We highlight a lot of comic book and genre properties here on Collider and it’s always good to be reminded that there’s so much in the world of film happening beyond what Hollywood chooses to offer it up. Sometimes it’s worth taking a chance on a movie you’ve never heard of but will offer you something you won’t get on a trip to the multiplex. I know it sounds cliche, but it does make you a better person to expand your horizons and that’s why I’m happy to report on the announcement of this year’s line-up for the Atlanta Out on Film Festival. Out on Film is a festival highlighting movies from and about homosexual, bi-sexual, and transgender people and issues. I know this is a niche festival located in one city, but even if you don’t live in Atlanta, it’s a reminder that if you have a free evening or weekend afternoon you should maybe wander into a theater, pay ten bucks, and take a chance on a true independent film.
Hit the jump to check out the line-up. The Atlanta Out on Film Festival runs from September 29 – October 6th at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema with additional screenings at the Ansley Park Playhouse.
(Atlanta, GA) (August 15, 2001) Out On Film, Atlanta’s LGBT film festival, has announced its programming for Out On Film 2011: the 24th annual LGBT film festival. The event will take place September 29 – October 6, 2011 at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema.
One of the oldest LGBT film festivals in the country, Out On Film has expanded to eight days after one of its most successful years ever in 2010. In addition to more than 50 films from countries all over the world, Out On Film has films with such recognizable talent as Margaret Cho (“Cho Dependent,”), Cheyenne Jackson, Julia Ormond and Ileana Douglas (“The Green,”), Morgan Fairchild (“eCupid”), Dolly Parton (“From Hollywood to Dollywood,”) singer Chely Wright (“Wish Me Away”), and Charlie David and Sean-Paul Lockhart/Brent Corrigan (“Judas Kiss”). Director Eytan Fox (“The Bubble,” “Walk on Water,” “Yossi and Jagger”) is represented with his award-winning “Mary Lou.”
Among the other highlights of the festival are a world premiere of former Atlantan Christopher Hines’ “Man 2 Man: A Gay Man’s Guide to Finding Love,” a world premiere of Michael Aker’s “Morgan,” about a young gay man whose spirit and drive prevents him from accepting his new life as a paraplegic, as well as the East Coast premiere of “Eating Out: Open Weekend,” the fifth installment in the gay comedy franchise.
“We are thrilled at what we consider to be one of the strongest line-ups in Out On Film history, with award-wining films, lots of premieres, guests and plenty of local flavor,” says Jim Farmer, festival director of Out On Film.
*Local flavor includes the Atlanta debut of Margaret Cho’s “Cho Dependent,” filmed at the Tabernacle last December; former Atlantan Christopher Hines’ “A Gay Man’s Guide to Finding Love,” the documentary “Through the Eyes of the AIDS Storm: Jesse Peel,” a look at the Atlanta legend/activist; films by several Atlanta/area filmmakers, including Parthiban Shanmugan whose film “Expressions” played in the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year; an evening of local programming; and a local LGBT filmmaker panel session to be scheduled during the eight-day event.
*Musicals – “Leave it on the Floor,” “Mary Lou,” the romantic comedy with songs “Jamie and Jessie are not Together” and the short films “Baldguy” and “Cupcake: A Zombie Lesbian Musical”
*A number of programs will honor the 30th anniversary of the AIDS Crisis. Besides “Through the Eyes of the AIDS Storm: Jesse Peel,” Out on Film will team with Atlanta Pride to screen the award-winning “We Were Here.” Out On Film will also show the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence documentary “That’s My Nun!”
*Two young gay men try to set the Guinness World Record for the longest kiss ever in the excellent documentary “Our Lips Are Sealed.”
*Romeo, O Romeo – Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is given a twist in the short “Verona” and the feature “Private Romeo.”
*The previously announced opening night film will be a first-time double feature of “The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley” and “Going Down in La-La Land” while “Judas Kiss” closes the festival.
