Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival had announced the complete lineup for its 20th anniversary festival, which goes down October 8–18.
This 2015 festival will include 54 features and 99 shorts representing 24 countries, including 8 US feature premieres, 12 Seattle feature premieres, 30 Northwest feature premieres, and a world premiere — “Capitol Hill 2.” In addition there will be two live performances, a special edition of Cineoke!, and a panel discussion on the subject “Emerging as an LGBTQ Filmmaker.”
“There’s so much to be proud of in the last 20 years of programming at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.” says Kathleen Mullen, SLGFF Festival Director, “I’m so thrilled to add to that legacy with this year’s lineup, opening with a lesbian activist love story based on a true story, ‘Freeheld,’ followed by a diverse array of films for the 11 days of the Festival. This year I’m especially excited about the many countries that are represented. We have a movie from Kenya (‘Stories of Our Lives’), India (‘Margarita With a Straw’), South Africa (‘While You Weren’t Looking’).”
Opening Night Gala
FREEHELD (Director: Peter Sollett)
Thursday, October 8 at 7:15 PM at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Closeted, decorated detective Laurel Hester (Oscar®-winning actress Julianne Moore, STILL ALICE) and young, out mechanic Stacie Andree (out-and-proud Ellen Page, JUNO) meet each other at a volleyball game and instantly click. When Laurel is diagnosed with cancer, she wants to make sure that Stacie will have her pension if the worst happens to her. This should be easy, but New Jersey county officials—called freeholders—stand in her way, doing everything in their power to prevent this. Never before activists, Laurel and Stacie suddenly find themselves on the front lines of the fight for equality by demanding survivor benefits for same-sex couples. A moving and inspiring true-life story, FREEHELD (based on the Oscar®- winning short documentary of the same name and with a screenplay by Ron Nyswaner, PHILADELPHIA) is not only a tender love story but also a pivotal case in the fight for justice and equality under the law.
Closing Night Gala
OUT TO WIN (Director: Malcolm Ingram)
Sunday, October 18 at 6:30 PM at AMC Pacific Place
This startling, unguarded statement opens OUT TO WIN by Malcolm Ingram (CONTINENTAL, SLGFF 2014; SMALL TOWN GAY BAR). For generations, LGBT athletes have achieved extraordinary feats, but homophobic fans, agents, leagues, and sports media created a culture of fear. Out of fear of rejection—and sometimes the economics of losing endorsements—gay athletes were reluctant to come out. OUT TO WIN traces modern LGBT history in sports through archival footage of events, sports media, and interviews of pioneers who have changed the landscape through their courage.
Centerpiece Gala presented by Gay City
BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING (Director: Joseph Graham)
Sunday, October 11 at 7:30 PM at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Loosely based on writer-director Joseph Graham’s experiences in the ’90s, BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING weaves through the lives of four creative men during one night in the City of Brotherly Love. Brian, a poet with writer’s block and a penchant for being unlucky in love, manages to have a steamy sexual encounter with Jim, a hot young aspiring actor and dramatic muse for Drew (Colman Domingo, LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER, LINCOLN), a sculpted sculptor. Jim’s jealousy of Drew’s talent precipitates dangerous choices, which both inspire and infuriate Drew. Meanwhile, talent agent Bob cruises the streets in his big white limo playing both sugar daddy and knight in shining armor in a quest for his next stripling man-ingénue. They soon discover that their hollow, quick, dirty romps can’t mask their insecurities and failures.
Centerpiece Gala presented by BECU
PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL MONOGAMIST (Directors: Christina Zeidler & John Mitchell)
Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00 PM at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
No sooner has serial monogamist Elsie (brilliantly played by comedian Diane Flacks) coolly broken up with her performance-artist girlfriend Robyn than she is back on the prowl for her next relationship. However, her new love interest, Lolli (Vanessa Dunn, lead singer of Vag Halen)—an adventurous and sexy DJ by night and photographer and barista by day—does not seem too eager for commitment, and Elsie starts to wonder if she broke up with the love of her life. Featuring a catchy pop-punk soundtrack and an unforgettable cat funeral, PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL MONOGAMIST is a clever and fresh comedy offering thoughtful insight into romance, friendships, and growing up.
