LGBTQ Film

Class A: The Film Kickstarter Wants To Shine A Light on Addiction In The Gay Community

If you are one of the many who feels like there still isn’t enough LGBTQ representation in our entertainment media, then try to put your money where your mouth is.

And we don’t mean just going to the movies whenever a Moonlight or the upcoming gay teen film Love, Simon comes to your nearest theater. We mean financially supporting projects every now and then as well.

One way you can do that is by checking out sites like Kickstarter, and today we’ve already selected a Kickstarter project worth backing.

Class A: The Film is a short film project currently in the works.

The film plans to talk about and face the problem of addiction in the LGBTQ community.

“The film follows three addicts, Jenny, a young, African-American, fashion student, addicted to her personified drug, “Coke”, aka "Charlie", a cocky, charming yet manipulative asshole. And Dan, who recently puked up over his ex-boyfriend, while on heroin and now converses with “Heroin”, who is a sweet elderly, caring woman. Finally, there is Brad, who battles with his personified drug, “Crystal Meth”, who emotionally and sexually abuses him.”

This short film will be an adaption of a stage play from 2012 that was produced at the Gene Frankel Theatre.

The creator wanted to reformat the story and present it in a different way in order to reach a wider audience. He feels the topic is important and should reach others because, “Substance abuse disorders among LGBTQ individuals may be 20% to 30%, higher than the general population (9%). 25% of gay and transgender people abuse alcohol, compared to 5 to 10 percent of the general population.”

In addition, the film is working in tandem with charity Gay & Sober which works to help LGBTQ members struggling with addiction and wishing to live a life of sobriety.

If you want to see this film become a reality, you can back it on Kickstarter. But hurry as there's only a couple more days to back.

On top of that, if you give certain amounts of money you will get a reward such as a piece of digital art to download, a social media shoutout, or a copy of the finished film.

Again, check out their Kickstarter page if you want to donate and help create more LGBTQ representation with a message.

Would You Go See This Movie About A Bisexual Boxer Who Allegedly Killed His Homophobic Opponent?

News is circulating of an upcoming film about a bisexual boxer.

Director Lenny Abrahamson and producer Ed Guiney are the team that put together the Academy Award winning film Room and they want to work together again to create a film starring a bisexual man.

The two first announced their interest in the story in 2015, but news of it has been pretty thin since then.

The story would be a biopic of bisexual boxer Emile Griffith who's famous for his strength in the ring and infamous for the death of one of his opponents.

A world title match at Madison Square Garden happened in 1962 and the defender was Virgin Islander-turned-American boxer Emile Griffith. Cuban boxer Benny “The Kid” Paret supposedly called Griffith a “maricon” (meaning “faggot”) during the earlier weigh-in.

People think this resulted in Griffith going too far with Paret to the point that the competitor became unconscious. Problem is, the referee split the two up too late. Due to that, Paret was hospitalized and died 10 days later.

We don't know if that was Griffith's intention. What we do know is that now it's believed Paret died from earlier injuries that were made worse by the title fight. No matter what, Griffith earned the "killer" reputation from that day onwards.

As interesting of a character study and story as this movie may be however, we don’t actually know if it’s still in the works. Some sites state the film is in pre-production and assume it will come out in 2018 or 2019, and others, like IMDb, don’t mention the film at all.

In addition, there has been no real announcement from either Abrahamson or Guiney about the film. Honestly, we don’t know why this story has been trending on other gay sites.

That said, Abrahamson shared with deadline (2 years ago) his extreme interest in the story.

“As a character study, Griffith is incredibly compelling. There was a gentleness and innocence about him, and he never seemed conflicted about his sexuality; indeed he found joy in it. He inhabited two worlds – the underground gay scene in New York in the ‘60s and the macho world of boxing. The societal stigma at that time was dreadful and created a crushing pressure on him.”

We’re sure if there was enough public interest in it (and thus, financial backing), the two would jump to create the film.

As such, we decided to shine a spotlight on the possibility of this movie rather than just say it’s actually happening.

So, what do you think? Would you see this Emile Griffith biopic if it were to come out in theaters?

Gay Filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz On His New Documentary About Legendary Producer Allan Carr

LA-based, openly gay filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz, 48, makes documentaries. You might have seen his 2015 film Tab Hunter Confidential (now streaming on Netflix).

Schwarz cut his professional teeth working for legendary doc duo Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (who won Oscars for Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt and The Times of Harvey Milk). I met him years ago when I was in film school and spent a semester interning on The Celluloid Closet (1995). Schwarz had the enviable job of listening to and transcribing celebrity interviews with people like Cher, Susan Sarandon and Tony Curtis (who said some pretty gnarly things about working with Marilyn Monroe on the Billy Wilder classic Some Like It Hot).

I published an initial interview with Schwarz back in September about his new documentary The Fabulous Allan Carr, but below are further excerpts from our phone Q&A.

Carr just completed a national and international film festival run this past weekend and Schwarz told me additional distribution on cable and via streaming is being worked out now

Allan Carr was the flamboyant and legendary entertainment producer responsible for movies like Grease and Can’t Stop the Music, as well as the Broadway smash La Cage Au Folles. Schwarz said he made the film “to celebrate” Carr.

The notorious opening number to the 1989 Oscars he produced basically ended his career. What that homophobia, an excuse to use his gayness against him?

