Out On Film, presented by GILEAD, has announced the lineup of films and events for the 36th anniversary edition of the Atlanta-based LGBTQIA+ film festival. The Oscar® qualifying film festival, which was recently voted as the number one festival in the country by the readers of USA Today and 10Best, once again offers a diverse selection of films, from international to Georgia and Atlanta productions. Taking place September 21-October 1, Out on Film will open with Bill Oliver’s drama Our Son with Tom Gustafson’s Glitter & Doom the Closing Night slot. Tickets are now on sale.
Spotlight screenings include Hannah Pearl Utt’s comedy Cora Bora, Corey Sherman’s acclaimed Big Boys, Madeleine Lim’s exhilaratingJewelle: A Just Vision,and the world premiere of Eduardo Aquino’s A Big Hairy Hit! Where the Bears Are: The Documentary.
Out On Film’s lineup includes 44 features and 15 shorts programs with 151 films representing 27 countries. Screenings will take place at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema and Out Front Theatre Company.
According to Out On Film Festival Director Jim Farmer, it’s a banner year for LBTQIA work.
“I am impressed and excited at the programming we have this year for our 36th anniversary,” Farmer said. “We have a wonderful combination of films from around the world, as well as from our amazing city of Atlanta, including two blocks of Atlanta-centric short films.”
Bill Oliver’s Our Son is the story of a divorcing couple, played by Billy Porter and Luke Evans, engaged in a custody battle over their eight-year-old son, with Tom Gustafon’s Glitter & Doom is a musical about the romance between two a musician and a circus kid, set to music from the Indigo Girls.
For information on purchasing passes, tickets, and additional details on Out On Film, please go to: outonfilm.org.
The 2023 Out on Film official selections:
OPENING NIGHT SELECTION
Director: Bill Oliver
In director Bill Oliver’s extraordinary new film, sort of a gay Kramer vs. Kramer, a divorcing couple (Emmy winner Billy Porter and Luke Evans) fight over the custody of their 8-year-old son after they decide to part ways. A beautiful supporting cast including Andrew Rannells, Phylicia Rashad and Robin Weigert give weight to this evenly balanced and humane look at modern-day gay life and starting anew.
Director: Corey Sherman
Jamie’s dream camping trip is ruined before it even begins when he finds out that his beloved cousin is bringing her new boyfriend. However, Jamie’s initial jealousy of the competent and confident Dan quickly turns into a friendship, as they bond over cooking, games and both being “big boys.” But as the weekend progresses, despite Jamie’s brother’s attempts to set him up with a girl staying at the campground, all Jamie wants to do is hang out with Dan. As his burgeoning crush gets him into awkward scrapes and arguments, Jamie begins to come to terms with who he is, and who he desires. Hilarious and heartwarming, Big Boys is the type of coming-of-age film we need more of in the world.
A Big Gay Hairy Hit! Where the Bears Are: The Documentary World Premiere
Director: Eduardo Aquino
This hilarious and touching documentary tells the story of how three older gay “bears” working in Hollywood, tired of having their gay-themed ideas rejected by the mainstream, decided to self-produce their own web series. Against all odds, the comedy featuring three bear roommates like The Golden Girls solving crimes a la Murder, She Wrote, became a sensation online and one of the most successful web shows of all time. The documentary examines ageism, body-shaming, sex-positivity, the creative process and how friendship and community can ultimately create something beloved all over the world.
Director: Hannah Pearl Utt
Country: USA, Running Time: 75 min
Hacks breakout star Megan Stalter stars as the titular character, whose dreams of becoming a musician don’t pan out. So she goes back home to Portland to win her girlfriend back but eventually realizes that it’s much more than her love life that needs salvaging. Margaret Cho, Jojo T. Gibbs and Thomas Mann headline an ace supporting cast in this warm, affecting comedy.
