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About the Film:
6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5: Lez Bomb (NR, 89 min.)
Thanksgiving is a time for family. For sitting down together, for seeing relatives you haven’t seen in a while, for eating and drinking (and more drinking). It’s also a time for misunderstandings and digging up old wounds and trying so hard to make a very important announcement, only to have nobody listen.
That last bit is what happens to Lauren (writer-director Jenna Laurenzo) when she invites Hayley (Caitlin Mehner, Ocean’s Eight), her girlfriend of 6 months, to meet her at her parents’ house for the holiday. Her plan is to tell her family that she’s gay, that she and Hayley are serious, and to finally be free of the burden she’s been carrying since she was in college.
9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5: Tucked (NR, 80 min.)
After an evening on stage, aging drag performer Jack collapses alone in his apartment. At the doctor, he’s diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and given only several weeks to live. Lambasting the doctor’s asinine instructions to “ease back” on life for his remaining short days, Jack is determined to spend what little time he’s got doing exactly the opposite and go out enjoying the few joys that he has.
Returning to the club he’s introduced to young Faith (Jordan Stevens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), a new, young, non-binary performer, and Jack is asked to “show ‘em the ropes.” Each of them is struggling with their own share of baggage. Jack is estranged from his daughter and only remaining family member as he approaches his death completely alone. Faith has been cast out by their parents to live on the streets, and is currently living in their car. Discovering that Faith is quite alone and homeless, Jack offers a space on the couch and the two begin to form a bit of an awkward companionship as their habits and life experiences alternately clash and connect.
1:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6: Transformer (NR, 80 min.)
WARNING: This film contains graphic images of cosmetic surgery procedures.
Matt “Kroc” Kroczaleski is a star on the powerlifting and body-building circuits, gracing the covers of numerous magazines, posters, and sponsorship campaigns. But during the summer of 2015 a YouTube blogger outed Matt’s part-time life as Janae, and like so many other outed individuals, Janae is forced to take control of her narrative before it runs amok.
4:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6: Quick Licks (shorts program, NR, 97 min.)
This amazing collection of stories of queer women will inspire you and make you believe in life and love.
6:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6: Kiss Me! (Embrasse-moi!) (NR, 86 min, English subtitles)
There’s a bit of a stereotype around lesbians: that they stay friends with their exes. For Océanerosemarie (director Océane Michel), this is a bit of an understatement. See, Océane has many exes. Many. Many, many. And she’s friends with every last one of them. Even the crazy ones. Even the mean ones. Océane loves to fall in love. It’s her favorite thing, and she’s done it many times in her adult life – so much so that her friends and family all nod and roll their eyes and chuckle when she tells them about the next girl in line.
9:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6: Anchor and Hope (Tierra Firme) (NR, 113 min, English subtitels)
One of the most refreshing things about Anchor and Hope is that sexual orientation isn’t really a plot point. Nobody comes out. There are no homophobic characters or issues. It’s essentially a romantic comedy/drama that happens to feature a lesbian couple rather than a straight one. A breath of fresh air, truly.
Kat (Natalia Tena, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Eva (Oona Chaplin, Game of Thrones) are a long-term couple living on their houseboat and traveling the canals of London. They’ve got an easy comradery and a healthy respect for one another. But Eva is restless, worried something’s missing. They’ve discussed the possibility of having a child in the past, and it was never the right time. But Eva hears her biological clock ticking – loudly – and they broach the subject once again.
12:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7: Love Me 4 Me (shorts protram, NR, 91 min.)
As Karen Carpenter once sang: “You’ve got to love me for what I am, for simply being me.” This collection of shorts shows how it’s sometimes difficult to connect with people because of who they think you are.
12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7: Man Made (NR, 98 min.)
Structured around preparations for Trans FitCon, Man Made follows four diverse men as they train for the world’s only trans-specific bodybuilding tournament. Writer/director/producer T. Cooper documents the story with great sensitivity and respect for their journeys as athletes and men in transition.
2:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7: You Should Be My Son 2! (NR, 76 min.)
Eight years ago, ImageOut audiences met Brian, a total catch who somehow was still single. His mother, Mae, and Aunt Rose tried to play matchmaker, but each attempt was, in Mae’s words, “a swing and a miss.” Things changed once Mae and Rose realized Brian batted for the other team. Following a trip to the local gay bar, and with the assistance of the Lady Fantasia Extravaganza, Brian found love with Chase.
Now Brian and Chase are 48 hours away from getting married, and you’re invited! Unfortunately, thanks to some well-intentioned but ill-advised meddling by Mae and Rose, so is Chase’s mom, Irene, who rejected Chase upon his coming out.
3:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7: Berenice (Berenice Procura) (NR, 90 min, English subtitles)
Berenice (Cláudia Abreu) drives a cab for a living. It’s a way to pay the bills, but at least it’s a job she enjoys – her days are always interesting, and it allows her to constantly meet new people. It also helps get her out of the house and offers her a bit of respite from a marriage that’s increasingly on the rocks.
5:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7: Chedeng and Apple (NR, 87 min, Engligh subtitles)
Chedeng (Gloria Diaz) has spent her life being a good woman: a good wife, a good mother, everything that was expected of her. But in the wake of her husband’s death, she decides it’s time to do something just for her: come out of the closet and go in search of the ex-girlfriend she hurt decades ago. It’s a big deal, to be sure, but just as she’s ready to head out, she gets a panicked phone call from her best friend Apple (Elizabeth Oropesa).
It’s only their years of friendship that make Chedeng put her plans on temporary hold because Apple’s problem is a big one. It seems, in a fit of rage, she “accidentally” decapitated her abusive live-in boyfriend and has no idea what to do now. So Chedeng and Apple decide together that the best course of action is, of course, to run.
6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7: Retablo (NR, 101 min, English subtitles)
Taking its name from the intricate, handmade altarpieces created by its protagonists, Retablo is a beautiful, heartfelt story of love and redemption.
14-year-old Segundo (Junior Béjar Roca) is apprentice to his artisan father Noé (Amiel Cayo), whose life’s work is making the lovingly crafted story-boxes that feature small, colorful clay representations of its owner’s family and community in religious scenes meant to honor their connection to the saints. Working side by side, Noé passes down his knowledge of the family trade, teaching Segundo and guiding him in the art of retablo. Once their work is finished, they travel from town to town, through remote regions of the Peruvian Andes to deliver their creations to the hands of delighted villagers.
But when Segundo inadvertently stumbles upon a wellkept family secret, the bond between father and son is suddenly – and perhaps irrevocably – shattered.
8:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7: Eva + Candela (¿Cómo te llamas?) (NR, 84 min, English subtitles)
NY Sneak Preview
Eva + Candela (also known by the title, What’s Your Name?) takes us on an amazing journey through the inception, rise, decline, and fall of a lesbian relationship. It’s beautiful, sexy, heart-wrenching and most of all, utterly relatable.
When Candela (Alejandra Lara), a movie director, first auditions actress Eva Ramirez (Silvia Varón) for the lead in her film, the sparks are instantaneous. Is love at first sight a thing? Because it sure seems like it to them. In almost no time at all, Candela and Eva are a couple. Loving. Supportive. Sexy. All the things anybody wants from a partnership. Their burgeoning love is a sensual, wonderful sight to behold.
But life happens to all of us, and Eva and Candela are no exception...
8:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7: Cola de Mono (NR, 102 min, English subtitles)
For many, Christmas Eve is full of warm family gatherings and joyful festivities. But for Borja and his older brother Vicente, Christmas Eve 1986 would instead be an indelible night of life-changing sexual discovery.
A playful and eccentric teenager, Borja is never afraid to say whatever crosses his mind. His father has recently died, leaving mom melancholy when sober and downright nasty once she starts drinking the homemade Cola de Mono – a traditional Chilean Christmas drink laced with copious alcohol. Once Christmas Eve dinner has concluded, she settles into an alcohol and Valium induced slumber. Freed from mom’s insults for the rest of the evening, 18-year-old Vicente slips out and heads for the local cruising park in search of his first sexual encounter. That leaves Borja to fend for himself.
6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8: Studio 54 (NR, 98 min.)
Everyone is familiar with the glitz and glamour of Studio 54. We’ve seen photos of the crowds, the celebrities, and the unequaled decadence. Many are even familiar with its flamboyant front man, co-owner Steve Rubell. But until now, no one has heard the whole story. For the first time, the brains behind the operation, co-owner Ian Schrager, breaks his silence and gives us the rest of the story. Buckle up for a crazy ride as we learn how two Jewish guys from Brooklyn, barely 30 years old, reached an unprecedented level of success followed by a spectacular crash back to earth.
8:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8: A Moment in the Reeds (NR, 104 min.)
Returning home to Finland after studying literature at grad school in Paris, Leevi finds himself back in a country he was more than happy to leave behind. But he’s agreed to help with renovations on his family’s lakeside cottage before his father Juoko (Mika Melender) prepares to sell it. Knowing Leevi’s not much for manual labor, his father has taken the liberty of hiring some additional help.
