Queering up the Charlotte big screen

GayCharlotte Film Festival reels in the best of the best to hit Queen City screens this March

Brace yourselves, Charlotte, for the biggest, baddest and best GayCharlotte Film Festival yet! The Lesbian & Gay Community Center has partnered up with several local sponsors to bring the hottest LGBT films to hit the screens this year — so many, in fact, that organizers had to make some tough choices this year.

“GayCharlotte Film Festival organizers recently expanded the festival season from three days to eight in order to show more movies,” a release on GayCharlotte.com reads. “Little did they know, however, that the expansion of the Third Annual Film Festival still would not enable organizers to show every movie on their wish list. Choosing between lesbian romantic comedy ”And Then Came Lola” and drama ”Elena Undone” was as difficult as selecting Faith Trimel’s African-American lesbian comedy ”The Family” over documentary “The Other Brother.”

Luckily though, these excess films did not get left behind. The center and festival worked their magic to put on special screenings of “Howl,” “Orgasm Inc.,” “Elena Undone” and “Brother Outsider.” Various venues such as Theatre Charlotte, McColl Center for Visual Art and Aperture Cinema Winston-Salem featured special showings to ensure our community had an opportunity to experience all the richness of this years top film picks.

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This year’s event, slated for March 25-April 3 will mark the Queen City’s third annual GayCharlotte Film Festival.With a variety of flavorful films, this year’s festival is serving something up for everyone’s taste. A sampling below:

Paris Pickard and Dreya Weber star in “A Marine Story.” Photo Credit: Last Battlefield Productions

“A Marine Story” — Military Drama — After Officer Alexandera Everette (played by Dreya Webber) experiences a devastating discharge from the Marines on counts of “conduct unbecoming an officer” under the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, she returns home to begin piecing her life back together again. In the midst of steep relational tensions with friends, foes and a very confused boyfriend, Everette seeks to reconcile her true identity with her ultra-conservative hometown roots. Meanwhile, the young and rebellious petty thief Saffron is facing some treacherous circumstances of her own – after a run in with the law, she is forced to choose between serving time in jail and enlisting in the military. When Everette is chosen to train Saffron, these two remarkably strong women find their stories intertwining in ways they never imagined and a truly beautiful story of strength, identity, and relationship unfolds.

The cast of ‘Violet Tendencies’ (l-r): Macus Patrick, Mindy Cohn, Jesse Archer and director/producer/actor Casper Andreas. Photo Credit: Film still

“Violet Tendencies” — Outrageous Comedy — Thirty-nine-year-old Violet (played by Mindy Cohn) lives a fabulous life — she parties at the best spots, is surrounded by loving friends and never suffers a dull moment. But, as her 40th birthday approaches, this self-declared “fag hag” still longs for a man of her own to fill a romantic void in her life. Hold on tight to your seats audience and let the hysteria and the hilarity pour as Violet’s wild search for true love ensues.

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Gay teenager C.J. Springer is one of several interviewed in the documentary ‘Out in the Silence.’ Photo Credit: Qwaves Documentaries

“Out in the Silence” — Documentary — When filmmaker Joe Wilson submits the announcement of his wedding with Dean Hamer to his conservative hometown newspaper, the controversial sparks fly. Soon after, a concerned mother of a local gay teen contacts Wilson for guidance and help. A true-life story of bravery, healing, and love, “Out in Silence” sends a positive message of hope and inspiration.

A still from ‘Eyes Wide Open.’ Photo Credit: Ruth Films

“Eyes Wide Open” — Religious Drama — “Eyes Wide Open” bravely marches into the reality of repressed homosexuality in the world of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. This intensely controversial film dives into the lives of two men within a conservative Jewish community – one married with four children, the other a young man in his twenties – as they struggle against and with their forbidden attraction. Facing dire spiritual, relational, and physical threats, these men must endure unbearable consequential tensions for acknowledging their love for one another.

For more information on the festival, visit gaycharlotte.com or gaycharlottefilmfestival.com. : :

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Posted by Leah Cagle

Leah Cagle is QNotes' former associate editor for arts and entertainment. You can reach editor Matt Comer via arts@goqnotes.com or editor@goqnotes.com.