Maryland Film Festival will be showing its pride at the 2012 Baltimore LGBT Pride Festival this weekend! Stop by our table at the Saturday Block Party in Mt. Vernon or the Sunday Festival in Druid Hill Park to say hello, pick up a MDFF button, or sign up for a one-year Friends of the Festival membership and receive a FREE limited-edition 2012 MDFF water bottle!
Maryland Film Festival is proud to have included many excellent films of LGBT interest in our line-ups over the years. Here are some recent highlights:
Directed by Jonathan Lisecki
Synopsis: This film is a generous expansion on Lisecki’s award-winning short film of the same name, which screened as part of the MFF 2010 roster. In the film, Jenn and Matt, who were best friends in college, now face the struggles of maintaining a happy lifestyle while in their thirties. When Matt cannot keep thoughts of his ex-boyfriend out of his head, Jenn suggests that they fulfill a youthful promise of having a child together, despite their difference in sexual orientation.
LOVE FREE OR DIE
Directed by Macky Alston
Synopsis: Gene Robinson became the first openly gay bishop when elected by the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire in June 2003, beginning a long journey for acceptance and respect. This heartfelt and moving documentary tells his real-life story.
Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz
Synopsis: Vito Russo was a true hero of the LGBT struggle, best known as the author of The Celluloid Closet, a co-founder of The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and an outspoken member of ACT UP. Despite leaving behind an amazing legacy, his story has been for years under-sung, a wrong finally corrected by this stirring and inspirational documentary.
WE WERE HERE
Directed by David Weissman
Synopsis: At once devastating and life-affirming, David Weissman‘s WE WERE HERE offers an in-depth examination of the AIDS crisis and its impact on the early 1980s gay community of San Francisco. It also serves as a snapshot of a vibrant and beautiful culture at a particular time and place in American history.
Directed by Andrew Haigh
Synopsis: This film beautifully depicts a whirlwind weekend-long romantic encounter between shy and reserved Russell (Tom Cullen) and the outspoken Glen (Chris New), a man he picks up at a club just before closing time. The two men spend their weekend together conversing, sharing philosophies, taking drugs and having passionate sex, all the while becoming increasingly intimate and increasingly fond of each other.
Directed by James Rasin
Synopsis: This documentary pays tribute to the short but influential life of an extraordinary person, the actress Candy Darling, born James Slattery in a Long Island suburb in 1944. Drawn to the feminine from childhood, by the mid-Sixties she had become Candy, a gorgeous, blonde actress and well-known downtown New York figure. Candy’s career took her through the raucous and revolutionary Off-off-Broadway theater scene and into Andy Warhol‘s legendary Factory.
WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN
Directed by Yony Leyser
Synopsis: This documentary follows the exploits of William S. Burroughs, the openly gay author of the controversial novel Naked Lunch. Featuring footage of Burroughs and exclusive interviews with some of his closest friends including John Waters, David Cronenbreg, Iggy Pop, Peter Weller, Anne Waldman and many others, Burroughs the man begins to take shape.
GREEK PETE: A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A RENTBOY
Directed by Andrew Haigh
Synopsis: GREEK PETE is a film by director Andrew Haigh that was shot for over a year with guys working within and around the sex industry. The story is a representation of their world, blurring the boundary between fiction and documentary, giving an authentic and intimate insight into the boys’ lives. Honest, non-judgmental, and sometimes explicit, the film offers a portrait of a sub-culture hidden from view.
LOVE SONGS (the 2009 John Waters pick!)
Directed by Christophe Honoré
Synopsis: French romantic films set in Paris are legendary; filmmakers from a variety of cultures have worked hard to emulate the specific energy of young people exploring their sexuality that French filmmakers seem to capture so easily. Honoré’s LOVE SONGS (Les Chansons d’amour) depicts startling new ways that young people choose to deal with their grief and sorrows.
BI THE WAY
Directed by Brittany Blockman & Josephine Decker
Synopsis: This jaunty documentary puts forward the idea that sexual preferences may start in our DNA, but they are also formed by experience and the ebb and flow of growing up. With a loosely structured road trip appropriately at its core, directors Blockman and Decker set out to explore how diverse members of the “Whatever Generation” in a variety of towns across America identify themselves sexually.
Directed by Spencer Schilly
Synopsis: Rick, a young man recently rejected by his family for admitting his homosexuality, finds acceptance and refuge assuming the role of house for two long-time gay lovers. During Rick’s journey, we are given a raw, graphic, but sometimes surprisingly humorous look at a drug-infused, loveless world of anonymous sex.
Directed by Beatrice Alda & Jennifer Brooke
Synopsis: Homophobia still looms large in our society, causing many gay and lesbian individuals to remain in the closet into college or beyond. This documentary follows five individuals who waited until they were senior citizens to openly declare their homosexuality to family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and paints a vivid, sometimes painful, portrait of these people and the many factors that cause them to wait this long.
Directed by Daryl Wein
Synopsis: One of the first and loudest voices calling for lifestyle changes that came to be called “safe sex” during the early years of AIDS was Richard Berkowitz. This film offers a portrait of what it’s like to be a messenger burned for carrying an unpopular message-and offers a wake-up call to anyone who may, thanks to medications that exist for checking and minimizing the symptoms of AIDS, once again live their sex lives as though immune, invincible, or just unconcerned.