Jeffrey Schwarz: There are a lot of people who didn’t like Allan Carr very much. He was too much, too outrageous, too gay. And the opening number was designed to be over the top, to be camp, to be outrageous and ridiculous. We didn’t talk about this in the movie, but it was inspired by the San Francisco show Beach Blanket Babylon.

The creator of Beach Blanket Babylon was Allan’s creative partner. It’s a gay aesthetic, a gay approach. It’s camp.  

It does smack a bit of homophobia to me that people thought it was just too out there and may be disrespectful to Hollywood. But I don’t see it that way at all. It’s such a celebration and a love of Hollywood. I do think homophobia played a role. But I can’t prove that. But that’s my sense. 

After that he was really persona non grata. When you have a failure like that nobody wants to associate with you. He went into withdrawal for quite some time after that. He never, with the exception of the 20th anniversary re-release of Grease, which was a big success, he never really had another success.

Do you feel like a producer of a “bad” Oscars show today would be punished similarly?

I don’t know. I think we’ve seen some fumbles over the years but we’re still talking about Allan Carr’s Oscars all these years later. I hope this film redeems it in some sense and people will look back at it and say, “Hey, that was actually pretty bold, and pretty ballsy.”

You’ve made a lot of documentaries. Does your body of work have a theme?

“Be true to yourself” is a theme. “Accept who you are and try to leave a legacy.”

I’m really kind of driven to find stories about people or events in the past that have been marginalized or [are] on the verge of being forgotten. Like Vito Russo. Such a dynamic force, he changed our world.

I make these movies to bring these people, drag them out of their graves, and tell their stories and empower people. I think they are all stories of empowerment. 

If you could wave a magic wand and make any project you wanted, it would be?

I would like to do this for the rest of my life. I’d like to make movie after movie after movie. It wouldn’t be one specific project it would just be given the privilege to keep doing what I’m doing.

Who are some of your important influences and why?

Rob Epstein is a major influence. I saw his film The Times of Harvey Milk when I was in college, when I was coming out. And that was one of the first, if not the first documentary I saw about our history. And I am just devastated by it every time I see it. The storytelling, the way the story unfolds, the compassion, the humanity, the anger in the movie is, it’s incredible. And he’s also a trailblazer for being openly gay very early on in his career. He was just always interested in just being true to himself and telling stories about our community. Word is Out is an early film he was involved with and Harvey Milk. So I’d say Rob is probably a real inspiration to me. I got to work for him. My first job was working with him on Celluloid Closet back in the 90s.

Is there any particular message in your film for LGBTQ audiences?

I don’t make the films for the LGBT audience. I make them because I want these stories to be out in the world. But I don’t want them to be limited to an LGBT audience.

All my films have premiered at non-gay festivals. I feel that it’s a way to create empathy and understanding outside our community. Like the Tab Hunter film was a film that talked very explicitly about gay themes to audiences who already loved Tab Hunter. Maybe older people who loved Tab but didn’t know that side of him, so it’s a way for straight audiences to be gently led down this path of understanding. Tab’s story, that was one of the reasons I wanted to do that movie, was to share his story with people of another generation, and younger people who didn’t know his story.

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New Mexican Documentary Shows Baja California's Fight For Marriage Equality

 Award-Winning documentary "No Dress Code Required" will open theatrically in New York City this coming Friday, November 3 with a national release to follow.

 

Directed by Cristina Herrera Borquez, the film won best documentary at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and was an official selection of both the Human Rights Watch Film Festival and Outfest, LA's annual gay film fest.

The doc follows the story of Victor and Fernando, who run a beauty salon in Baja California, Mexico. For many of their longtime customers they are a lovely gay couple -- until they decided to tie the knot.

Even though the Mexican Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June 2015, the city of Mexicali actively defies their nation's court order, preventing Victor and Fernando from marrying.

"No Dress Code Required" is a powerful, emotional story of two men in love fighting for what they want, learning how people they've come to know and love actually feel -- and enlightening the community in which they live. #DownWithHomophobia

Running time: 91 minutes / Not Rated / In Spanish (with English subtitles)

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Watch A Clip From Outfest Winning Film "The Wound"

During this year’s Sundance, there were several LGBTQ themed films and web series. Some of which we’ve already heard of, talked about on Instinct, and are impatiently looking forward to with release dates coming later this year.

Some such movies are Call Me By Your Name about the love between a young academic, played by Armie Hammer, staying at a researcher’s/mentor’s Italian home for the Summer, and the 17-year-old son of the mentor, played by Timothée Chalamet.

The other that we’ve recently talked about is God’s Own Country, which follow’s Josh O’Connor’s character. The lonely shepard feel’s unfulfilled and tries to drown that out by drinking and having sex constantly. However, things change when a Romanian migrant worker, played by Alec Secareanu, starts to work for him. The two then enter a complicated yet loving relationship.

But now we’re excited to show you a new clip for one of the other LGBTQ themed movies that were shown during Sundance this year.

Credit: Urucu Media

The Wound is a South African film by John Trengove.

The story is a coming-of-age story of sorts, but one that Western movie-govers have never seen before.

It follows factory worker Xolani (played by Touré), who has to guide young Kwanda through an age-old rite of passage into manhood. While doing this, Kwanda goes through the trial of discovering and understanding himself while also understanding Xolani’s sexuality.

The film debuted at Sundance and then went further to Outfest where it won the jury prize. Now, the film is opening today at the Film Forum in NYC before opening at the Laemmle Royal in L.A. on September 8th.

Check out the clip down below.