Jewelle: A Just Vision
Director: Madeleine Lim
From Black Power in late-60s Boston, to AIDS activism in mid-80s New York, to Marriage Equality in early-10s San Francisco, Jewelle: A Just Vision (64 mins, 2022) from award-winning filmmaker Madeleine Lim, focuses a joyful and hope-filled spotlight on novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, and journalist Jewelle Gomez. An Ioway and Wampanoag, African American and Cape Verdean, femme lesbian, Jewelle co-founded decades-old social justice organizations that are more relevant than ever. Expansive in her creative imagination, inclusive in her philanthropic leadership, and passionate in her lesbian of color feminist ethics, she is an unrelenting torchbearer for the transformative power of the artist as activist.
CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION
Glitter & DoomGeorgia Premiere
Director: Tom Gustafson
A musician and a free-spirited circus kid begin a relationship in this joyous, glittery musical, set to songs by the iconic Indigo Girls, who appear in the film in supporting roles alongside Lea Delaria, Missy Pyle, and Kate Pierson of The B-52s
ADDITIONAL FEATURE FILMS (IN-PERSON)
1946: The Mistranslation That Shifted Culture
Director: Sharon “Rocky” Roggio
1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted Culture is a feature documentary that follows the story of tireless researchers who trace the origins of the anti-gay movement among Christians to a grave mistranslation of the Bible in 1946. It chronicles the discovery of never-before-seen archives at Yale University which unveil astonishing new revelations, and casts significant doubt on any biblical basis for LGBTQIA+ prejudice. Featuring commentary from prominent scholars as well as opposing pastors, including the personal stories of the film’s creators, 1946 is at once challenging, enlightening, and inspiring. While other documentaries have been successful in their attempt to treat the symptom of homophobia in the church, 1946 is working to diagnose and treat the disease—Biblical Literalism.
All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White
Director: Tunde Apalowo
Bambino and Bawa meet in Lagos and hit it off immediately. During their long trips around the city they develop a deep affection for each other. But in a society which considers homosexuality taboo, they feel the pressure of social norms in this remarkable, award-winning film.
Barrio Boy SOUTHEASTERN PREMIIERE
Director: Dennis Shinners
A Latinx barber in a macho world faces a tough road ahead when an attraction develops for a handsome stranger during a hot and sweaty summer in Brooklyn.
Director: Nate Dushku
A bird watcher, Kristian Brooks, invades a nude queer campground on a remote lake in New Hampshire. He wears whatever cover he needs to ensnare the locals in his dark fetish in this nightmarish erotic thriller. Consent has never been more deadly.
Chasing Chasing Amy
Director: Sav Rodgers
In Sav Rodgers’ debut feature film, he explores the unexamined legacy of Kevin Smith’s cult classic Chasing Amy. His documentary is both a tribute to the movie that saved his life as a queer kid, coming of age in Kansas, and an exploration of its mixed reviews from the LGBTQ+ community. Through candid interviews with Smith and star Joey Lauren Adams, Sav discovers their journey of making their movie was far more difficult and emotional than anyone could have possibly known. Chasing Chasing Amy is a trans coming of age love story, set against the backdrop of an indie film that solidified some careers and damaged others.
The Dancer: The Beautiful and Tragic Life of Gerard Alexander
Director: Ryon Horne and Tyson Horne
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution presents the short documentary “The Dancer,” about Gerard Alexander, who performed around the world but ended up homeless in Atlanta. Directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Ryon Horne and Tyson Horne, and written by Matt Kempner, this film explores the beautiful and tragic life of Alexander.
Director: Kamil Krawczycki
Bartek is a young man who runs a small horse farm and looks after his possessive mother. Their relationship is not easy but it becomes even more difficult when he falls in love with the musician Dawid and begins to dream of leaving home.
Egghead and Twinkie
Director: Sarah Kambe Holland
Egghead & Twinkie is a feature-length coming of age comedy about coming out of the closet. The film follows a teenage girl named Twinkie as she comes out to her parents and takes off on a cross country road trip to meet her mysterious online crush, BD. She even convinces her nerdy best friend, Egghead, to come along for the ride. The only problem? Egghead is in love with Twinkie, and BD might not be everything she seems to be on the internet. A feature film adaptation of the 2019 short.
