Bloomington PRIDE’s 18th Annual Film Festival to begin Friday


Posters for the 18th Pride Film Festival hang on a pole Feb. 24 outside Sycamore Hall. The festival will be Feb. 28-29 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Karen Cheng

The Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival will screen 18 feature-length and short films during its two-day event beginning Feb. 28. The festival aims to give insight into the lives of people in the LGBTQ+ community, according to the festival’s website.

Seven films will play Friday night at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater beginning at 7 p.m., and 11 films will play Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. 

Tickets are available at the PRIDE Film Festival’s website or at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Box Office. The festival offers weekend passes for $60, three-show passes for $35, individual tickets for $17 and Saturday matinee tickets for $10. Discounted prices are available for students and seniors.

The films that will be screened include “Ayaneh,” which is about a female refugee from Afghanistan who forms a relationship with another woman which prompts resistance from her religious family, and “A Normal Girl,” which is about an activist who was born intersex, experienced genital mutilation as a child and is now seeking to end medically unnecessary surgeries.

Janae Cummings, the chair of the board of directors for Bloomington PRIDE, said the film festival started before Bloomington PRIDE became an organization. The festival began in 2003 when two IU Arts Administration graduate students partnered with Buskirk-Chumley, which ran the event before Bloomington PRIDE took over.

“It simply grew over time,” Cummings said. “Bloomington PRIDE didn’t become an organization until nearly six years ago, so this was simply a film festival of LGBTQ films.”

Cummings said the film festival positively influences the community due to the high number of people in the LGBTQ+ community in Bloomington, and LGBTQ+ people get an opportunity to see themselves portrayed at the festival.

“It is so important to be able to see yourself represented in media, and being able to see yourself represented positively,” Cummings said. “It’s important for people who identify outside of our spectrum to have an opportunity to learn a bit more about us.”

Soni Blackburn, senior and social work intern for the LGBTQ+ Culture Center, said the film festival is a great idea because it is an opportunity for people who aren’t part of the LGBTQ+ community to learn about those who are.

“They offer films that are diverse,” Blackburn said. “The mainstream media probably wouldn’t play them or showcase them.”

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