The festival will be held at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema with additional screenings at the Ansley Park Playhouse. The host hotel will be the W Atlanta – Midtown. Festival passes are $115 and will be on sale through our website August 23rd. Individual tickets will be available through the theater. Complete screening information will be updated daily on our website – www.outonfilm.org and Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/outonfilmatl – as well as information on community events scheduled before and during the festival. Out On Film can be reached at (404) 671-9446.
“August” tells the story of two former lovers who reunite after a painful breakup. After spending several years in Spain, Troy returns to Los Angeles and decides to phone Jonathan and meet for coffee. A seemingly innocent rendezvous turns flirtatious as they are intensely swept away by each other’s presence and memories. Troy, a damaged, passive aggressive beauty, tries to revive his past summer romance with Jonathan, and also struggles to decide between a new life in Los Angeles and an already established career in Barcelona. Jonathan, who has found solace from the breakup in his current beau, struggles with desire and longing. Childlike and innocent, he has never been able to heal from the trauma of Troy breaking up with him, and Troy’s arrival and his imminent attraction threaten his relationship with Raul, an Argentinean immigrant. Forced to work under the table as a bartender until his working papers come through, he questions how much of a sacrifice he’s willing to make for a life in America with Jonathan. The film jumps times and perspectives and offers overlapping story lines and subtly explores themes of timing, interlacing of emotions, and the complexity of making choices. Directed by Eldar Rapaport
“Eating Out: The Open Weekend”
The fifth installment of this amazingly popular gay comedy franchise continues just after the fourth, “Eating Out: Drama Camp,” as ex-lovers Zack (Chris Salvatore) and Casey (Daniel Skelton) visit a resort with new beaus. The guys – and opportunities – are aplenty. “Eating Out: Open Weekend” has plenty of low-brow humor, as well as returning cast members and frontal nudity. What – you expected subtitles and Emma Thompson? Directed by Allan Brocka
Marshall (Houston Rhines) is a cocky young ad man working at a dead-end job for a boss (John Callahan) who overlooks his talents. After seven years with his boyfriend, Gabe (Noah Shuffman), Marshall’s love life has become too comfortable. On top of that, he’s turning 30!
He is desperate for a new life. He goes looking for it online, where he comes upon a mysterious app called “eCupid” that guarantees to find true love. From the moment he downloads it, “eCupid” scans every inch of Marshall’s online world and instantly turns his life upside down. Marshall suddenly gets everything he thinks he wanted. Newly single and ready for adventure, “eCupid” overwhelms Marshall with sexy guys at every turn, each promising to be the man of his fantasies. But too much of a good thing may not be a good thing. Marshall soon finds that all the attention is more than he bargained for. With the help of a wise and mysterious waitress (Morgan Fairchild), Marshall is given one last chance to listen to his heart and figure out what (and who) is really important. Directed by JC Calciano
“Going Down in La-La Land”
A candid, sexy, and outrageously funny look at what an actor can – and will do – to survive in Hollywood. Young, handsome, and ambitious, Adam arrives from New York with dreams of making it big in L.A. He moves in with his zany best friend Candy who, between auditions, spends her time at the gym, shopping, or looking for a wealthy man.
Adam gets off to a rocky start, complete with parking tickets and an insufferable job answering phones. A new job in production looks promising, but soon Adam finds himself dealing with down-and-out directors, washed up starlets, and meth addicts, as he starts to lose himself in a seamy underworld of gay porn and prostitution. Directed by Casper Andreas.
Having left behind a life in New York City for the village charm of shoreline Connecticut, Michael Gavin, a drama teacher at a progressive private high school, thinks he can live a simple, harmonious domestic existence with his partner Daniel, a caterer. Seemingly more concerned with the minutiae of suburban life than he is about challenging the bias he experiences in the provincial, recession-weary yankee bastion, Michael adheres to an unspoken survival code: Donʼt speak up, don’t make trouble.
