The longest-running LGBTQ film festival in the Mountain West returns to the screens at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center July 20-22. Organizers say the event provides a “safe, supportive environment that celebrates our community’s diversity by sharing LGBTQ history, culture, ideas, struggles, and triumphs through film.”
DTH presents award-winning independent, documentary, and foreign films from around the world.
Additionally, the festival launched “Out”, a 48-hour LGBTQ film project, based on a widely popular contest in which teams of filmmakers are assigned a genre, a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue, and have 48 hours to create a short film containing those elements. The chosen films will be made the weekend before, and screened during, the festival.
Directed by T Cooper
Man Made takes us into the heart of transgender male (FTM) culture, revealing unexpected truths about gender, masculinity, humanity, and love. Four trans men (who like the film’s director were born and raised female), take a variety of life paths toward stepping on stage at Trans FitCon, the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world (held in Atlanta, GA). Man Made is a character-driven, intimate, and riveting verité-style competition film, but also a unique social justice narrative.
MR. GAY SYRIA
Mr. Gay Syria follows two gay Syrian refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives. Husein is a barber in Istanbul living a double life between his conservative family and his gay identity. Mahmoud is the founder of Syria’s LGBTI movement and is a refugee in Berlin. What brings them together is a dream: to participate in an international beauty contest as an escape from their trapped lives and an answer to their invisibility. Will the dream come true or will the refugee crisis and the harsh consequences of being gay in the Muslim world shatter it to pieces?
Turkey/Germany | Directed by Ayse Toprak
Presented in Arabic with English subtitles
Directed by Leilah Weinraub
Shakedown is the story of Los Angeles’ black lesbian strip club scene and its genesis. Owned and operated by women, underground and illegal in nature, the club Shakedown emerged from a post-RIOTS, post-OJ, post-integration but still very racially divided Los Angeles.
Directed by Sonia Sebastian
Freelancers Anonymous is a quick-paced comedy feature about a group of women who come together to launch a tech start-up company. The story follows Billie who, on impulse, quits her soul-sucking office job and is left to figure out “now what?” She meets a ragtag group of women who are also looking for employment and is struck with the idea of cultivating their skills to create an app for freelancers.
Inspired by the award-winning short film, 1985 follows Adrian, a closeted young man returning to his Texas hometown for Christmas during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. Burdened with an unspeakable tragedy in New York, Adrian reconnects with his brother and an estranged childhood friend, as he struggles to divulge his dire circumstances to his religious parents.
Written and directed by Yen Tan
Cast: Cory Michael Smith, Aidan Langford, Jamie Chung, Virginia Madsen, and Michael Chiklis
ANCHOR AND HOPE
A lesbian couple on a canal boat contemplates parenthood in this funny and free-wheeling comic drama. At age 38, Eva fears that her biological clock is about to stand still forever, but her fiancée Kat does not want a newborn to upset the free and carefree existence that they both live on a ship in the canals of London. When Roger comes to visit from Barcelona, Eva not only sees in him the best friend of her girlfriend, the best emotional ally imaginable, but also a potential donor. And to Kat’s surprise, Roger is attracted to the idea of being a father, despite being a man whose relationships do not usually last more than one night … so Kat has no choice but to accept the implementation of the plan for fear of losing Eve.
Spain | Directed by Carlos Marques-Marcet
Presented in Spanish with English Subtitles
Cast: Oona Chaplin, Natalia Tena, Geraldine Chaplin, David Verdaguer
ALASKA IS A DRAG
Tough, but diva fabulous, Leo, an aspiring drag superstar, feels stuck working in a fish cannery. He and his twin sister feel trapped in the monotony of fist fights and fish guts. But when boxing qualifiers and his drag show fall on the same day, Leo must face the real reason he’s stuck in Alaska.
Written and directed by SLC native Shaz Bennett
Cast: Martin L. Washington Jr., Maya Washington, Matt Dallas, Christopher O’Shea, Jason Scott Lee, and Margaret Cho
Whenever 11-year-old Tomo’s mother leaves her home alone, she always goes to her uncle Makio’s place, to spend time with him and Rinko, his pretty girlfriend. Tomo is a little confused because Rinko is trans, but Tomo, Rinko, and Makio start to live a life together. One day Rinko teaches Tomo to knit to control her temper. It’s a story that knits a neglected daughter, a gentle uncle and his transgender lover — an angsty boy who recognizes his gay identity — into an unconventional family.
