Israel‘s small gay dating scene seems apparent, as Omer begins dating Danny, who lives with Ronen, who is
dating Miki, who is friends with Omer, who longs for Ronen. Meanwhile, Omer‘s sister Shirley has found love with her female boss, but broke off their engagement out of fear of settling down and not being able to take her dream trip to Antarctica. When Omer‘s mother decides to throw him a birthday dinner, the who‘s-dating-who‘s-dating-who comes tumbling out in this mesmerizing look at the interconnecting stories of a group trying to thaw their cynical hearts.
7:30 PM Landmark (Theater 6) To Each Her Own Heather Tobin Canada, 2008, 112 Min Casey, a cute young lesbian who can‘t hold down a long-term relationship, is just killing time with her job as a groundskeeper. Her friends criticize her promiscuous ways and even her enlightened mother teases her about sleeping with a new girl each night. Jessica is a married woman with a budding career and a caring but clueless husband, who is more concerned with impregnating her than paying attention to her needs. On the face of things, her life is proceeding as planned, but dissatisfied Jess starts to have trouble denying her affinity for women. When Jess and Casey meet, their instant connection and the overwhelming passion they develop for one another forces them to deal with the personal problems they have each been refusing to face.
9:45 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Ciao Yen Tan USA, 2008, 87 Min Critically acclaimed director Yen Tan (Happy Birthday) directs a sensually contemplative and beautifully scripted story about the sexual tension that builds between two men brought together by the death of their mutual friend. When Mark dies unexpectedly, his best friend Jeff is left to put his affairs in order. Sorting through Mark‘s email, Jeff discovers his intimate online correspondence with Andrea, an Italian man about to embark on a trip to Dallas to meet Mark for the first time. After breaking the news to Andrea about Mark‘s death, he nonetheless encourages him to still make the trip. As the two men meet and begin to learn more about Mark from one another‘s perspective, their mutual love for Mark becomes entangled with the chemistry they feel for each other.
10:00 PM Landmark (Theater 6)
Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band Michael Carmona USA, 2008, 83 Min With song titles such as "Bill & Ted's Homosexual Adventure," "James Bondage," and "Touch My Joe Camel," gay rock band Pansy Division was at the forefront of the Queer Core music phenomenon in the 1990s, rising in popularity and even opening for '90s alt gods, Green Day. Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band charts the band's development through interviews with key band members and rare concert footage from gay parades and not-so-gay venues, such as Chicago‘s Aragon Ballroom. A fast-paced, intimate, and humorous account of one of rock music's most fearless acts, this is an essential history of a niche of music that is only now beginning to be appreciated.
Sunday, November 9
12:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) The Sensei Diana Lee Inosanto USA, 2008, 103 Min It‘s 1985 and homophobia is rampant, AIDS is a mysterious virus affiliated only with gays, and McClain Evans is an out teen who is more than ostracized at school: he is beaten to near death by local thugs. When the bullied teen needs a martial arts teacher and mentor, he turns to Karen Nakano-O‘Neil, a victim of intolerance herself. As they ride the wave of hate and intolerance together, the two discover their many similarities, and Karen's own mysterious past is exposed. A brave film about racial, religious, and sexist intolerance, The Sensei may have opened the door to the queer martial arts film genre.
12:00 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Passport to Gayland The wide world of gay comes to Chicago with films from Europe to the Middle East, with themes as diverse as their countries of origin. In these eclectic shorts, two men recite lines from Romeo and Juliet and reality comes to the stage; WWII-era lovers make a pact as danger closes in; and gender lines are blurred when a man introduces his ―wife‖ to his mother. I Am Gay (Nicolas Kolovos, Sweden), You, Me & Him (Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil), Romeo’s Kiss (Julien Eger, France), A White Dress (Dominic Goyer, Canada), Tryout (Nimrod Rinot, Israel), Lot’s Wife (Harjant Gill & Koray Durak, Turkey), My Little Boy (Matthias Vom Schemm, Germany). Total: 91 minutes.
2:00 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Sex Positive Daryl Wein USA, 2008, 76 Min Labeled a ―taut and fascinating look at a true unsung hero‖ by John Cameron Mitchell, Sex Positive chronicles the life of Richard Berkowitz, a gay hustler turned AIDS activist in the ‗80s. Branded a self-hating enemy of homosexuals, he wrote the first documented booklet on safe sex practices. Through interviews with other activists and Berkowitz‘s family and friends, we follow his life from organizing protests at Rutgers to going down a path laden with drugs and rough sex for pay to his activism alliance with Michael Callen. A riveting documentary, Sex Positive is a tribute to the contributions of a man that have long gone uncredited. 2:30 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Ready? OK! James Vasquez USA, 2008, 91 Min When you wish for a son on the wrestling team, how do you deal with one who loves fashion, French braids, and pyramid formations? Such is the plight of Andrea, a hardworking single mother whose life becomes particularly complex when her son Josh aspires to be on the cheerleading squad in his strict Catholic school. Given the chance to attend a cheer camp if he raises the necessary funds, Josh struggles to build a support system that not only cheers him on to camp, but on to a life authentically his own. A touching family comedy that shows us how embracing our differences can make us grow into the people we were meant to be, Ready? OK! will have you cheering in the aisles from beginning to end.
