Out On Film is back for its 27th year of bringing LGBT films to Atlanta, and they just unveiled a packed schedule fit for most any tastes. The eight-day festival occurs October 2 to 9 at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema and will include more than 80 feature films, documentaries, short films and special events.
“We are ecstatic about this year’s schedule,” said festival director Jim Farmer in a press release. “I think we have something for all audiences, and we’ve never had this many offerings available in our history.”
As previously announced the opening night film is Patrik-Ian Polk’s “Blackbird,” which stars Julian Walker as a devout choir boy living in conservative Mississippi who is coming to grips with his sexuality while caring for his mother following his sister’s disappearance. It’s the first starring role for Mo’Nique since her Oscar-winning turn in “Precious” and also features Isaiah Washington (“Grey’s Anatomy”).
“’Blackbird’ is a perfect opening night film for us, kicking off the most diverse schedule we’ve ever produced,” Farmer says. “It’s an amazing film with a strong ensemble cast.”
Polk, Walker, Torrey Laamar and Nikki Jane will be in attendance for the screening.
The just-announced closing night film will be David Au’s “Eat With Me,” a festival favorite in which a mother comes to live with her gay son in Los Angeles and deals with her feelings about his sexuality.
“We all fell for ‘Eat With Me’ and I think audiences will as well,” says Farmer. “It’s funny and warm and romantic, with a terrific mother-son relationship at its core. It’s also a terrific food movie – and George Takei pops up for a surprise appearance.” Au will be in attendance for the screening.
Festival passes are now on sale at www.outonfilm.org with individual tickets and three packs available approximately September 1 at Landmark Midtown Art’s website.
Screening and community events info will be updated on Out On Film’s website and Facebook page as the big week approaches. See below for more details about the lineup.
Other screenings include Andrea James’ previously announced “Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy,” with an appearance by Mapa and James; Sundance darling Desiree Akhavan’s “Appropriate Behavior;” about a young woman in New York struggling to become an ideal Persian daughter, politically correct bisexual and hip young Brooklynite; Daniel Ribiero’s award-winning “The Way He Looks,” a feature length version of his short film about a blind young man and the classmate who enters his life; “J.C. Calciano’s charming romantic comedy “The 10 Year Plan,” in which two friends vow to be together if they have not found partners in 10 years; Madeleine Olnek’s comedy ““The Foxy Merkins;” about two lesbian hookers who wind their way through a world of bargain-hunting housewives and double-dealing conservative women in this female buddy comedy; the Randy Harrison-Michael Urie screwball comedy “Such Good People;” Hong Khao’s beautifully moving Lilting;” following a mother’s attempt at understanding who her son is after his untimely death; Wade Gasque’s family drama “Tiger Orange,” starring Mark Strano and Frankie Valenti (Johnny Hazzard); Sydney Freeland’s Sundance favorite “Drunktown’s Finest;” executive produced by Robert Redford and dealing with three Native American teenagers; Andrew Putschoegl “BFFs;” about two women pretending to be a lesbian couple at a counseling retreat; Stefan Haupt’s excellent “The Circle,” about the Swiss underground organization called “Der Kreis” and the relationship between two men as they witness the heyday and decline of this Europe-wide pioneering organization for gay emancipation; Kate Johnston and Shauna MacDonald’s audience favorite, the romantic “Tru Love;” Matt Riddlehoover’s “More Scenes from a Gay Marriage,” the sequel to his “Scenes From a Gay Marriage,” Mischa Kamp’s “Boys,” about the unlikely relationship between two track stars; Jane Clark’s slasher comedy “Crazy Bitches;” Israeli director Yariv Moser’s romance/thriller “Snails in the Rain,” Eric Schaeffer’s wonderful, genre-bending Southern romantic comedy “Boy Meets Girl;” Del Shores’ concert film “Naked.Sordid.Reality” and Bruce LaBruce’s “Gerontophilia,” about a young man who develops feelings for a much older man.
Some of this year’s outstanding documentaries are “Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank,” Sheila Caravan and Michael Chandler’s look at charismatic congressman Barney Frank; Michele Josue’s moving “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine;” Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren ‘s wonderful “The Dog,” examining John Wojtowicz, the real life inspiration behind “Dog Day Afternoon;” Nadine C. Licostie’s “The Last One,” a look at the NAMES Project Quilt; “Folsom Forever,” Mike Skiff’s look at the annual Folsom Street Fair; Blair Dorosh-Walther’s excellent “Out in the Night;” about the New Jersey 4 who were arrested and imprisoned after a homophobic attack; “Born to Fly,” Catherine Gund’s extraordinary documentary about legendary dancer and choreographer Elizabeth Streb; Matt Livadary and Erin Krozek’s “Queens and Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo;” David McMahon’s “Skanks,” about the Theatre Downtown theater troupe in Alabama; Thomas G. Miller’s “Limited Partnership,” about the first male couple to get married in the United States; and Christopher Hines’ “Bad Ass Gays,” a documentary that tells the personal stories — reality style — of gay men in “manly” professions (soldiers, boxers, race car drivers) going on the job with them, revealing their motives, passions, joys, challenges and struggles to succeed.
A grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has assisted Out On Film in spotlighting visiting filmmakers this year. Expected guests include Patrik-Ian Polk, Julian Walker, Torrey Laamar and Nikki Jane (“Blackbird”), David Au (“Eat With Me”), Alec Mapa and Andrea James (“Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy”), Sheila Caravan (“Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank”), Wade Gasque and Mark Strano (“Tiger Orange”), JC Calciano (“The 10 Year Plan”) and Christopher Hines (“Bad Ass Gays.”) A full list of guest will be available closer to the festival.
Special events at the festival include “FOR FILTH!,” a collaboration with Legendary Children highlighting experimental short films from regional filmmakers and “Web is the New Black,” in which web series originators show some of their work and talk about the rise of Internet series. Out On Film will also have its first ever Animated Shorts block.
Since its official inception in 1988, Out On Film has grown to become one of the major LGBT film festivals in the country. The organization became independent in 2008 and in 2011 expanded to eight days. The 26th anniversary film festival in 2013 was the most attended in the organization’s history.
*Local flavor includes Nadine C. Licostie’s “The Last One,” featuring interviews with several Atlantans; Red Summer’s documentary “Al Nisa: Black Muslim Women in Atlanta,” several Atlanta actors in the short film “Alone With People,” former Atlantan Christopher Hines (“Bad Ass Gays”), actor Jared Allman (“More Scenes from a Gay Marriage”), Nikki Jane (“Blackbird”) and filmmakers in the FOR FILTH! program.
*New Voices – first time features from filmmakers such as David Au (“Eat With Me,”) Sydney Freeland (“Drunktown’s Finest”) and Daniel Ribiero (“The Way He Looks”)
*Super Saturday. In addition to a set of women’s and men’s short films, at least eight other films will be shown on Saturday, October 4, including “Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy,” “Tiger Orange,” “The Foxy Merkins,” “Drunktown’s Finest,” Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank” and “Folsom Forever.”
*Out On Film will feature at least seven sets of shorts programs and free noontime shorts from Monday, October 6 – Thursday, October 9. Out On Film will also screen the 2014 Oscar-nominated “Facing Fear” as part of this year’s festival.
27th Annual Out On Film Festival October 2-9, 2014 Landmark Midtown Art Cinema www.outonfilm.org