(NOTE: FRIDAY NIGHT’S KICKOFF HAS A NEW START TIME OF 6PM!)
If you listen to our official Horrible Imaginings Podcast, you know our new tagline is to “understand the misunderstood and de-stigmatize the stigmatized.” That is why we do the film festival, focusing on a largely stigmatized genre, as well as examine the types of art we do. Film Festivals exist partly to give a voice to the types of films that reside in an area outside general cinematic consumption. These voices serve to build understanding and empathy amongst filmmakers and, more importantly, the audience. One such film festival that focuses on a group of people who often find themselves on the fringes of what society deems appropriate are people who identify as LGBT.
Now, it is true that the cultural mores are shifting toward equal rights for LGBT people in a hearteningly fast rate—just look at the Irish vote for marriage equality last week—but a lot of work still needs to be done to build understanding and empathy, particularly in the United States, where frankly we could learn a thing or two from the Irish vote. We believe our friends at FilmOut San Diego Film Festival are doing a lot to build understanding by giving a voice to their artists. If we truly believe in understanding the misunderstood and de-stigmatizing the stigmatized, then we certainly count FilmOut San Diego as staunch allied in our arts community in San Diego.
The festival kicks off this Friday, May 29th. Here are just a few of the films we are personally looking forward to!
Tab Hunter Confidential (NOTE: NEW START TIME OF 6PM!)
Year: 2015 | Country: USA | Run Time: 90 min | Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
This is the festival kickoff film! In the 1950s, Tab Hunter was #1 at the box office and on the music charts. He was Hollywood’s most sought-after star and America’s designated boy-next-door. Romantically linked to Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds and Sophia Loren, nothing could damage Tab Hunter’s career. Nothing, it seems, except for the fact that Tab Hunter is secretly gay. In TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL we meet, for the first time, the real Tab Hunter as he shares with us his whole story as a happy, healthy, survivor of the Hollywood roller coaster. Appearances by Debbie Reynolds, Lainie Kazan, John Waters, Connie Stevens, Clint Eastwood, Robert Wagner, George Takei and a multitude of archival interviews!
Special guest in attendance for Q&A session – Tab Hunter
Frequent Horrible Imaginings contributor and Cinema Junkie Beth Accomando just interviewed Mr. Hunter for KPBS. You can listen to that great conversation here!
How To Win At Checkers (Every Time)
(Direct from Berlinale Film Festival)
Year: 2015 | Country: Thailand/USA/Indonesia | Run Time: 79 min | Director: Josh Kim
Young Oat (Ingkarat Damrongsakkul) faces an uncertain future when his older, gay brother Ek (Thira Chutikul), must submit to Thailand’s annual military draft lottery. While the parents of Ek’s wealthy boyfriend Jai (Arthur Navarat) are able to maneuver their son out of the draw, Ek, has no options. Unable to convince his brother to do whatever he can to change his fate, Oat takes matters into his own hands resulting in unexpected consequences. The film is set in the economic fringes of Bangkok and examines the joys and challenges of growing up in contemporary Thailand.
Year: 2015 | Country: USA/Belgium | Run Time: 95 min | Director: Michiel Thomas
This moving documentary shows the quest for self-realization of LGBT athletes and their acceptance in society. Following the parallel stories of athletes Fallon Fox (MMAs first transgender pro fighter) and Terrence Clemens (a rising gay college basketball player in Oklahoma) during their coming out process, GAME FACE sheds light on the obstacles LGBT athletes face throughout their career.
In The Turn
Year: 2014 | Country: USA | Run Time: 90 min | Director: Erica Tremblay
IN THE TURN follows Crystal, a 10-yr-old transgender girl, as she navigates growing up in rural Canada. After being denied the right to join athletics due to her gender, Crystal serendipitously discovers the Vagine Regime, an international queer collective of roller derby players comprised of people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and identities. The Vagine Regime not only accepts Crystal, but actively supports her journey. IN THE TURN weaves Crystal’s story into the broader narrative of the evolution of roller derby from a niche sport into a social movement with strong roots in the LGBTQ community.
Remember, these are just a few of the great films that will be on the big screen this weekend at the 2015 FilmOut San Diego Film Festival! There will also be a block of short films, food, discussions, and more. The place is The Observatory North Park. The days are Friday, May 29th; Saturday, May 30th; and Sunday, May 31st. We’ll be there—join us! Get tickets here!