3:30 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Fairytale of Kathmandu Neasa Ni Chianain Northern Ireland, 2007, 60 Min As a young student, director Neasa Ni Chianain lost herself in the spellbinding poetry of Cathal O‘Searcaigh, a celebrated, gay Irish writer. When Neasa gets the opportunity to travel with Cathal to Nepal—his ―spiritual home‖—she doesn‘t hesitate. The director and her camera join him in Kathmandu, where he is well known for financially sponsoring many young boys in their studies. Through
Neasa‘s camera lens, the fairytale shines: the Nepalese speak favorably of this strange, generous westerner. But the fairytale appears to have a less than happy ending, as Nepalese locals come forward and tell a different tale, and the false illusion of the benefactor is shattered. Also showing is Trip to Hell and Back (Stu Maddux, USA, 30 Min): A worldfamous equestrian leads a double life as a major crystal-meth dealer, until he faces life in prison. For the first time ever, he reveals his hidden life to the public in this self-told documentary.
4:30 PM Landmark (Theater 7) The Secrets (Ha Sodot) Avi Nesher Israel, 2007, 127 Min Following the death of her mother, beautiful Naomi—the studious, devoutly religious daughter of an ultra-Orthodox rabbi—convinces her father to postpone her arranged marriage for a year so that she might study at a Jewish seminary. Naomi's quest for individuality takes a defiant turn when she befriends Michelle, a free-spirited and equally headstrong fellow student. When the pair encounters a mysterious, ailing foreigner with a disturbing past (played by French diva Fanny Ardant), and attempt to treat her through mysterious kabbalistic rituals, they begin a risky journey into forbidden realms, both religiously and sexually. Soon they must decide whether the desire to be true to themselves is worth the potential cost to themselves, their families, and their way of life.
5:30 PM Landmark (Theater 6) OMG/HaHaHa Morgan Jon Fox USA, 2007, 74 Min Reflecting a social networking-saturated youth culture where gay YouTubers like William Sledd and Chris Crocker speak directly to millions of kids, including teenage girls and emo-gay boys alike, along comes this queer vision that offers us a deeper (albeit digitally filtered) view into the seemingly superficial psyches of the MySpace generation. Using part video blog, part improvisational narrative, and part pseudo documentary, OMG/HaHaHa is a pastiche of the lives of a diverse set of gay, straight, and trans teens and twenty-somethings living in Memphis and dealing with flesh and blood issues, ranging from unexpected pregnancy to homophobia to dying parents. Beautifully shot with evocative indie music, OMG/HaHaHa is a queer film for a new generation.
7:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) The Way I See Things Brian Pera USA, 2008, 85 Min A lightly amusing and beautifully lensed film, The Way I See Things was written and directed by its star, Brian Pera. Depressed over the unexpected death of his longtime companion, Pera‘s Otto undertakes a cross-country road trip with his interminably perky friend Rob, in an effort to escape his own painful memories. Rob thinks the trip will help Otto pull himself together. Instead, Otto falls further apart. At a rest stop, he escapes with a carload of strangers, leaving behind his friend, his past, and even his name, and ending up at a commune where, despite the fictitious persona he‘s created for himself, he seems to fit right in. But in a world without clear markers between memory and fantasy, friend and lover, self and stranger, Otto isn't sure he can truly belong anywhere, or trust anyone, again.
7:30 PM Landmark (Theater 6) When She First Knew Friendship bracelets and homeroom antics, schoolgirl crushes and tender first kisses, these young ladies who love ladies are bursting out of the closet and are on the prowl. Whether it‘s a teenager who is unexpectedly attracted to her father‘s fiancée or a college student finding empowerment through a tumultuous relationship with an older woman, young lesbians can sometimes find themselves up against social ostracism, caught up in secret love affairs, and dealing with conflicts of the heart. Trophy (Karla DiBenedetto, USA), Dyke (Kelly Carpenter, Australia), Overnight Book (Erin Greenwell, USA), Who I Am (Jesse Peretz, USA), Duck Soup (Kathryn Goldie, Australia), Snap (Kelly Dolen, Australia), Paginas de Menina (Monica Palazzo, Brazil). Total: 88 minutes.
8:00 PM Lakeshore Theater Otto; Or, Up With Dead People Bruce LaBruce Germany/Canada, 2008, 95 Min ―Once upon a time in the not too distant future, there unlived a zombie named Otto. Otto is a unique zombie—not all that into brains. More of a road kill sort of fellow.‖ And so begins the odd story served up by aggressively queer writer/director Bruce LaBruce, who strikes a hilarious chord with a sex-laden tale that explores the homoeroticism of full body blood-engorgement. With his
German-accented narration, Otto tells us of the vague recollections of his former life—his boyfriend, his work in a butcher shop. Maybe he was a vegetarian and that‘s why he isn‘t taking so easily to blood sucking…at first. Now, as a homeless zombie with an identity crisis, Otto takes on a job working as an actor in an antiestablishment political zombie film, directed by anti-capitalist Medea and her literally-from-a-silent-movie girlfriend Hella Bent. But will Otto ever learn to like the taste of the men he chews for breakfast?
9:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Lost Everything Kim St. Leon USA, 2007, 97 Min In South Beach, sex, drugs, and deception are always on the menu, and you can‘t throw the olive out of your martini without hitting a hot gay man. In the fascinating Lost Everything, a large cast of sexy, gay men—and a few eyecatching women—are caught in a complicated, interwoven tale of fame, sex and crime. At the center of this is superstar Brian Brecht, who arrives in Miami and begins a steamy (but down-low) affair with the resident bartender of his swanky hotel. Mix in snoopy paparazzi, a ruthless agent, a prostitute, and a homophobic televangelist and lives begin to crumble in the sizzling Miami sun as this multiplot thriller moves towards its stunning conclusion.
9:15 PM Landmark (Theater 6) SqueezeBox! Zach Shaffer & Steve Saparito USA, 2008, 93 Min This award winning, down and dirty documentary traces the seven-year history of the punk/drag NYC party, SqueezeBox! This wild and fascinating story is told through electrifying performance footage and interviews with various celebrities and underground New York club legends. Ditching the tradition of lip-synching, SqueezeBox! featured drag queens singing live rock covers at New York club Don Hill's during the mid-'90s. All were welcome, but greeted at the door with a sign warning them to ―fuck off if you can't handle it.‖ Featuring appearances by Debbie Harry, John Waters, Jackie Beat, Misstress Formika, Lady Bunny, and Rudy Giuliani.
Monday, November 10
7:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7)
The Lost Coast Gabriel Fleming USA, 2008, 74 Min Winner of the Best Feature Award at the New York LGBT Film Festival, The Lost Coast is the tale of a trio of high school friends reuniting on Halloween night for adventures in the Castro of San Francisco. His fiancée out of the country, Jasper picks up scantily clad Mark and roommate Lily (who used to date Mark in his straight days), and they set out for a fun-filled evening that starts with an ecstasyseeking excursion. Their search takes them to awkward parties and unseemly places, but it is the interwoven tale of a high school trip to the Lost Coast that sets up the real drama of the film, as the trio still struggles to interpret Jasper and Mark‘s former sexual relationship, one that continues to haunt all three.
7:15 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Tomboys, Princesses, & Drag Kings…Oh, My! Why must the prince always save the princess? Womyn can save themselves these days. Though sometimes, a little help from an able-bodied boi doesn‘t hurt. From a new-age fairytale about two princesses to a foray into the world of male impersonators, gender roles and identity are transformed, challenged, and put to bed. Playing with Gender (Ashley Altadonna, USA), Menopausal Gals Gone Wild (Diane Wilkins & Donna Marie Nudd, USA), Princess Alisanne (Jennifer Matthews, USA), Tomboy (Barb Taylor, Canada), Jersey Dyke (Ian Adele Ray, USA), Meme Pas Mort (Caludine Natkin, France), Me As He (Christina DerHagopian, USA). Total: 84 minutes.
9:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Whirlwind Richard LeMay USA, 2007, 99 Min The trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out like fun! When a sexy and intriguing new stranger (Drake) blows into town, he has no trouble slipping into a circle of tight-knit New York City friends. Among them are interracial couple Sean and Bobby, who find themselves toeing the line of domesticity after three years of dating; Desmond, a superficial player; J.D., an unlucky realtor; and Mick, a chef grieving the loss of his life partner. When Bobby seeks Drake‘s help to plan a 25 th anniversary for a gay couple they know, Drake insinuates himself deeper into the group, filling the men‘s heads with doubts about themselves and each other, while exploiting each for his own pleasure.
9:15 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Growing Out of Their Shorts Some may think that today‘s young gay men have it easy, but these teens and young boys have their own trials. A young boy and his bully bond when spending time alone, two college-bound men examine the intricacies of their relationship, and a young boy develops a crush on his piano teacher. Dolls (Randy Caspersen, USA), Trystan (Spencer Price, USA), Lloyd Neck (Benedict Campbell, USA), Benny’s Gym (Lisa Marie Gamlem, Norway) Ready? OK! (Anthony Meindl, USA). Total: 85 minutes.
