Into bears? Or do you dig the all-American boy look? Maybe an underage lesbian who joins Clits in Action? We won’t advocate playing hookey, but there’s a whole lotta flicks to choose from at the Reel Pride Michigan: LGBT Film Festival from Oct. 12-19 at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak. To be exact, there’s over 35 films. Damn, in that case – think up an excuse. Now.
8 p.m. Opening Night Gala. “Shelter.” Nevermind that there’s an obvious age gap between Zach, fresh out of high school, and Shaun, an established screenwriter recovering from a broken heart. These two dudes, or bros, or whatever else Cali guys like to call their gay pals, are about to get more than their surf’s up in this coming-of-age story.
1:30 p.m. “Holding Trevor.” Trevor (screenwriter Brent Gorski) is stuck in a rut. He’s working as a telemarketer and involved with a self-destructive heroin addict. Trevor finds a potential new beginning with a warm-hearted intern he meets at the hospital when his boyfriend overdoses. At a party celebrating a negative HIV status, his now ex-boyfriend arrives uninvited, and the evening explodes into rage and sorrow. Free to youth 24 and under.
10:30 a.m. Centerpiece Brunch Benefit for Triangle Foundation. “For the Bible Tells Me So.” This provocative film explores how religious conservatives have systematically misled the public into believing that the Bible forbids homosexuality, and how this campaign continues to stigmatize the gay community and threatens America’s rapidly diminishing separation of church and state.
7 p.m. “Bears.” Follow seven contestants as they prepare for the annual Mr. International Bear Contest. The action kicks off with a look back at the first competition held in February 1992, with winner John Caldera describing the rise of bear culture to the newbies in the audience. Then the contestants quickly get to work – meeting and greeting the thousands of bears converging on San Francisco, eagerly trying to get their support and their vote.
7 p.m. “Shelter Me.” Returning to Italy after a romantic getaway in Tunisia, Anna (Maria De Medeiros) and Mara (Antonia Liskova) discover they have a stowaway in their car – Anis, a young Moroccan. Anna, spoiled but good-hearted heiress to a shoe manufacturing business, takes him under her wing, while the distrustful Mara, a worker in the shoe factory, initially resents the intrusion. Eventually, the three establish a fragile domestic rhythm, but the forces of the outside world start to undermine their makeshift family.
7 p.m. OUT! In Boys’ Shorts: A Series of Short Films for Men.
9:30 p.m. “Suffering Man’s Charity.” In his solo directorial debut, Alan Cumming plays John Vandermark, failed composer turned music teacher, with a weakness for impoverished young men of great aspirations. When a handsome dilettante (David Boreanaz) enters his life claiming to be a novelist, John is stirred to help him in any way he can, but soon grows bitter when his charity is abused.
8 p.m. Closing Night Extravaganza. “Itty Bitty Titty Committee.” A shy lesbian, just out of high school, Anna lives with her gay-is-OK parents and works at a plastic surgery clinic. Her world opens up one night when she catches Sadie spray-painting the clinic, and joins the guerrilla girls of Clits in Action. Now Anna is coming out — as a revolutionary.
– Compiled by Chris Azzopardi