Centerpiece Gala presented by Vulcan & Cinerama
NASTY BABY (Director: Sebastien Silva)
Friday, October 16 at 7:00 PM at AMC Pacific Place
From Chilean director Sebastián Silva comes this dark dramedy that not only stunned audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival but also took home the distinguished Teddy Award for Best Feature at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival and the Best US Dramatic Feature award at Outfest 2015. Freddy (played by Silva himself) and Mo (“Tunde” Adebimpe), a genial gay couple in Brooklyn, have been attempting to get pregnant with their best friend Polly (Kristen Wiig) who eagerly wants to have a baby. Each member of this “modern family” approaches the world in a different manner: Freddy has a silly sensibility that leads him to create a project in which he acts like a baby, Mo provides balance in the relationship and fills their apartment with plants, and lighthearted Polly becomes earnest when it matters most. Probems arise when a troubled neighbor known only as “The Bishop” puts them all at wit’s end and events soon spiral out of control.
FILMS WITH PARTIES
DRAG BECOMES HIM (Director: Alex Berry)
Friday, October 9 at 7:00pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
In this frank, affectionate, and often-uproarious exposé, renowned Seattle drag performer Jinkx Monsoon tells all. It is the story of working-class boy Jerick Hoffer, who moved from small stages in Portland to Seattle to international acclaim. Influenced by his charming grandmother and encouraged by friends and family who saw a star in the making, Jinkx Monsoon was born. Jinkx takes her unique mix of Southern gentility and appreciation for tarnished glamour straight to the top of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Known locally for star turns in Hedwig and the gender-bending The Vaudevillians, Seattle’s hometown heroine—now a worldwide success—gives insight into what makes her a queen worthy of the crown.
Party to follow at St. John’s (719 E Pike St).
GIRLS SHORTS (Various directors)
Saturday, October 10 at 2:15pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Settle in for laughs, tears, and everything in between. Travel to space, remember your first crush, sort out relationship issues, and take some pithy advice in this program of snappy shorts sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Party to follow at Wildrose (1021 E Pike St).
CAPITOL HILL 2 (Directed: Wes Hurley)
Saturday, October 10 at 9:15pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
From Wes Hurley—The Advocate’s 2015 Person to Watch—comes this big-screen, feature-length sequel to the acclaimed webseries CAPITOL HILL. Jinkx Monsoon gives an unforgettable performance as Celeste Dahl, a rich and powerful socialite bent on unraveling Roses Smell’s (Waxie Moon) happy new life in Seattle. Meanwhile, Dottie (Robbie Turner) dabbles in exorcism, Tanya (Alexandra Tavares) learns to embrace her dark side, George (Mark Siano) runs to unseat the mayor, and Dinky Pie (Jackie Hell) comes back to Seattle to wreak havoc. Guinevere Turner (The L Word, GO FISH), Jason Carter (RuPaul’s Drag Race), and Sarah Rudinoff (FALLEN JEWEL) join the cast, which also features other popular Seattle performers.
Party to follow at Pettirosso (1101 E Pike St).
DYKE HARD (Directed by: Bitte Andersson)
Saturday, October 10 at 11:45pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Queer, Queer, QUEER! Bikers, gay sex, lesbian cyborgs—you name it, you’ve got it in the super fun DYKE HARD! Hit the road with a Swedish queer rock group, who are off in a Volvo to the big city to compete in a battle of the bands. But the misfit one-hit wonders must contend with a wild array of obstacles along the way, including ninjas, cyborgs, biker gangs, a Sapphic zombie, and an enigmatic billionaire hell-bent on keeping our girls from their destiny. Set in the 1980s, this colorful comedy owes a debt to John Waters and the B-movie spirit, blending laughs with sci-fi, horror, music, and just plain trashy fun. “Just get on the bike, dyke!”
Party to follow at Lost Lake (1505 10th Ave) with a Late Night Pancake Feed!
YOU’RE KILLING ME (Directed by: Jim Hansen)
Sunday, October 11 at 9:30pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Aspiring viral video star George (co-writer and YouTube star Jeffrey Self) is so narcissistic that he misses all the glaring signs that his gorgeous new boyfriend is a serial killer. Only when his comically shallow friends start disappearing one by one does George finally start realizing that Gretchen might not be coming back with crushed ice for his party. In this campy, shocking comedy-horror hybrid (mumblegore!), director Jim Hansen reveals the perils of incessant chatter. The supporting cast includes Drew Droege (of the Chloë webseries), Jack Plotnick, and a cameo by Mindy Cohn (TV’s Facts of Life).
Party to follow at Pony (1221 E Madison St).
SEED MONEY: THE CHUCK HOLMES STORY (Directed by: Michael Stabile)
Monday, October 12 at 7:00pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Chuck Holmes, a San Francisco videographer who created Falcon Studios, single-handedly transformed the porn industry from back alley to mainstream, shaping how gay men saw themselves. He was also a founder of the Human Rights Campaign and Democratic fundraiser—but while his money was welcome, he often was not. This revealing documentary also features interviews with stars Jeff Stryker, Tom Chase, and Jim Bentley; Falcon directors Steven Scarborough, Chi Chi LaRue, and John Rutherford; and fans of the films, including John Waters and Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears.