Tuesday, November 11
7:00 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Seeds of Summer (Zirei Kayitz) Hen Lasker Israel, 2008, 63 Min Seven years after completing an Israeli Defense Course for female combat soldiers, director Hen Lasker returns to take a deeper look at the place where she first fell in love with a woman. Over the course of 66 days and nights, Lasker shoots a fly-on-the-wall documentary that allows unprecedented intimacy into the lives of the trainees and commanders of the Israeli army. The dichotomy of the innocence of these baby-faced trainees with the heavy burden of military service is a central theme of the film, illustrated in a scene where they discuss losing their virginity while waiting their turn to fire a machine gun. But it is the director‘s relationship with Smadar, a breathtaking commander struggling to mask her gentle soul with a strict military persona, which makes the film truly enchanting. The intersection of love, duty, and personal growth thrive through to the film‘s surprisingly moving finish. Also Showing, Lesbanese (Alissar Gazal, Australia, 27 Min): How do lesbians living in Lebanon get their groove on? How do they negotiate their desires within a traditionally conservative culture? This documentary introduces a diverse array of women who are savvy, sexy, and confident with their identity. 7:00 PM Film Row Cinema Ebony Chunky Love: Bitch Can‘t Get a Date Lonnie Renteria USA, 2007, 73 Min
With a successful stand-up career and a job as co-host of Sirius Radio‘s OutQ in the Morning, comedian Keith Price could easily limit his comedy routines to how hard it is to be fabulous all the time. However, as a burly, out, loud and proud African American gay man, he chooses to make his audience laugh with candid observations on not only his love life and dating, but also topics such as racism and homophobia. Ebony Chunky Love is everything you would expect from its title: super-queeny and over-the-top. But it also offers a genuine voice to issues such as the media‘s portrayal of gay African American males, body image idealization, racism within the gay dating scene, and how the down-low is not just a black phenomenon. With Keith‘s infectious laugh and sharp humor, we truly leave with the question: Why can‘t this bitch get a date? Really.
7:15 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Dog Tags Damion Dietz USA, 2008, 90 Min Dog Tags explores the broken lives of two seemingly very different people, challenging in the most provocative and daring way any notion of conventional ―gay‖ relationships. Nathan joined the military in an effort to support his soon-tobe fiancée. Abandoned by his father and raised by a single mother, he is forced to find out what it means to be a man as he struggles between what society expects of him and what he sees as the core of his masculinity. When his path crosses with that of free-spirited and misguided punk rocker, Andy, who is more intent on becoming famous than caring for his infant son, their instant bonding over their mutual need to move on from the past allows them to grow as people in ways they would have never expected.
8:45 PM Film Row Cinema Ruby Blue Jan Dunn UK, 2007, 112 Min Set in a picturesque English seaside town, Ruby Blue (Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2008 London Independent Film Festival) tells the story of Jack (Bob Hoskins), a widower who spends his days avoiding people, drinking to oblivion, and neglecting his trained racing pigeons. A social outcast, he is befriended by two insistent neighbors, a little girl next door and Stephanie, a French woman who brings home-cooked meals to his door. Though he tries to ignore them both, each finds their way into his life and his heart. Opening himself up, Jack takes a troubled teenage boy under his wing, letting the boy help with the birds and finding him a job in town. But when rumors start to fly about Jack being a pervert,
and Stephanie reveals a secret she has been concealing, Jack‘s newfound trust in people threatens to destroy him.
9:00 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Ask Not Johnny Symons USA, 2008, 73 Min Veteran filmmaker Johnny Symons has turned out an incisive and compelling documentary on a contentious issue: the U.S. military‘s infamous ―don‘t ask, don‘t tell‖ policy. The film combines candid interviews with soldiers, sit-ins by gay youth at military recruitment centers, and a speaking tour of college campuses by veterans, exposing numerous ways fit and able citizens are battling a government policy insistent on denying them equal rights. The societal cost of denying military service to gay Americans is also exposed, as well as the effects of living in silence on individual soldiers.
9:15 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Clapham Junction Adrian Shergold UK, 2007, 95 Min Commissioned by groundbreaking British Channel 4 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in the U.K., the controversial drama Clapham Junction is anything but a G-rated gay pride celebration. With quite a bit of sweaty—and often violent sex—involved, it follows the interconnected lives of a group of contemporary gay men in London. From a civil partnership ceremony for two upper-crust gay men to married men cavorting in public restrooms to glory holes and gay bashing, this gripping drama touches on a range of homosexual complexities, suggesting that urban gay acceptance is surface thin with issues of self-acceptance threatening to bubble up through the cracks.
Wednesday, November 12
6:30 PM Center on Halsted Out Late Beatrice Alda & Jennifer Brooke USA, 2008, 62 Min
The moving documentary Out Late reminds us that it‘s never too late to become the person you were meant to be. The leaps and bounds of LGBT progress in the past half century are abundantly apparent as we follow the tales of beautiful, older people who were unable to be themselves for the majority of their adult lives. As we watch Elaine dance to hip-hop and cruise in her convertible, Walter attend his church‘s services as an out man, Ken gently touch the knee of another man, Cathy step out and marry her partner, and LeAnna smile as a woman at a beauty salon, you can‘t help but to think, ―better late than never,‖ and wish these people the best of luck on their concluding chapters.
7:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Half-Life Jennifer Phang USA, 2008, 116 Min Coastal areas across the world are flooding, the US is fighting countless wars, and air quality is worsening. The world of Jennifer Phang's award-winning debut feature may be pre-apocalyptic, but the earth keeps turning just the same: a boy struggles to be seen by his family, a young man attempts to come out to his parents, a teenager struggles to see beauty in a burning world. Deemed by Variety to be "an Asian American Beauty set against a backdrop of global decay and illuminated by splashes of Waking Life-style animation," Half-Life, like other groundbreaking and imaginative films such as Donnie Darko, functions on another plane than most films today.
7:00 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Pageant Ron Davis USA, 2008, 100 Min Welcome to the most competitive, sequins-laden beauty pageant in America, featuring old-fashioned talent, evening gown, and interview competitions. But these aren‘t your everyday contestants; they are the top drag queens from each state fighting it out for the title of Miss Gay USA. And did we mention the drama? We‘re talking drag queens here…these girls mean business! More than a mere chronicle, Pageant draws the audience into the colorful and intimate lives of a number of the contestants. It all culminates with a nail-biter of a finish that will bring you to your feet cheering for the ultimate triumph of the deserving lady blessed with the ultimate title, that of Miss Gay USA!
8:00 PM Center on Halsted Straight Nicolas Flessa Germany, 2008, 60 Min Three young Germans are intertwined in a complex love triangle in this subtle tale of betrayal. Young German-Turk Nazim is a hedonist. His nightly pursuits amount to no more than a good high and cold sex. He maintains little attachment to the women he sleeps with and (secretly) the men either. Beautiful GermanPolish Jana lies to her boyfriend about her sexual encounters with Nazim, and fails to mention to Nazim that she has a boyfriend. When the thin fleece of lies falls away, the characters are left with their true selves bare.
9:15 PM Landmark (Theater 7) On the Other Hand, Death: A Donald Strachey Mystery Ron Oliver USA, 2008, 86 Min Like any good private investigator, Don Strachey (‗80s TV dreamboat Chad Allen) is a tough guy. He knows how to pick a lock, take a punch, and use bubble gum to get out of a sticky situation. And when he‘s not chasing down bad guys and solving mysteries, he likes to down a martini with his hot-but-uptight husband, Tim. When Tim‘s hunky ex-boyfriend Andrew comes to town, Don is introduced to Edith and Dorothy (Margot Kidder of Superman fame), a small-town lesbian couple being harassed. Is the vandalization of their house gay bashing or something more? What starts as a simple investigation grows into a complex tale where everyone has a secret to hide, and only private dick Don can get to the bottom of it all. Based on Richard Stevenson‘s mystery book series about the gay detective, On the Other Hand, Death is the third installment of the here! TV series.
9:15 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Sizzle Randy Olson USA, 2008, 84 Min If the creators of Curb Your Enthusiasm hired Michael Moore to make a documentary about global warming, it couldn‘t have been funnier, more entertaining, or more seriously satirical than Sizzle, a mocumentary directed by and starring biologist turned filmmaker Dr. Randy Olson. When Olson looks for funding for his scientific documentary on global warming, he turns to the
Hollywood hills and finds gay couple Brian and Mitch whose cause de rigueur is saving the environment. With a budget of $50,000, Olson and his rag-tag crew– including his annoying, Hummer-driving, doubting Thomas cameraman–set out to interview top climate scientists, including both proponents and skeptics. Meanwhile, Brian and Mitch stalk random movie stars trying to convince them to appear in the film (an idea that doesn‘t sit well with the uptight Olson). In the end, Olson finds the answers he‘s searching for but not in the places he was looking.
Thursday, November 13
7:00 PM Landmark (Theater 7) The Art of Being Straight Jesse Rosen USA, 2008, 70 Min Life after college: full of possibilities and new beginnings and a good time to define—or redefine—yourself. For John and Maddie in The Art of Being Straight, it‘s also a time for jumping around on the Kinsey scale. John, a ladies man, moves from New York to Los Angeles and rekindles his friendship with quirky lesbian Maddie. When romantically pursued by his male boss, John struggles with his fondness for men while dealing with his homophobic friends. As Maddie‘s girlfriend starts pressuring her to move in, she begins to find herself attracted to her sweet male neighbor. With witty, realistic dialogue and an involving plot, this film rebukes the archaic need for a set sexual identity.