Japan / Directed by Naoko Ogigami
Cast: Toma Ikuta, Kenta Kiritani, and Rinka Kakihara
Erasmus and Paul, a bickering gay couple whose life is turned inside out when a 10-year-old boy shows up at their door claiming to be Erasmus’ grandson. Neither Paul, nor Erasmus, are ready to give up their extravagant lifestyles to be parents, but maybe this little kid has a thing or two to teach them about the value of family.
Written and directed by Andrew Fleming
Cast: Steve Coogan, Paul Rudd, Kate Walsh, Alison Pill, Jake McDorman, and Jack Gore
LEITIS IN WAITING
Directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson
The story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their the South Pacific Kingdom. The film follows Joey, a devout Catholic of noble descent, as she organizes an exuberant beauty pageant presided over by a princess, provides shelter and training for a young contestant rejected by her family, and spars with American-financed evangelicals threatening to resurrect colonial-era laws that would criminalize the leitis’ lives. With unexpected humor and extraordinary access to the Kingdom’s royals and religious leaders, Joey’s emotional journey reveals the meaning of being different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes for acceptance without forsaking yourself.
Sei finds a job at a massage parlor during the 90s before Macau became known as Asia’s casino metropolis. Her mentor, Ling, a single mother, find mutual fondness of as they develop a new, unique relationship. Together they care for Ling’s son, but on the eve of Macau’s handover back to China, a fight separates them. Now in her 40s and living in Taiwan, Sei stumbles upon a missing person notice in the newspaper. She decides to revisit her past in a familiar yet very different Macau.
Hong Kong / Directed by Tracy Choi
Cast: Gigi Leung, Fish Liew, and Jennifer Yu
QUIET HEROES — Opening Night Film
Directed by Jenny Mackenzie; co-directed by Jared Ruga and Amanda Stoddard
In Salt Lake City, the religious monoculture severely complicated the AIDS crisis. Patients received no support from — or cast into exile by — the political, religious, and medical communities. Further, Mormon culture encouraged gay men to marry women and have a family to cure themselves of their “affliction,” counsel which led to secret affairs and accidental marital transmissions of HIV. In the entire state and intermountain region, there was only one doctor to serve all HIV/AIDS patients. It’s the story of her fight to save lives of a maligned population everyone else seemed willing to let die.
WE THE ANIMALS
Us three, us brothers, us kings. Manny, Joel, and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents. As Manny and Joel grow into versions of their father and Ma dreams of escape, Jonah embraces an imagined world. Based on the novel by Justin Torres.
Co-written with Dan Kitrosser, and directed by Jeremiah Zagar
Cast: Raúl Castillo, Josiah Gabriel, Terry Holland, Isaiah Kristian, Evan Rosado, and Sheila Vand
THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA
Directed by Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri
Love, faith, and civil rights collide in the south as evangelical Christians and drag queens explore the meaning of belief.
Trapped in the body of a boy, soccer star Charlie is torn between placating her father and shedding this ill-fitting skin.
UK |Directed by Rebekah Fortune
Cast: Patricia Potter, Scot Williams, Harry Gilby, and Karen Bryson
Salacious hell breaks loose within the FLA — a feminist terrorist group — when an injured man appears in their midst.
Directed by Bruce LaBruce
Cast: Susanne Sachße, Viva Ruiz, Kembra Pfahler
MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING (Matrimonio italiano)
In this merry movie of matrimony, Antonio brings his fiancé Paulo to meet his headstrong parents and reveals his sexuality.
Italy | Directed by Alessandro Genovesi
Cast: Diego Abatantuono, Monica Guerritore, Salvatore Esposito, Cristiano Caccamo, Dino Abbrescia, and Diana Del Bufalo
MY LIFE WITH JAMES DEAN (Ma vie avec James Dean)
Young director Géraud Champreux goes on a wild and woeful film tour that changes his life.
France | Directed by Dominique Choisy
Cast: Johnny Rasse, Mickaël Pelissier, and Nathalie Richard
TRANNY FAG (Bixa Travesty)
Brazil | Directed by Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla
Mc Linn Da Quebrada’s electrifying performances (with plenty of nudity) brazenly take on Brazil’s hetero-normative machismo.
Directed by Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson
Four transgender individuals put their careers on the line by coming out in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve.
THE WILD BOYS (Les garçons sauvages)
Surrealist, adolescent gender-bending, sex-fueled fantasy nightmare. A maritime adventure.
France | Directed by Bertrand Mandico
Cast: Pauline Lorillard, Vimala Pons, and Diane Rouxe
Early Bird ticket and pass prices available through June 19, visit utahfilmcenter.org/dth2018
PHOTO | Director and primary cast of ‘1985’