OutFlix has announced its film lineup for its 2013 festival which is scheduled to run September 6 – 12.
In 1997, under the name The Twinkie Museum Experimental Video Festival, the OutFlix festival of today was born. Founded by filmmaker Brian Pera, the event was named after the "Twinkie defense" employed by Harvey Milk's assassin and screened films on a March weekend at the University of Memphis.
Presented by the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC), the festival became known as OutFlix in 2002 and in 2008, after screening in several area theaters, found its current home at the Malco Ridgeway Cinema Grill.
Now in its 16th year and after boasting over 1,500 in attendance last year, first-year Festival Director Ben Helm is excited to bring this year's films to the big screen.
"I think it's very important that we show ourselves on the big screen and that we celebrate and tell our stories," Helm shared.
Having been involved with the festival in different capacities over the years, Helm has experienced first-hand the growth of the OutFlix festival. "You see people come in and they're very nervous about buying a ticket because it might be something new for them or they've just come out recently. I just really think it's a positive, affirming experience to watch these movies with a supportive gay or gay-friendly audience."
Helm also recognizes that LGBT films help reveal the diversity in our community. "For me personally, it's opened my eyes to a lot of things like issues with transgender [community] and situations with other countries. Last year we showed a film called Call Me Kuchu, which was about the situation in Uganda. Movies can really show things to you and tell it in a way that really brings it home in a way that a speech or a debate can't."
So OutFlix's lineup has something for everyone from a new short film program to Bridegroom, currently the most-talked about film on the LGBT-film circuit. Plus they are hosting their Festival Preview Party Thursday August 29 with a special screening of the steamy James Franco film Interior.Leather Bar..
Tickets are available now online for $10 per film but festival-goers can purchase a Full Festival Pass for 90 or discounted groups of tickets when seeing four or more films. All ticket proceeds benefit the MGLCC.
Check out some of this year's highlights below:
Bridegroom: Directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Designing Women), Bridegroom tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship—a relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death—of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized—is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality like no speech or lecture ever will. Opening night film 9/6; 7 p.m..
G.B.F.: Everyone needs a G.B.F- Gay Best Friend. The fight for supremacy between a school’s most popular girls takes an unexpected turn when Tanner (Michael J. Willett) becomes its first openly gay student. As they race to bag the big trend in fashion accessories, the Gay Best Friend, Tanner, must choose between skyrocketing popularity and the friends he is leaving behind. Darren Stein (Jawbreaker) returns with another comic send-up of high school clique culture, including memorable performances by Megan Mullally and Natasha Lyonne. Screens 9/6; 9 p.m..
Any Day Now: When a teenager with Down syndrome (Isaac Leyva) is abandoned by his mother, a gay couple (Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt) takes him in and becomes the loving family he's never had. But when their unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men are forced to fight a biased legal system to save the life of the child they have come to love as their own. Inspired by a true story from the late 1970s, Any Day Now touches on legal and social issues that are as relevant today as they were 35 years ago. Screen Sunday 9/8; 1:30 p.m..
Short Film Program: Lack of attention span? Then the Shorts Program is for you. Showcasing nine LGBT short films from the comedy Dirty Talk and the lesbian coming of age Empty Sky to the documentary Becoming Seth, the shorts program in a new addition for OutFlix this year and one that promises to become a well-received avenue for future LGBT filmmakers. Screens Sunday 9/8; 3:30 p.m..
The Rugby Player: The Rugby Player is an uplifting and stereotype-shattering documentary that tells the story of a mother, a son, and what it takes to be a hero. The film explores the lives of Mark Bingham, one of the passengers of United Flight 93 on 9/11, and his mother, Alice Hoagland, a former United Airlines flight attendant. The Rugby Player is an intimate portrait of how a son’s heroism can inspire a nation, and how a mother’s love can turn unfathomable loss into unshakable resolve. Screen Sunday 9/8; 7:30 p.m..
The New Black: The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar—the black church and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda. The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community. Screens Sunday 9/8; 5:30 p.m..
Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth: Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman's journey from her birth in a paper-thin shack in the cotton fields of Georgia to her recognition as a key writer of the 20th Century. Walker made history as the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for her groundbreaking novel The Color Purple. Born the eighth child of sharecroppers, her early life unfolded in the midst of violent racism and poverty during some of the most turbulent years of social/political changes in the U.S. The film offers a penetrating look at the life and art of an artist, a self-confessed renegade and human rights activist. Screens Wednesday 9/11; 6:30 p.m..
I Am Divine: I Am Divine tells the story of Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, from his humble beginnings as an overweight, teased Baltimore youth to internationally recognized drag superstar through his collaboration with filmmaker John Waters. Spitting in the face of the status quos of body image, gender identity, sexuality, and preconceived notions of beauty, Divine was the ultimate outsider turned underground royalty. With a completely committed in-your-face style, he blurred the line between performer and personality, and revolutionized pop culture. I Am Divine is a definitive biographical portrait that charts the legendary icon’s rise to infamy and emotional complexities. Screens Thursday 9/12; 6:30 p.m.
For a full list of films, visit OutFlix online and 'like' their Facebook page.