Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival kicks off today

Seven performances, 18 short films, five features and a dance party are planned to take place at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater to help promote a sense of community between LGBT and non-LGBT people this weekend.

The Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival will be Thursday through Saturday, showcasing performers and movies that bring to light the different issues of the LGBT community in an effort to educate and entertain those present.

Sarah Perfetti, executive director of the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival, said she expects attendance to grow this year. She estimated 3,000 will show up in the course of the three-day event in part because of predictions that Bloomington will have ?beautiful weather this weekend.

Each day begins with a performance of some kind before screening the selected films.

On Thursday, the aerial group AsaBela Aerials will perform, followed on Friday by the Quarryland Men’s Chorus and an appearance by 2013’s Miss Gay IU, Mocha Debeauté.

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Support Services Office Coordinator Doug Bauder is a member of the chorus and said he is looking ?forward to performing again.

“This event brings the community together, building bridges between people of different ages and different sexualities in ways no other event could,” Bauder said. “It’s not just a gay film festival.”

The GLBTSSS office is one of many IU and non-IU organizations sponsoring the event, along with IU Cinema and The Back Door, a queer dance club.

Saturday consists of a burlesque performance by Regina Sweet and Victor Victoria, a show by the hula hoop troupe Hudsucker Posse and one by aerialists from Fight Club Fitness.

Thursday will consist of five films, one of them a feature. Thursday’s feature film is the documentary “QUEENS & COWBOYS: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo,” which chronicles the lives of five members of the International Gay Rodeo ?Association for a full season.

Friday consists of 10 films, two of them features. The first is a comedy entitled “Appro-priate Behavior,” which depicts a bisexual woman struggling with trying to live her life as well as deal with familial and societal pressures while she wonders if she should ?come out.

“Gerontophilia” is a drama and the second feature Friday night. It follows a young man whose possibly sexual fixation with elderly men leads him to befriend a resident at an old folks home and embark on a road trip to the Pacific Ocean so the resident can see the ocean again.

Saturday consists of eight films and two features. “The Way He Looks” is a romance that revolves around a blind teenager’s desire to be accepted and how friendships can lead to feelings of desire. The romantic comedy “Boy Meets Girl” uses the friendship of a man and transgender woman to weave a story that crosses all lines of gender and sexual orientation.

The festival ends with a dance party at 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Perfetti said she is personally looking forward to an untitled film made by the Prism Youth Community, a social group for youths celebrating all sexual orientations and gender identities. The film discusses statistics about the treatment of LGBT youth and how members of the community can become better advocates for change.

Director Darwin Serik has been a part of many festivals. His film, “Aban & Khorshid,” inspired by a photograph depicting the deaths of two Iranian men executed for being gay, has already been in five.

“These films have the power to inspire the world to action, to wake everyone up and spur them on,” ?Serik said.

“Aban & Khorshid” is a 13-minute short drama film running at 7 p.m. Thursday. Serik said it’s fantastic that people are going to see these films because it helps bring awareness to the global situation facing the LGBT ?community.

“These films are entertaining,” Serik said. “Not something you will see ?every day.”

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