By Ken Williams | Contributing Editor
FilmOut sets lineup for 19th annual LGBT film festival in June
“A Very Sordid Wedding,” Del Shores’ sequel to his “Sordid Lives” cult classic film and TV prequel series, will get its San Diego premiere at FilmOut San Diego’s 19th annual San Diego LGBT Film Festival in June.
The socially relevant sequel, which explores what happens when marriage equality comes to a small town in conservative Texas, will get the coveted spot as the Opening Night film.
The three-day festival runs June 9-11 at the historic Observatory North Park theater, located at 2891 University Ave.
Opening Night festivities will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, June 9, with red-carpet treatment for writer/director Del Shores and many of his cast members who are scheduled to attend the local premiere. They will also participate in a Q&A session after the screening and make appearances as the Opening Night Gala from 10 p.m. to midnight at the Sunset Temple, directly across the street from the theater at 3911 Kansas St. Tickets are $45 with admission to both the film and the party.
The festival closes with the West Coast premiere of Jennifer M. Kroot’s documentary, “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin.” The film begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 11, with a Closing Night Party afterward at the theater. Tickets are only $25 for the both the film and the party.
The acclaimed author of the immensely popular “Tales of the City” series — which began in the San Francisco Chronicle and spawned many books, a PBS mini-series and two subsequent series produced by Showtime — will be unable to attend due to his hectic schedule, according to Michael McQuiggan, FilmOut’s longtime programming director.
McQuiggan said the buzz is already building for Opening Night.
“This will be the only San Diego screening of [‘A Very Sordid Wedding’] and Del Shores and most of the cast will be attending,” he said. “Tickets are already going gangbusters since we teased our audience online with the news.”
The Friday night gala party, McQuiggan said, will be catered by a dozen Uptown restaurants, with accompanying alcohol, wine and soft drinks provided by Smirnoff and Anheuser Busch.
“All for only $45,” he added.
McQuiggan called the Closing Night film “an outstanding documentary based on the life of the incomparable Armistead Maupin.”
Picked for the Boys Centerpiece this year is the West Coast premiere of David Berry’s “Something Like Summer,” based on the bestselling novel of the same title. It’s about the only guy in his Texas high school with the courage to come out of the closet, but having to endure bullying and shunning by classmates.
It’s also epic storytelling, taking place over a dozen years as the boy becomes a man and pursues his dream relationship. The Boys Centerpiece will start at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, June 10. Tickets are $10.
“‘Something Like Summer’ is the most buzzed about film on the LGBT film festival circuit,” McQuiggan said. “We’re excited to show it to our audience.”
Chosen for the Girls Centerpiece is the West Coast premiere of Jennifer Reeder’s “Signature Move,” a comedic and heartfelt look at modern families and the complexities of love in its many forms. The Girls Centerpiece will start at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 11. Tickets are $10.
“‘Signature Move’ has been getting raves around the nation,” McQuiggan said. “‘The Lavender Scare’ is about a mostly forgotten chapter in American history and is powerful, insightful and relevant today.”
A total of 37 full-length and short films will be shown during the festival, including world, U.S., West Coast, California and San Diego premieres. Some of the selections have been shown at prestigious festivals, such as Sundance and Berlin.
“Our audiences love our short-film tracts and this year we will have Best of LGBT, Best of Local Filmmakers, and FrightOut LGBT Horror,” McQuiggan said.
McQuiggan and senior programmer Jeff Howell have reviewed hundreds of films and shorts that were submitted for consideration over the last year, to be included in the festival. They whittled the choices down to the final selections.
Filmmakers and talent representing more than half of the films plan to attend the festival and will participate in audience Q&A’s after their respective screenings.
McQuiggan said film fans might want to purchase the All-Access Pass for $125, which is good for entrance to all the movies, parties and events scheduled throughout the festival.
“It’s a real bargain,” he said.
For the complete festival lineup and to purchase tickets, visit FilmOutSanDiego.com.
—Ken Williams is a contributing editor of Gay San Diego and can be reached at email@example.com or at 619-961-1952. He is a volunteer board member of FilmOut San Diego, serving as Film & Media Relations Director.