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Billy Tipton biopic will be produced in Tennessee

Billy Tipton was born in 1914 as Dorothy Lucille Tipton. Dorothy began dressing as a man to mirror the image of the jazz musicians she played alongside, later adopting a male persona personally as well. Independent Spirit Award winner and 2007 Sundance Award winner Effie T. Brown will produce the biographical feature film about the famed cross dressing (transgender) jazz musician who kept his biological sex a secret from the public, and even from his five common law wives and three adopted boys until his death in 1989.

Memphis was chosen as the location to substitute for Oklahoma, where Tipton spent his earlier years. Effie says that rather than having an aged look, the film will maintain a contemporary visual style, but it will be clear to audiences that they are looking at the early 20th century when watching the film. Titled “Exactly Like You” after a popular tune often covered by Billy and his band, the film is set to start production in the fall.

Eighth-annual Memphis International Film Festival this weekend

Spanning the convenient length of one four day weekend, the eighth annual Memphis International Film Festival will open on March 22, and will run through March 25. Five shorts, eleven documentaries, and twelve features make up this year’s event, with opening night at the Malco Paradiso. Friday through Sunday’s films will be shown in the heart of Memphis’ midtown gay district at Malco’s Studio on the Square.

Covington, Tenn. born Isaac Hayes is expected to be in attendance for a special tribute film chronicling his career as an actor and soul-singer on Saturday. Some GLBT highlights include “Goodbye Dragon Inn”, about a Japanese tourist who takes refuge from a rainstorm in an old historic Chinese theatre where a small group has already gathered for reasons other than the movie playing on screen. The only feature to be shown more than once, “All About My Mother” is a complicated drama. In short, boy dies before he meets his transvestite father in Barcelona, mom goes to tell father of son’s death though the father never knew he had a son, mother becomes assistant to actress, and so on and so forth. See the movie.

With the Nashville Film Festival just a month away, the Memphis International Film Festival officially begins Tennessee’s festival season.  

Outflix organizers continue year round film events

The annual GLBT Outflix Film Festival is always scheduled for the fall, and Outflix organizers keep the momentum going by hosting fundraising events throughout the year to support the growing annual event itself. Its ‘Classic Movie Series’ continues with a showing of the film “Rope”. Banned in its original 1948 release due to homosexual undertones, the film is a thriller with two upper class psychopaths throwing a small banquet with the friends and family of the rival classmate they’ve just murdered. The party progresses with the guests growing suspicious of the pair, and the pair alluding to the body in the trunk just underneath the table top.

The movie will be shown Saturday, March 24, at the Peabody Muvico Theatre in Memphis. Visit www.mglcc.org for more dates of upcoming films showing as part of the Classic Movie Series. 

Filming has wrapped for film titled ‘Tennessee’

Openly gay African American producer and director Lee Daniels, best known for “Monster’s Ball”, has completed production of his latest film “Tennessee”. Filming began in New Mexico and moved to Nashville in late February, early March. The film tells of two brothers, Carter (Adam Rothenberg) and Ellis (Ethan Peck), who travel cross country in search of their estranged father, hoping that a biological donation from him will save Ellis who has been diagnosed with a terminal form of leukemia.

Mariah Carey makes her first return to the big screen since “Glitter” as an abused wife determined to kick start her former career as a country singer who crosses paths with the brothers. Sources close to the film tell Out & About that breathtaking shots were taken in the caves of McMinnville, Tenn. In one scene for the film, Mariah performed her duet with Willie Nelson, “Right to Dream”, at downtown Nashville’s honky tonk bar The Second Fiddle. The film is reported to be released later this year.