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From 'Sordid Lives' & Meryl Streep to 'A Jihad for Love' & Peter Berlin: Outfest LGBT Movies

Tom Cavanagh, Ben Shenkman, Noah Bernett in Breakfast with Scot

July 9 update: Outfest 2008, the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, kicked off last night at downtown Los Angeles' historic Orpheum Theatre with a screening of Laurie Lynd's Breakfast with Scot, in which a straitlaced gay couple tries to handle an orphaned 11-year-old boy with a passion for feathered boas and rose hand cream. Adapted by Sean Reycraft from Michael Downing's novel, the Canadian comedy of mannerisms stars Tom Cavanagh and Ben Shenkman as the couple, and newcomer Noah Bernett as the drag queen in the making. A post-screening party will follow.

The North American rights to Breakfast with Scot have been acquired by here! Films, the theatrical distribution and worldwide sales division of here! Networks. Their sister company, Regent Releasing, will open the film in the fall.

Outfest 2008 will showcase more than 200 films and videos from 25 countries, in addition to assorted panels, parties, and special events throughout the Los Angeles area. The festival runs until July 21.

Synopses from the Outfest 2008 website.

Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!

THU 7/10 7:00pm & 9:45pm
DGA 1

Mamma Mia!, Directed By: Phyllida Lloyd
SCR: Catherine Johnson

Set on a sun-kissed Greek island, Mamma Mia! tells the story of Donna (Meryl Streep), a former singer who now runs a small resort, as she prepares for the wedding of her only daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried of Mean Girls, in a breakthrough performance). Sophie could not be more excited about her big day; not only is she getting married to the man of her dreams, Skye (Dominic Cooper, The History Boys), but she will also be meeting her father for the very first time. Some old-fashioned snooping led Sophie to her mother's diary…and the revelation that her father could be one of three different men: all of whom Sophie has invited to the wedding! Mamma mia!

The film magnificently captures the barely-contained glee that has already made Mamma Mia! a sensation (more than 30 million people worldwide have seen it on stage). Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski also dazzle onscreen in this giddy adaptation that sizzles and pops. Voulez-vous ABBA? You'll swoon, “I do! I do! I do! I do! I do!"

Love My Life by Koji Kawano

THU 7/10 7:00pm
Fairfax 1

Love My Life, Directed By: Koji Kawano
SCR: Hiroko Kanasugi

Based on the popular comic by Ebine Yamaji, Love My Life is a highly entertaining Japanese romantic comedy about two college girls in love and all the obstacles they encounter. Ichiko, wants to tell her father about her girlfriend, Eri. When she does, her father has the bigger bombshell…Ichiko's parents are both gay! Love My Life captures the beauty, the joys, the drama and everything in between when you fall in love for the first time.

Citizen Nawi by Nissim Mossek

THU 7/10 7:15pm
Fairfax 2

Citizen Nawi, Directed By: Nissim Mossek
SCR: Nissim Mossek & Ron Ofer

Openly gay social activist Ezra Nawi lives on the edge of danger as he works to improve life for Palestinian farmers in the West Bank. He clashes with soldiers and militant settlers who torment him with homophobic insults, while worrying about his Palestinian partner Faud, who is an illegal immigrant in Israel. When Faud gets sent to jail, the couple's relationship spirals downward. Citizen Nawi embeds viewers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, bringing it home through Ezra's tumultuous personal life.

For a Relationship by Jim Verburg

Bramadero by Julian Hernandez

THU 7/10 8:00pm
DGA 2

Rough and Ready
Shorts Programs

Program Running Time is 79 min
These boys' shorts are a little messed up – in a sexy-disturbing kind of way. A scientist is strangely attracted to a future version of himself, while another man discovers something scary lurking in his closet. A steamy hook-up unravels into a lecture on monogamy and another guy enjoys watching a one-man soccer game with Metallica blaring. Oh, and two men have sex on a construction site. That's normal, right?

For a Relationship (above, top photo)
Directed By: Jim Verburg
Canada, 2007, 4 min

Hirsute
Directed By: A.J. Bond
Canada, 2007, 14 min

Just
Directed By: David Maurice Gil
USA, 2007, 12 min

In the Closet
Directed By: Jody Wheeler
USA, 2008, 12 min

Warrior
Directed By: Daniel Zox
USA, 2006, 1 min

The Young and Evil
Directed By: Julian Breece
USA, 2008, 15 min

Bramadero (above, lower photo)
Directed By: Julián Hernández
Mexico, 2007, 21 min

The Universe of Keith Haring by Christina Clausen

THU 7/10 9:15pm
Fairfax 2

The Universe of Keith Haring, Directed By: Christina Clausen

You have surely seen the work of artist/social activist Keith Haring, whose bold, cartoon-like art has appeared on T-shirts, posters, murals and even the New York City subway. Tracing Haring's life from a small town in Pennsylvania to the center of the New York art scene, Universe is a thorough and intimate exploration of one of the most popular and significant artists of the 20th century. Featuring appearances from his many friends including Grace Jones, Yoko Ono, David LaChapelle, Andy Warhol and Madonna.

The Secrets by Avi Nesher

THU 7/10 9:30pm
Fairfax 1

The Secrets, Directed By: Avi Nesher
SCR: Hadar Galron & Avi Nesher

This haunting and lyrical drama explores the place of women and sexuality in Orthodox Judaism. At a Jewish women's seminary in Israel, Naomi, the devout daughter of a rabbi, meets secular roommate Michelle, and the two become fast friends. The pair agree to fulfill the last wish of a dying woman (Fanny Ardant) and perform Kabalistic rituals on her. In so doing, they awaken within one another forbidden feelings that force them to question their path in life.

July 10

Synopses from the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.

XXY by Lucia Puenzo

FRI 7/11 7:00pm
DGA 1

XXY
International Dramatic Feature
(Argentina, France, 2007, 91 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles

Directed By: Lucía Puenzo
SCR: Lucía Puenzo

First-time director Lucia Puenzo has crafted an exquisite portrait of a young person struggling to understand gender and sexuality. As if teenage years aren't hard enough, Alex has the added complication of being intersex, raised as a girl and now being pressured to undergo surgery. She befriends a teenage boy and their blossoming sexuality leads them into confusing, uncharted territory. Set on the picturesque coast of Uruguay, XXY is a sophisticated film with an emotional resonance and beauty that conveys the importance of freedom of choice.

The Monsters in Our Closet

FRI 7/11 7:00pm
REDCAT

The Monsters in Our Closets: The Secret Gay Archive Exposed

Program Running Time is 90 min
Curated by Nao Bustamante and José Muñoz
This program is an airing of unmentionables. Guest curators Nao Bustamante and José Muñoz have asked a collection of subterranean superstar queer art dilettantes to ransack the darkest corners of their closets and show work that has rarely (or never) been screened. Some of these contributions are shame-laden juvenilia, others are experiments gone horribly wrong while still others are just wack. The cavalcade of images this program presents is a voyage to the even darker side of the queer imagination. Join us for a night of fabulous failure, messianic messiness and distinguished disasters. Come learn exactly what to do wrong from the masters. Featuring films by Cheryl Dunye, Coco Frio, Daniel Eduvijes Carrera, Shari Frilot and Thomas Allen Harris, Sam Green, Silas Howard, Ryan Trecartin, Ela Troyano and a live performance by Carmelita Tropicana and Ela Troyano.

