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The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Fest is coming up


Suzanne Westenhoefer will perform live at at the historic Carolina Theatre during the opening night of the fest.

As we head into what is a majorly gay time of year here in Durham, the first big event is The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF), which will be held downtown on August 11-14, and it’s always a smashing success, as my hometown is just positively packed with queer folks that love going to the movies. Shows sell out quickly. From the press release:

One of Durham’s Signature Events, The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF), celebrates 10 years of cinematic achievement during the 10th annual NCGLFF August 11-14 and Aprés-Fest August 15-18 with the largest number of feature films in our history. The Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau named the NCGLFF as a Signature Event for Durham, the highest honor bestowed on a cultural event or attraction by the organization in 2003. Produced by The Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc., the NCGLFF is the second largest film festival in the Southeast and the largest cultural arts event serving the queer community in the Carolinas.

Yep, most of queer NC will descend into Durham for a long weekend of fun and a lot of moviegoing. I think some friends of ours are driving up from South Carolina (home of Christian Exodus and Bob Jones U) to get a nice dose of freedom. Kate and I are excited, because we actually loaded up on tickets early this time. We’ll be seeing comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer, who is a riot, on that Thursday, and here are our picks:

CALL ME MALCOLM
OFFICIAL SELECTION! San Francisco Int’l LGBT Festival (US, NR, 2005, 90 min) Call Me Malcolm is a documentary about a 27 year-old transgender seminary student, and his struggle with faith, love and gender identity. As the film begins so does Malcolm’s final summer vacation from seminary. It is a time filled with great concern and apprehension. He is, by all accounts, unemployed, uncertain about his future as a minister, unrecognized as Malcolm by his parents and without a “love” in his life. Malcolm sits at the edge of the Grand Canyon, just as he sits at the precipice of his future. And so begins a journey of faith. A road trip across America. An effort to connect, to understand, to witness. Viewer’s Guide: Mature themes

THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX
OFFICIAL SELECTION! FULLFRAME Documentary Film Festival Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (US, NR, 2005, 76 min) The Education of Shelby Knox is a coming of age story about a teenage girl who joins a campaign for comprehensive sex education in the high schools of Lubbock, Texas. As Shelby is swept into the fight, she begins to question her deeply conservative Southern Baptist upbringing. When the campaign broadens to include a fight for a gay-straight alliance, Shelby confronts her family and her pastor, in the end declaring herself a feminist and a liberal Christian. Viewer’s Guide: Mature themes

MASHA MOM
OFFICIAL SELECTION San Francsico LGBT Film Festival (Poland, NR, 2003, 35 min) Filmed over a seven-year period in Russia, documentary filmmaker Michel Bukojemski follows Masha, a Russian-American Jewish lesbian, in her quest for motherhood. Viewer’s Guide: Mature themes

WHAT ABOUT MY BROTHER?
(US, NR, 2005, 27 min) Three brothers, separated for three and a half years, are re-united when adopted by their two moms. This film, from documentary filmmaker Leah Miller, focuses on the child’s perspective of how a life-changing adoption is not affected by sexual identity. Viewer’s Guide: Mature themes

THE D WORD
OFFICIAL SELECTION! San Francisco Int’l LGBT Festival NewFest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Film Festival OutFest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Frameline: The San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (US, NR, 2005, 61 min) With tongue placed firmly in cheek, The D Word, produced in part by Dyke TV and starring Marga Gomez, follows a group of young queer friends and family as they stumble through work and sex lives. Watch drama in the Big Queer Apple populated by people who look like people. Coming soon, in more ways than one. Viewer’s Guide: Mature themes

THE HAIR OF THE MOON: 10th Anniversary Edition
(US, NR, 2005, 20 min)
From Diane Wilkins (Tempted) comes a parody of that lesbian classic of questionable quality, Claire of the Moon.

SHINY
(US, NR, 2005, 45 min)
Shot in Durham, NC by local filmmaker Anthony Garcia-Copian, Jeremy “Shiny” Atkins confronts his homosexuality as well as the demons of sexual molestation by his biological father. Rejected by his closeted lover, Jeremy befriends Carlos a young Hispanic guy who offers Jeremy a chance at true love. Tragedy soon follows, and now Jeremy must face his fears and make a stand for his freedom.

STARCROSSED
OFFICIAL SELECTION FilmOut San Diego Film Festival Melbourne Queer Film Festival Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (US, NR, 2004, 16 min) Darren & Connor are brothers whose relationship develops into something more then society could ever handle. The boys decide that a world that can’t understand them is a world that’s not for them. Viewer’s Guide: Language and nudity

THE RECEPTION
OFFICIAL SELECTION!
Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
(US, NR, 2005, 75 min) A 40-something gay black artist is living in upstate New York with his benefactor, an abusively alcoholic French woman who keeps him for companionship. Her daughter arrives for a visit with her own surprise -a new husband in the guise of a tall, handsome black Harvard law graduate. Through a series of drunken evenings and daytime squabbles, it becomes apparent that no one involved is what they seem, and old, deep-rooted resentments start bubbling to the surface and some shocking secrets get revealed. Viewer’s Guide: Nudity, mild violence and language.

TRANSGENERATION
OFFICIAL SELECTION! San Francisco Intl Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (US, NR, 2005, 80 min) Affirmative action and gay and lesbian rights have made headlines on campuses across the country. In this eight-episode documentary series airing on the Sundance Channel in September 2005, we are introduced to the four students who will be followed through the course of the academic year. Lucas is an FTM neurobiology senior at Smith College; Gabbie is an MTF computer science sophomore at the University of Colorado at Boulder; Raci from the Philippines is an MTF pre-law student at California State University in Los Angeles and TJ is an FTM political activist at Michigan State University. Capturing their struggles and triumphs, Transgeneration dramatically unfolds as these four students balance the challenges of academia, campus life and family with their commitment to gender reassignment.
Viewer’s Guide: Mature themes. Sponsored by Sundance Channel

MYSTERIOUS SKIN
OFFICIAL SELECTION! Sundance Film Festival Toronto Film Festival (US, NR, 2005, 99 min) “The summer I was eight years old, five hours disappeared from my life. Five hours, lost, gone without a trace…” These are the words of Brian Lackey (Brady Corbet), a troubled 18 year-old, growing up in the stiflingly small town of Hutchinson, Kansas. Plagued by nightmares, Brian believes that he may have been the victim of an alien abduction. Local Neil McCormick (
Joseph Gordon Levitt) is the ultimate beautiful outsider. With a loving but promiscuous mother (Elisabeth Shue), Neil is wise beyond his years and curious about his developing sexuality, having found what he perceived to be love from his Little League baseball coach at a very early age. Now, ten years later, Neil is a teenage hustler, nonchalant about the dangerous path his life is taking. Neil’s pursuit of love leads him to New York City, while Brian’s voyage of self discovery leads him to Neil – who helps him to unlock the dark secrets of their past. Based on the acclaimed novel by Scott Heim, Mysterious Skin explores the exorcising of demons to find true happiness. Viewer’s Guide: Graphic nudity, sexual content, violence, language and drug use.

The second big event is NC Pride, which will be on Saturday, September 24th, also in Durham (with some events in Raleigh and Chapel Hill as well). Last year’s event (I have pix here), had over 135 vendors, 145 marching units and drew over 8000 participants.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding