Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Reeling 2010, the second-oldest LGBT film festival in the world, runs for 10 days, November 4th-13th, presenting 54 programs of innovative gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender films from 24 different countries around the world. Reeling will take place at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.), Film Row Cinema (Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash), and the Festival’s home base at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.). For the first time, Reeling will present its opening night film at the new ShowPlace ICON Theatre (150 W. Roosevelt Rd.), and will present select screenings of Latin American films at Instituto Cervantes (31 W. Ohio St.).
Reeling is a production of Chicago Filmmakers, a 36 year-old not-for-profit media arts organization. Presenting Sponsors for this year’s festival are RCN and Sundance Channel.
This year’s festival opens and closes with two emotionally powerful films that are linked by a common theme of water as a metaphor for emotional and spiritual transformation and redemption. From the sun-drenched beaches of the Caribbean island of Eleuthera to a small fishing village in Peru, both films tell stories of seaside love affairs between men whose homosexuality goes against the tide of the cultural forces in their small towns.
The Opening Night Film, Children of God (showing Thursday, November 4th, 7:00 pm at ShowPlace ICON Theatre, 150 W. Roosevelt Rd.), by first-time feature director Kareem Mortimer, was inspired by the murders of several gay men in the Bahamas, including two men whom Mortimer knew personally. Setting out to reveal the dark side as well as the sunny side of paradise, Mortimer gives us a story of a beautiful romance unfolding under the warm Bahamian sun against the backdrop of a nation grappling with violent homophobia. Johnny — a sensitive but creatively blocked painter — travels to the picturesque island of Eleuthera to reconnect with his artistic passion. While there, he reunites with Romeo, an old classmate whose hidden sexual identity creates a rift between himself and his family. Both men cross paths with Lena, the conservative wife of a homophobic pastor who is crusading to rid the Bahamas of homosexuals. One by one, they are each forced to face their demons and find the courage to live their lives as their hearts dictate.
Immediately after the screening, director Kareem Mortimer will join Reeling for the Opening Night Gala in ShowPlace ICON Theatre’s sophisticated Lobby Lounge.
To highlight the prominence of Latin American films in Reeling this year, we are proud to close our festival with the critically-acclaimed Peruvian film Undertow, directed by Javier Fuentes-León, screening on Closing Night, Saturday, November 13th at 7:00 pm at Instituto Cervantes (31 W. Ohio). Undertow is the “magical realist” story of Miguel, a young fisherman in a small village in Peru. He is married to the beautiful Mariela, who is 7-months pregnant, but Miguel harbors a secret: he is in love with Santiago, a painter who is ostracized by the townsfolk for being agnostic and open about his sexuality. When Santiago drowns in the ocean’s undertow, he cannot pass peacefully to the other side. He returns after his death to ask Miguel to bury his body according to local ritual. Miguel must choose between sentencing Santiago to eternal torment or doing right and, in turn, revealing their relationship to Mariela and the entire village. Undertow was the winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and is Peru’s Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Award for the 2011 Academy Awards.
After the screening of Undertow, Reeling will wrap up another great year with our Closing Night Reception at the elegantly contemporary Instituto Cervantes.
This year, Reeling is proud to present three Centerpiece films at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.). In the highly anticipated, much-talked about I Love You Phillip Morris, Jim Carrey plays a charismatic conman who repeatedly escapes from prison for the love of his life and cellmate, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). This true and incredible story premiered at Sundance to rave reviews, and Reeling is thrilled to screen the film on Wednesday, November 10th at 9:00 pm before its winter release!
With “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” being such a hot button issue, nothing could be more fitting than this year’s Centerpiece, A Marine Story, winner of two Grand Jury Awards at 2010’s Outfest. Honorably discharged from the military, Alexandra (played by The Gymnast’s amazing Dreya Weber) returns to her rural home to rebuild her life and come to grips with her sexuality. Director Ned Farr and producer/actor Dreya Weber will be attending the screening on Tuesday, November 9th at 7:00 pm.
In Robert Gaston’s thriller, Flight of the Cardinal, a group of New Yorkers travel to the Appalachian Mountains to stay at their friend’s inn, but the weekend takes a dangerous turn when a local man with a hidden agenda exposes each of their secrets. Director Robert Gaston will be attending the screening on Thursday, November 11th at 7:00 pm.
Notable in this year’s festival is the emergence of Latin American gay and lesbian films. In addition to the closing night film Undertow (Peru/Columbia), Reeling will present three films from Argentina: The Last Summer of La Boyita, the story of a young girl who travels to her family’s ranch in Argentina and befriends a farm boy who is not like other boys; Plan B, in which a man hatches a plan to get his ex-girlfriend back by seducing her new beau and ends up wanting her boyfriend instead; and the lesbian murder thriller, The Fish Child. Rounding out the showcase is Brazil’s From Beginning to End and Mother Earth from Mexico.
Other narrative features in this year’s line-up include:
The Adults in the Room
It’s 1995 and fifteen-year-old Andy finds himself lost in an affair with a man twice his age. Fourteen years later, as an established independent filmmaker, Andy writes a script tackling a portion of his life he has yet to understand.
Kafka, a young swim instructor with a drug habit, has his world turned upside down when he falls in love with a powerful and handsome businessman.
A coming-of-age drama about a former child actress who attends college in search of independence, and ends up becoming romantically involved with a female professor.
Dearest Mother (Madre Amadísima)
The life story of a gay man and the two women closest to him-his mother and the Holy Mother-and the effect his bond with them has on the other relationships in his life.
A strikingly attractive lesbian novelist starts a torrid affair with a pastor’s wife.
A sensuous, enigmatic, lesbian outcast starts a relationship with a pretty, popular university student.
Eyes Wide Open (Einayim Petukhoth)
In the Orthodox Jewish community of Jerusalem, a married butcher and his male apprentice embark on a love affair that they must struggle to keep behind closed doors.
The Fish Child (El Niño Pez)
Desperate to escape Buenos Aires to start a life together, Lala and her family’s maid embark on a risky journey.
Created to promote understanding and address homophobic bullying in Britain’s secondary schools, Fit explores the lives of a group of Adidas-clad pseudo-punks who are forced to take a dramatic dance class as punishment for acting out in school.
The Four-Faced Liar
Feeling the vibrancy of the city that never sleeps, four twenty-somethings-Bridget, Trip, Molly and Greg-begin to figure out that both friendships and relationships can be more intertwined and complicated than expected.
From Beginning to End (Do Começo ao Fim)
This controversial Brazilian drama follows the love and sexual intimacy between two men who are half-brothers.
The Game of Juan’s Life (Ang laro ng buhay ni Juan)
Leaving the ghetto is both a chance for success and a loss of love for Juan, but a dangerous chance at money might destroy everything.
Director Stu Maddux brings us a heartbreaking look at how LGBT seniors-the very ones who bravely fought, pre-Stonewall, for our rights-are going back into the closet in fear of discrimination.
Going South (Plein Sud)
A car full of attractive misfits drives towards the south of France, toying with lust, love, and hate along the way.
Grown Up Movie Star
Disgraced NHL player Ray and his daughter, Ruby, struggle with their individual sexual identities while trying to develop a healthy father-daughter relationship.
A dying Navy buddy asks a man to piece together the mystery of a past crime they committed and seek forgiveness on his behalf.
Victims of a violent hate crime, this documentary follows one Sydney couple as they emotionally and physically recover, and rally their community to make Sydney safer.
I Killed My Mother (J’ai Tué Ma Mere)
A Cannes favorite, writer-director Xavier Dolan delivers a non-traditional, gay coming-of-age story with this complex, semi-autobiographical drama about a teenager’s love/hate relationship with his mom.
Is It Just Me?
Blaine accidentally sends his internet crush a picture of his hunky roommate instead of one of himself, initiating a comedy of mistaken identities and competing romantic interests.
JoJo Baby strips off the colorful makeup and elaborate costumes of Chicago nightlife fixture and artist, JoJo Baby, to expose a unique life led in the name of art.
Kill the Habit
A woman, her best friend who’s in love with her, and her drug dealer’s wife come up with a plan to dispose of said dealer’s body-but not before running a few errands and falling in love first.
An overbearing ballroom stage mother and her two daughters must re-define their roles in life and on the dance floor.
Lost in the Crowd
A documentary about homeless gay and trans youth in the New York underground.
Mother Earth (Tierra Madre)
The true story of a woman on the Mexican border determined to raise her children with her female partner.
Other Nature (Tritiya Prakriti)
A documentary about journeys transgender rights in Nepal.