But Michaelʼs world is turned upside-down when he is accused of engaging in “inappropriate behavior” with a male student, who runs away from home leaving behind his financially-strapped mother and her mercenary boyfriend to capitalize on the schoolʼs culpability in the alleged affair. With his job, relationship, and freedom in jeopardy, Michael must confront the suspicions of his co-workers, the latent homophobia of his friends and neighbors, and Danielʼs doubts about his partnerʼs innocence after the investigation reveals a secret from his past. Cheyenne Jackson, Jason Butler Harner, Julia Ormond and Ileana Douglas lead a top-notch cast. Directed by Steven Williford
“Jamie and Jessie are Not Together”
Got it Bad for the Wrong Girl? Jamie is moving from Chicago to New York hoping to become a Broadway actress. Her best friend Jessica is bummed, because she thinks she is in love with Jamie. As moving day gets closer, Jessica tries to make Jamie jealous by dating other women. But Jessica’s plan backfires, in a way she could never imagine. Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together is about two queer girls whose co-dependent, loyal friendship is fraught with erotic tension. As they struggle with the gray areas of love and lust, Jamie and Jessie must figure out either how to grow together or how to grow apart. The film features Jacqui Jackson and Jessica London-Shields in the lead roles, along with Fawzia Mirza, Marika Engelhardt, Sienna Harris, Jen LaForte, and a stellar supporting cast! Directed by Wendy Jo Carlton
A quirk in time and space gives a failed filmmaker the chance to reshape his destiny when he visits his peculiar alma mater. At Keystone Summit University, Zachary Wells (Charlie David) confronts hot young student Danny Reyes (Richard Harmon), and discovers the past may be the only place where he can truly find himself. Also starring Brent Corrigan, Timo Descamps and Julia Morizawa. Directed by J.T. Tepnapa
“Leave It On the Floor” tells the story of Brad, our hero, who is thrown out of his dysfunctional home by his mother, Deondra. He steals his mother’s car and travels into Los Angeles where, through a chance encounter, Brad, a little like Alice in Wonderland, stumbles into a noisy raucous, chaotic event and meets the ragtag members of the struggling House of Eminence. Initially only looking for a place to sleep(and perhaps someone to sleep with), Brad ends up engaging with the colorful members of the house led by the indomitable house mother Queef Latina, herself an aging ball-legend and the fierce protectrice of her family. Laughter, tears, sex sirens, and butch queens up in pumps ensue and remarkably, Brad ends up finding an extraordinary home and loving, caring family in this, the strangest of places. Directed by Sheldon Larry
Travel back to Texas, 1982, where the world is ruled by big hair, synth-pop and cowboy boots. Kevin (Jacob Newton) is a straight, frat-boy who enjoys bonding with his fellow schoolmates; besides, it’s all about helping a buddy out, right? When he encounters Cesar (Derek Villanueva) an openly gay student, Kevin’s heart starts to flutter for the young man, setting off a chain of events where sexual identity comes into question and a weekend fueled by beers, straight porn and sexual frustration will lead to multiple bed-hopping and questions about which side of the fence some of these “longhorns” sit on! Directed by David Lewis
“Morgan” (WORLD PREMIERE)
Morgan (Leo Minaya) is a young man whose spirit and drive prevents him from accepting his new life as a paraplegic. When he meets Dean (newcomer Jack Kesy), Morgan finds himself reverting to his old way, ways that lead to his crippling accident in the first place. With heartfelt performances by its two leads, “Morgan” is a powerful story of perseverance, determination and, of course, love. Directed by Michael Akers
When eight cadets are left behind at an isolated military high school, the greatest romantic drama ever written seeps out of the classroom and permeates their lives. Incorporating the original text of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ YouTube videos, and lip-synced Indie rock music, Private Romeo takes us to a mysterious and tender place that only Shakespeare could have inspired. Directed by Alan Brown
“The Wise Kids”
A thoughtful and evocative coming-of-age drama, “The Wise Kids” takes place in the transitional space between high school and college, when life seems to be all questions and no answers, and the future is scarily wide open. Set in and around a Charleston, SC Baptist church, weaving through this ensemble piece are three main characters – Brea, an introspective pastor’s daughter experiencing debilitating doubt; the hyperactive Laura, Brea’s best friend and a devout believer; and Tim, the open-hearted son of a single father, confronting his homosexuality for the first time. Tensions and buried feelings abound, as colleges are chosen and adults behave badly, as Brea, Laura and Tim attempt to hang onto what they have, all the while yearning to break free. Directed by Stephen Cone.