The New World by Etienne Dhaene

FRI 7/11 7:15pm
Fairfax 2

The New World (Le Nouveau Monde)
International Dramatic Feature
(France, 2007, 90 mins)
In French with English subtitles

Directed By: Etienne Dhaene

Lucie and Marion want to have a baby. They've watched their best lesbian friends do it, so it can't be that hard, can it? From the hunt for sperm to dealing with unusual reactions from family members and friends, they soon feel in over their heads. Just what kind of world will they be bringing their baby into, anyway?

Otto; Or, Up With Dead People by Bruce LaBruce

FRI 7/11 9:30pm
REDCAT

Otto; Or, Up With Dead People
International Dramatic Feature
(Germany , Canada, 2007, 95 mins)
In English and German with English subtitles

Directed By: Bruce LaBruce
SCR: Bruce La Bruce

Otto is a handsome, neo-Goth zombie consumed with an identity crisis. He may look and smell like a zombie but he isn't quite sure… until he's cast in a movie as a confused zombie! The movie's director soon decides to profile Otto, while shooting the intended film about a gay zombie revolt. By the climatic, orgiastic scene of this gay zombie masterpiece, Otto's human emotions finally erupt. Otto is a clever, sexy modern fable about alienation, where even those on the fringe find it hard to resist the pull of the mainstream.

Saturn in Opposition by Ferzan Ozpetek

FRI 7/11 9:30pm
DGA 1

Saturn in Opposition (Saturno contro)
International Dramatic Feature
(Italy, 2007, 110 mins)
In Italian with English subtitles
35mm

Directed By: Ferzan Ozpetek
SCR: Ferzan Ozpetek & Gianni Romoli

An understated and moving study of friendship and empathy, Ferzan Ozpetek's ensemble drama Saturn in Opposition follows the handsome 30-year-old Lorenzo and his close-knit circle of friends. The group's seemingly idyllic life – filled with dinner parties and vacations across Italy – is turned upside down when one of them is unexpectedly hospitalized. With illuminating performances, Saturn in Opposition is a stunning film that is, at its core, a story about family.

54 by Mark Christopher

FRI 7/11 9:45pm
Fairfax 1

Secret Screening

Outfest presents a very special uncut, unseen underground screening of a disco vision you won't want to miss! Set in 1979, New York City. The most glamorous nightclub the world has ever known.The original tale of a bisexual bartender, a busboy and an ambitious coat check girl. We can finally say, “Welcome to the party!"

Note from the Blogger: This is supposed to be a “secret screening,” so I'm not going to spoil it. But those interested in unveiling the secret can do an online search for bisexual bartender busboy disco New York 1979 to find out what the movie is.

July 12

I've seen four of the Boys' Shorts: The Lonely Lights. The Color of Lemons., Lloyd Neck, El Primo, and The Back Room. All four are worth a look, and each offers memorable moments. But I was particularly moved by the first two in my list.

Benjamin M. Piety's The Lonely Lights. The Color of Lemons. is a beautiful, poetic, funny, heartbreaking – and at times unfathomable – experimental work on conformity and the workings of the human mind, while Benedict Campbell's Lloyd Neck is a deceptively simple and immensely touching look at three young people in the throes of major life changes.

Synopses from the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.

The Lonely Lights. The Color of Lemons by Benjamin M. Piety

SAT 7/12 11:00am
DGA 1

Boys' Shorts

Program Running Time is 85 min
From Australia to Long Island, these superb boys' shorts inspire laughter, contemplation and – they might even turn you on! Aussie beach boys learn to say goodbye, a young man develops a crush on his cousin and a bear finds unexpected love in a charming locale. Q&A with Directors after the screening.

The screening shorts are:

The Lonely Lights. The Color of Lemons. (top photo)
Directed By: Benjamin M. Piety
USA, 2006, 16 min

Lloyd Neck by Benedict Campbell

Lloyd Neck
Directed By: Benedict Campbell
USA, 2007, 16 min

El Primo (The Cousin)
Directed By: Nick Oceano
USA, 2008, 16 min

The Back Room
Directed By: Greg Ivan Smith
USA, 2008, 16 min

My Last Ten Hours with You
Directed By: Sophie Hyde
Australia, 2007, 15 min

The Window
Directed By: Philippe Gosselin, Ronald Regina
USA, 2008, 6 min

Donna Deitch

SAT 7/12 Noon
DGA 2

A Conversation With Donna Deitch
(90 mins)
Moderated by Kimberly Peirce

Recipient of the 2008 Outfest Achievement Award, writer-director Donna Deitch made a stunning impact on independent cinema with her film Desert Hearts. Arguably the most beloved lesbian feature film of all time, Desert Hearts continues to be a milestone for its beautiful sex scenes and depiction of love between two women. This early success set Deitch on a trailblazing career path few women directors in Hollywood ever experience. Her credits include the Emmy-nominated The Women of Brewster Place, The Devil's Arithmetic, Common Ground, and dozens of TV series. Donna Deitch is a gifted director and a pioneer who continues to bring groundbreaking images of women and lesbians to the screen.

Clapham Junction by Adrian Shergold

SAT 7/12 4:00pm
DGA 1

Clapham Junction
(UK, 2007, 120 mins)

Directed By: Adrian Shergold
SCR: Kevin Elyot

Clapham Junction reunites the stars of Maurice, James Wilby and Rupert Graves, but this is no Merchant-Ivory drama. Sexually graphic, gritty, and often violent, this made for British television drama takes a look at gay men in contemporary London whose lives intersect during a 36-hour period. From civil partnership ceremonies to bathroom trolling, the brutally honest and controversial Clapham Junction takes stock of what it means to be gay in metropolitan Britain.

Dan Butler in Karl Rove, I Love You

SAT 7/12 7:00pm
DGA 1

Karl Rove, I Love You
(USA, 2007, 97 mins)

Directed By: Dan Butler, Phil Leirness
SCR: Dan Butler & Julia Miranda

What happens when the role of a lifetime becomes the love of your life? Dan Butler (Bulldog on Frasier) and his friends play themselves in this witty satirical film about “an unknown supporting actor” obsessed with Karl Rove. Butler's research on Rove leads him first to anger, then mania and ultimately to put on a one-man show. His show is a huge success and Butler gets so deep into the character that reality and fiction blur. A Washington/Hollywood story that is as smart as it is funny!

In Person: Dan Butler and Phil Leirness along with cast for a Q&A after the screening. That will be followed by a post-screening party.