Over the Moon
A poignant exploration into the joys and difficulties of a lesbian couple who are trying to have a baby.
With a sexy cast of familiar faces such as Guinevere Turner (The L Word) and Deak Evgenikos (Itty Bitty Titty Committee), writer-director Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman) brings us a story of murder, deception, and intergenerational tensions.
Rock Hudson: Dark and Handsome Stranger
This riveting documentary investigates the many film roles Rock Hudson played, against his more intimate and private personal world, uncovering and revealing what was happening behind the superficial scenarios and double-values in Hollywood.
Retreating to an intimate Palm Springs resort, two striking young men hide from the public spotlight and, as their relationship heats up, begin to see each other clearly through the haze of media rumors.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister
In this beautiful BBC biopic, Anne Lister boldly and openly pursues her dreams to have a wife and live independently, despite the social pressures of living in 19th century England.
The Stranger In Us
A gay man obsessively ponders the loss of two relationships-one abusive, one healing-as he leaves town.
A routine trick at a man’s apartment propels a cynical hustler into a series of strange and life-changing encounters.
The String (Le Fil)
Raised in Paris, Tunisian-born Malik returns home after his father’s death, where he falls in love with the family handyman while simultaneously catering to his mother’s traditional wishes for him.
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
A revealing look into the lives of the world’s only comedic, country singing, dancing, yodeling, lesbian twin sisters who transcended lines of class and politics to become Kiwi national icons.
Manhattan’s most fabulous fag hag tries to find true, heterosexual love in a world of gay bars, sex parties, and fashion.
You Will Be Mine (Je Te Mangerais)
A lesbian and her straight roommate play a dangerous game of love and obsession.
In addition to features, shorts programs are an important part of Reeling’s programming, as well. Shorts often pack more entertainment, artistic vision, and powerful ideas into their limited running time than some features accomplish in an hour and a half. This type of programming allows a greater opportunity for the festival to discover and bring to audiences new and emerging talent, as many feature directors (including Kareem Mortimer, director of our Opening Night film) were first seen at Reeling in our shorts programs. We are also proud to have two shorts written and directed by actor James Franco in the Love is a Battlefield program: The Clerk’s Tale andThe Feast of Stephen.
Shorts programs include: Across Lesbian Borders, Destination: Unknown, Fantasy Man, Fighting for “I Do,” Glitter & Guts, Goodbye My Lover, Her Beautiful Disaster, Love is a Battlefield, Men in the Mirror, Our Gender Identities, and Young & Sapphic.
Reeling’s success is made possible, in part, by the support of our sponsors.
Reeling 2010 Sponsors
- Presenting Sponsors: RCN, Sundance Channel
- Premiere Sponsors: Blue Moon, Southwest Airlines
- Premiere Media Sponsor: here! TV
- Major Media Sponsors: Chicago Reader, Gay Ad Network, Metromix, RedEye, Yelp
- Supporting Sponsor: Comcast
- Supporting Media Sponsors: ChicagoPride.com, Market to Market
- Participating Sponsors: BurntHost, Jessica Rosengard Designs, Landmark Theatres, Steamworks, Tech@MyDesk
- Participating Hotel Sponsors: The Belden-Stratford Hotel, The Seneca
- Community Sponsors: ASquared Photography, Borders, Instituto Cervantes, Male Image, ShowPlace ICON Theatre, SpeedPro Imaging
- Community Hotel Sponsors: Avenue Crowne Plaza Chicago, House 5863, Inn of Chicago
- Community Media Sponsors: BOI, Gay Chicago, Time Out Chicago, Windy City Media Group
- Screening & Special Event Sponsors: Berlin, Best Gay Chicago, CTA, Cultural Services of the Consulate General of France in Chicago, Harris Bank, HBO, Meefers, Modern Tonic, More Cupcakes, Olivia Travel
Thanks to the generosity of this year’s official travel sponsor, Southwest Airlines — and the hospitality of hotel sponsors The Belden-Stratford, The Seneca, House 5863, Avenue Crowne Plaza Chicago, and Inn of Chicago — the Festival will welcome dozens of visiting filmmakers, producers and talent for screenings this year. Additionally, Borders Lincoln Park will be hosting several DVD signings and filmmaker Q&A sessions.
For more information, the public can call (773) 293-1447, or consult the Festival website at www.reelingfilmfestival.org.