A Very Sordid Wedding with Leslie Jordan.

Out On Film wins $90,000 Turner grant, announces ‘Sordid’ sequel premiere

It was a big week for Out On Film as the Atlanta LGBT film festival won a $90,000 grant from Turner and organizers announced the Georgia premiere of “A Very Sordid Wedding,” the much-anticipated sequel to “Sordid Lives.” And all this comes as the 30th anniversary of the festival approaches in September.

The Turner grant is $30,000 each year for the 2017, 2018 and 2019 festivals and will allow Out On Film to bring in more filmmakers, spotlight new voices and add days to its already eight-day festival.

“Turner’s long time support of Out On Film has helped the organization to grow over the years and help identify the filmmaking voices of tomorrow,” said Jim Farmer, Out On Film’s festival director, in a press release. “When we re-branded and became independent in 2008, Turner was instrumental in helping us do so. Their support and belief in us has allowed us to expand the scope of our services and introduce Atlanta to a tremendous amount of filmmaking talent. This gift will allow us to make our 30th anniversary festival, and the next two years after, to be very special indeed.”

“Turner is proud to support the Out On Film Festival,” said Angela Santone, Turner’s Executive Vice President and Global Chief Human Resources Officer. “Now more than ever, it is important to support LGBTQ voices and their filmmakers who deserve equal recognition. We look forward to continued collaboration with Out On Film to celebrate and showcase these important stories which should be seen and heard across the nation.”

Out On Film also announced they are hosting the Georgia premiere of “A Very Sordid Wedding” June 28-29 at Landmark Midtown Art Theatre. “Sordid Wedding” premiered in Palm Springs, Florida, the weekend of March 10, and was the highest-grossing specialty film in the nation. It brings back some of the original characters from the original, including Whoopi Goldberg and Leslie Jordan.

“What a thrill it is for me to return to Atlanta with ‘A Very Sordid Wedding,’” director Del Shores said in a news release. “And Atlanta audience — there’s nothing better. We are from the same dirt. They get me, they get my twisted humor and they love my ‘Sordid’ characters. I’m simply giddy.’”

“Sordid Wedding” explores the questions, bigotry and fallout of what happens when gay marriage comes to communities and families not quite ready to accept it, according to a synopsis from Out On Film.

The sequel takes place in 2015 in Winters, Texas. Sissy Hickey, played by Dale Dickey, wants to read the Bible cover-to-cover to see what it says about gay people. Her great-nephew is an out gay man dating an African-American man. Her sister LaVonda (portrayed by Ann Walker) is being blackmailed, and LaVonda’s best friend has a younger man.

In addition to the family drama, there’s an anniversary memorial service in the works to honor Peggy — who, years before, tripped over a set of wooden legs and died in the original “Sordid Lives” — and on the same night, Southside Baptist Church has plans to hold an “anti-equality rally,” protesting same-sex marriage.

“We showed ‘Sordid Lives’ as part of our festival in 1999 and have had great success with [Shores] since,” Farmer said in a statement. “Our audience loves his work.”

“A Very Sordid Wedding” will play this summer at select theaters, with cast members expected to join in the festivities.

“A Very Sordid Wedding” Atlanta screenings
June 28 and 29
Landmark Theatre
Tickets go on sale at www.outonfilm.org on April 26