‘Where Butch does not mean Cassidy’
BRECKENRIDGE – The Breckenridge Festival of Film is “the only film festival where Butch does not mean Cassidy.”That’s the slogan for the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered) portion of the film festival. The series began three years ago with a lineup of independent films from short drama to feature length films.And it doesn’t just draw the GLBT community. Last year’s survey of people who attended the GLBT series showed that 92 percent of respondents felt the series was a vital part of the festival experience, said Frank Accosta, GLBT films coordinator.”An interesting discovery was that more than half of those people said they wouldn’t have gone out of their way to see a GLBT film and of that 50 percent, 92 percent said they did so because it was part of the festival,” Accosta said. “That’s huge.””An unexpected outcome of the program was that it also created a safe environment for individuals who are curious or questioning to experience a GLBT film within the context of a mainstream independent festival. This is progress. Summit County has a large gay community and a descent bisexual community. Unfortunately because it’s around sexual orientation, it’s not necessarily an out there population – some are out, some are not.”Accosta believed the films needed to be available to people, since other independent films in the festival cover an entire gamut of topics. “This offers that little bit of diversity that the film festival has always been known for,” said Karin Penegor, film festival committee head.The GLBT series makes up 20 percent of the festival’s film presentations.”The films help to show there’s universality among us all,” Accosta said. “If I can make a heterosexual a little more comfortable that they laugh and realize these people are OK – even through the use of stereotypes, though I’m not thrilled (with stereotypes) – then I’ve done my job.”Exactly what has the GLBT series come out with?This year the series offers short dramas, short comedies and documentaries. It also will present three feature length films: “Eating Out,” “Brother to Brother” and “Naked Fame.””Eating Out,” a 90-minute feature film, won the best of the fest in the GLBT category this year. It also won awards at gay and lesbian festivals in Phoenix, North Carolina and London.In it, Caleb pretends to be gay to attract Gwen, who falls for gay men. His plan goes awry when Gwen tries to set up Caleb with her roommate, Marc – who Caleb’s gay roommate happens to be in love with.Though the plot sounds overly contrived, possibly redundant and very confusing, “Eating Out” is a scrumptious film filled with witty and fun dialogue, a sweet story and plenty of passion. “Brother to Brother” is a narrative drama that looks back on the Harlem Renaissance from the perspective of an elderly, black writer who meets a gay teenager in a New York homeless shelter.”Naked Fame,” a documentary, follows adult porn star Colton Ford and his partner Blake Harper as Colton transitions out of the gay porn industry and into a singing career.Shorter films include: “Blessing,” about a gay son who asks to participate in a sacred Mormon healing ritual; “Drag Queen Heist,” in which Bobby and Jared plan the biggest heist of their lives with two guns, lipstick and a little mascara; “Feuille (Leaf),” portraying the story of a Chinese painter and a French photographer; “Gay by Dawn,” in which four rednecks tell ghost stories; “Gay Pioneers,” a documentary about the first homosexual civil rights demonstrations staged from 1965-69; “The Rules,” about two women exceeding boundaries; and “Thorn Grass,” based on the life and death of 16-year-old Fred C. Martinez Jr., killed in Cortez.”I am really pleased with the selection of films we have made this year,” Accosta said. “The caliber of films submitted each year seems to just get better and better, and I think anyone will be able to find a few films they would be interested in viewing.”It gives a glimpse into the gay world. It shows them being witty and campy. It’s a part of the segment people don’t see. The media tends to focus on freaks. We can enjoy that, but we’re not that. If you’ve never experienced a film of this genre, come with an open mind and an open heart and enjoy yourself.”Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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