Absolutely fabulous: The 12th Annual LGBT Film Fest covers the full spectrum of gay life

Published August 18, 2010

The 12th Annual LGBT Film Festival runs 2-10 p.m. Sat., Aug. 21 and Sun., Aug. 22, Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Court, Sarasota, 955-3456 or filmsociety.org, individual tickets $9 non-members, $6 members; Festival Passes $45 non-members, $30 members; visit website for full film schedule and more information.

The movies being featured at The Fabulous LGBT Film Festival represent a showcase of the LGBT community’s accomplishments throughout history, as well as the struggles they still endure. All of the films highlight different aspects of the gay rights movement, making the festival a well-rounded portrait of what has now become the civil rights movement of our time.

Issues surrounding cultural discrimination will be brought to light in two documentaries that show the battle lines through the eyes of those in the fight. 8: The Mormon Proposition pulls back the curtain on the secretive, decades-long campaign against gay rights that has existed within the Mormon religion. Centered around Utah and California, the film shows the Morman church’s direct involvement in the promotion and passage of California’s Proposition 8, the highest-funded social ballot issue in U.S. history, and how they have continued to wage spiritual warfare against marriage equality fought with money and lies. On These Shoulders We Stand focuses on some of the O.G.s of the Los Angeles LGBT community and chronicles gay life in L.A. from the ’50s to the ’90s, showing the city’s major role in gay history.

Three of the features revolve around the hidden lives and societal clashes that gays have experienced while living in conservative communities throughout world history. Eyes Wide Open tells the story of a married father of four in Jerusalem’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community who meets and falls in love with a young male student. As their relationship grows he begins to stray from his family and social life, and soon the pressure and guilt lead him to a radical decision. The Purple Sea, based on the novelMinchia di Re by Giacomo Pilati, steps back in time to 19th century Sicily where two young women go to extremes to maintain their forbidden relationship, when one of the young lovers disguises herself as a man. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is the focal point of A Marine Story, the tale of a female Marine returning from Iraq to her conservative hometown and finding herself charged with preparing an impassioned teenage girl for boot camp.

Violet Tendencies, the opening night film starring Mindy Cohn from The Facts of Life, ventures into more light-hearted and humorous territory when Violet, an aging women who has spent years as a “fag hag” or “fruit fly” (hanging out mostly with gay men), endeavors to leave her base of friends to find a man of her own. Through her exile she soon realizes the true meaning of family and that she doesn’t have to change who she is to get what she desires.

The film fest will climax on Saturday night with an after party from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Station 400. A ticket to any of the movies gets you in the door for free cocktails and desserts and live music by Cassolette. The festival will conclude with a wrap party on Sunday night at Burns Court Cinemas, also free with a valid ticket stub, which features an open beer and wine bar along with hors d’oeuvres by The Drunken Poet. Roll out the rainbow carpet for one fabulous weekend of film.


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