Director: Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping
Based on an award-winning short film, Femme follows Jules (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett ), who is targeted in a horrific homophobic attack, destroying his life and career. Some time after that event he encounters Preston (George Mackay), one of his attackers, in a gay sauna. He wants revenge.
Director: Rafael Albarrán and Trent Kendrick
F.L.Y. is a funny slice-of-life movie about Max and Rafael, former partners, forced to quarantine together during the COVID pandemic. They haven’t seen each other in five years, and now Rafael has a new boyfriend. With the added twist of Rafael pursuing a dream of becoming a drag superstar in LA, their reunion gets off to a bumpy start.
Director: Jason Karman
Everyone wants something from high school senior Jake: his father is pushing him to try out for the basketball team and his girlfriend wants to take their relationship to the next level. But it’s not until Aleks, an openly gay teen with a love for basketball, moves in across the street that Jake begins to struggle with his own desires. To get closer to Aleks, Jake devotes himself to making the basketball team—only to realize it’s not basketball he really wants in this beautiful comedy drama.
Director: Meghan Weinstein
A queer celebrity couple is invited to a holistic getaway where they find themselves the guinea pigs of a life-altering experiment. A great cast, including a creepy Guinivere Turner, invigorate this thriller
In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction
Director: Lisa Marie Evans and Marianne K. Martin
In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction documents the history and impact of lesbian fiction from the1920s through the1990s. Narrator Lillian Faderman recounts the impact key world events had on LGBTQ history throughout the decades. With interviews from numerous trailblazing lesbian authors, including Ann Bannon, Rita Mae Brown, Jewel Gomez and Sarah Waters, we learn how these world events helped shape their stories and to what extent the stories were reflections of the authors’ own lives as they looked for affirmation and their place in the world.
Inky Pinky Ponky
Director: Ramon TeWake and Damon Fepuleai
When a young fakaleiti (3rd Spirit) becomes entangled with the Rugby Captain at St Valentine’s High School, she must navigate her way through a world of intolerance to find happiness – in an unexpected place. The melting pot becomes a pressure cooker when rugby players, Island mums, gender fluidity and teenage micro-aggressions all converge in this highly bent high school romance
Kenyatta; Do Not Wait Your Turn
Director: Tim Harris
This inspiring love story Executive Produced by Al Roker (NBC’s Today ) follows a self-described “poor, gay, Black man from North Philly” on his historic run for the United States Senate. But this race is about more than taking on the political competition. It’s also about taking on an entire system.
Lie With Mie
Director: Olivier Peyon
Upon agreeing to be the brand ambassador for a famous cognac celebrating their bicentennial, novelist Stéphane Belcourt returns to his hometown for the first time in many years. Once there, he meets his first love’s son, Lucas. Memories come rushing back to him: irrepressible attraction, bodies becoming one in the heat of desire, a
The Lost Boys (Le Paradis)
Director: Zeno Graton
In a youth correctional facility, Joe is preparing his return to society. But William’s arrival turns his desire for freedom into desire of another kind. Behind fences and cell walls, passions begin to play havoc with the need for liberty. This exquisite film is given heat by the chemistry of actors Julien De Saint and Khalil Ben Gharbia.
The Mattachine Family
Director: Andy Valenttine
Thomas (Nico Tortorella) and Oscar (Juan Pablo di Pace) are a couple very much in love, but after their first foster child returns to his birth mother, they find they have different ideas about what it means to make a family. The Mattachine Family is full of heart and compassion for its characters and the dazzling supporting cast includes Schitt’s Creek’s Emily Hampshire, Heather Matarazzo and Hacks star Carl Clemons-Hopkins)
Director: Vuk Lungulov-Klotz
Over the course of a single hectic day in New York City, three people from Feña’s past are thrust back into his life: his foreign father, his straight ex-boyfriend, and his 13-year old half-sister. Having lost touch since transitioning from female to male, Feña must navigate the new dynamics of these old relationships while tackling the day-to-day challenges that come with living a life in-between.