Enter beautiful, bearded Tareq (Boodi Kabbani), a Syrian refugee who’s taking odd jobs to earn some money, learn the language, and get a sense of the country he now calls home. An architect by trade, the soft-spoken Tareq doesn’t speak a word of Finnish, which gets him off to a rough start with Juoko. But he and Leevi find they get along quite easily.
When Juoko has to leave on business temporarily, the two younger men are left to their own devices, occupying themselves by drinking beer, listening to music, and enjoying the cottage’s sauna. And as inevitably happens in these situations, nature takes its course.
6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9: 1985 (NR, 85 min.)
Adrian, a gay man in his twenties, is returning home to spend Christmas 1985 with his family in Fort Worth, Texas. He lives openly in New York, but is not out to anyone back home, making the time spent with his ultra-conservative family particularly onerous.
Dad (Michael Chiklis, TV’s The Shield), is a blue-collar man’s man. He loves Adrian and his brother, but wishes they were tougher. Mom (Virginia Madsen, Sideways), an active church volunteer, does her best to soften dad’s hardline approach with the boys. Pre-teen brother Andrew (Aidan Langford) idolizes Adrian and is angry that he hasn’t visited in over three years. Much to Dad’s chagrin, Andrew has quit football in favor of drama club and been caught listening to Madonna cassettes in his Walkman. He’s too soft for Dad and really needs his big brother in his life.
Reconnecting with Adrian’s childhood friend and ex-girlfriend Carly (Jamie Chung in an unforgettable role) isn’t easy either, having abandoned her without explanation when he left for New York. But she provides a welcome relief by being the only one from his past whom he can openly talk with about what’s really going on in his life.
Co-written and directed by Yen Tan (past ImageOut favorites Ciao and Pit Stop), 1985 is shot in black-and-white 16mm film and features a melodic score to successfully evoke nostalgia, taking the audience back to a not-so-distant bleak time in our queer history.
8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9: Good Manners (As boas maneiras) (NR, 135 min.)
There’s often at least a hint of horror to the most enduring fairy tales. They captivate and entertain us, luring us with fantastical and outlandish stories before digging into questions of real-world morality. It’s much the same with the atmospheric fable Good Manners, a haunting tale of love and motherhood that delicately weaves in themes of race, class, and social inequality.
Lonely, out-of-work nurse Clara (Isabél Zuaa) accepts a job as a live-in nanny for Ana (Marjorie Estiano), a wealthy, single mother-to-be living in São Paulo. Cut off by her family when she became pregnant, Ana is entirely on her own, and quickly comes to rely on Clara to handle the cooking and cleaning, as well as making household preparations for the arrival of her infant.
But the beautiful Ana has secrets. She exhibits some unusual behaviors: developing intense cravings for red meat – the rarer the better – and when night falls, she sleepwalks and leaves the apartment. Ignoring the red flags, Clara can’t help but be drawn to her alluring employer.
6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10: Riot (NR, 105 min.)
As many people know, the modern gay pride parade has its roots in protest marches of the 1970s. Throughout the 70s, the queer community in cities around the world would hold solidarity marches to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. These marches only started becoming festive events after the community in Sydney, Australia decided to turn their march into a “gay Mardi Gras” in 1978. But what most people don’t know is the incredible price this first group of revelers would have to pay. Riot is their story.
8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10: Mapplethorpe (NR, 102 min.)
Anchored by a brilliant performance from Matt Smith (Doctor Who and The Crown), Mapplethorpe chronicles the life of iconoclastic queer artist Robert Mapplethorpe through the height of his career, sadly cut short by his death from AIDS-related complications in 1989 at the age of 42.
5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11: Wild Nights With Emily (NR, 84 min.)
What do you know about Emily Dickinson? That she was a poet in the 1800s? That she wrote over 1800 poems, but only 11 were published in her lifetime? That her poems didn’t rhyme and that she was fond of dashes in her work, much to the dismay of then-editors?
In Wild Nights With Emily, writer Mabel Todd (Amy Seimetz, Alien: Covenant) lectures an audience of women, using her knowledge of Emily’s writing and their (non-existent) friendship to report that Emily also had a sexual relationship with her sister-inlaw, Susan, from the time they were teenagers until Emily died at the age of 56. The proof is in the poems, she says.
7:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11: CrazySeyCool (NR, 100 min., shorts)
A fun mix of crazy, sexy, and cool gay shorts.
