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Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2014

April 11th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

Help to build community and get the chance to explore new facets of the LGBT experience at the 16th annual  Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Based in sunny South Beach, the festival offers a tempting alternative to the beach. From May 2-11, the festival will screen 65 LGBT-related films that cover various cultural and historical perspectives on the queer experience.

The festival’s claim to fame is that with every calendar year, it is the first major LGBT film festival to occur. So, these early-bird attendants will get a good sampling of what’s to come though the rest of the gay film festival season. Don’t miss this fantastic cultural event!

Doris Day, 90 and Sunny: A Birthday Tribute

April 3rd, 2014 Comments off

Passport Magazine Publisher Don Tuthill pays tribute to Doris Day on her 90th birthday.

Screen shot via the Doris Day Animal Foundation

Screen shot via the Doris Day Animal Foundation

I fell in love with Doris Day when I was five years old.  It was a miserable, stormy summer day and I was stuck inside.  I was sprawled on the living room floor with my 108 box of Crayola ® and a coloring book.  The TV was blasting as it always was when I was around; and also as usual I wasn’t paying any attention to it.  Not until I heard a particular voice.  I looked up to see a pretty blonde lady singing with a guy. Turned out to be a trailer for an old movie that was going to be shown on a local station that night.   For reasons I still can’t explain I HAD to see that movie.  Problem was it came on after my official bedtime.   I spent the rest of the day nagging, cajoling, and making all sorts of promises to my mom in the hope that she would just let me stay up and watch it.    Eventually she relented.  Now I think it was more of the fact that the movie ( “Tea for Two”) was based on a Broadway musical (”No, No Nannette”) that had been written by a family friend and she wanted to see the movie too and she could share it with me. Anyway, I saw the movie and I was hooked.  I became a fan-atic for all things Doris Day.

Keep reading my Tribute to Doris Day after the jump…
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Gay Film Festival In Russia Faces Bomb Threats

November 30th, 2013 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

In spite of bomb threats and intimidation, the Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival is being presented in Russia this week. Neo Nazi groups and right wing nationalists tried to prevent the film festival from taking place by calling in bomb threats, but the festival continues in spite of these groups and their assaults on gay people and gay rights in Russia. According to Cleve Jones: “Director Gus Van Sant, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and producer Bruce Cohen will be showing “MILK” with Russian subtitles in St. Petersburg and Moscow.”

It is difficult to stand up for your rights when you face these sort of threats and intimidation, but the gay people of Russia continue to demand the equal rights they deserve in spite of the threats. Thank you Gus Van Sant, Dustin Lance Black, and Bruce Cohen for supporting the gay people of Russia.

Read more about what is happening at Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival and over at The Moscow Times.

Germany’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Delights Audiences Around the Globe

October 31st, 2013 Comments off
Image via AccidentalBeat.

Image via AccidentalBear.

If the woods of Germany are filled with actors like Max Riemelt and Hanno Koffler, we’d surely get out in nature much more often. Being dubbed the “German answer to Brokeback Mountain,Free Fall has made headlines since Berlinale 2013 in which it screened to audiences of over 500 people. According to IMDB: “A promising career with the police, a baby on the way — Marc’s life seems to be right on track. Then he meets fellow policeman Kay and during their regular jogs Marc experiences a never-before-felt sense of ease and effortlessness — and what it means to fall in love with another man. Torn between his family and his new feelings for Kay, Marc sees his world careening more and more out of control. Suddenly, his life is in free fall and Marc realizes that try as he may, he can’t make everyone happy. Least of all, himself.”

The film is currently making its way around the gay film festival circuit, but it will be released on video in 2014 by Wolfe Video. [AB]

Check out the trailer after the jump…

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New Documentary on New York’s Homeless LGBT Youths ‘Pier Kids: The Life’

October 28th, 2013 Comments off
Screen Cap via YouTube.

Screen Cap via YouTube.

A brand-new trailer was released for a Kickstarter-funded documentary about New York City’s homeless LGBT youths. The movie, Pier Kids: The Life, “examines the legacy of Stonewall and the Gay Rights Movement it ignited by following the lives of DeSean, Krystal, and Casper, three gay and transgender youth of color who, after being pushed out of their home because of their sexuality, have become homeless on the same street the riots took place more than forty years ago. While rooted in a specific place and time, the film is constantly pulling back to interrogate one of the most basic units of American life―the family. We follow Krystal, for example, from Christopher Street to Kansas City where she faces her biological family for the first time since becoming a woman. Would they accept her? Could she take rejection from them once again? Or would she gain strength from it and come back to New York a better woman,”

Check it out after the jump…

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Oprah Tackles Gay Hollywood and Premieres ‘Bridegroom’ on Sunday

October 24th, 2013 Comments off
Image via George Burns/Harpo Inc.

Image via George Burns/Harpo Inc.

There has always been a stigma in Hollywood about being gay. Whether actors or actresses were actually homosexuals in their personal lives or how they were portrayed on the silver screen as Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet explored in the late 80s, Tinsel Town was and still is a difficult place to navigate as LGBT. This Sunday, Oprah’s Next Chapter explores what it means to be gay in Hollywood today with three openly out actors: comedienne Wanda Sykes, Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Scandal‘s Dan Bucatinsky. The three will discuss their personal coming out stories, the gay-rights movement, and what still needs to be done in Hollywood and beyond to ensure equality for the community.  “I do feel like this is the defining civil rights movement of our time,” Ferguson says. “In every civil rights movement, it takes a long time. That’s just the way it is; history shows that. Obviously, I would like for this to move faster than it is and I would like for it to move without casualty.” Be sure to tune in on Oct. 27 at 9 P.M.