7:00 PM Center on Halsted U People Hanifah Walidah & Olive Demetrius USA, 2008, 76 Min A music video shoot in a brownstone in Brooklyn morphed into an accidental documentary featuring 30 gay and straight women and trans folks of color. What the camera caught behind the scenes is a strong, candid, and very human perspective into the lives of queer women of color. They discuss, they fight, they argue, they cry, they laugh, and they poignantly represent their diversity. Their discussions on race, gender and identity politics unfold like any other intellectual conversation would on your stoop or your couch, should you be in the company of forward-thinking bohemian acquaintances. And through this candor, you can‘t help but be pulled into the beautifully charismatic and inviting world these women inhabit.
7:15 PM Landmark (Theater 6) Hello…You‘ve Got Male! Everyone‘s been there: you‘re in cyberspace and you think you‘re chatting with a tall, ripped, gorgeous Zac Efron look-a-like who turns out to look more like Andy Dick…unless you‘re into that. You never really know what you‘re getting online, but with this shorts program, a high school kid finds his teacher‘s online dating profile, mix-ups occur on a blind date, an Asian man pretends to be a beautiful woman, and a young bear cub has a remarkable talent for sucking strangers off. Sombrero (Nathaniel Atcheson, USA), Mr. Right 22 (Reza Rameri, Germany), Henry (Will McCord, USA), Mr. A. (Joe Murphy, USA), Guys and Lies (Michael Tringe, USA), Daddy’s Big Girl (Reid Waterer, USA), Sucker (Peter Pizzi, USA). Total: 95 minutes.
8:30 Center on Halsted Japan Japan Lior Shamriz Israel/Germany, 2007, 65 Min Director/writer Lior Shamriz borrows the loose production styles of the French New Wave—including the use of split screens, handheld cameras, jump cuts, long takes, stills and fast motion—to tell the story of Imri, a nineteen-year-old Israeli gay man who dreams of moving to Japan. Unfortunately, getting there isn't easy, as he seems bound to Tel Aviv. Japan Japan dares to be an inventive, thoughtful film: with a plethora of "departing" songs integrated into the soundtrack, including ABBA's SOS, the film is part music video, part documentary, and part coming of age story.
9:00 Landmark (Theater 6) A Lesbisk By Any Other Name …would smell as sweet. Whether identified as a lesbienne, a lezbijka, or just a plain ol‘ lesbo, dykes from Norwegian mountain fjords to Australian oncology offices face some of the same issues—nosy neighbors, cheating hearts, the challenges of suburbia, the dread of mortality, lost love and learning how to effectively make sweet, sweet love to a woman. A Little Tiger (Annacarin Andersson, Sweden), Rope Burn (Melvin J. Montalban, Australia), The Uncertainty Principle (Jackie Schulz, Australia), At Home (Mariel Marcia, Spain), The Premiere (Margret Bergheim, Norway), El Patio de Mi Casa (Pilar Gutierrez Aguado, Spain). Total: 102 minutes.
9:15 PM Landmark (Theater 7) Choose Connor Lucas Eberl USA, 2007, 114 Min Fifteen-year-old overachiever Owen Norris has his boring suburban life turned on its head when he becomes ―youth campaign spokesman‖ for Congressman Lawrence Connor (Steven Weber of Wings and Brothers & Sisters). Connor is immediately taken with Owen's intelligence and wit, while Connor‘s nephew, Caleb, is immediately taken with Owen in a different way. As Owen struggles with his idealism while being thrust into the cynical world of politics, he encounters a secret world of sex and drugs, which may shatter his dreams or ultimately revise them. A startling work of maturity and insight, Choose Connor was written and directed by precocious 20 year-old, Lucas Eberl.
Friday, November 14
6:00 PM Center on Halsted Spinnin' Eusebio Pastrana Spain, 2007, 110 Min Winner of the audience award at the Barcelona International Film Festival and the jury award at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, the international sensation Spinnin' is one of the most uplifting films to be released in years. Dreamy Alejandro Tous as Garate and sexy Javier Bardem look-a-like Olav Fernandez as Omar are a couple split on the idea of children. But when their lesbian friends decide to have a child, the foursome begins to explore the various permutations that will lead to their desired result. Keeping the world spinning with love is a philosophy beautifully embraced by this euphoric film from a country where gay marriage is legal and the future looks bright.
7:00 PM Film Row Cinema Steam Kyle Schickner USA, 2007, 118 Min Three women of different generations who would be unlikely to know one another in the ―outside‖ world share intimacies about their lives and loves in the steam room of their local gym. Doris (Academy Award nominee Ruby Dee) is a widow finding love again in her later years. Laurie (Hollywood icon Ally Sheedy) is a single mother going through a bitter custody battle with her vindictive ex-
husband, while cautiously embarking on a romance with her son‘s young soccer coach. Catholic good girl, Elizabeth (Kate Siegel), is a college student from a very conservative family who finds herself lusting after a sexy female political activist in her class. Steam brings together three fantastic actresses in a delightful work of engaging ensemble acting.
