"When I'm 64," "Sevigne" "Guys & Balls," and "Girl Play" Take Philadelphia Gay Fest Accolades
by Brian Brooks
The Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival concluded its two-week run last week, with a screening of Craig Lucas' "The Dying Gaul," preceded by the announcement of jury and audience competition winners. British director Jon Jones' "When I'm 64" won the jury prize for best feature (gay male), while Spanish director Marta Balletbo-Coll's "Sevigne" won the best feature prize in the 'lesbian' category.
BBC-produced "64" is the story of a retiring Latin teacher, who meets a similar aged former football (soccer) yob, and embarks on an intense friendship that later morphs into more. "Sevigne," meanwhile, is the story of a screenwriter who attempts to get her story on French socialite Madame de Sevigne off the ground with the help of a former actress turned theater director. The festival's jury prize for best documentary went to American director Nicole Conn's "little man," the story of a lesbian couple's determination to see their surrogate newborn son's survival, despite a 0.00004% chance of living.
In other jury awards, Canadian director Armen Kazazian's "Gold" won best short (gay male) and Jennie Livingston's ("Paris is Burning") "Who's the Top" took best short (lesbian), and American Eric Smith's "Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road" took best short documentary.
German director Sherry Horman's "Guys & Balls" took the fest's audience award for best feature (gay male). The film, which also took an audience prize at Outfest, is the story of a closeted gay man who gets kicked off of his homophobic soccer team and vows revenge by assembling a motley crew of fellow gays determined to exact a sporting revenge on the field. "Girl Play," by Lee Friedlander (U.S.) won the audience award for lesbian film. The feature, based on the original play "Real Girls," revolves around two actresses with opposite personalities, who are cast in an L.A. play. Initially, their love scenes are difficult, but as the rehearsals continue and the pressure increases, the acting becomes real. Finally, the audience nod for best documentary went to Daniel Peddle's "The Aggressives." The film follows six lesbians around New York City. The women each fall into a category ranging from "bull dyke" to "pretty tomboys," but their style is not a temporary drag persona, rather its a lifestyle.
PIGLFF featured 59 features, 23 documentaries, 75 shorts and two special screenings from 26 countries, with eight world premieres screening in the line up. The festival, produced by the Philadelphia Film Society, which also hosts the annual Philadelphia International Film Festival, took place July 7-19. Next year's dates are slated for July 13-25.