No Nov. film festival for Michigan gays

For Michigan's LGBT community, November usually marks the return of the Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, hosted by the Triangle Foundation. However, visitors to Triangle's Web site will be surprised to find no news about the annual series of gay-related and -created films.

"The film festival has been postponed," announced Triangle Executive Director Alicia Skillman. "Not canceled - postponed."

Skillman, who took over the LGBT non-profit at the beginning of 2008, said that she and her team are reviewing all of the organizations events and deciding which will stay, which will go and which will change. "Some of them will get revamped," she said, "and that sounds like the road for the film festival."

One of the biggest factors, as is often the case in Michigan's still-dismal economy, is money. "There are folks in the community who really love it, but we lose money on it every year," she explained. "... we're struggling trying to figure out how to change it to something that not only raises funds for Triangle, but also educates and engages the community and develops stronger ally networks."

This means talks of corporate sponsorship and collaboration with other LGBT and allied groups. "We're discussing it and hopefully we will come up with something that is win-win for everybody involved."

Currently, Triangle is looking at rescheduling the film festival for the spring.

No duel?

Likewise, The Duel - the event aimed at pitting Affirmations and Triangle in a head-to-head cooking battle - has been postponed for the second time due to a lack of ticket sales.

"We thought it would fun and a great thing to do, sort of like one of the cooking shows," Skillman said. "We would go and shop in the grocery store and there would be a bleacher area for folks to cheer their teams on, but we didn't get a good response."

Skillman added that she will be working with Fund Development Coordinator Heidi Lovy to "figure out how to market it so that people will want to be involved."

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