8:00 PM Chicago Filmmakers Pushing the Gay Envelope This in-your-face shorts program is sure to offend some, amuse others, and shock us all; just make sure to take a chill pill before you show up! The program will delight you with religious radicals who teach children to hate, a gay marriage horror show, a satire on homophobia in rap music, an AIDS chaser, and a homo pop star scaring the crap out of evangelicals. Welcome to Westboro (Brian Corsetti, USA), Overruled! (Johnny Bergmann, USA), The Weimar House (Diane Wilkens, USA), ‘Smack Dem Christians Down’ Music Video (Mark Herrier, USA), The Young and Evil (Julian Breece, USA), Over Da Rainbow (Jared Lapidus, USA). Total: 75 minutes.
8:15 PM Center on Halsted Simple People (Einfache Leute) Thorston Näter Germany, 2007, 88 Min Sometimes decisions are simple, but when confronted with the choice to either swim competitively or be gay, young Henrik Bode made the difficult decision to take to the water. Now 40, Henrik‘s days as a swim star are over and the consequences of his youthful decision are felt in the daily drudgery of his marriage, his job as a pool attendant, and his bouts of clandestine sex in gay clubs. When the lover from his youth, Lutz, returns to town, Henrik‘s conflicted feelings are reawakened and the complacency of his family life is unsettled. Simple People examines the consequences of both those who hold onto the past and those who think the past won‘t catch up with them.
9:15 PM Film Row Cinema Friends & Lovers: The Ski Trip 2 Maurice Jamal USA, 2008, 97 Min
Friends & Lovers: The Ski Trip 2 is the funny, anticipated sequel to the romantic comedy The Ski Trip from director Maurice Jamal (Dirty Laundry), which explores the ups and downs of the relationships of a group of African American men in Los Angeles. Omar and Corey have just picked up their lives and moved across country from New York to join up with a number of their friends, whose own lives are dramatic enough to fill a soap opera. Though they are a committed couple, the move, Corey‘s secrets, and the hot lovers down the street aren‘t helping their relationship bloom. After trusting and kind Omar stumbles upon the shocking secrets of Corey‘s past, will their relationship make it through?
10:00 PM Chicago Filmmakers After the Morning After Sometimes the most interesting part isn‘t the ―boy meets boy,‖ but the ―happily ever after.‖ In these American, Australian, and Spanish shorts, men in relationships find that couples have just as many bumps in the road as singles. A family dinner is filled with secrets, two Native American men on a reservation struggle with their personal needs within the relationship, and a Renaissance painting ties two men together. The Back Room (Greg Ivan Smith, USA), Mirror Mirror (John Winter, Australia), El Primo (Nick Oceano, USA), Present Perfect (Mikel Rueda Sasieta, Spain), Laundromat (Edward Gunawan, USA), Two Spirits, One Journey (Arthur Allan Seidelman, USA), The Heart of the Matter (Greg Emmerth, USA). Total: 105 minutes.
Saturday, November 15
12:00 PM Piper‘s Alley Funnyboner This year‘s presentation of films that will hit you right in the funnyboner include tales of a 9-year-old tomboy who pesters her uncle and his boyfriend about the meaning of fellatio; a study of the romanticized figure of the cowboy (it‘s not just Brokeback!); and a round-table discussion on the beauty of the modern-day Cinderella story, Pretty Woman. Second Guessing Grandma (Bob Giraldi, USA), Babysitting Andy (Pat Mills, Canada), Reunion (Dennis Hensley, USA), Neurotica (Nick Wauters, USA), Cowboys To Me (Jessica Dorfman, USA), The Window (Philippe Gosselin, USA), Screening Party (Chil Kong, USA). Total: 85 minutes.
12:00 PM Chicago Filmmakers
Just As We Are (Tal Como Somos) Judith McCray USA, 2007, 70 Min This Chicago-made documentary candidly examines the lives of six Latino men and one transgender woman, and the ties that bind them: their families and friends, religion, and the cultural experiences that shape them. In a culture celebrated for its rich traditions, close-knit families, and strong faith, being Latino and gay, bisexual, or transgender, is often unmentionable. This bilingual film showcases individuals from around the country who dare to risk it all to live—and be loved—for their truth.
2:00 PM Chicago Filmmakers Reel Life Shorts There is a reason people say that reality can be stranger than fiction…and it can be more engaging, too. Two men plan the end of their (assumed to be) doomed relationship and capture the footage; four men in the heart of the rainforest tell their exceptional tales; and a musical extravaganza supported by an array of colorful characters and celebrities reveals the life and times of one man. Get Happy (Mark Payne, USA), Dorian: A Picture (Joe E. Jeffreys, USA), The Pull (Andrew Blubaugh, USA), True Colors (Kenneth Yanga, USA), A Special Outing (Tim Dagradi, USA), Tibira é Gay (Emilio Gallo, Brazil), The Constant Process (Douglas Hunter, USA). Total: 98 minutes.
