Outflix Film Festival returns September 9-15
By Will Batts
Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) will again present films from around the world that will be of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and our allies. This year’s lineup includes films from Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States. Opening night films include Hollywood to Dollywood, the story of gay twin brothers who travel the country to deliver a screenplay to their idol, Dolly Parton, hoping she will star in their film. The second opening film is a high-energy musical called Leave It on the Floor focusing on the African American ball scene in Los Angeles.
Special guests for our festival include John Lavin, director of Hollywood to Dollywood (September 9) and Howard Rosenman, the prolific Hollywood producer of Paragraph 175 (September 15). Paragraph 175 displays the horrific experience of gay men sent to German concentration camps. Mr. Rosenman is also the producer of such films as Father of the Bride, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Celluloid Closet. Both guests will be available for Q&A after their films. We are extremely grateful that they are able to attend our festival.
MGLCC believes that it is important for our community to see images of LGBT people on the big screen. Our stories are not often visible in commercial venues. Outflix seeks to correct that. Films in this year’s festival provide a broad view of LGBT life: living as a lesbian in Iran or India; coping with the struggles, passions, and fears associated with being transgender; surviving the horrible tragedy of being interred in a concentration camp for being gay; losing friends in the early days of the AIDS crisis; or celebrating the joys of new loves and new passions. Outflix brings to the screen our history, our loves, our losses, and our triumphs in a public way. We are a community filled with pride, and we want everyone in the Mid-South to share in this festival with us.
Especially in an environment where legislators and community leaders would make us invisible or silence our voices, Outflix represents just the opposite of that. It represents our passion, our defiance, our joy in ourselves, our despair during loss, and our pride in who we are and how we love. What could be more important than that?
Outflix runs for 7 days from September 9-15 at Malco’s Ridgeway Four, 5853 Ridgeway Center Parkway. To find out more about this year’s lineup or to purchase tickets, see the Outflix website at outflixfestival.org. Tickets for an individual film are $9, but multi-ticket packages are discounted! Tickets are available for purchase on-line or at the door one hour before the first film of the day. All proceeds from the festival will be used to fund the life-saving and life-changing programs and services of MGLCC. We serve some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Thank you for helping us help them.