10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11: Boys (Jonas) (NR, 81 min. English subtitles)
Fifteen-year-old Jonas sits in a dark car playing Tetris on his Game Boy. Out of the darkness a terrifying scene unfolds. This time it’s just a nightmarish vision, but clearly something terrible has happened to traumatize Jonas.
Boys (Jonas) is a mystery told in two separate timelines. In the first, it’s 1997 and Jonas is entering 9th grade. A new boy in school immediately catches his eye. Perhaps it’s the bad-boy scar on his cheek or his devil-may-care attitude, but Jonas is smitten. The two boys quickly become friends and before long are skipping class to kiss in an empty gymnasium.
In the film’s other timeline, it’s 2015 and the excitement of a teenager in love has been replaced with the sorrow of a man who can’t escape the past. The adult version of Jonas (Félix Maritaud, outstanding in this year’s sexually graphic Sauvage and last year’s ImageOut favorite BPM) is a broken man. His boyfriend has thrown him out for cheating on him a few too many times, and he’s been arrested for getting into a fight at Boys, a local gay bar. There’s something about the bar that seems to set him off. He meanders through life still carrying that same old Game Boy, trying to fill a hole that can’t be filled. So what happened to turn this innocent teenager into the sad, angry man that we see now?
5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12: Every Act of Life (NR, 93 min.)
“I love the theater. It reinvents itself every night.” ~ Terrence McNally
Whether or not you know his name, there’s a very good chance your life has been touched in some way by Terrence McNally, particularly if you’re part of the LGBTQ community. Or have a love of theater and film.
While other kids in Corpus Christi, Texas were collecting baseball cards and playing football, Terrence McNally was treasuring the Playbills brought home by his parents and producing his own operas in the garage. As he grew older, he was able to escape life with his alcoholic parents, venturing across the country to Columbia University. He would travel the world, serving as a tutor to John Steinbeck’s children. He taught at Julliard and went on to become a prolific playwright. His works on the stage include Master Class, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Full Monty, and Mothers and Sons, and launched the careers of luminaries like Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, F. Murray Abraham, and Doris Roberts, among others.
What if you knew a secret that would ruin somebody’s life? Would you tell? Or would you keep it to yourself?
That’s the dilemma faced by Walter Campbell (Matthew Glave, Angie Tribeca, The Mick) when he takes an impromptu road trip to Big Sur to visit his daughter Nic, who has secrets of her own.
This beautifully shot film combines comedy and drama, all the while pointing out that love reveals wounds as much as it may heal them. As Joris’s wise grandmother advises, “Love can’t be controlled, it controls you.” And as the characters discover, learning how to face the past can be the best way to live life in the present.
These LGBTQ youth stories are for the young and the not so young alike.
3:30 p.m. My Best Friend (Mi mejor amigo) (NR, 90 min, English subtitles)
Lorenzo is a classic bookworm: quiet, crazy skinny, the last kid to get picked for soccer, his face stuck in the pages of a science fiction novel. But he also has an intensity and a sense of responsibility which goes beyond the typical teenager. Protected by loving parents, Lorenzo seems at peace, if a little lonely, growing up in a small city in Argentina.
His home life changes abruptly when they take in Caíto, the son of his father’s best friend, who has just been through a horrible accident – an event so awful that no one is willing to discuss it. Only a year older than Lorenzo, Caíto is a very different boy – athletic, tough, already looking and acting like a handsome young man. Despite this toughness, Lorenzo’s father mysteriously asks him to keep an eye on Caíto, not to leave him alone.
6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14: Cherry Grove Stories (NR, 77 min, short films)
Fire Island, now famous for being a gay mecca each summer, used to be a quiet unheralded vacation spot. But in the 1950s, a cluster of gay and lesbian owned cottages popped up in the island’s tiny hamlet of Cherry Grove. Soon Cherry Grove would develop into our country’s first gay haven: a place where LGBT people could escape the oppression of day-to-day life and simply be themselves. In Cherry Grove Stories, long-time residents and vacationers tell the tales of one of our very first safe spaces.
Hear powerful stories of people feeling free for the first time and finding love that they never thought was possible.
Antonio is about to get married to his fiance Paulo, the man of his dreams. But first he has to work up the courage to tell his parents that he’s gay. His father doesn’t take the news well, but Mom comes around quickly. She offers her blessing on the upcoming nuptials with three conditions. They must get married in Civita, the picturesque mountaintop village where Antonio’s father is mayor. Then Paolo must get his estranged mother, who disowned him when he came out to her several years earlier, to attend the wedding. Finally, the wedding must be planned by her favorite reality show wedding planner, Enzo Miccio.