Mar 31, 2011 Eagle Intern Uncategorized
Open Doors, a Syracuse University group for queer graduate students and friends, is using this weekend’s film festival as a way to bring the broader Syracuse community together to address issues typically only associated with the LGBT community.
The Reel Queer Film Festival aims to reduce prejudice and ignorance by telling the stories of LGBT community around the U.S. and world, but it’s really done for the youth, planning committee member Benjamin Zender said.
“If you grow up queer and you don’t see a lot of images of yourself reflected around you, you tend to feel isolated and confused,” said Zender.
The 12th Annual Reel Queer Film Festival runs Thursday March 31 to Saturday April 2 at SU and screens nine films looking at themes like disabilities and race and gender identities, which haven’t been covered in previous years.
“We want to feature a variety of experiences and identities and look into directions we didn’t look into last year,” Zender said.
And this year, the festival boasts more films and sponsors, a more professional feel with an increased budget and a professionally-designed poster.
Friday’s screening of “Bear Nation” will be followed by a Q&A with director Malcolm Ingram, another first for the festival.
Another highlight of the festival will be the short film, “Beyond Better: A Manifesto for Queer Youth,” put together by Professor Margaret Himmely and students in her Queer Writing Class.
The film is a critique of the It Gets Better Project, formed in September 2010 in response to a number of recent teen suicides linked to anti-gay bullying.
Instead of simply telling gay, bi-sexual and transsexual youth that “it gets better” over time, the group dissected the statement and to show how teens can make the world a better place individually.
With four times more sponsors from outside the LGBT and gender studies communities, Open Doors hopes to make the event accessible to everyone.
Zender said queer issues are not just something that should affect “gender studies departments.”
“It’s a free event and we do that on purpose, so everyone should feel welcome in that room,” Zender said.
Screenings all begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room 207 in the SU Hall of Languages. For parking and more information, visit students.syr.edu/opendoors/reelqueer or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, April 1
‘Fourplay: San Francisco’
(27 mins., USA, 2010) A transvestite sex worker faces a challenging assignment in Marin Country. As the pressure mounts, an awakening begins.
‘To Comfort You’
(15 mins., USA, 2009) A daily phone call between Angela (Golden Globe winner Susan Blakely) and her lesbian daughter living with HIV/AIDS (Pauley Perrette, NCIS) reveals some unexpected news.
‘Off and Running’
(76 mins., USA, 2009,) With white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers – one mixed-race and one Korean-Brooklyn teen Avery grew up in a unique and loving household. But when her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This choice propels Avery into her own complicated exploration of race, identity, and family that threatens to distance her from the parents she’s always known. She begins staying away from home, starts skipping school, and risks losing her shot at the college track career she had always dreamed of. But when Avery decides to pick up the pieces of her life and make sense of her identity, the results are inspiring.
Friday, April 2
Everyday to Stay
(21 mins., Canada, 2010) Everyday to Stay is a gritty and vulnerable glimpse at the lives of two couples as they navigate love, identity and commitment through one partner’s transition.
Beyond Better: A Manifesto for Queer Youth
(3 mins., USA, 2010) Syracuse University English Professor, Margaret Himmely and her Queer Writing class provide inspiring statements about the future for LGBTQA youth.
(82 mins., USA, 2010) Malcolm Ingram* introduces us to gay men who dig big dudes who are stockier and hairier than the airbrushed ideal served by up lifestyle magazines and underwear ads. From ‘bear runs’ – the circuit parties of the ursine – to men proudly accepting their own bodies (and the beer bellies the want to cuddle), Bear Nation proves love really does come in all shapes and sizes. Special Appearance by director Malcolm Ingram.
Saturday, April 3
(24 mins., USA, 2010) A son must prove his manhood to his father by trying out for his high school’s basketball team. Despite pressure from his washed-up father and the intense tactics of his coach, he fights through many kinds of pain to affirm his true self.
Loop-da-Loop and Guiseppe
(17 mins., USA, 2009) Loop-da-Loop is a Victorian transvestite prostitute who escapes from his pimp with the help of his lover, Brooklyn Police Captain Guiseppe Baldi, in this silent film with an outstanding piano score.
(99 mins., Taiwan, 2008) TeddyAward-winning Director Zero Chou (Spider Lilies) weaves three poetic tales as the lesbians in Drifting Flowers seek their true identity. In the first story, Jing, a blind singer, falls in love with her band s tomboy accordionist Diego. In another time and place, Lily, an elderly lesbian and Yen, her gay friend, create an unexpected bond and support each other in a time of crisis. Finally, we see Diego before she joined the band, when as a teenager she came to grips with her identity.