"Brother to Brother" Fulfills Gay Fest Sweep with Philadelphia Award
by Brian Brooks
Rodney Evans' drama "Brother to Brother" received the best feature film prize at the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which ended last week. The film, which won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January, has received honors at the leading gay and lesbian fests in the country including the NewFest in New York, San Francisco's Frameline, as well as OutFest in Los Angeles.
"Brother to Brother" is a story of gay African-American lives; a student writer finds inspiration in the life and work of a poet from the Harlem Renaissance. Anthony Mackie, Roger Robinson, Duane Boute, Larry Gilliard Jr., and Aunjanue Ellis star in a film that offers vivid depictions of contemporary and classic Harlem, set within the rich environment of the neighborhood's artistic and literary history. Wolfe will release the film theatrically in October.
In other PIGLFF winners, Tom Murray's "Farm Family - In Search of Gay Life in Rural America" won the best full-length documentary award, while "With What Shall I Wash It" by Maria Trenor, "Little Black Boot" by Collette Burson and "XX to XY: Fighting to be Jake" by Emily Atef won the best short film prizes in the gay male, lesbian and trans/general categories respectively. In audience prizes, Tennyson Bardwell's "Dorian Blues" won the award for best feature film (the feature also took the same award at OutFest last month), while Barbara Rick's "In Good Conscience: Sister Jeannine Gramick's Journey of Faith" won the audience award for best full-length documentary.
PIGLFF also honored producer Lee Daniels, writer/actress Guinevere Turner and actor Alan Cummings with artistic achievement awards. Both Cummings and Turner participated in conversations with local hosts, while Daniels introduced a screening of Patrik-Ian Polk's "Noah's Arc," and announced that Polk will direct his next production, "Ladies Night Out."
The Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is produced by the Philadelphia Film Society, which also produces the annual Philadelphia Film Festival, which took place in April. During its 13-day run, PGLFF screened 54 feature films, 22 full-length docs, 64 shorts and other events. Following the closing ceremonies, the fest hosted a screening of action-comedy "D.E.B.S." and officially ended with a six-film marathon of "festival favorites," followed by a last minute screening of Casper Andreas' "Slutty Summer."