Filmed during a live performance here at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, “Cho Dependent” features part-time Atlantan Margaret Cho’s uncensored uproarious views on sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Margaret skewers the Palins, Dancing with the Stars, “sexting,” her beloved mother, online porn, and marijuana in a gut busting performance of all new stand up and comedy songs from her Grammy-nominated album, “Cho Dependent.” Directed by Lorene Machado
Seb and Aaron have overspent and built up debts on their credit card. Aaron decides to take matters into his own hands and secretly films their sex life to broadcast online. The money pours in until he gets caught! Realizing that the scheme could sort their financial problems, Seb agrees to allow things to continue until they are “back in the black”. When their friend Jem arrives and suggests a third party might help them make even more cash, things start to get a little tricky. Directed by Christian Martin
In “Mary Lou,” Eytan Fox (“The Bubble,” “Walk on Water,” “Yossi & Jagger”) brings to life a modern fable with a catchy musical message and a story based on the songs of Israeli pop legend Svika Pick. 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. More thoughtful than Glee and as spirited as Mama Mia, MARY LOU is a top-notch musical. Directed by Eytan Fox
“The Night Watch”
Directed by Richard Laxton, this suspenseful story of four young Londoners— Kay, Helen, Viv, and Duncan— commences in 1947 post-war Britain, and moves back in time to 1944 and 1941, – during the height of World War II to weave a web of deliciously complex tales that inextricably link a group of people living on society’s fringes. We see a lesbian ambulance driver, who gave unselfishly to strangers; the jealous lover who betrayed someone to be with the person whose absences she now suspects; the ongoing relationship between a woman and the man who abandoned her as she fought for her life; and a gay “conscientious objector” who spent the war in jail, lusting for a man he couldn’t have. This is a world filled with searchlights, fires, stolen kisses illicit affairs and passionate same-sex trysts in the shadows of an apocalyptic landscape of rubble and ash. Directed by Richard Ashton
Joan’s life is passing her by. Her job is dull and at home she looks after her elderly mother. There is nothing remarkable about her – apart from an amazing singing voice which no one ever hears. Until Pat, a friendly nurse who is looking after Joan’s mother hears Joan singing to her records one day. Pat sings with a women’s choir called the Friends of Dusty. Would Joan like to be a Friend of Dusty too? Directed by Seamus Rea
Laure is 10 years old. Laure is a tomboy. On her arrival in a new neighborhood, she lets Lisa and her crowd believe that she is a boy. Truth or dare? Dare.
Summer becomes a big playground and Laure pretends to be Michael, a boy like the others… different enough to get the attention of Lisa who falls in love with him. Laure takes advantage of her new identity as if the end of the summer would never reveal her unsettling secret.Directed by Céline Sciamma
At least four programs of short films will be held during the festival. A complete line-up will be available on Monday, August 22nd.