My Super 8 Season by Alessandro Avellis

SAT 7/12 7:30pm
Fairfax 2

My Super 8 Season (Ma Saison Super 8)
(France, 2005, 74 mins)
In French with English subtitles

Directed By: Alessandro Avellis
SCR: Alessandro Avellis

Forty years after France's tumultuous May 1968, My Super 8 Season (Ma Saison Super 8) puts queer characters front and center in that era's social revolution. Marc balances gay politics and his love affair with a gorgeous factory worker while Julie redefines herself in a lesbian commune. Filled with the type of young, sexy and intellectually-charged characters Godard would love, the film brilliantly balances the personal and the political against a backdrop of social change.

July 13

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Synopses from the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.

Watercolors by David Oliveras

SUN 7/13 11:00am
DGA 1

Watercolors
(USA, 2008, 106 mins)

Directed By: David Oliveras
SCR: David Oliveras

You never forget your first crush, and Watercolors will make you nostalgic for your own teen romance. Shy Danny is befriended by golden boy swimming champ Carter when family circumstances bring them together. Danny helps the troubled Carter in school while brash Carter brings Danny out of his shell, awakening his passion for art as well as his burgeoning sexuality. This hot and heartbreaking adolescent romance is bolstered by strong performances and a poignant script by director David Oliveras. In Person: Director for Q&A after the screening.

Fashion Victims by Ingo Rasper

SUN 7/13 2:00pm
Fairfax 1

Fashion Victims / Reine Geschmacksache
(Germany, 2007, 90 mins)
In German with English subtitles

Directed By: Ingo Rasper
SCR: Tom Streuber & Ingo Rasper

Karsten wanted nothing more than to get away for a holiday with his teenage friends, but circumstances force him to become a driver for his obnoxious, clothing salesman father. Things grow more complicated when Karsten strikes up a flirtation with Steven, his father's chief competitor. A crumbling career leads his father to increasingly desperate acts, compelling his son to grow up faster than he anticipated. This well-staged German comedy combines a coming-out tale with screwball comedy and poignant family drama.

Super 8 1/2 by Bruce LaBruce

SUN 7/13 5:00pm
REDCAT

Super 8 1/2
(Canada , Germany, 1993, 99 mins)
(In English)

Directed By: Bruce LaBruce
SCR: Bruce LaBruce

Inspired by Fellini's 8 1/2, Bruce LaBruce's loosely autobiographical film focuses on an aging triple-X star and director whose career and life are caught in a downward spiral until he meets Googie, a lesbian avant-garde filmmaker. Googie wants to make an experimental documentary featuring our star. While Bruce thinks that this is his big break to get back on track, Googie is secretly only exploiting him in order to finance her true passion project.

Derek by Isaac Julien

SUN 7/13 5:00pm
DGA 2

Derek
(UK, 2007, 76 mins)

Directed By: Isaac Julien

Derek is a glorious tribute of one of independent film's greatest treasures, Derek Jarman. Isaac Julien assembles a moving collage of rare home movies, film clips and interviews, enriched by a cinematic love letter from actress Tilda Swinton. Jarman lived as a participant observer, responding to all that passed before him. When Swinton recites “Dear Derek,” it's a salutation and adjective, for Jarman touched so many. Derek fulfills Jarman's offhanded last wish to not let him “evaporate.”

The Lost Coast by Gabriel Fleming

SUN 7/13 7:00pm
Fairfax 1

The Lost Coast
(USA, 2008, 74 mins)

Directed By: Gabriel Fleming
SCR: Gabriel Fleming

Halloween night in the Castro – a holiday and neighborhood were never better matched. Former high school pals Jasper, Mark and Lily reunite for one last booze-fueled adventure before Jasper marries his college girlfriend. Beneath the revelry lies Jasper and Mark's undeniable magnetism; there is an undertow to their relationship pulling them back to memories and feelings neither has resolved. Fleming is a gifted director who illustrates well, in the words of William Faulkner, that “The past is never dead. It's not even past.”

Hamlet 2 by Andrew Fleming

SUN 7/13 7:00pm
DGA 1

Hamlet 2
(USA, 2008, 92 mins)

Directed By: Andrew Fleming
SCR: Andrew Fleming & Pam Brady

When a high school threatens to shut down the theatre department, failed actor-turned-drama teacher Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) takes the classic musical approach to his dilemma and decides to put on a show. Not just any show, but a self-penned sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet…set to music…and starring Jesus. Spot on performances from Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler and Elisabeth Shue make this one of the funniest, politically incorrect films of the year!

Peter Berlin in Nights in Black Leather

SUN 7/13 8:00pm
REDCAT

Nights in Black Leather
(USA, 1973, 90 mins)

Directed By: Ignatio Rotkowski

With his trademark swagger, skintight jeans and rock hard body on full display, Nights in Black Leather thrust Peter Berlin into the international spotlight (and into the fantasies of thousands of gay men). Berlin stars as himself, a German immigrant wandering around San Francisco looking for adventure. With steamy scenes shot all over the city, Nights is both an exciting romp and an erotic time capsule of gay life in San Francisco circa 1972.

Newcastle by Dan Castle

SUN 7/13 9:30pm
DGA 1

Newcastle
(Australia, 2008, 106 mins)

Directed By: Dan Castle
SCR: Dan Castle

Australian surfers – the words alone ignite the imagination. Newcastle is a layered, beautifully shot coming of age story following pro-surfer-in-the-making Jesse, and the lost weekend he and his buddies spend on a secluded beach. Jesse's brother, Fergus, tags along eager to be one of the gang (and not so secretly crushing on sexy Nathan).The guys will be tempted, taunted and tested as their lives change forever, in this risk-taking film that paddles out past the breakers and takes on the big waves.

July 14

Synopses from the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.

Two Looks by Sergio Candel

MON 7/14 7:00pm
DGA 2

Two Looks (Dos Miradas)
(Spain, 2007, 70 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles

Directed By: Sergio Candel
SCR: Sergio Candel

The fully improvised Two Looks takes us from dawn to dusk on the most important day of Sofia and Laura's vacation. Stunningly gorgeous cinematography of the San Pedro de Atacama desert in Chile makes for a colorful backdrop to the volatile and curious drama that unfolds between these two young women as they struggle to reach the moment of truth in their relationship. Shot in a fly-on-the-wall documentary style, we see and live each cinematic moment.

The Love of Siam by Chukiat Sakveerakul

MON 7/14 7:00pm
Fairfax 1

The Love of Siam / Rak haeng Siam
(Thailand, 2007, 158 mins)
In Thai with English subtitles

Directed By: Chukiat Sakveerakul
SCR: Chukiat Sakveerakul

Mew and Tong are childhood friends and neighbors. After Tong's sister suddenly disappears, his distraught family moves away. Years later, Mew and Tong are reunited. Mew is now a talented singer/songwriter for a boy band, while Tong is a quiet reserved teen within a family still struggling through grief. The instant the two meet they are intimate friends once more, aching to express a mutual love. The Love of Siam is an intricate family drama that examines the beautiful simplicity of young love in a savage world.

