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OUT and about: Winston-Salem film festival celebrates diversity and determination

As October is LGBTQ History Month, so it’s only fitting that the fourth annual “OUT at the Movies” International LGBT Film Festival, which is presented by BB&T and opens Oct. 5 with its biggest, most star-studded event yet.

Among the luminaries scheduled to be attendance is renowned, award-winning playwright and filmmaker Del Shores, who will be joined by cast members for a special screening of his feature-film debut Sordid Lives (2000), based on his acclaimed play, and his latest film, the long-awaited – and award-winning – follow-up, A Very Sordid Wedding.

Rex Welton, who founded the “OUT at the Movies” series with Lee Mecum in 2004, boasts, “I am very excited about this year’s line-up! We have 14 features, four shorts and 18 actors, directors and documentary subjects joining us in Winston-Salem for the festival.”

Screenings will take place at A/perture Cinemas, located at 311 W. Fourth St. and at the three theaters – Babcock, Gold, Main – at the ACE Exhibition Complex on the main campus of the UNCSA School of Filmmaking, located at 1533 S. Main St., with parties and receptions at various downtown hotspots.

The festival kicks off Thursday with the 8 p.m. screening of producer and director Micah Fink’s feature debut, the documentary The Abominable Crime, at A/perture Cinemas, with Fink and the film’s subject, Maurice Tomlinson, on hand to participate in a post-screening Q&A moderated by Fareed Mostoufi, the senior education manager at The Pulitzer Center.

Friday’s main event is the 7:30 p.m. screening of actor-turned-writer/director Francis Lee’s award-winning debut feature, God’s Own Country (UNCSA Main), which stars Josh O’Connor as a reckless farmer drawn to migrant worker Alec Secareanu. Welton describes the film as something of an Irish-flavored Brokeback Mountain (2005), and the festival’s screening predates its expanded release next week. A filmmaker reception follows at The Old Fourth Street Filling Station, located 871 W. Fourth St. and a late-night party at Dogwood Hops and Crops located at 517 N. Liberty St.

The festival continues Saturday with the 1 p.m. screening of Dickinson Avenue: The (Mostly) True Story of the Paddock Club (UNCSA Gold), replete with Q&A featuring filmmaker Michael Bojtos. Concurrently, there’s a 1:10 p.m. screening of The Feels (UNCSA Babcock).

At 3 p.m., there will be a special retrospective screening of the original, award-winning comedy Sordid Lives, followed by an all-star Q&A with filmmaker Del Shores (who adapted his own play) and actors Newell Alexander, Rosemary Alexander and Ann Walker. They’ll be back at 7 p.m. for the screening of A Very Sordid Wedding (UNCSA Main), with actor/producer Emerson Collins and actor/singer Blake McIver joining Shores, Newell and Rosemary Alexander and Walker.

Other Saturday screenings include I Dream in Another Language (UNCSA Babcock) at 3:10 p.m., The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin (UNCSA Gold) at 5:15 p.m., and Chavela (UNCSA Babcock) at 7:45 p.m. A filmmaker reception will follow at Meridian Restaurant, located at 411 S. Marshall St. and a late-night part at Dogwood Hops and Crops, located at 517 N. Liberty St.

Sunday closes out the festival, beginning with the 12:30 p.m. screening of Handsome Devil (UNCSA Babcock); the 12:40 p.m. screening of Woman on Fire (UNCSA Gold); the 2:30 p.m. screening of No Dress Code Required (UNCSA Babcock), featuring Q&A with filmmaker Cristina Herrera Borquez (via Skype) and subjects Victor Manuel Aguirre Espinoza and Victor Fernando Urias Amparo; the 2 p.m. short-film program (UNCSA Gold), featuring filmmaker Q&As; the 4:30 p.m. screening of A Million Happy Nows, featuring Q&A with writer Marisa Calin; and the 7 p.m. screening of Something Like Summer (A/perture Cinemas), featuring Q&A with writer/producer Carlos Pedraza and actors Grant Davis and Davi Santos.

The festival closes out with a filmmaker reception and awards bash at Jeffrey Adams on Fourth, located at 321 W. Fourth St.

See Mark Burger’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2017, Mark Burger.

Wanna Go?

The fourth “Out at the Movies” International LGBT Film Festival runs Thursday through Sunday. All screenings are $10, except for Sordid Lives and A Very Sordid Wedding, which are $15. A five-screening flex pass is available for $40, a festival pass (good for one admission to each screening) is $75. The “Sordid VIP combo,” which includes screenings of both Sordid Lives and A Very Sordid Wedding, as well as a VIP cocktail party at Piedmont Leaf Lofts with hors d’ouevres and an open bar, is $100.

For a complete schedule of events, advance tickets, or for more information, call 336.918.0902, e-mail outatthemoviesfest@gmail.com, or visit the official festival website: https://outatthemovieswinston.org/.

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