Out at the Movies, a Film Festival centered on LGBT narratives, will be screened in Winston-Salem from Oct. 6th through the 9th.
Twelve features and eight shorts will be screened and many of the features will be followed by a Q&A session. Each evening will conclude with a filmmaker reception. An awards party will take place Sunday night, October 9th at 9:30 p.m.
Many of the films are brand new, having come out just this year and are only available through film fest viewings.
One of the features will be the eastern U.S. premiere of Byrum Geisler’s movie, “Before the Fall.” The movie re-imagines “Pride and Prejudice” in modern day, rural Virginia with the character, Elizabeth Bennet, as a man. Geisler and a number of actors and other filmmakers from the movie will be present at the event. His movie will be shown at UNCSA’s ACE Theater Complex at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
“My sister, Jenifer Geisler, is a veterinarian in Winston-Salem,” said Geisler. “Rex Welton, the founder of Out at the Movies is one of her clients. She suggested that I submit the film to the festival.
“I am very excited to watch the film with an audience and find out what their reaction to it is. I am also looking forward to being together with many of the actors and crew I haven’t seen since we filmed.”
Actor, Gregory Harrison, will be in town for the showing his latest film, “Fair Haven.” The movie is about a man returning to his family farm after a long time in ex-gay conversion therapy. The movie will screen at the ACE theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Director and actor, Casper Andreas, will be in town with his latest film, “Flatbush Luck” and will be joined by actor, Juahn Cabrera. The movie is a crime, comedy and drama about two cousins discovering a murder plot. The movie will be at the A/perture Cinema at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Subjects, Luis Camacho and Oliver Crumes, two of Madonna’s dancers from her Blond Ambition tour, will be present with the documentary, “Strike a Pose.” Their film tells the story of Madonna’s most famous troupe of dancers. The movie will play at the ACE theatre at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday.
“I’m looking forward to meeting and connecting with new people,” said Camacho. “It’s an honor to have been asked to join and I’m excited to show our precious film. It was a wonderful experience and the directors Ester and Reijer did a wonderful job in telling our story.”
Actress and Winston-Salem local, Amy da Luz, will be at the festival for her film, “Akron.” The movie features the college freshmen characters, Benny and Christopher, who meet at a football game and fall for each other. They begin to date, but a tragic incident in the past involving their families threatens to break them and their families apart. “Akron” will play at the Ace theatre at 2:40 p.m. on Saturday.
“I am really looking forward to sharing this movie with my hometown,” said Da Luz. “It has been playing at festivals all over the world and finally landed here in Winston-Salem. Who knew? I was thrilled when I found out.
“I was cast in the movie by an agent out of New York and we filmed the movie in Ohio and Florida. So I never thought it would find its way to Winston Salem…. My son, who is gay, is flying down from New York to share the day with me. It will be a special weekend.”
Subjects, Mark and Tim Maxwell, who also live in Winston-Salem, will be there for the documentary, “Love Won.” The documentary is about lesbian and gay couples across the South applying for and being denied marriage. The film will screen at the Ace theatre at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
There are many LGBT film festivals, and a lot take place on the same weekend. What makes Out at the Movies stand out from its counterparts is in its warmth toward the film makers and guests.
“We’re not the biggest festival, we’re not the oldest festival, but we really are good at offering hospitality, fun and personal attention,” said Welton.
“As soon as the credits finish, we’ll bring people up on the stage for the audience to ask questions. It really helps the audience to connect even more to a film. We’ve gotten known across the country for our Q&As.”
Welton feared fallout from directors and actors after HB2 passed in North Carolina.
“I was really really worried…,” he said. “People calling or emailing, saying that they won’t come to Winston-Salem because it’s in North Carolina, like Bruce Springsteen and the NBA All Star Games. But not one person has said anything about HB2 and not one person we’ve targeted to come join us has really backed out at all. Hopefully the reputation of what we do in Winston-Salem precludes HB2.”
A screening with a Q&A, complimentary food and 9:30 p.m. celebrity reception costs attendees $8. A festival pass is $60 to see any and all screenings throughout the event.
The festival gets most of its money from sponsorships. Sponsors with donations of at least $100 get more passes and invitations to parties.
“I am looking forward to everyone in the area having the opportunity to see some films that they might not otherwise get to see,” said Da Luz. “Important films that have the ability to share a different perspective and with that a deeper understanding. That is so important. Especially now. I hope that the festival draws not just members of the LGBT community, but people from the community as a whole. It is a chance to show support and share some love.”
Want to go? Buy tickets and learn more at http://outatthemovieswinston.org/