Dolls by Karin Babinska

MON 7/14 9:30pm
Laemmle Santa Monica

Dolls (Pusinky)
(Czech Republic, 2007, 99 mins)
In Czech with English subtitles

Directed By: Karin Babinska
SCR: Petra Uselova

Too much freedom can make a teenager go wild. In Dolls (Pusinky), a breathtaking road trip film, three young women make a wild leap into adulthood. Iska, a privileged young woman, runs off from sports camp with her friends, seductive Karolina and innocent Vendula. One fateful night, Iska observes two women making out at a club, sparking her curiosity and setting off a series of events that changes he course of their journey. Exhilarating and emotional, this is a beautiful film about the journey from adolescence to adulthood.

Pages of a Girl by Monica Poli Palazzo

MON 7/14 9:30pm
DGA 2

International Girls
Shorts Programs
Program Running Time is 89 min
Small connections make the world go 'round in these shorts from Spain, Japan and Ukraine, to name a few. Ex-lovers reunite, an apartment building romance ignites and somehow buying a used dresser becomes sexy. Losing touch is part of it too, when a circus love triangle falls apart, a bookish girl loses her first love and a lonely writer can't keep pace with her corporate-minded girlfriend.

Pages of a Girl (Páginas de Menina) (above)
Directed By: Monica Poli Palazzo
Brazil, 2008, 19 min

Rope Burn by Melvin Montalban

Rope Burn
Directed By: Melvin Montalban
Australia, 2008, 8 min

When I Become Silent (Watashi ga chinmoku suru toki)
Directed By: Hyoe Yamamoto
Japan, 2007, 18 min

The Premiere
Directed By: Margret Bergheim
Norway, 2007, 9 min

Ramona's New Dresser
Directed By: Bohdana Smyrnova
Ukraine, 2008, 11 min

My Flat's Courtyard
Directed By: Pilar Gutierrez Aguado
Spain, 2007, 24 min

July 15

Of the films showing tomorrow at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2008, I've only seen one, Chris Mason Johnson's accomplished feature-film debut The New Twenty, about five New York City former college friends facing mid-life crises even before they reach 30. Johnson, who also wrote the intelligent screenplay with Ishmael Chawla, proves himself a capable actors' director, for the performances are uniformly good.

Now, I should add that the Outfest synopsis below doesn't give an idea of the complex relationships found within that group of five friends and/or lovers of different sexual orientations, professional aspirations, and personal yearnings. As for relying on “the strong bonds of friendship,” well, all I can say is that apparently those bonds ain't what they used to be. And that's exactly what gives a welcome edge to The New Twenty, one that most other friends-are-forever movies lack.

Synopses from the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.

The New Twenty by Chris Mason Johnson

TUE 7/15 7:00pm
Laemmle Santa Monica

The New Twenty
(USA, 2008, 92 mins)

Directed By: Chris Mason Johnson
SCR: Chris Mason Johnson & Ishmael Chawla

The New Twenty is a strongly scripted and wonderfully acted dramatic comedy about five attractive college friends – gay and straight – in New York City. About to enter new life stages, each seeks some kind of connection. Ben cruises for guys online while Tony looks for commitment from his handsome professor boyfriend Robert (Bill Sage). No matter how rewarding or difficult (and everything in between) life is for these almost-thirtysomethings, they can always rely on the strong bonds of friendship.

Seeds of Summer by Hen Lasker

TUE 7/15 7:30pm
Fairfax 2

Seeds of Summer / Zirei Kayitz
(Israel, 2007, 63 mins)
In Hebrew with English subtitles

Directed By: Hen Lasker
SCR: Hen Lasker

Hen Lasker's feature documentary debut takes us back to the place where she first fell in love with a woman: the Israeli Defense Forces. Baby-faced teen recruits, like discipline-prone Yarden, transform into combat-ready soldiers by day and cry for their parents by night. Also caught in the viewfinder is young commander Smadar, whose burgeoning lesbianism reaches right through the lens as she and the filmmaker start a flirtation. Lasker takes a close look inside a little seen world, and also ends up revealing part of herself.

Searching 4 Sandeep by Poppy Stockell

TUE 7/15 9:15pm
Fairfax 2

Searching 4 Sandeep
(Australia, 2007, 56 mins)
In Punjabi, English with English subtitles
North America Premiere

Directed By: Poppy Stockell
SCR: Poppy Stockell

Love is a many splendored thing, but for Poppy Stockell, many a thing goes awry in the search for her match. Poppy, an Australian cutie, finds herself developing a strong online connection with Sandeep, a closeted British Asian. As their relationship deepens, the two begin filming their lives and interactions, capturing their separate existences and experiences. Turning the lens on themselves and with wit and emotion, Poppy and Sandeep's undeniable connection make Searching 4 Sandeep a delight to watch.

Whirlwind by Richard LeMay

TUE 7/15 9:30pm
Fairfax 1

Whirlwind
(USA, 2008, 99 mins)
World Premiere

Directed By: Richard LeMay
SCR: Jason Brown

When a tight-knit group of New York City friends meet a hunky, fun stranger, they couldn't be happier to have him join their clique. But when that stranger begins to mysteriously undermine the existing friendships, manipulating each for his own damaging pleasure, the faux fur really begins to fly. With a great ensemble cast, Whirlwind explores the complexity of gay male friendships and reminds us to keep our enemies close and our friends closer.

July 16

Synopses from the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.

Affinity by Tim Fywell

WED 7/16 7:00pm
DGA 1

Dramatic Centerpiece: Affinity
(UK , Canada , Romania, 2008, 90 mins)
(In English)
POST-SCREENING RECEPTION

Directed By: Tim Fywell
SCR: Andrew Davies

Based on Sarah Waters' masterful award-winning second novel, Affinity is a gorgeous tale of love, longing and mystery set in Victorian London. Upper crust Margaret Prior grieves the death of her father as she tries valiantly to move past a lost love. She decides to take on “a project” and volunteers at Millbrook, a grim women's prison full of ladies who have committed some of the most heinous crimes.

One of these women is Selina Dawes, an angelic-looking woman convicted of assault and fraud, and who purportedly possesses special powers as a spirit medium. As Margaret's visits to the jail increase (and to Selina, in particular), her interest in the world of spiritualism intensifies – but is Selina really the prodigy she claims to be?

With the riveting quality of past Waters' work brought to screen (Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith), Affinity takes us on a heart-pounding, bodice-straining journey of romance and intrigue as its shocking twists and simmering passion drive it to a stunning finale.

Antarctica by Yair Hochner

WED 7/16 7:00pm
Fairfax 1

Antarctica
(Israel, 2008, 108 mins)
In Hebrew with English subtitles
AFTER-PARTY

Directed By: Yair Hochner
SCR: Yair Hochner

The hip and beautiful boys and girls in this super sexy Israeli romantic comedy set in Tel Aviv are searching for something. For some it's just sex – and lots of it. Most nights bespectacled cutie Omer works at the local library and reads books about U.F.O.s before bed. Then Omer meets Ronen, a devastatingly handsome journalist. Might Ronen have the ability to melt Omer's frozen heart and give him what he didn't know he was looking for?

