It is exciting to announce a new film festival in Delaware exclusively devoted to LGBT films. In September 2011, OUTflix will present 12 full-length films and numerous shorts in Newark and Wilmington—Delaware’s newest LGBT film festival.
LGBT Film Festivals in Delaware
In the past, Rehoboth Beach, Newark, and Wilmington have produced film festivals devoted to LGBT films. For example, the Rehoboth Film Festival includes numerous gay and lesbian films and hosts a semi-annual series, Another Take, in partnership with CAMP Rehoboth, which screens two to three films. In 2002, the first year that Delaware Pride moved from Wilmington’s Rodney Square to Rehoboth Beach, I produced a LGBT Arts Festival in Wilmington the weekend before the Rehoboth event. Sponsored by Delaware Pride, the festival included a one-day LGBT Film Festival at the Baby Grand on Market Street. Only one gay film and one lesbian film plus about 10 shorts were presented. A couple of years later, I planned a film series that ran for 18 months for the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware. The venue was initially the Screening Room in Newark at Video Americain, and then the series moved to the Greenville home of Steve Curtis and Charlie Lewis. Several years later, as Coordinator of the Sexuality-Gender program at the University of Delaware, I again presented annual Gay-Lesbian Film Festivals. These festivals—open to the public—included four films.
OUTflix 2011: A FABulous Film Festival
In its premiere year, OUTflix is a part of The Newark Film Festival run by Barry Schlecker. Steve Gonzer and I are the co-programmers for OUTflix. The dates are September 8-11 in Newark at the Newark Cinema Center (Theater 2) in Newark Shopping Center, and September 15 and 18 in Wilmington at the Delaware Art Museum. This is the first time some of these films will be screened in Delaware. The series includes one film with a transsexual main character, two lesbian films and a series of lesbian shorts, plus gay films that vary from drama to comedy. Three documentaries—Saint of 9/11, Edie and Thea, and Out For The Long Run—are included. The organizing committee hopes the experiment will become an annual event with OUTflix becoming a festival removed from The Newark Film Festival. The financial support has been very encouraging (GreenHome Remodeling, Lloyd Thoms, Hostings.com among others).
The opening night film is Beginners with Christopher Plummer playing a 75-year old father coming out to his son (Ewan McGregor). That is followed by a lesbian movie, A Marine Story, (screened at the 2010 Rehoboth Film Festival) starring Dreya Weber. It’s a moving story that is a compilation of true experiences of women in the military. Weber is excellent and reminds one of a young Vanessa Redgrave. Finding Me: Truth—an excellent romantic comedy which is a sequel to last year’s Finding Me—is not yet available commercially. The character Amera is an over-the-top singer-model that provide hilarious counterpoint to the love story between two gay men who separated a year before and are now considering reconnecting. Lilies (1996) (previsously screened at the Rehoboth Film Festival) is the oldest film in the festival. Crafted by the cinematic artist, John Greyson, the story of an elderly priest confronted by an incident in his youth is full of surprises. Out For the Long Run, screened last year in Wilmington in the Newark Film Festival, is a documentary on gay and lesbian athletes. Another documentary is Saint of 9/11, a moving portrayal of Father Mychal Judge, the priest to NYC firemen and policemen who died in 9/11. The One, still in the festival circuit, is a moving story directed by Caytha Jentis about the love between an aggressive gay blond and a “straight” and hunky athelete who is engaged to be married.
20 Centimetres combines everything a gay man would love: big Broadway production numbers, nudity, comedy, bizarre situations. The lead character is Marieta, a narcoleptic, pre-op transsexual who longs to remove eight inches (20 centimetres) from her body! The movie (Spanish with subtitles) presents lavish and vivacious musical numbers—from Madonna to Dusty Springfield —to indicate when Marieta is asleep. And you get to see all of popular Spanish singer Pablo Puyol.
Undertow (previously shown at the Rehoboth Film Festival) has won 39 awards to date, and it was last year’s OSCAR submission for Best Foreign Film from Peru. Shot in a scenic Peruvian fishing village, it follows the life of a highly-respected married man (whose wife is pregnant) who loves a gay artist. The film, which includes male nudity, a ghost, comedy, and tragedy, surprises the audience with multiple twists in the storyline. Set in Texas, Longhorns, still in the Film Festival circuit, is a light and silly comedy about a group of college guys. The film is a fun, gay romp through a few days in the life of three friends and one new acquaintance.