2:15 PM Piper‘s Alley When Kiran Met Karen Manan Singh Katophora USA, 2008, 102 Min The biggest Bollywood star in India has just made a big splash in the United States! Controversial and temperamental, Kiran has become tabloid fodder and the press vultures are constantly hunting her down. By chance, Kiran finds herself attracted to the enemy, a journalist named Karen, who seems to really care about giving Kiran a chance to tell her side of the story. After a series of awful relationships, Kiran feels a real connection to Karen that goes beyond professional. As Kiran opens herself up in every way, she begins to have nagging doubts–is Karen who she says she is, or is she up to something sinister?
4:00 PM Chicago Filmmakers He & He & Baby Make Three The path to motherhood and fatherhood can be extremely difficult for homosexuals due to legal and social obstacles, but for the daddies and mommies in these two moving shorts, perseverance and courage pave the way to parenthood. Mommy Mommy (Sylvie Rosenthal, Canada) and Fatherhood Dreams (Julia Ivanova, Canada). Total: 98 minutes.
5:00 PM Piper‘s Alley The New Twenty Chris Mason Johnson USA, 2008, 92 Min Text is the new sex. Gay is the new straight. Friends are the new family. Thirty isn‘t what it used to be... The New Twenty explores the lives of a group of friends as they apprehensively enter a monumental decade in their lives—their thirties. Tony is longing for a commitment from his professor boyfriend. Andrew is an alpha-male who will risk anything to get his career off the ground. Ben spends a lot of his time secretly cruising for men online. And Felix is too into drugs and casual sex to notice anything around him. When a newcomer joins the group, the friends are forced to make decisions that will shape the direction of their chosen paths for years to come–all on one fateful night.
7:00 PM Piper‘s Alley 3Way Mary Lou Bell, Robert Ben Garant, Courtney Rowe, Nancylee Myatt, Paige Bernhardt USA, 2008, 70 Min Touted as the ―hottest lesbian comedy NOT on TV,‖ 3Way is a series of hilarious webisodes about one straight and three gay roommates living in Los Angeles. Sexy, straight soap opera actress Siobhan, fresh off a divorce, welcomes lesbian childhood friend Roxie as her new roommate. Soon Roxie's new girlfriend, Andrea, is welcomed into the growingly Sapphic household, followed by Roxie's ex-girlfriend Geri. 3Way takes a light-hearted look at lesbian stereotypes and entanglements—and does so with an abundance of fabulous celebrity cameos, ranging from The L Word’s Elizabeth Keener to an incredibly funny exchange with Jenny Shimizu.
Also showing, Human Potential (Christin Baker, USA, 19 Min): Guided by a ―new employee‖ video, recently-hired Alison must decide if she will be ―out‖ at her quirky non-profit office.
9:00 PM Piper‘s Alley 3-Day Weekend Rob Williams USA, 2008, 84 Min Sexual hijinks abound when eight gay men escape their hectic urban lives for a weekend in a mountain cabin! A long-term couple and their group of friends decide to spice up their yearly trip to Bear Lake by including a special twist: everyone must bring a single friend along. Between the seclusion of the cabin and the friskiness of the new guests—including a high-priced rent boy and an uninhibited, nude yoga instructor—new friendships and dalliances form, tensions arise and relationships are threatened. Featuring a broad spectrum of gay characters, 3-Day Weekend is reminiscent of classics such as Love! Valour! Compassion! and The Big Chill.
Sunday, November 16
4:30 PM Piper‘s Alley Tru Loved Stewart Wade USA, 2007, 99 Min Tru, the well-adjusted, heterosexual daughter of two gay moms and two gay dads, brings queer thinking to a small town when she moves there from tolerant San Francisco. Though ostracized for having lesbian moms, Tru is romantic ally pursued by her high school‘s star quarterback, Lodell, who may have ulterior motives. As Tru attempts to start a gay-straight alliance, she shakes up her bigoted, repressed town and even finds love. Stars Jasmine Guy, Jane Lynch, Bruce Vilanch, and Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols, who steals the show as Lodell‘s sassy and hilarious grandmother, bring campy fun to Tru Loved as it takes a lighthearted look at issues of self-esteem, race, and coming out of the closet.
CLOSING NIGHT! 7:00 PM Piper‘s Alley Eleven Minutes Michael Selditch & Robert Tate
USA, 2008, 103 Min With his 15 minutes of fame two years behind him, Jay McCarroll, winner of the first season of Project Runway, has just one opportunity to cash in on the launching pad the hit Bravo show provided. This no-holds-barred documentary follows the designer as he embarks on a yearlong attempt to jump from the small screen to the fashion world in an 11-minute Bryant Park runway show. From production to sales to accessories, Jay has to manage all of it—this time without the resources, experience, and knowledge of the Project Runway machine working on his behalf. Follow this enigmatic figure on an emotional roller coaster as he struggles to break into the most elite, elusive, and bitchy business in the world.