Meadowlark by Taylor Greeson

WED 7/16 7:15pm
DGA 2

Meadowlark
(USA, 2007, 77 mins)
World Premiere

Directed By: Taylor Greeson

In the summer of 1993, at age twelve, filmmaker Taylor Greeson was ordained a Mormon priest, lost his virginity to an older man and arrived home from a family trip to find his older brother stabbed to death. This is Greeson's autobiographical journey as he travels throughout Montana, weaving a fragile tapestry as he retraces what happened that fateful summer. Greeson reveals his struggle with faith, sexuality and loss, culminating in a heart-wrenching confrontation with the man who murdered his brother.

11 Minutes by Michael Selditch, Rob Tate

WED 7/16 8:30pm
Ford Amphitheatre

Eleven Minutes
(USA, 2007, 104 mins)
West Coast Premiere
AFTER-PARTY

Directed By: Michael Selditch, Rob Tate

If you're a fan of Project Runway – and really, who isn't – then you'll be riveted by Eleven Minutes, a fascinating peek behind the curtain at season - one winner Jay McCarroll's preparation for his debut fashion show. Witness a hilarious and heartbreaking year of McCarroll's life as he creates a 660-second spectacle for the runways of New York's Bryant Park. Eleven Minutes brilliantly examines how reality television and reality are two different things altogether. In Person: Jay McCarroll and Special Guests

Tearoom by William E. Jones

WED 7/16 9:15pm
DGA 2

Tearoom
(USA, 1962, 56 mins)
Silent with English subtitles

Directed By: William E. Jones

Tearoom consists of footage shot by the police in the course of a crackdown on public sex in the American Midwest. In the summer of 1962, the Mansfield, Ohio Police Department photographed men in a restroom under the main square of the city. The cameramen hid in a closet and watched the clandestine activities through a two-way mirror. The original surveillance footage shot by the police came into the possession of director William E. Jones while he was researching this case for a documentary project. The unedited scenes of ordinary men of various races and classes meeting to have sex were so powerful that the director decided to present the footage with a minimum of intervention. Tearoom is a radical example of film presented “as found” for the purpose of circulating
historical images that have otherwise been suppressed.

Devotee by Remi Lange

WED 7/16 9:15pm
Fairfax 2

Devotee
(France, 2008, 50 mins)
In French with English subtitles
West Coast Premiere

Directed By: Rémi Lange
SCR: Remi Lange, Herve Chenais & Guillaume Quashie-Vauclin

Daring and straightforward, Devotee is the story of Hervé, an assertive 43-year-old man who was born without arms or legs. He meets a gorgeous young man online, a devotee (devoteeism [or acrotomophilia] is the sexual attraction to people with amputations) who seems like he might be different. Their encounter proves Hervé's difficulty in finding a true connection with someone who is interested in treating him like a person rather than a mere fetish.

Boystown by Juan Flahn

WED 7/16 9:30pm
Fairfax 1

Boystown / Chuecatown
(Spain, 2007, 100 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles

Directed By: Juan Flahn
SCR: Felix Sabroso, Dunia Ayaso & Juan Flahn

Gentrification can be murder in Boystown, an outrageous new Spanish comedy. Real estate agent Víctor (Pablo Puyol) will stop at nothing to make Madrid's trendy gay Chueca neighborhood the yuppie paradise of his dreams, even it means bumping off all the old ladies and unfabulous gays who refuse to sell their apartments. Add Almodóvar regular Rosa Maria Sarda as a neurotic police detective and you have a wildly funny farce with a body count.

Shotgun by Ronny Hirschmann

WED 7/16 9:30pm
DGA 1

Keen on Boys
Shorts Programs
Program Running Time is 91 min
These first-timers all learn a similar lesson – love just ain't easy. Maybe the lead in your school play got your hormones raging or perhaps it was your teacher. Even if you leave the rez for Hollywood or flee the farm for college, there's just no simple way around it. A word of advice: if he leaves you, seek comfort inunexpected places.

Mr. A Mr. A
Directed By: Joe Murphy
USA, 2008, 12 min

Shotgun (above)
Directed By: Ronny Hirschmann
Israel, 2007, 17 min

Ta by Felipe Sholl


Directed By: Felipe Sholl
Brazil, 2007, 5 min

Center of the Universe by Jarrah Gurrie

Center of the Universe
Directed By: Jarrah Gurrie
Australia , USA, 2007, 14 min

Two Spirits, One Journey
Directed By: Arthur Allan Seidelman, Chad Richman
USA, 2007, 18 min

Romeo's Kiss (Le Baiser)
Directed By: Julien Eger
France, 2007, 12 min

Silver Road
Directed By: Bill Taylor
Canada, 2007, 13 min

July 17

Despite several contrived and underdeveloped dramatic situations, and a number of clunky camera setups, Luke Eberl's mordant political drama Choose Connor is definitely worth a look. Eberl's screenplay is appropriately cynical – or rather, truthful – when showcasing the machinations of politicians and their cronies, while Steven Webber delivers a flawless performance as a handsome, ambitious, and utterly ruthless U.S. congressman in the throes of an election campaign. As a plus, Alex Linz is quite remarkable as the senator's Youth Campaign Spokesman.

Synopses from the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.

A Jihad for Love by Parvez Sharma

THU 7/17 7:00pm
DGA 1

Documentary Centerpiece: A Jihad for Love
(USA, 2007, 81 mins)
In English, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Hindi with English subtitles
AFTER PARTY: Wildness at Silver Platter

Directed By: Parvez Sharma
SCR: Parvez Sharma

Six years ago Outfest screened a 20-minute work-in-progress of Parvez Sharma's groundbreaking film about queer Muslims. Sharma masterfully turned that concept into A Jihad for Love, a breathtaking international phenomenon shot in twelve countries and nine languages.

At a time when Islam is under tremendous attack from within and without, the subjects of Sharma's brave documentary speak openly about the challenges of being gay/lesbian and Muslim. They share their deeply personal struggles to reconcile a faith that is part of the fabric of who they are, with a faith that also rejects them for who they love. Each subject speaks with a unique voice, illustrating the depth and diversity of the international Muslim community.

Sharma and producer Sandi DuBowski (Outfest award-winner Trembling Before G-d) have created an enlightening film made within the Muslim community. A Jihad for Love not only explores the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality, but more importantly, it inspires us all to unite in the struggle for love.

The Ode by Nilanjan Neil Lahiri

THU 7/17 7:00pm
Fairfax 1

The Ode
(USA, 2007, 105 mins)
World Premiere

Directed By: Nilanjan Neil Lahiri
SCR: Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla & Akshat Verma

Based on actual events and the critically-acclaimed novel by Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla (Ode to Lata), The Ode spans two generations and intertwines the doomed but passionate love story of Parin and Shiraz with the tempestuous life of their gay son Ali who discovers that the past is always present no matter how far you run. Ali flees to Hollywood, away from his overprotective mother and memories of his father's violent death. A successful banker by day, at night his life unravels in a blur of alcohol, drugs, and sex as he grapples with love, loss and ultimately, forgiveness.

Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon by Jeffrey Schwarz

THU 7/17 7:15pm
Fairfax 2

Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon
(USA, 2008, 85 mins)
World Premiere

Directed By: Jeffrey Schwarz

Few people have had as wild and unpredictable a life as that of 1970s gay porn icon Jack Wrangler, a charismatic, dedicated performer who not only managed to transition from gay to straight porn while remaining openly gay, but continued to find success on Broadway following his retirement from the adult film world. Featuring appearances by Christine Ebersole, Bruce Vilanch, Chi Chi Larue, and host of other notables, Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon is a playful and captivating look at a man who's defied expectations at every turn.

Steven Webber in Choose Connor

THU 7/17 9:30pm
Fairfax 1

Choose Connor
(USA, 2007, 112 mins)
AFTER-PARTY

Directed By: Luke Eberl
SCR: Luke Eberl

A bright teenager learns far more about politics than he'd ever imagined when he falls under the sway of charismatic congressman Lawrence Connor (Steven Weber, Wings) and his handsome young nephew Caleb (Escher Holloway) in this unsettling morality tale. Owen Norris becomes Caleb's confidant and Connor's “youth spokesman,” but what starts out as a fun summer job takes Owen into the dark places within the corridors of power.

Dandelion Fall by Lauren Wolkstein

THU 7/17 9:30pm
DGA 1

Loners Drifters Dreamers
Shorts Programs

Program Running Time is 93 min
Ever find yourself caught up in a fantasy of what was or might be? In these smart and sexy shorts about ladies who can't (and won't!) be tamed, a librarian's mind runs wild and a mechanic recounts an unforgettable moment on a motorcycle. Whether she's a classic drifter hitting the road or a sailor on a mission, she's looking for something, often herself.

Dandelion Fall (above)
Directed By: Lauren Wolkstein
USA, 2007, 14 min

I & I. We.
Directed By: J. Bob Alotta
USA, 2008, 3 min

Flotsam
Directed By: Michael Curtis Johnson
USA, 2008, 23 min

Quiet Please by Guinevere Turner

Quiet Please
Directed By: Guinevere Turner
USA, 2008, 12 min

Mechanic's Daydream by Mary Guzman

Mechanic's Daydream
Directed By: Mary Guzmán
USA, 2007, 9 min

The Insomniacs by Kami Chisholm

The Insomniacs
Directed By: Kami Chisholm
USA, 2007, 11 min

Countertransference
Directed By: Madeleine Olnek
USA, 2008, 15 min

Don't Mess with Texas by Carrie Schrader, Tricia Cooke

Don't Mess with Texas
Directed By: Carrie Schrader, Tricia Cooke
USA, 2008, 6 min

Curses, Hexes and Boots by Slava Mogutin, Brian Kenny

THU 7/17 9:45pm
Fairfax 2

Homoccult & Other Esoterotica

Program Running Time is 76 min
Curated by Daniel McKernan and Richie Rennt Enter the visually arresting world of “Generation Hex” artists, a collaborative collection of filmmakers who are inspired by the occult. Like a trip through a house of mirrors, this program is at turns haunting, funny, warped and always provocative. Originally presented as part of New York's MIX Festival 2007, and featuring internationally renowned artists Ron Athey and Terence Koh, “Homoccult” explores the dark places between the known and the unknown.

Curses, Hexes & Boots (above)
Directed By: Slava Mogutin, Brian Kenny
USA, 2006, 6 min

Boyfriend 3
Directed By: Todd Verow
USA, 2005, 5 min

Self_Love
Directed By: Roberto Ratti
Italy, 2007, 3 min

GOD (Episode 6 of 21) by Terrance Koh

GOD (Episode 6 of 21)
Directed By: Terrance Koh
Switzerland, 2007, 11 min

As Doors Open Into Space
Directed By: Peter Christopherson
Thailand, 2006, 7 min

Project P-Town
Directed By: Scott Hug
USA, 2007, 3 min

Veneration X
Directed By: Daniel McKernan, Richie Rennt
USA, 2007, 3 min

Uncle Billy by Massimo and Pierce

Uncle Billy
Directed By: Massimo & Pierce
Switzerland, 2007, 5 min

Ordeal by Roses by Lee Adams

Ordeal by Roses
Directed By: Lee Adams
UK, 2003, 8 min

S/HE IS HER/E
Directed By: Edward O'Dowd
USA, 2007, 1 min

Pantelia
Directed By: Micki Pellerano
USA, 2006, 10 min

Ecstatic (from Self-Obliteration) by Ron Athey

Ecstatic (from Self-Obliteration)
Directed By: Ron Athey
UK, 2007, 3 min

The Pandrogyny Manifesto
Directed By: Breyer P-Orridge
France, 2004, 11 min

July 18

Alessandro Calza, Adam Neal Smith in Ciao

I've seen two of the Girls' Shorts: Guinevere Turner's Late, and Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega's Academy Award-nominated La Corona.

In Late, we hear several phone messages as the camera slowly moves around what appears to be an empty room. The “climax” was hardly a surprise, and apart from the obvious underlying irony I wasn't quite sure what the point of the film was. Nevertheless, it's worth a look.

La Corona – really, a must-see – takes a behind-the-scenes look at a curious beauty pageant in which Colombian women serving time for murder, armed robbery, guerrilla warfare, and so on vie for the prize of Prettiest Gal in Cell Block XYZ. The goings-on are entertaining – uncomfortably so – as the young women talk about their violent past while concerning themselves with the appropriate make-up and costumes they need to have on so as to dazzle the jury.

More than the smiles of the winner, the tears of one very upset loser, conversations about murdering people followed by the nonsense the women spout while being interviewed on the makeshift runway, and cries of racism and rigged juries, what most impressed me about La Corona were the relatively cozy relationship the guards and wardens have with their charge (I wonder what things are like when there aren't cameras around), and the fact that the competitors' cellblock-mates are as vociferous in their cheerleading as the most rabid soccer fans. In other words, there's nothing like pointless rivalry and tribalism to make human beings feel worthy and alive. Let that be a lesson to all. Note: At about 40 minutes, La Corona isn't exactly a short film.

Synopses from the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.

FRI 7/18 7:00pm
Fairfax 1

Ciao (top photo)
(USA, 2007, 87 mins)
In English/Italian/Mandarin with English subtitles

Directed By: Yen Tan
SCR: Yen Tan & Alessandro Calza

When Mark dies in a car accident, his best friend Jeff is left to tie up loose ends as he mourns. While sending emails of the sudden passing, Jeff meets Andrea, Mark's Italian online boyfriend. On a whim, Jeff and Andrea decide to meet, each hoping to gain a sense of closure. Ciao is a beautiful and poignant film exploring the often difficult path to accepting loss amidst the hope of new beginnings.