“From Hollywood to Dollywood”
On the fumes of a dream, twin brothers Gary and Larry Lane have written a script with a plum role for their idols, Dolly Parton. Having had no luck getting the screenplay into her hands, they embark on a cross-country journey to personally deliver it to her. They set off from Dolly’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame heading East for Pigeon Forge, TN. Driving an RV they (named Jolene) is friend and partner Mike Bowen. All along Interstate 40 at rest stops, RV parks, bars, and hair salons our intrepid band of travelers meet everyday Americans, as the encounter everything from Floods in Nashville to an Oklahoma Tornado. The journey is also one of discovery for the brothers, as well: their relationship with their parents; their hopes, fears and ambitions; the bigotry they’ve encountered; as they search for tolerance and acceptance and the joy of realizing their biggest dream handing their screenplay to Dolly Parton. Featuring appearances by Leslie Jordan, Chad Allen, Beth Grant and Dustin Lance Black. Directed by Gary and Larry Lane
A veteran New York police officer embarks on a harrowing search to find her son, when he disappears under suspicious circumstances in Austria. Directed by John and Gretchen Morning
A loving profile of the International Mr. Leather contest, an annual event that got its start in the back of a Chicago bar over thirty years ago…and which now draws thousands of men from around the world to compete for a title and a sash. In tracing the history of the contest, KINK CRUSADERS also reveals the many ways that the Leather community – once a small, insular niche – has expanded into the mainstream. Directed by Michael Skiff
“The Lulu Sessions”
LuLu is unlike anyone you’ve ever met. A hard-living, chain-smoking rebel with a tender heart. A poet with a potty mouth. Farm girl. Former cheerleader. World-class cancer researcher. Beloved professor. Dr. Louise Nutter, or LuLu has just discovered a new anti-cancer drug when she finds out she is dying of breast cancer herself at 42. Shot during those last 15 months of LuLu’s life, “The LuLu Sessions” is a raw, intimate, yet surprisingly humorous story about the filmmaker showing up for her best friend, and together, testing the limits of their bond while taking on life’s ultimate adventure. Directed by S. Casper Wong
Man 2 Man: A Gay Man’s Guide to Finding Love (WORLD PREMIERE)
Ever wonder why so many gay men say they want to be in a loving, lasting relationship but can never seem to make it work. Now you can find out why, and more importantly, learn what it takes to not only find “Mr Right,” but keep him.
Eighty-percent of gay men say they want to be a longterm relationship, but only about a third of them are, compared to two-thirds of straight men. What’s the disconnect?
Former Atlantan Christopher Hines digs deep into gay men’s hearts to discover what they are looking for in a relationship and explores issues preventing many of them from finding love.
“Man 2 Man” follows the dating lives of a diverse group of gay men as they use every means of disposal, from phone apps to websites to professional matchmakers, in their quest to find that special someone. With the help of psychologists, dating experts and couples who have made it work, “Man 2 Man” sheds light on what it takes to find and nurture a long-term relationship. And the film poses the ultimate question: Are you looking to fall in love or get laid? Directed by Christopher Hines?
“Our Lips Are Sealed”
In the summer of 2010, two bold and courageous college students set out to break the record for the world’s longest continuous kiss. Matty Daley and Bobby Canciello – two charismatic boy-next-door-types – drew Internet users, celebrities, and news media from around the world to watch them vie for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Political satirist Stephen Colbert even acknowledged them on his Comedy Central show – stating that Matty and Bobby were, “destroying the traditional sanctity of ‘Straight World Records.’” Cheered (and jeered) by fellow students on their campus – and numerous viewers online – Matty and Bobby’s story has been a source of inspiration to many. This riveting and truly touching new documentary documents the event – condensing the 32 hours 30 minutes and 45 seconds that Matty and Bobby spent together with locked lips into a concise 48 minutes. Entertaining, informative and completely engrossing, the film sheds light on all of the hard work, preparation and unfailing support that went into breaking the record and changing a few minds in the process. Directed by John Gallino
“Out for the Long Run”
Out For the Long Run is an inspirational documentary that shows that even in the world of high school athletics, there’s a place for GLBT youth. Shot over an entire senior year, follow Austin and 3 other athletes as they navigate the uncertain waters of high school life while still holding true to their passion for sports and remain true to who they are as individuals. With appearances by former baseball player Billy Bean and Olympic diver Greg Louganis. Directed by Scott Bloom
“No Look Pass”
“No Look Pass’ is the coming-of-age American Dream story of Emily “Etay” Tay, a first generation Burmese immigrant and basketball superstar living a double life at Harvard who strives to play professionally in Europe. Etay’s dreams are no slam dunk — sexuality, family, race, and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell conspire against her, firing her passions on and off the court. Directed by Melissa Johnson
“Photos of Angie”
Angie Zapata, a young transgender woman, was brutally murdered in rural Colorado in 2008. Her trial marks the first time hate crime statutes were used to successfully convict the murderer of a transgender person. Directed by Alan Dominguez
“That’s My Nun”
Born in San Francisco and now spread across the world, for 30 years now, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have used their special brand of irreverent humor and street theater to back the men and women who are struggling against discrimination, especially homophobia and HIV AIDS.