Director: Leiv Igor Devold
This appealing drama is one of the most acclaimed international LGBT films of the year. A 19-year-old Polish immigrant working at a fish factory in Norway has feelings for his colleague. A strike begins among the Polish workers at the factory testing their relationship, and with their fellow workers.
Director: Manuel Abramovich
Lalo is a sex influencer: he posts photos of his naked body and homemade porn videos for his thousands of social media followers. Lalo directs his own life, but in private, when out of character, he seems to live in constant melancholy.
Director: Reem Morsi
Upon the loss of his mother, an Egyptian teenager leaves his home of Cairo to live with his father in Toronto. Parachuted into the underground queer nightlife in Toronto, he confronts his mother’s death, much to his father’s disapproval, by taking up the ways of drag and becoming Queen Tut. The iconic Alexandra Billings headlines the cast as den mother Malibu.
Queer Exile Berlin
Director: Jochen Hick
Queer people from all over the world have made Berlin what it is today. Many leave their home because they want to, others because they have to. This loving film by Jochen Hick follows a diverse group of them. Eunice from Portugal falls in love on a trip to the city at 17 and now works in a Berlin nightclub;, Haidar flees Syria and now works as a dancer and performer called “The Darvish.” Drag queen Gloria arrived in Berlin at the age of 6 and grew up in a politicized environment with her mother
Director: Sacha Polak
23-year-old Franky is a nurse who lives with her large family in an East London borough. Obsessed with a thirst for revenge and a need to assign guilt for a traumatic event that happened 15 years before, she is unable to build any meaningful relationship until she falls in love with one of her patients – Florence. They escape to the coast where Florence lives with her more open-minded patchwork family. There, Franky finds the emotional shelter to deal with the grudges of the past.
Stuck in Greece: An LGBTQ Refugee Crisis
Director: Gerald McCullouch
When brought to Athens, Greece in 2016 for a screening of his film Daddy, filmmaker and part-time Atlantan Gerald McCullouch (C.S.I, BearCity) unexpectedly meets a group of LGBT refugees fleeing persecution from their communities, their governments and their own families who now find themselves trapped in Greece. Confounded by their circumstances, he is compelled to document his education of a crisis facing countless members of his community who came to Greece under desperately different circumstances.
Truth Be Told
Director: Nneka Onuorah
In the words of Emmy-winning director Nneka Onuorah: you’ve seen Mike Tyson versus Holyfield, but have you ever seen the LGBTQ+ community versus the Black church? While an important cultural epicenter with a rich political history of antiracist organizing, the Black church has historically fallen short when it comes to supporting its queer members — including Onuorah, a lifelong lesbian church girl. Equal parts healing journey and incisive examination, this essential, extremely necessary portrait critiques the Black community lovingly, balancing the beauty of fellowship within the church against the damaging legacy it must work to undo. With talking head interviews from the likes of Billy Porter, Cedric the Entertainer, and frequent Tyler Perry collaborators David and Tamala Mann, Truth Be Told confronts mainstream Black media with humor and honesty
Unidad: Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos
Director: Gregorio Davila
This exceptional documentary tells the story of the Los Angeles organization, Gay & Lesbian Latinos Unidos (GLLU), a political and social group formed in 1981to help bring Queer Latino issues to light in the LGBT community.
THE VENUS EFFECT
Director: Anna Emma Haudal
The Venus Effect is a romantic comedy about Liv, who is at the beginning of her 20s. Very close to her parents and working in the family greengrocer business when, against all expectation, she falls in love against all expectation with a spirited and somewhat older rainbow girl, Andrea, who has sought refuge at her uncle’s apple planation, Liv realizes that love is mutable and that a family may assume many forms.
After Forever, Season 3 World Premiere
Director: Jennifer Pepperman
This critically acclaimed and Emmy Award Winning digital drama series is about Brian Stone and Jason Addams, a 50-ish New York City gay couple Brian (Kevin Spirtas) and Jason (Atlanta’s Mitchell Anderson) who had it all… exciting jobs, a beautiful New York City apartment, terrific friends, and supportive families. Their love and their marriage was supposed to last forever… until Jason died of cancer.The third and final seaso picks up one month after the end of season two, where Brian, who has been trying to navigate through the loss of his great love, is angry and frustrated over a break-up.
