PRIDE Film Festival to spotlight LGBT cinema of all genres


Volunteer ushers are briefed by the house manager, Anna Kosatka, before the Buskirk-Chumley Theater opened for the first night of the PRIDE Film Festival in 2015. The 16th annual festival will take place January 25–27. Adam Kiefer Buy Photos

This year’s PRIDE Film Festival will showcase more than 25 feature and short films this weekend, beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday and running through Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Some films to be featured include a Mexican drama called "The Other Side," a documentary called "The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin" and a romance called "After Louie." The website also lists content warnings for some of the films. 

The full schedule for the festival and descriptions of the films are available on Bloomington PRIDE’s webpage.

Tickets to the festival are $10 for students and senior citizens ages 60 and older with a valid ID, and $15 for others for single admissions to screenings. Festival passes, which are valid for every screening the entire weekend, can be purchased for $30 for students and senior citizens, and $60 for other attendees.

This year’s lineup includes nine screening events including comedies, romances and documentaries, according to the festival's website. The event, which is hosted by Bloomington PRIDE, will also feature two talks by filmmakers.

Janae Cummings, chair of Bloomington PRIDE’s Board of Directors said in an email she feels the festival’s lineup will highlight the experiences of LGBT people across genres.

“We have comedies, romances, dramas, documentaries and even an animated short,” Cummings said. “More importantly, many films focus on more marginalized voices with stories about and directed by people of color.”

One film, called “The Wound,” made the Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's shortlist for Best Foreign Film at the 2018 Oscars, she said. 

Cummings also said the festival focuses on honoring the work of LGBT filmmakers and films that depict the experiences of LGBT people.

“In other words, it is a three-day experience by our community, for our community,” she said. “People will see stories that mirror their own. They’ll also be exposed to a diversity of narratives and points of view with which they may be less familiar.”

Cummings added that she thinks the festival is special because it’s a rare opportunity for audiences to see LGBT films in a theater setting. 

She said she is looking forward to "The Wound" the most. The film follows the initiation process into manhood for young men of the Xhosa, a Bantu ethnic group from South Africa.

“This is a story not often told — particularly from an LGBT point of view — in cinema, and by all reports it is a fascinating film,” Cummings said.

“The Wound” will screen at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

Cummings also said she is excited for the future of LGBT cinema as a whole. She shared that she feels LGBT cinema is growing to encompass the experiences and perspectives of more and more LGBT people and identities.

“LGBTQ cinema continues to grow by shedding light on narratives not often given voice,” Cummings said. “We’re seeing more and more stories about LGBTQ people from different races, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds.”

Though the progression has been slow, she said she hopes LGBT cinema will continue to grow in coming years.

“I hope breakthrough films like 'Moonlight,' 'Pariah' and 'Call Me by Your Name' will hold open the door to allow more LGBT-centered films into the mainstream,” Cummings said.

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