The joy of six: OUT at the Movies festival expands
October marks LGBTQ+ History Month, and the OUT at the Movies International LGBT Film Festival is bigger than ever.
For one thing, the festival has added an entire day. It opens Wednesday, Oct. 2 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 6 – culminating with the awards ceremony at Jeffrey Adams on Fourth.
This year’s festival boasts 27 films (features and shorts), 10 Q&A sessions and five parties with over two dozen filmmakers, actors and documentary subjects scheduled to attend. Screenings will be held at the ACE Exhibition Complex on the main campus of UNCSA, 1533 S. Main St., and the Byrum Welcome Center on the campus of Wake Forest University, 1834 Wake Forest Rd.
Rex Welton, co-founder of the OUT at the Movies screening series and the director of both the series and the festival, is delighted by the festival’s expansion this year but said its success is not surprising.
“BB&T stepping up to become our presenting sponsor in 2015 opened so many doors,” Welton said. “Over 90% of our donors and sponsors from 2018 returned in 2019. We have expanded in the sense that we added a fifth day, we are screening a Thursday movie for a second time, and we have added a few films to our Saturday and Sunday afternoon schedule. It has been an incremental expansion and should serve us well. I often tell folks that our goal is to provide one of the very best festival experiences in the country for our filmmakers, audience members, donors and sponsors- and we do!”
This year’s festival has many highlights, beginning with the Oct. 3 screening of Proper Pronouns, a documentary about four transgender clergymen in North Carolina. This screening is free and will be followed by a Q&A and reception at the Byrum Welcome Center. This film, a work-in-progress, has direct ties to the university, as filmmaker Meg Daniels is a graduate of Wake Forest’s documentary film program, and one of the film’s subjects, Liam Hooper, is a graduate of Wake Forest’s School of Divinity.
On Oct. 4, Dr. Sam Pegram of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center will moderate the Q&A discussion following a screening of 5B, also at the Byrum Welcome Center. 5B is a documentary about the staff and patients at San Francisco General Hospital’s AIDS ward during the early days of the crisis, produced and co-directed by Paul Haggis (Oscar winner for Crash) and Dan Krauss.
On Oct. 5, the action shifts to the ACE Exhibition Complex at UNCSA, with the free LGBT Filmmakers and Filmmaking Salon at 11 a.m., moderated by Eden Lane, followed at 1 p.m. by a screening of the romantic comedy From Zero to I Love You, with actors Scott Bailey and Ann Walker (a festival regular) on-hand for the post-screening Q&A. At 5 p.m., transgender actors Carlie Guevara, Kristen Lovell and Tamera Williams are scheduled to be on-hand for the screening of The Garden Left Behind, followed at 7 p.m. by the screening of the award-winning documentary feature Gay Chorus Deep South, with cast member Ashle Blow in attendance for the Q&A, moderated by William Southerland of the Triad Pride Performing Arts.
On Oct. 6, the festival presents the Southeastern U.S. premiere of the Portuguese drama Primos (Cousins) at 12:45 p.m., with Thiago Cazado (writer/co-director/star) and Mauro Carvalho (co-director/cinematographer) scheduled to attend. At 7 p.m., award-winning filmmaker Nicole Conn will be at the screening of her latest drama, More Beautiful for Having Been Broken, which she wrote, produced, edited and directed, featuring a star-studded cast including Oscar-nominee Bruce Davison (hey, I’ve interviewed him!), Harley Jane Kozak, Emmy-winner Kay Lenz, Emmy and SAG Award-nominee French Stewart and Felissa Rose (fondly remembered for her cult turn in the original Sleepaway Camp). The documentary Circus of Books will be screened at 7:15 p.m., with director Rachel Mason joining in via Skype for the Q&A.
In addition, Randy “R.J.” Jones, the original cowboy from The Village People and a UNCSA graduate, will also be among the luminaries in attendance, as both a festival juror and a performer at the Oct. 5 evening party, which is free with a ticket from any of the festival’s Saturday screenings.
“The first year of our festival (2014) was challenging in many ways,” Welton admitted. “We did not have a presenting sponsor, nor a track record as a festival. It was difficult attracting donors, sponsors and even audience members. But we survived, learned a lot from our inaugural festival, and continue to make changes as needed.”
See Mark Burger’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2019, Mark Burger.
The sixth annual “Out at the Movies” International LGBT Film Festival runs Oct. 2-6. All screenings are $10, a five-screening flex pass is available for $40, and a festival pass (good for one admission to as many films as you can see) is $75. For a complete schedule of events, advance tickets, or additional information, call (336) 918-0902, email email@example.com, or visit the official festival website.