Director: Raquel M R Thomas
Journey through a world where men give birth to babies and love conquers They’re husbands, activists, providers, career driven and dealing with HIV as it has manifested thunderously in the trans community. The lives of four trans men are examined in this entertaining Atlanta-centric web series
ADDITIONAL FEATURE FILMS (VIRTUAL)
And They Were Loved
Director: Malik Julien and Emily McClanahan
During a critical year of growth and exploration, Jacundo, Zion, and Marcus reference growing up queer in central Texas while maturing into a rebirth of their queer identities. And They Were Loved documents their introduction to queer spaces and their determination to use their voices to support the Black and brown LGBTQIA+ community through sexual health advocacy, multimedia artistry, and ballroom culture.
Director: Cinder Chou
Juniper, an insecure martial artist, must find out the origins of a painting after two thieves try to steal it from her in this fresh, spirited comedy.
A Cooler Climate
Director: James Ivory and Giles Gardner
In 1960, film maker James Ivory made a trip to Afghanistan to shoot scenes for a documentary. The film was never completed and the footage stayed in a box unseen for 60 years. In 2022, aged 94, he decided to revisit this unique material as a means to look back at his younger self and to unravel how this unlikely journey far from his hometown in Oregon helped form the celebrated filmmaker he was to become.
Director: Giuseppe Fiorello
June 1982, Sicily. While Italians dream of winning the World Cup, two adolescents dream of living their love story without fear. Seventeen-year-old Gianni is bullied because of his homosexuality but his life changes when he meets by accident Nino, a captivating and innocent boy. The profound friendship they develop will without embarrassment turn into love, as they start working together for Nino’s father, shooting fireworks. When their bond is discovered by their families, the consequences are as violent as the times and mores are conservative. The two teenagers are separated by force but ready to challenge everything and everyone, convinced their love can defeat death.
Director: Loveleen Kaur
Canada has been known for exporting some of the biggest international names in music from Drake, the Weeknd, to Kaytranada. With growing public demand for more diverse voices, whose music will shape the next era of artists from Canada?“Leilani’s Fortune” is a feature-length documentary on an intimate journey with queer, immigrant Ethiopian-Eritrean artist, Witch Prophet as she navigates newfound momentum and stands true to her voice. After a decade in the industry and on the heels of major critical acclaim and nominations, Witch Prophet is finally getting the validation and support she needs to create the album of her prophecies.
Lotus Sports Club
Director: Tommaso Colognese and Vanna Hem
Shot in Cambodia over 5 years, Lotus Sports Club is an inspiring coming-of-age story that centers around Leak, a teenage trans man who plays football in the under-21s women’s team of Kampong Chhnang, and Pa Vann, the coach and father-figure to Leak and other LGBTQ+ players on the team. 61-year-old Pa Vann established the football team in 2009 to encourage solidarity among straight, lesbian and gender-diverse players. He also opened his home to the more vulnerable often homeless teenagers, including Leak, thus providing these LGBTQ+ players a safe place to be themselves. After living with Pa Vann for many years, Leak, driven by the pressure to make more money for his family and forced off the football team because of his age, takes the heart-breaking decision to move to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, leaving behind the one person he loves the most.
M is For Mothers
Director: Livia Perez
Marcela and Melanie are a couple that decided to have babies. While Melanie gets pregnant with twins through an IVF, Marcela takes hormones to induce lactation in her non-pregnant body. Together they start the journey to becoming mothers.
Memphis Proud: Voices of A Southern LGBTQ+ Community
Director: Mark Thompson
Memphis Proud: Voices of A Southern LGBTQ+ Community is a history of the LGBTQ+ Pride Community in Memphis, featuring 10 diverse individuals telling their own stories.
Open to It, Season One
Director: Greg Wolf
A loving gay couple experiments with becoming a hot gay throuple. But threesome sex and open relationships come with more complications than limbs.