'Gay Republicans' + Convicted Child Molester Drama Win Festival Awards

Gay Republicans: How can sane person be openly LGBT + GOP supporter?Gay Republicans movie poster. How can a sane person be both openly gay and a member of the United States' openly anti-gay Republican party? In an attempt to understand the logic – or lack thereof – of those people and the conflicts that arise from the gay Republican oxymoron, Wash Westmoreland's documentary Gay Republicans features interviews with a handful of, what else, gay Republicans espousing right-of-center and far-right views.

'Gay Republicans' wins AFI FEST Audience Award

Gay Republicans, Wash Westmoreland's documentary about an apparent schism within the gay Republican group Log Cabin was the Audience Award winner for Best Documentary at the 2004 AFI FEST sponsored by Audi, held Nov. 4–14 at the ArcLight theater complex at Sunset and Vine, in the heart of Hollywood.

Gay Republicans revolves around the difficult choices facing gays who support the United States' pro-big business Republican party while knowing full well that Republican president George W. Bush is adamant in his opposition to gay marriage and that the Republican party itself is mostly anti-gay in just about every regard.

Which should come first, party allegiance and right-wing ideology or (their own) civil rights?

Pamala Tyson narrates Gay Republicans.

Rwanda genocide & dysfunctional parents

From the inner conflicts facing American gay Republicans to the outer conflicts that culminated in the Rwanda genocide: the AFI FEST Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Terry George's real-life-inspired Hotel Rwanda, set during the 1994 blood-soaked orgy that tore apart the small central African country.

Winner of the Toronto Film Festival's Audience Award back in September, Hotel Rwanda features American actors Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte, and Joaquin Phoenix, in addition to British actress Sophie Okonedo.

Less disturbing than either Gay Republicans or Hotel Rwanda was the AFI FEST Audience Awards' other winner: Neele Leana Vollmar's My Parents / Meine Eltern, about a young woman who, with some trepidation, decides to introduce the man of her dreams to her dysfunctional parents. My Parents was chosen as the festival's Best Short Film.

'Duck Season' nabs Grand Jury Prize

Curiously, none of the AFI FEST Audience Award selections won any of the Grand Jury prizes.

Instead of Hotel Rwanda, Mexican filmmaker Fernando Eimbcke's debut feature Duck Season / Temporada de patos was the Grand Jury Prize winner for Best Feature Film in competition.

Shot in black and white, Duck Season shows how two male teenagers (Daniel Miranda, Diego Cataño) spend one Sunday afternoon while their parents are away and the power goes out.

Instead of My Parents, the winner of the Jury Prize in the International Shorts Competition was Taika Waititi's New Zealand entry Two Cars, One Night, with a special mention going to Chris Landreth's Canadian short Ryan.

Instead of Gay Republicans, another Canadian entry, Avi Lewis' The Take, was the Grand Jury's Best Documentary. Robin Scovill's U.S.-made The Other Side of AIDS received a special mention.

International movie showcase

Including the aforementioned Gay Republicans, Hotel Rwanda, Duck Season, The Take, My Parents, Two Cars One Night, Ryan, and The Other Side of AIDS, the 2004 AFI FEST showcased more than 130 films from 42 countries.

Compared to last year, festival organizers have estimated a 20 percent increase in box office receipts, while the number of attending filmmakers has doubled.

At a packed screening of his The Chorus / Les Choristes, Academy Award-winning producer Arthur Cohn (Le ciel et la boue, 1961; American Dream, 1990; One Day in September, 1999) told the crowd that the American Film Institute (AFI) should be renamed the “International Film Institute.” He wasn't exaggerating.

In fact, at least when it comes to the AFI FEST, the title “International” would be more than appropriate as most of the festival's highlights were non-U.S. fare such as:

  • The aforementioned The Chorus (France / Switzerland), Hotel Rwanda (U.K. / South Africa / Italy), and Duck Season (Mexico).
  • Bad Education / La Mala educación (Spain).
  • House of Flying Daggers (China).
  • The Sea Inside / Mar adentro (Spain / France / Italy).
  • Machuca (Chile).
  • A Very Long Engagement / Un long dimanche de fiançailles (France / U.S.)
  • Yesterday (South Africa).
  • Head-On / Gegen die Wand (Germany).

World cinema talent

Among the film celebrities from around the world who took part in this year's AFI FEST were the following:

Pedro Almodóvar, who received a special tribute.

Penélope Cruz. Lesley Ann Warren. Joseph Fiennes. Jodie Foster. Shohreh Aghdashloo. Audrey Tautou.

Ziyi Zhang. Orlando Bloom. Alejandro Amenábar. Gael García Bernal. Don Cheadle. David Lynch.

Olivier Martinez. Kevin Bacon. Javier Bardem. Kevin Costner. Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Kevin Bacon The Woodsman movie: Child molester tough new life in Satyajit Ray Award winnerKevin Bacon in The Woodsman. In Nicole Kassell's Satyajit Ray Award-winning drama The Woodsman, Kevin Bacon plays a convicted child molester attempting to resume his life in Philadelphia following a dozen years behind bars. However, no one seems either capable or willing to forget or ignore his past.

'The Woodsman': Movie about convicted pedophile wins London Film Festival top prize

Starring Kevin Bacon, the movie version of Steven Fechter's play The Woodsman won the 2004 London Film Festival's Satyajit Ray Award for Best First Feature that “reflects the artistry, compassion and humanity” of the late Indian director.

Directed by Nicole Kassell, The Woodsman features Bacon as a convicted pedophile trying to rebuild his life after spending 12 years in jail. Both Kassell and Fechter collaborated on the screenplay.

Besides Kevin Bacon, The Woodsman also features Banco's off-screen wife Kyra Sedgwick, Benjamin Bratt, David Alan Grier, Michael Shannon, Mos Def, Carlos Leon, and Kevin Rice.

Other London Film Festival Awards

Jonathan Caouette's autobiographical documentary Tarnation, about how his mother's mental illness affected his childhood, won the Sutherland Trophy, “awarded to the director of the most original and imaginative first feature.”

Additionally, writer-director Amma Asante won the UK Film Talent Award for her debut feature A Way of Life, the story of a teenage single mother involved in an ethnic feud with a Turkish neighbor.

The FIPRESCI International Critics Award went to actors-writers-directors Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern's Aaltra, a Belgian black comedy about two (recently) handicapped mortal enemies (Delépine, de Kervern).

And finally, the TCM Classic Shorts Award went to Harry Wootliff's Nits.

The 2004 London Film Festival ran Oct. 20–Nov. 4.

Kevin Bacon movies

The Woodsman actor Kevin Bacon has been appearing in feature films for a quarter of a century, having first landed small roles in John Landis' Animal House (1978) and Alan J. Pakula's Starting Over (1979).

In 1982, Bacon had a key role in Barry Levinson's critically acclaimed Diner, which was followed two years later by a starring one in Herbert Ross' box office hit Footloose.

Most of Kevin Bacon's movies from then on weren't all that successful, though the actor has kept himself busy, oftentimes in supporting parts.

Among his most important big-screen releases of the last two decades are the following:


AFI FEST website.

London Film Festival website.

Gay Republicans movie poster: World of Wonder.

Kevin Bacon The Woodsman movie image: Newmarket Films.

Gay Republicans + Convicted Child Molester Drama Win Festival Awards” last updated in June 2018.

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