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Fall Preview: Looking for LGBT love on the big screen

Film fall preview

It looks like another award season without a “Milk” or “Brokeback Mountain” or “The Kids Are All Right.”

There are probably some LGBT characters and subplots not mentioned in advance publicity, but from what we know about the fall film season, the pickings are pretty slim. You’ll need Out on Film (details next issue) for your queer film fix, and the rest of the season you can watch TV shows like “Partners” and “The New Normal.” (If the latter maintains the level of the pilot we’ve got a new favorite show!)

Most of the positive news involves LGBT actors, directors, writers and icons who have been working on movies to be released this season. Here are some that sound interesting:

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Gay best friend brings female roommates together for raunchy comedy

Film

In gay director Jamie Travis’ raunchy new comedy “For a Good Time, Call…” two women who loathe each other initially grow to bond over, of all things, a phone sex operation.

Lauren Powell (Lauren Anne Miller) and Katie Steele (Ari Graynor) have an unpleasant first meeting in college but years later, thanks to their mutual gay best friend Jesse (Justin Long), decide to room together out of financial necessity in New York.  Prim Lauren finds out that Katie is a phone sex operator and, with her own professional life in limbo, decides to give it a go herself. In the film the women grow to fall in love with each other, but only as friends.

Graynor, Miller (who co-wrote the film), Travis and co-writer Katie Anne Naylon were in Atlanta recently promoting the flick, which made waves at Sundance earlier this year.

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‘Trick’ drag star Coco Peru to appear at Out on Film’s 25th anniversary

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Coco Peru, drag star known for such films as "Trick" and "Girls Will Be Girls," will attend Atlanta's Out on Film 25th film anniversary taking place in October.

Out on Film, Atlanta's LGBT film festival, takes place Oct. 4-11. Peru will participate in a Q & A with "Trick" director Jim Fall on Oct. 10 after the screening of the cult classic. The Q & A will take place at Mixx Atlanta as part of its new live entertainment series "Backstage @ Mixx." Peru, also famous for her one-woman shows, will then perform at Mixx on Oct. 11.

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[Video] Check out ‘HEbrew’ — the new hookup site for gay Jewish men

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Atlantans Julian Modugno and Jamie Hawkins-Gaar are best friends who share a passion for making films. Modugno is gay. Hawkins-Gaar is not (and not that that matters). Modugno's day-job is in the art department for CW's "Vampire Diaries" and Hawkins-Gaar works in the electrical departments of various movies and shows filmed in Atlanta. They both love pushing the limits in their solo projects.

The duo founded Bland Hack Pictures and have been making short films for the internet for several years. Today, they debut their newest film, "HEbrew," that has a very gay theme — a dating app for Jewish men created by the makers of Grindr and J-Date and a funny commercial filled with bad puns (bar mitvah becomes bear mitzvah, for example) to promote it.

"The thing that's great about Bland Hack is that we're composed of one straight white guy and one gay white guy which basically makes us one of the Internet's most diverse comedy groups," Modugno says. 

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Indie film from ‘Humpday’ director carries LGBT themes

Your Sister's Sister

As she proved with 2009’s “Humpday,” director Lynn Shelton is a talented filmmaker not afraid to include LGBT themes in her work. Her latest is “Your Sister’s Sister,” which has a prominent lesbian theme, and — like “Humpday” — is worth seeing even if the gay angle is a bit problematic.

As the film opens, Jack (Mark Duplass) is mourning the death of his brother Tom, a year later. After a friend waxes eloquently about Tom at a gathering, Jack stands and speaks the warts-and-all truth about the deceased and it’s clear Jack is still a wreck. His best friend is Iris (Emily Blunt), who was Tom’s lover. Seeing Jack is an emotional mess, she suggests he go to her family cabin on an island in the Pacific Northwest that is supposedly empty. “It has no internet, no TV… maybe a few forks,” she promises.

When he arrives he discovers he is not alone after all. Iris’ half-sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), is there. She is a lesbian who has just broken up with her girlfriend after seven years. She is also a vegan whose food choices (such as dehydrated banana pieces) provide some of the film’s funnier moments. The two share a drunken late night and reveal some truths.

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Filmmaker crowdfunds LGBT family documentary

Project Dad

Documentary filmmaker Sharon Shattuck is turning to Kickstarter in hopes of funding a documentary about LGBT families called “Project Dad.” Kickstarter is a web-based funding platform that allows its users to raise large amounts of money from small donations or purchases involving the project.

Shattuck hopes to raise $15,000 to finance filming.

From the Kickstarter:

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Stonewall: Pro-gay rugby star back in town for benefit screening

After a world premiere last fall at Atlanta’s Out on Film Festival, “Legalize Gay” returns for Stonewall Month for a screening to benefit three locally based LGBT groups.

The film, which screens June 11 at Midtown Art Cinema, focuses on several diverse individuals, gay and straight, working to advance LGBT equality. Atlanta ties include a profile of Spelman University alumna Jeshawna Wholley, who organized the first Pride event at the historically black college and was later invited to meet President Barack Obama; and the StandUp Foundation, which is based in Atlanta and was created by U.K. rugby star Ben Cohen.

“When we showed the film as a world premiere in October, it was brand spanking new, and since that time has been well received at college campuses and other festivals,” said Jim Farmer, Out on Film festival director.