Washington, DC

From a press release:

“Reel Affirmations: Washington DC’s Only International LGBTQ Film Festival

Thursday October 13th, 2016 through Sunday October 16th, 2016

Human Rights Campaign Headquarters
GALA Hispanic/Tivoli Theatre in Columbia Heights

This October the Reel Affirmations film festival returns to Washington with an impressive schedule of over 40 new features, shorts, and documentaries representing diverse experiences and stories from across the LGBTQ community — and the world.

From behind the scenes of Madonna’s most infamous tour (Strike a Pose), to the challenges of being out in India (LOEV), Reel Affirmations offers all Washingtonians the opportunity to see the world’s most adventurous, boundary-pushing cinema. Representing LGBTQ filmmakers from South Africa to Luxembourg, you will not be able to see most of these unique independent films on Netflix or LOGO, let alone in theaters.

“2016 is truly a breakthrough year in filmmaking because we have several films that tell stories about our trans family as well as our queer people of color,” says Kimberley Bush, Reel Affirmations Film Festival Program Director. “We are presenting a truly unique selection of films that may not have been picked up by other festivals, including truly extraordinary films such as LOEV, a gorgeous, romantic exploration of love from India.”

Four days of screenings will include award-winning features and documentaries including:

  • “Retake” – From award-winning filmmaker Nick Corporon comes an LGBT drama about two broken souls on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. (Trailer) (Thursday October 13th 7pm |  Human Rights Campaign Bulidling | VIP Launch/Seating Party)

  • “AWOL” – Joey plans to get out of her hardscrabble small Pennsylvania town by joining the Army. However, the plan goes south after she falls in love with a married woman from the wrong side of the tracks. The film sensitively captures both the beauty and ugliness of small town life, from the wild summer parties to run-down trailers.The story for the film was inspired by director Deb Shoval’s conversations with lesbian soldiers who actually went AWOL. (More Info) (Friday October 14th 7pm |  Gala Hispanic Theatre/The Tivoli)

  • “LOEV” – A weekend road trip between inseparable friends Sahil and Jai takes a sudden turn, making them each question what love is and what it means to them. Beautifully shot around the stunning natural terrain of India’s Sandhan Valley and Mahabaleshwar plateau, this poignant romance features an eclectic soundtrack featuring artists from Kanye West and Pearl Jam, to Pakistani pop stars Zeb & Haniya. (Trailer) (Friday October 14th 9pm |  Gala Hispanic Theatre/The Tivoli)

  • “Free Cece!” – In June 2011, CeCe McDonald, a black trans woman, was the victim of a violent attack. Her attempts to defend herself resulted in the death of one of her assailants, landing CeCe in a men’s prison for second degree manslaughter. This documentary gives activists, including Laverne Cox and CeCe herself, the chance to tell her story and address the daily struggle trans women of color face against a racist and transphobic society and an equally violent criminal justice system. (Trailer) (Saturday October 15th 5 pm |  Gala Hispanic Theatre/The Tivoli) (In attendance for a Q&A session will be CeCe McDonald and Director Jacqueline Gares)

  • “Theo + Hugo” – Brashly sexual and boldly romantic, this provocative French drama starts with a raw opening scene of the titular duo’s first encounter at a Parisian after-hours sex club. Shot mostly at night on the streets of Paris, this romantic film intelligently examines some of the harsher realities of sex and dating in the City of Light. (Trailer) (Saturday October 15th 9 pm |  Gala Hispanic Theatre/The Tivoli)

  • “Seducing Mr. Bluefrog: NSFW” – A special adults only “after-hours” screening of a truly unique documentary. Director Hendrik Schäfer starts off making a documentary about a mysterious online “cam” model who goes by the alias Mr. Bluefrog. He agrees to star in Hendrik Shäfer’s experimental documentary, with the opportunity to direct his own porno, but he must also expose himself to the camera in ways he’s not used to. The result is a sexy, strange, and self-aware film that certainly lives up to its title while probing important questions about privacy and exhibitionism in the digital age. (Trailer) (Saturday October 15th 11pm | Gala Hispanic/Tivoli Theatre)

  • “Suicide Kale” – This dark indie comedy, written by Brittani Nichols (Transparent), took home the OutFest Audience Award Winner for Best First U.S. Dramatic Feature. A simple lunch turns into a catastrophe when Jasmine and Penn, a new couple with an uncertain future, find an anonymous suicide note at the home of the happiest couple they know. (Trailer) (Sunday October 16th 1pm | Gala Hispanic/Tivoli Theatre)

  • “Strike a Pose” – In 1990, seven young male dancers joined Madonna on her most controversial blockbuster tour, Blonde Ambition. Now, 25 years after the tour, the talented performers who helped the Material Girl bring voguing to the mainstream – Luis, Jose, Kevin, Carlton, Slam and Oliver – continue to express themselves, baring their truth in this revealing documentary look at the dancers after the dance. (Trailer) (Sunday October 16th 3pm | Gala Hispanic/Tivoli Theatre with Q&A/Panel Discussion with Dancer Salim “Slam” Gauwloos)

  • “King Cobra” – Closing Night Feature Film. This ripped-from-the-headlines drama covers the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Paul Lockhart a.k.a. Brent Corrigan, before his falling out with the producer who made him famous. When Sean decides he’d be better off a free agent, a cash-strapped pair of rival producers aim to cash in by any means possible. Starring: James Franco, Christian Slater, Molly Ringwald, Alicia Silverstone. (Trailer) (Sunday October 16th 5pm | Gala Hispanic/Tivoli Theatre)

Three lineups of short films include:

  • “Spectrum Shorts: Gender, Identity and Aging” – This shorts program traverses the globe to share stories by and about those of us who don’t fit neatly into conventional ideas of gender, aging, or identity. Films in this program include nearly every hue of the LGBTQ spectrum, from sexagenarian gay country singer-songwriter Patrick Haggerty in the delightful doc These C*cksucking Tears to London viewed through the eyes of two transgender women (Dawn). (Saturday October 15th 1pm |  Gala Hispanic Theatre/The Tivoli)

  • “Short Films Screening: Swipe Right” – A program of short films dedicated to new beginnings and sudden transformations. Whether hilarious, heartwarming, or heartbreaking, these shorts follow characters who find, or attempt to find, the courage to take that first leap, explore differences, and make up for missed opportunities. From youthful romance to sperm donation to polyamory, language barriers, and pet ownership, “Swipe Right” explores the diverse forms LGBT relationships may take. (Saturday October 15th 7 pm |  Gala Hispanic Theatre/The Tivoli)

  • “Short Films Screening: So Long, Farewell…” – You know the story, boy meets boy, boy falls in love with boy…boy cheats on boy and well you know what happens next…Whether dealing with an uncertain marriage proposal or an unanswered text, finding someone to love is only half the battle. This selection of short films plays on the theme of how everything — even love — comes to an end. (Saturday October 15th 3pm |  Gala Hispanic Theatre/The Tivoli)

    In addition to screenings, there will also be panel discussions, Q & A’s with filmmakers, and filmmaker celebrations. General admission tickets are $12.00 and All Access passes for the festival start at $30.00.”



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