Friday, May 24, 2024

Palm Springs Cinema Diverse celebrates sweet 16

The LGBTQ+ film festival of Palm Springs celebrates its 16th anniversary with two weekends filled with films galore starting September 21 and running through October 1.

Taking place on three screens at the Camelot Theatre, the festival will have many filmmakers in attendance and includes some premieres. Here are some highlights:

Here We Are opens the festival and is a sneak preview of the new Billy Clift film about an interracial couple who encounters racism in the face of the pandemic.

Lie With Me has a French man who takes a trip down memory lane when he meets the son of his first love.

Love, Rewind volleys back and forth with a long-term lesbian couple who runs into troubles and secrets at the same time the same-sex marriage laws are passed.

Body Electric examines the gay community’s obsession with physical attributes and also serves as an uplifting story of how those who, like most of us, just have the average body.

Howdy, Neighbor is the perfect pandemic-filmed movie, using cell phones, a single-person setting and mixing it in with a thriller of a stalker who might be getting a little too close to the object of his affection.

Stuck in Greece: An LGBT Refugee Crisis has actor Gerald McCullouch literally turning a trip to Greece into a documentary when he learns how so many gay people flee from likely death in their own country. 

Outrageous: The History of Australian TV  shares with us one of the earliest TV shows that had gay and sexually frank episodes — and it was way back in the 1970s.

Impresario is a loving look at Marc Huestis, a San Francisco event promoter who put together legendary movie screenings with the talent on hand. Showcases Huestis’ passion for supporting the gay community and bringing the arts to his followers.

Belonging: A Trans Immigrant Story focuses on Anjali, an inspiring trans Indian woman who, faced with hate and threats, still stands up for her rights and the people in her community.

Two Lives in Pittsburgh puts gender identity in a blue collar situation where a father must face his child’s demand for transition.

Narrow Path to Happiness has a Romanian couple who dream of making a musical — but are faced with endless hospitality and obstacles as they move forward to their dream.

Shoulder Dance ends the festival with a fun, sexy and a tad drug-oriented movie about old friends who get together decades later with their new loved ones along for the ride. Take a little Molly and old feelings come to the surface.

There’s also some other noteworthy titles you should seek out but listed briefly here as I’ve given them press coverage before: Shadows in MindHealedThe Mattachine Family#LookAtMe and Baby Steps.

Web series also have time to shine. I’ve curated ReelKev’s WebOUT segments which feature three sets of screenings with stories with Mommie Dearest as Barbie, the funny Homo Sapien Experience from New York as well as the world premiere of season 2 of the HERE TV web series Not So Straight in Silver Lake. Other web series of note include House Husbands,  with some of LA’s funniest gay men.

Short films also always shine at Cinema Diverse with many complete programs that cover the spectrum of an LGBTQ audience. Some to seek out include Lena’s DanceRemember It’s Christmas, Candice, Worst Date Best Date, Lavomatique, Campfire, Honey It’s Milk, Gayproofing, Book of Dan and Queerfully Departed.

So much to see, check it all out here.

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