Following the show, the award-winning documentary Bridegroom makes its television debut. The heart-wrenching documentary about love, loss, and injustices some gay partner’s face after losing the one they love.

Check it out the trailer after the jump…

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Tom Hardy to Play Music Legend Sir Elton John

October 24th, 2013 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

After an extensive search for the ideal actor, English-stud Tom Hardy (Dark Knight Rises) has just been slated for the epic role of Sir Elton John in Rocket Pictures’ forthcoming musical biopic Rocketman, Deadline reports“Tom is a stellar talent who will add extraordinary depth and nuance in bringing Elton’s story to life,” Rocket Pictures CEO Steve Hamilton Shaw said in a statement. The screenplay, written by Tony Award–winner and Oscar-nominee Lee Hall (War Horse, Billy Elliot), chronicles the life of the legendary music man, from his prodigious childhood to his fast-track rise to fame. The film, set for major US release by Focus Features, will be directed by Michael Gracey of Fox’s upcoming The Greatest Showman on Earth. Shooting is slated to begin next fall, during which John is expected to freshly record several of his greatest hits for the film’s soundtrack as well as serve as an executive producer.

A Drive-in Theatre for Car-Less New Yorkers!

October 4th, 2013 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Many native New Yorkers know too well the endless benefits and shortfalls of living without personal cars.  From now until October 20, though, Big Apple residents will get a brief chance to enjoy an experience typically reserved for car owners—the old-fashioned suburban drive-in. Filmmaker Todd Chandler and curator Jeff Stark, in collaboration with the New York Hall of Science, have transformed 60 salvaged vehicles into a nostalgia-inducing drive-in for car-lacking Cinephiles. The recycled cars, plucked from a Brooklyn junkyard, are wired for sound and scattered throughout the New York Hall of Science parking lot. The pop-up theater, named Empire Drive-In, also boasts a 40-foot screen, a charming concession booth, a beaming marquee, and a motley calendar of classic, animated, and B-list film fare. Chandler and Stark have successfully installed similar pop-ups in the past, including one in Manchester, England last year and one in San Jose, California in 2010.

The drive-in also functions as an exhibit of sorts, as the duo worked to preserve the old-timey aesthetic of the junkyard cars—dented station wagons, Buick’s with inverted hoods, vintage BMW’s and stain-laden mini vans, some littered with trinkets from their former owners. “Wherever we can cram in more layers to the experience, we want to,” Chandler told the Wall Street Journal. According to the project’s website, the installation is meant to inspire dialogue about car culture, creative reuse, and the history of cinema as a shared experience.

For more information and film listings click here.

Experience a Five-Day Indie Film Binge in Santa Fe

October 3rd, 2013 Comments off

Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
Beginning October 16, experience some of the most brilliant new independent films culled from today’s vibrant cinematic landscape at Santa Fe’s Fifth Annual Independent Film Festival.  The festival will open with Go For Sisters, a thriller directed by Oscar nominee John Sayle and co-starring Yolonda Ross (Treme) who will introduce the film.  Other notable works include Ass Backwards, a friends-on-a-roadtrip narrative comedy directed by Chris Aside and TAPIA, a documentary chronicling the tumultuous life of New Mexico’s world champion boxer Johnny Tapia, directed by Albuquerque native Eddie Alcazar.  Aside from more than 100  film screenings, this 5-day movie binge, which concludes on October 20, features conversations with filmmakers, screenwriters, and actors, instructive workshops, book signings, and glamorous, spirited after parties with live music entertainment. Festival-goers can also attend a live screenplay reading of Chris Eyre’s (Smoke Signals, Hideaway) newest comedic film-in-progress “Up the River,” watch an innovative fashion show showcasing the artful creations of several Native American designers recognized for pushing the boundaries of fashion, and see famed director John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray), dubbed “The Pope of Trash” for his notoriously perverse tastes, perform his newest one-man-show “This Filthy World” followed by an intimate dinner with the performer.

For more information, including specific dates and ticket sales, click here.

International Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals 2013

August 26th, 2013 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

Film festivals are one of the most important venues available to artists, activists, and individuals who want to make the world a better place to live. Films have the power to entertain, educate, and inspire, and the imaginative stories shown on the screen are guaranteed to enlighten, engage, and mesmerize viewers. Some emerging festivals are bringing a new visibility to their country’s queer community, while others continue the long fight for change and equality, but what all the 2013 film festivals have in common is a dedication to LGBT filmmakers and an opportunity to see their captivating work.

CANADA
Ottawa, ONTARIO
Since 2007, Inside Out has produced a four-day festival in the Ottawa region. With the support of Presenting Sponsor RBC Royal Bank, the Ottawa Festival showcases the best queer cinema from Canada and around the world. The event has received a warm welcome from the gay community in the region, building partnerships with local businesses and LGBT organizations, while experiencing healthy growth in attendance each year (the 2011 Festival attracted more than 3,500 people to 13 film programs and parties). This year, the seventh annual Ottawa Gatineau LGBT Film and Video festival will be held at the National Gallery of Canada and promises to be bigger and better. October 17-20, 2013.

Find out more film festivals over at Passport magazine.