Indiana Daily Student

LGBT films celebrated at Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival

Films at the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival this weekend elicited a range of emotions from audiences as both entertaining and moving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender films were screened for the public.

The Buskirk-Chumley Theater was packed over the course of the weekend as people came to watch films that told stories of a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender nature.

The film “Boy Meets Girl” was named the jury-selected winner of the festival and told the story of a transgender woman and her best male friend finally realizing their feelings for each other.

Four short films and a feature film were screened Thursday in front of a near-capacity crowd.

Shaylan Owen, a first-time attendee of the festival, said he came to see thought-provoking films and looked forward to seeing the short films the most.

Owen said he enjoyed the short “End of Season Sale” the most because of “its use of language, which is a huge part of my life.”

Matt Rood said he enjoyed the festival’s opening short, “Beyond the Mirror’s Gaze,” because it “addressed gender identity and expression, which is something I’m trying to learn more about.”

Wade Earp, the subject of the film “Queens and Cowboys,” featured Thursday night, made an appearance and answered questions from the audience, summing up his message when he said, “It’s not about being gay or straight, it’s about being people.”

Friday’s crowd was even larger, and a broad range of films including a romantic comedy and some dramas was screened after Mocha Debeaute danced up and down the aisles of the first floor theater audience to songs by Beyonce.

In addition to the two feature films, Friday also included “Brace,” the winner of the festival’s 2015 Kinsey Award.

Saturday afternoon put a local touch on the films with “We’ll Be All Right” and a video by the Prism Youth Community, which is a social group for LGBTQ people and their allies ages 12 to 20 in the Bloomington area.

As the festival ended, Executive Director Sarah Perfetti took time before the screening Friday night to thank all the volunteers and sponsors for their hard work and dedication because without them, the festival could not have existed as it is now.

Abby Perfetti, Sarah Perfetti’s wife, held back tears as she praised Sarah,

“She puts in so much hard work and makes a huge sacrifice for PRIDE,” she said.

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