The Thorny Rose by Carrie Schrader

FRI 7/18 7:00pm
DGA 1

Girls' Shorts
Program Running Time is 94 min

Sometimes a girl's life is like an obstacle course – trying to navigate ex-gay conversion, fights over babies and dildos and then there's the prison beauty pageant. Or perhaps it is more like a mystery novel. What's going on in that S & M dungeon? Why is big sis trying to dress like a boy? And why isn't that hottie picking up her phone? This exceptional shorts program has it all!

Late
Directed By: Guinevere Turner
USA, 2008, 7 min

Wicked Desire
Directed By: Angela Cheng
USA, 2008, 13 min

Fighter
Directed By: Sharon Barnes
USA, 2008, 11 min

Happy Birthday
Directed By: Roberta Marie Munroe
USA, Canada, 2008, 15 min

The Thorny Rose (above)
Directed By: Carrie Schrader
USA, 2008, 8 min

La Corona by Amanda Micheli, Isabel Vega

La Corona (The Crown)
Directed By: Amanda Micheli, Isabel Vega
USA, 2007, 40 min

Mulligans by Chip Hale

FRI 7/18 8:30pm
Ford Amphitheatre

Mulligans
(Canada, 2008, 92 mins)
(In English)

Directed By: Chip Hale
SCR: Charlie David

College roommates and best friends Tyler and Chase (Charlie David, Kiss the Bride) are in for one crazy summer in Mulligans, a romantic comedy with a gay twist. Straight Tyler invites gay Chase to stay with him and his parents, Nathan and Stacy (Thea Gill, Queer As Folk) at their lakeside vacation home. Nathan and Chase hit it off immediately; their relationship takes many twists and turns before reaching a scandalacious climax. Filled with great performances, Mulligans is a crowd pleasing film about granting oneself a second chance.

Every Other Weekend by Tim Slade

FRI 7/18 9:15pm
Fairfax 2

International Boys
Program Running Time is 83 min

Welcome to the Wide World of Shorts. Here you'll find Icelandic wrestlers and German soccer players in love, hooligans fighting on the playground, and divorced dads pulling a daughter between them. And it's boy-hunting season in the mountains of Switzerland and the gardens of France! These globetrotting stories are touching, funny and honest.

Every Other Weekend (above)
Directed By: Tim Slade
Australia, 2007, 15 min

Robin's Hood
Directed By: Kent Monkman,
Gisele Gordon
Canada, 2007, 6 min

Souljah
Directed By: Rikki Beadle-Blair
UK, 2007, 10 min

HerzHaft by Martin Busker

HerzHaft
Directed By: Martin Busker
Germany, 2007, 15 min

Wrestling by Grimur Hakonarson

Wrestling
Directed By: Grimur Hakonarson
Iceland, 2007, 21 min

Landleben (Vie champetre)
Directed By: Lukas Egger
Switzerland, 2007, 16 min

Sugar Rush by Sean Grundy

FRI 7/18 9:45pm
DGA 1

Sugar Rush
(UK, 2006, 75 mins)

Directed By: Sean Grundy

Fun, hilarious and honest, the British TV import Sugar Rush follows the adventures of Kim, a perky redheaded teenager. Kim is in lust – the object of her desire is gorgeous bad girl Sugar. Their relationship is mutually beneficial – Kim will do anything to be in the presence of the luscious Sugar, and Sugar has schemes to involve Kim in – lots of them and none of them very legal. These first episodes will surely leave you a Sugar addict!

July 19

James Westby's The Auteur, the story of a down-and-out “adult film” director (Melik Malkasian) attempting to make a professional comeback and win the heart of his former paramour, could have been a hilarious, raunchy farce. Unfortunately, overall the film (an extended version of a short Westby directed in '02) is neither funny nor sexy; I found the humor much too broad and the sex much too circumspect (well, in a cartoonish-ly non-explicit sorta way). On the positive side, The Auteur does offer one first-rate performance (Katherine Flynn, as the pornmeister's ex-lover) and a – ahem – shooting climax that is as subversive as it is funny. As far as I'm concerned, that's how every war should be fought.

Jaymes Thompson's The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror will probably please those who are fans of the early John Waters. I'm not one of them. That said, The Gay B&B of T does elicit a few chuckles here and there, and its cast features several good-looking guys and gals dying blood-gushing deaths. But best of all is the film's clever and uproarious warning of the dangers of unsafe sex – with Republicans, that is. The consequence of such an unhealthy activity is about as terrifying as wars, economic disasters, energy crises, loss of civil rights, and environmental depredation combined.

Synopses from the 26th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival website.

Dream Boy by James Bolton

SAT 7/19 11:00am
DGA 1

Dream Boy
(USA, 2008, 90 mins)

Directed By: James Bolton
SCR: James Bolton

We've all got an ideal dream boy, but few would find fault with a hunky farmhand. Dream Boy follows painfully shy Nathan, who has moved to rural Louisiana with his religious parents. Enter “straight,” macho Roy – aforementioned hunky farmhand – and suddenly Nathan feels alive. However, Nathan's dark secrets threaten to tear them apart. Dream Boy paints an aching portrait of lives on the cusp of self-discovery, and captures the stolen moments that make young love timeless.

Ready? OK! by James Vasquez

SAT 7/19 11:30am
Fairfax 1

Ready? OK!
(USA, 2008, 93 mins)

Directed By: James Vasquez
SCR: James Vasquez

Much to the consternation of his Catholic school, young Joshua wants to be a cheerleader and enjoys dressing like Maria von Trapp. His mom (Carrie Preston) has her hands full as the assistant to a local TV personality, but with the help of an understanding uncle (John G. Preston) and a very tasteful neighbor (Michael Emerson, Lost), Joshua is determined to high-kick and cartwheel with the best of them in this charming comedy.

The Auteur by James Westby

SAT 7/19 4:30pm
Fairfax 1

The Auteur
(USA, 2008, 80 mins)

Directed By: James Westby
SCR: James Westby

Who ever said pornography isn't art? Meet Arturo Domingo, the Kubrick of porn, in The Auteur, a pansexual, quick-witted, big-tittied comedy of scandalous proportions. Domingo, a maestro of meat pounding masterpieces (“Full Metal Jack-Off,” anybody?), hopes to reinvigorate his work by reconnecting with his personal and professional muses, both whom have left his side. With countless (pornographic) homages to indie cinema classics, The Auteur promises to inspire a new appreciation for the craftsmanship behind the art of carnal rapture.

Because Washington is Hollywood for Ugly People by Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung

SAT 7/19 5:00pm
Fairfax 2

Platinum Shorts
Program Running Time is 77 min.

With Korean female astronauts gulping water in space, a messy but fun baking orgy and a celebratory shedding of one's self loathing and clothes, this cutting edge program of shorts prove that size doesn't matter. And what may be lacking in length is more than made up for in creativity, audacity, style, grace and fearlessness. With a handful of world premieres and local artists, this show is a sure crowd-pleaser.

