As Out on Film—one of the country's oldest LGBTQ+ film festivals—turns 30 this year, their legacy with the Atlanta LGBTQ+ community seems to have even surpassed the event itself.
Out On Film challenges this legacy by expanding it’s event to three venues and with a vast array of films that explore the notions of what “queer cinema” really means. Below, we highlight ten movies that are worth checking out. From under-the-radar documentaries to must-see high-brow dramas, if you’re looking for something to watch, you won’t go wrong with these.
The festival runs from Sep 28 - Oct 8 with over 150 films. For full schedule, check out their website with links to buy festival passes or individual screening tickets.
10. “And Then There Was Eve”
As of this year, there seems to be a sweeping trend of thrillers, with the somewhat horror theme “B&B” and the more snarky, satirical “Women Who Kill”. However, “And Then There Was Eve”, seems to harken back to the grit and grime of a hard boiled noir, just with a modern gloss over it. It’ll be interesting to see what punches this film will pull. Oct, 1 11:00 A.M. at the Midtown Art Cinema
9. “Hello Again”
Another trend this year, though not surprising, is the concept of sexuality. Or to put it lightly: the question of “how much sex can we put on screen?” There’s no doubt that “No Foam” will be the poster child for this; with its disregard for movie conventions in the way of, well, sex. But I put “Hello Again” for one reason: it is one of the few, if not only, movies on the roster that dips its toes in “Speculative Fiction” genre. And as a person whose specialty was highlighting gay speculative media, it’s good to see some fresh takes on the genre. September 30th, 9:05 P.M. at Midtown Art Cinema
8. “The Wound”
Aside from probably being the only film on the roster coming from South Africa, it also takes an interesting angle at what’s usually an underplayed theme in gay films. While religion is often overplayed, the place in which society and culture plays into masculinity is often shown in either a superficial level or avoided entirely. But in “The Wound”, this concept isn’t only just jumping from sub-text to text, it is in fact the entire point of the film. There’s not a lot of films like these and it’ll be interesting just how this film tackles that perspective. September 30th, 11:30 A.M. at Midtown Art Cinema
7. “Trans Youth” and “Transgender Life in Slovenia”
To be honest, I was torn between the two, mainly divided by “what I saw” and “what I heard”. Luckily, both films will be played as a double feature, meaning you’ll be able to watch both back to back. With “Trans Youth”, being already important with the recent news regarding transgender rights, it seems well executed, with excellent sense of camera work and compelling interviewees. However, “Transgender Life in Slovenia” has already, if you may pardon my words, “Hit the ground running” (thanks Smash Mouth) with an award already in hand. Being the winner of the Audience Award for Best Film at the 2016 Ljubljana International LGBT Film Festival, it’ll be interesting to see how well received the film is at Out in Film. Oct 4, 3:45 P.M. at the Midtown Art Cinema
6. “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin”
As a writer who often looks for contemporary LGBT content to fall back onto, Maupin’s “Tales of the City” has been regarded by many as a classic. So, it’s not surprising that seeing a documentary about Maupin’s book as well as success story, life, and all the things in between has gotten me so pumped. With a powerhouse of gay icons discussing these things in full detail, it’s a documentary I’m looking forward to. October 7th, 11:00 A.M. at the Outfront Theatre Company
5. “The Life and Death of Marsha P. Johnson”
Marsha P. Johnson had both in their time alive and their death, shook the foundations of the LGBT community, both of good and ill. There’s no going into how crucial they were to upstarting the LGBT movements and set the motion for equality on all fronts. However, their death has been one riddled in controversy, foul play, and in the end, queerphobia. Hopefully, we’ll figure more about the circumstances surrounding their death. It will also be miraculous seeing how much of a marvelous life they lived on screen. October 1st, 5:15 P.M. at Midtown Art Cinema
4. “Alaska is a Drag”
This is here mainly for execution. The actors seem to be on board, with some amazing chemistry. The cinematography looks nice. Even the arthouse shots give an otherworldly aesthetic without being too dissonant or distracting. The concept is quite a catch in of itself: a drag queen from Alaska learning to box. Not much to say, other than it looks like a fantastic concept executed well. October 7th, 5:00 P.M. at the Plaza Theatre
3. “Signature Move”
Oh, wrestling. How I love and hate you. As a kid, I was always interested in the sport but was not allowed to watch. During my teen years, it got to be a bit convoluted as well as too repetitive. Now, with What Culture Wrestling hitting the ballpark with some amazing content, my fascination with the sport has grown tremendously. Which is why I placed this film a bit above “Life is Drag”. That and usually, writer/actor projects are quite fascinating to watch. Plus, with a diverse cast, including a Pakistani (Faziwa Mirza) and Mexican (Sari Sanchez) as the leads, it’s a film you don’t want to miss. October 6th, 7:00 P.M. at the Outfront Theatre Company.
2. “Tom of Finland”
Being one of the most important gay artists of the 20th Century, Tom explored masculinity in gay culture in a time when homoerotic and gay art was illegal and dangerous. Now, almost 60 years after he exploded onto the scene, it’s good to see that a film is now celebrating his legacy. Putting aside my personal connections and feelings for the content, it’s good to see that none of the usual Hollywood fingerprints are on the footage. Especially, Hollywood’s recent trend of “gay washing” important icons into more of a heteronormative narrative. October 3rd, 9:00 PM, at Midtown Art Cinema
Music has always been an obsession for me since I was seven.Through the years and varying interests, my taste for extreme music like punk and metal have lived on. Which is why it’s so amazing to see a documentary not only showcase an extremely niche and not heavily documented subgenre, but a subgenre that needs it so desperately. In an era where queerbaiting and straight dudes considered to be the “new queer” are the norm, there’s a calling for icons who are truly LGBTQ+. Hopefully this new documentary can be the next role model for a newer generation of LGBTQ+ kids. October 5th, 7:00 P.M. at Midtown Art Cinema