Gay Pride Film Festival
Annotation:Based on the true story of Ron Woodruff, a Texas electrician who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. Denied access to effective drugs, Woodruff took matters into his own hands. The budget for this film was so low that only $250 were provided for Hair and Makeup. Working within that budget, Adruitha Lee and Robin Matthews won Oscars for their work. Also, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively--only the fifth time both awards have been given to the same film.
Annotation:The events that inspired this film also inspired the NYPD to train their officers in crowd control. Sonny (Al Pacino) attempts to rob a bank to pay for his lover's sex change operation. One of Pacino's best performances. Also, writer Frank Pierson won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Annotation:Bayard Rustin was a Civil Rights activist for 60 years. He organized the first Freedom Rides in the 1940s and the March on Washington in 1963. He is credited with persuading Martin Luther King to adopt a policy of nonviolence. So why have so few people heard of him? Rustin was gay. This feature-length documentary is based on primary research sources, including Rustin's FBI files, his own writings, and interviews conducted by the Columbia University Oral History Project.
Annotation:Seventeen-year-old Alike is a good student, a poet, and an all-round nice kid, but as she grows into womanhood, she comes into conflict with her family and her peers. Few films have captured the adolescent's struggle for identity as well as this heartfelt story, based on director Dee Rees’s 2007 short film of the same name. An astonishing performance by Adepero Oduye as Alike won her the Black Reel’s Best Breakthrough Performance Award; also, the film won the Sundance Cinematography Award, a GLADD Media Award for Outstanding Film, and a Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review.
Annotation:In yet another film inspired by true events, our hero, Charlie Price, inherits his father's shoe factory and must save it from financial ruin. Fortuitously, he meets drag queen Lola (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, experienced actor of stage and screen, most recently known for playing Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave) who inspires a new line of products. This crowd-pleasing film has been adapted as a Broadway musical which has won 6 Tony Awards, including one for Cyndi Lauper, who wrote the music and lyrics.
Annotation:Jamie Babbit’s directorial debut received mixed reviews from the critics. Some of them loved the John-Waters-inspired set designs and the over-the-top stereotypes of heterosexual “normality.” Others, not so much. But all agree that Natasha Lyonne gives a sweet performance as Megan, the vegetarian Melissa Etheridge fan whose parents diagnose her as a lesbian and send her to straight camp to be rehabilitated. Also featured in the cast are Cathy Moriarty, RuPaul, and Clea Duvall.
Annotation:This documentary provides a fascinating look at the underground culture of Harlem’s drag balls in the 1980s. A drag ball is no mere fashion show; it is the gay equivalent of a street fight, and it allows participants to experience the kind of glamour and fame that is denied them in the larger straight world. For many, social life revolves around these competitions, and winning enough trophies to become “legendary” brings honor to both the participant and his “house”—the de facto families that are formed by the outcast and marginalized. Filmmaker Jennie Livingstone received numerous Best Documentary awards, including those from the Berlin International Film Festival, Sundance, the National Society of Film Critics, the San Francisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and the International Documentary Association.