Because Washington is Hollywood for Ugly People (above)
Directed By: Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung
USA, 2007, 8 min

Are You Me? (Mrs. Lee)
Directed By: Erica Cho
USA, 10 min

Untitled #1 (from the series Earth People 2507)
Directed By: Nao Bustamante
USA, 2008, 4 min

The Shape of a Heart by Leslie Satterfield

The Shape of A Heart
Directed By: Leslie Satterfield
USA, 2007, 9 min

Invitation by Michael V. Smith

Invitation
Directed By: Michael V. Smith
Canada, 2007, 6 min

Dick!
Directed By: Jessica Lawless, Von Edwards
USA, 2007, 7 min

Nikamowin (Song)
Directed By: Kevin Lee Burton
Canada, 2007, 11 min

Perfectly Flawed
Directed By: Lisa Alvarez
USA, 2008, 5 min

Are You Me? (In Space)
Directed By: Erica Cho
USA, 5 min

Bend It
Directed By: Jules Nurrish
UK, 2007, 4 min

Untitled (for Derek Jarman)
Directed By: Matt Johnstone
USA, 5 min

Cupcake
Directed By: Emily North
USA, 2008, 3 min

Sordid Lives: The Series by Del Shores

SAT 7/19 7:00pm
DGA 1

Sordid Lives: The Series
(USA, 2008, 44 mins)
West Coast Premiere
Q&A with cast and post-screening reception

Directed By: Del Shores
SCR: Del Shores

Return to the campy, hysterical world of Del Shores with the Los Angeles premiere of Sordid Lives: The Series, a prequel to the beloved cult film. This black comedy about white trash follows a Texas family presided over by Peggy (Rue McClanahan, The Golden Girls), an upstanding Christian woman who takes in the local ex-con, honky tonk singing bisexual, Bitsy Mae (Olivia Newton-John). Rejoin the fun with familiar faces and new at this special sneak preview! Director and cast will participate in an extended Q&A.

Sebastiane by Derek Jarman, Paul Humfress

SAT 7/19 8:00pm
DGA 2

Sebastiane
(UK, 1976, 90 mins)
In Latin with English subtitles

Directed By: Derek Jarman, Paul Humfress
SCR: Derek Jarman & Paul Humfress

Derek Jarman's Sebastiane, arguably the first British film to feature positive images of gay sexuality, tells an imagined homo-erotic tale of St. Sebastiane. In 303 A.D., Roman soldier Sebastiane is exiled to a remote outpost, and becomes the object of his commanding officer, Maximus' aggressive desire. The tension among soldiers erupts as predatory lust and religious yearning clash and the fate of Sebastiane unravels. Jarman's punk spirit infuses raw brutality with poetic fantasy in this sexy retelling of a Christian tale.

The World Unseen by Shamim Sarif

SAT 7/19 8:30pm
Ford Amphitheatre

The World Unseen
(UK, 2008, 94 mins)
U.S. Premiere

Directed By: Shamim Sarif
SCR: Shamim Sarif

Set in 1950s South Africa, The World Unseen is a gorgeous depiction of love in the face of oppression. Free-spirited, sexy Amina has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community – and the new apartheid government – by running a café with Jacob, her mixed-race business partner. When she meets the breathtakingly beautiful Miriam, their unexpected attraction pushes Miriam to question the rules that bind her, setting in motion a chain of events that changes both women forever.

The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror by Jaymes Thompson

SAT 7/19 9:30pm
Fairfax 1

The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror
(USA, 2007, 106 mins)
West Coast Premiere

Directed By: Jaymes Thompson
SCR: Jaymes Thompson

In this outrageously campy parody of slasher movies, a bevy of sexy gays and lesbians make their way to the desert for a weekend of rest and relaxation, but no one is safe from the crazies who run the B&B. And in true slasher-flick fashion, once people start getting naked, out come the pointy implements of death. Blending over-the-top farce with blood-spurting horror, The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror is a vacation you'll never forget.

July 20

A Place to Live
(USA, 2007, 70 mins)

Directed By: Carolyn Coal

A Place to Live chronicles the journey of seven brave individuals as they attempt to secure a home in Triangle Square, Hollywood, the nation's first affordable housing facility for LGBT seniors. Since demand far exceeds the number of available apartments, a lottery system was set up to determine who would be selected. This film is a moving exploration of the applicants' personal stories and the journey that brought them to the lottery and what the future might hold.

SUN 7/20 12:15pm
DGA 2

The New Twenty
(USA, 2008, 92 mins)

SUN 7/20 2:15pm
Fairfax 2

Girls' Shorts

SUN 7/20 4:30pm
DGA 2

The Lost Coast
(USA, 2008, 74 mins)

Ask Not
(USA, 2008, 73 mins)
In Arabic, English with English subtitles

Directed By: Johnny Symons

More than 12,000 military service members have been discharged since "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was enacted in 1993. Ask Not examines the impact of this law on the U.S. and the ensuing fight Americans have waged in response. Some have chosen to speak on conservative college campuses nationwide while others are arrested at Army recruitment centers. To serve in Iraq, one brave man has chosen to go back into the closet. Ask Not takes audiences to the frontline of this intensely personal battle.

Were the World Mine
(USA, 2008, 96 mins)

Directed By: Tom Gustafson
SCR: Tom Gustafson & Cory James Krueckeberg

If you thought star-crossed lovers and love potions created confusion in the forest in A Midsummer Night's Dream, wait until you see what they do to an all-boys high school putting on a production of that Shakespearean classic.

Handsome and imaginative Timothy (Tanner Cohen) is the class outsider, a student who mentally escapes his surroundings by imagining a row of dodgeball-wielding jocks as a corps de ballet. When he gets cast as Puck opposite his secret crush, dreamy jock Jonathon (Nathaniel David Becker), things get amorously complicated — Puck, after all, has a gift for creating mischief and for making the unlikeliest of people besotted with each other. Even the Neanderthal coach, who wants to shut down the production to spare his athletes from playing women's roles, isn't safe.

From chorus lines of rugby players to musical numbers built around the Bard, the sweet and sexy Were the World Mine (adapted by writer-director Tom Gustafson from his acclaimed short film Fairies) is a delightful and exhilarating blend of theatrical fantasy and adolescent reality.

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From 'Sordid Lives' & Meryl Streep to 'A Jihad for Love' & Peter Berlin: Outfest LGBT Movies © 2004–2017 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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2 Comments to From 'Sordid Lives' & Meryl Streep to 'A Jihad for Love' & Peter Berlin: Outfest LGBT Movies

  1. Alec

    So nice to see that vintage pic of Peter Berlin….met him on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village around '84…some kind of hot sex was we!! He was just loved and famous already and I lived a block away on Greenwich Street and we just went there right away… I was so hot myself in those days…not much conversation as was the thing do …. spent about 20 minutes….never saw or spoke or anything again…ahhh….Thanks!

  2. Thanks for appreciating THE NEW TWENTY. We hope it will become a movie that gay and straight friends can enjoy together! A novel concept we know will catch on sooner or later. So far so good, we've sold out our first two screenings and so Outfest has given us a 3rd! Anyone in LA can come to the DGA this Sunday, July 20th at 12 Noon to see the film and judge for themselves! - Aina Abiodun, Producer, THE NEW TWENTY