Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Fun and Funding Make a Great Duo at Palm Springs’ Cinema Diverse

Cinema Diverse, Palm Springs LGBT film festival, is right around the corner and I am thrilled to be part of it.

I will be spending my third year curating and introducing some really great web series and streaming content in my WebOUT programs.

This year. we added a new segment, Go FUNd Yourself.

On Friday, Sept. 20 at 5:30pm I will feature three terrific shows that have one thing in common: they’ve done only a pilot episode and are now turning to YOU and their fanbase to help fund a full season. This will not only be a fun 90 minutes of great shows, but it will give you a chance to become a producer or to get a tangible perk to thank you for your small or large donations. While we hope you can make it to the screenings, you can get your donations out of the way below with their links. Or, you can wait until the festival and get some exclusive Cinema Diverse perks.

Our first show is “Vent & Chester.” This is an outrageously funny comedy that is basically the gay muscle bear “Odd Couple.” Creator and star Peter Bisuito puts a fresh spin on a familiar plot and enriches it with many memorable moments including some that could go viral! He should get the laughs as he’s not just an actor, but he’s a professional comedian. While he plays the more messy, crass roommate, Jeffery Roberson plays the more uptight and structured muscle bear. Roberson fans will likely come in droves to this show. Many may not know this hunk by his actor name, but throw on a dress and you’ve got Varla Jean Merman, Roberson’s drag persona.

Varla Jean is a hoot and very creative. It’s nice to she her out of drag. But, Bisuito is using Varla Jean’s following to drum up funding. “”For those who attend the Cinema Diverse screening, we have some super special perks that include show tickets to Varla Jean Merman’s Oct. 25 Palm Springs show,” says Bisuito. “We might also add some perks for Varla Jean in different cities, but you have to come to WebOUT to find out,” he teases.

Bisuito is really trying to ensure his show gets funded that he’s even joked that for $25,000 donors he might sleep with you. His sexy body makes that tempting. But in all seriousness, his vision of this show is beyond the web – they are doing it old school, filming segments that could air on network TV and filmed in front of a live studio audience.

To find out more, go to tinyurl.com/FundVentChester

“Some Kind of Wonderful” isn’t quite new to Cinema Diverse – it screen last year to tremendous success. But while it’s got a great cast and takes place in Palm Springs, it still hasn’t achieved its funding for a full season.

So we’re trying to help get the show to the next level by screening it again for people to experience this original and terrific show of a group of friends who support each other and share in many of their own little secrets. Palm Springs is a perfect setting for this shows that focuses on seasoned adults. It’s also pays homage to the city of Palm Springs, making the community and local businesses “co-stars” of this ensemble show.

The cast covers the gamut of talent – from Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis to drag superstar Pandora Boxx to previous WebOUT stars David Pevsner (“Old Dogs & New Tricks”), Ann Walker (“Child of the ’70s”) and Chuck Saculla (“Where the Bears Are” and “Child of the ’70s”).

Creator/star Ricky Reidling will be on hand and has some special perks for those who attend including hanging out with the cast on set and having a meal or drink with the show’s creator/star. Reidling will be supported by many members of his talented cast including Greg Louganis so here’s your great chance to see a show that is some kind of wonderful and to meet an Olympian! More information is at tinyurl.com/FundWonderful

Then there’s “Status Updates.” Actor/writer/dancer Brad Ulrich put together his very first web series and it’s getting lots of buzz. The show’s title comes from people changing their romantic status on social media. While it’s playing at an LGBT film festival, it’s not completely gay. Brad’s character’s best relationship (now that he’s single) is his fun straight roommate. The pilot episode focused on their relationship as much as dating.

While Brad has made a name for himself on TV, stage and in many Disney live productions, this is his first time with his own web series. The show has received so many great reviews and social media positive posts, that we are thrilled to bring it to WebOUT.

Like the other shows, Ulrich has made a pilot and is seeking help from crowd funding. He is caution in his expectations, saying he’d like a season of 10 episodes but is funding them perhaps two at a time. Of course, he adds, he can exceed his goal and make more episodes with this one crowd funding event.

We are thrilled Ulrich will be on hand for his screening and will be around for a meet and greet and to personally invite you to become a sole producer with a big donation or provide you a T-shirt with a smaller donation. Find out more about Ulrich’s show and perks offer at tinyurl.com/FundStatusUpdates

Whether you can give a little or a lot, every bit helps. These three shows are working around the clock in promoting their show, knowing time is ticking on the investment window.

Come see many of them in person and enjoy their shows by going to: psculturalcenter.org/filmfest/movie/webout-go-fund-yourself

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, www.reelkev.com and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for Examiner.com and contributes to progressivepulse.com as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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