Party to follow at Purr (1518 11th Ave).
WINNING DAD (Directed by: Arthur Allen)
Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Colby and Rusty are two handsome men in love. The only hitch: his conservative family thinks Rusty is a straight potential business partner in need of funding. Having convinced Rusty to go on a weekend camping trip in the mountains of Washington State with his homophobic father, Colby backs out at the last minute. Things go awry in the wilderness when Rusty decides to tell all, revealing a bit more than either of them can handle. Each man must redefine his idea of family in this locally led drama that gets right to the heart of matters.
Party to follow at Diesel (1413 14th Ave).
SYLVIA O’STAYFORMORE’S NIGHT WITH JACQUELINE (Directed by: Sylvia O’Stayformore, Michael Anderson & Shane Wahlund)
Thursday, October 15 at 9:15pm at Northwest Film Forum
Sylvia O’Stayformore has joined her effervescent drag performance with the brilliance of Collide-O-Scope Video. Her first sold-out project, “Come Fly with Me,” was a huge success in Seattle earlier this year. Now Sylvia does it again with a full evening of Jackie Susann’s films—VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, LOVE MACHINE, and ONCE IS NOT ENOUGH—all mashed into one debaucherous event! Sylvia will be your love therapist as she guides you through these high-camp movies brimming with pill popping, booze drinking, and drag song- and-dance fun. Come in your best Pucci attire and sign up for prizes!
Party at Retail Therapy (905 E Pike St) before screening.
STUFF (Directed by: Suzanne Guacci)
Saturday, October 17 at 7:30pm at AMC Pacific Place
Together for 14 years, stay-at-home Deb and doctor Trisha have built a beautiful family but have drifted apart in the wake of Trisha’s crushing grief over her father’s death. After little Samantha gets in a tussle with a boy in daycare, enter his mom Jamie: edgy, tattooed, and keyring-on-belt sexy (Traci Dinwiddie, ELENA UNDONE). As Deb and Jamie find friendship in the shadow of broken relationships, a new desire emerges that shakes both their worlds. STUFF’s strong cast includes Phyllis Somerville (The Big C), who provides startling moments of poignancy and clarity in this story about love, loss, and the stuff of life that makes us stronger.
Party to follow at Gordon Biersch (600 Pine St, 4th Floor).
HUSTLER WHITE (Directed by: Bruce LaBruce & Rick Castro)
Friday, October 9 at 11:45pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Sleaze-obsessed writer-photographer-filmmaker Bruce LaBruce’s most ambitious film (newly remastered) follows thrill-seeking Monti (Tony Ward, former underwear model and Madonna video star), a Santa Monica street hustler out for a day of adventure like few of us have expe- rienced. HUSTLER WHITE (SLGFF 1996) is a gritty exploration of the intertwined sex-work and porn industries, intended as homage to classic Hollywood filmmaking, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. LaBruce (RASPBERRY REICH, GERONTOPHILIA, SLGFF 2014) co-stars as Jurgen Anger, a German writer, who pays Monti to play LA tour guide and gets more than he bargained for. This fetish-fueled tale offers “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing up your butt.”
THE CELLULOID CLOSET (Directed by Robert Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman)
Saturday, October 10 at 4:30pm at 12th Ave Arts, Pike/Pine Room
For our 20th festival we are proud to present a landmark contribution to queer cinema—about queer cinema—on its 20th anniversary. Swishy stereotypes and surprisingly sophisticated gay characters were not uncommon in silent films and early talkies. Later, self-imposed industry censorship turned us into villains and jesters. Based on Vito Russo’s groundbreaking 1981 book and narrated by Lily Tomlin, this eye-opening documentary dazzles with hundreds of clips and revealing, star-studded interviews that examine nearly a century of LGBT representation on the silver screen.
THE YEAR WE THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE – WITH REEL QUEER YOUTH
Saturday, October 17 at 12:30 PM
While many young people face pressure to fit in, the brave and charismatic youth of True Colors, a queer theater group in Boston, shine a spotlight on their dramatic lives and are applauded by their peers. They’ve addressed gun violence, coming out, first dates, parental rejections, college applications, taking hormones, and an act of terrorism that shook their world—but the most shocking may be been when they decided to talk about love. Onstage and off, we see our cast come of age through the power of performance.
Plays with REEL QUEER YOUTH shorts. Reel Queer Youth is a video production and media literacy training for LGBTQ youth and their allies ages 13-20