To celebrate their 30th anniversary, the Sisters of the Paris Paname Convent wanted to promote better public understanding of who the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are as personalities, their actions in HIV AIDS prevention and how their organization works. That is why they asked a film team to follow individual Sisters as they listen to, entertain and inform the public, painting portraits of some and enabling others to explain the outlook and history of the world-wide order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Directed by Sylvie Leroy
“This is What Love in Action Looks Like”
In the summer of 2005, Zach Stark, a 16-year-old boy from Memphis, Tennessee wrote on his MySpace blog that he had told his parents he was gay. Within days of his coming out, his mother and father would send him to Love In Action (LIA), a fundamentalist Christian program that refers to homosexuality as an addictive behavior. The depressed and fearful teenager shared his feelings on his blog. “This Is What Love In Action Looks Like” documents the widely controversial and inspirational story.”
In the documentary, former Love In Action director John Smid as well as former adult and teenage clients share their hearts on these experiences. In addition, local bloggers, community activists and classmates of Zach tell their stories of becoming involved with what would become an international news story.
Concerned people around the world awaited news of how Zach was doing during his eight weeks in Refuge. By the time he emerged in late July 2005, there was a barrage of international headlines.
In the years since it began, with all the media coverage and investigations, Zach had declined to tell his story. Until now. Directed by Morgan Jon Fox
“Through the Eyes of the AIDS Storm: Jesse Peel”
An illuminating talk with legendary Atlantan and AIDS activist Jesse Peel
“Wish Me Away”
“Wish Me Away” is a personal and intimate look at Chely Wright, the first country music star to come out as gay. After a lifetime of hiding, she shatters cultural and religious stereotypes within Nashville, her conservative heartland family, and most importantly, herself.
Over a three-year period, award-winning filmmakers Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf followed Chely’s struggle – some of which was recorded on private video diaries – and her unfolding plan to come out publicly. Using interviews with Chely, her family, key players in Nashville and her management team, the film goes deep into Chely’s back story as an established country music star and then forward in verite scenes as she prepares to step into the media glare to reveal that she is gay. Finally, the film chronicles the aftermath of that decision in Nashville, her hometown and within the LGBT community.
Wish Me Away shows both the devastation of her own internalized homophobia, which led to Chely putting a gun in her mouth, and the transformational power of living an authentic life. It shows the struggles of being a Christian who happens to be gay, even within her own family. Directed by Bobbie Birleffi
“We Were Here”
2011 marks 30 years since AIDS descended. Like an unrelenting hurricane, the epidemic roiled San Francisco for two decades and only began granting some reprieve with medical advancements in the late 90s. The death years of AIDS left the city ravaged and exhausted. Though thousands are still living with HIV, and new infections continue at an alarming rate, the relentless suffering of the 80s and 90s has given way to a kind of calm, and, understandably, a degree of willful forgetfulness. We Were Here utilizes San Francisco’s experience with AIDS to open up a conversation both about the history of the epidemic, and the lessons to be learned.
We Were Here focuses on 5 individual who lived in San Francisco prior to the epidemic. Their lives changed in unimaginable ways when their beloved city changed from a hotbed of sexual freedom and social experimentation into the epicenter of a terrible sexually transmitted plague. From their different vantage points as caregivers, activists, researchers, as friends and lovers of the afflicted, and as people with AIDS themselves, the interviewees share stories which are not only intensely personal, but which also illuminate the much larger themes of that era: the political and sexual complexities, the terrible emotional toll, and the role of women – particularly lesbians – in caring for and fighting for their gay brothers. Directed by David Weissman