REELING: THE CHICAGO LGBTQ+ INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS BROADWAY GREAT MARY LOUISE WILSON ATTENDING THE CHICAGO PREMIERE OF SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution for more than 30 years, features a host of events of interest to the theater community. Grey Gardens Tony Award winner Mary Louise Wilson will be present for the Chicago premiere of SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT, a documentary about Wilson also featuring Frances McDormand, Melissa Leo, Tyne Daly, Estelle Parsons, Valerie Harper and Charlotte Rae. Festival centerpieces include the hotly anticipated Julianne Moore drama FREEHELD starring A Red Orchid’s Michael Shannon and director Roland Emmerich’s chronicle of the burgeoning gay rights movement STONEWALL, written by playwright Jon Robin Baitz (Other Desert Cities). Reeling 2015: The 33rd Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival takes place September 17-24, 2015. Festival passes and à la carte tickets are on sale now at www.reelingfilmfestival.org.
Reeling launches its eight-day festival with the Opening Night Gala presentation of FOURTH MAN OUT, a bro comedy with a lot of heart. Juilliard alum Evan Todd, of Broadway’s Heathers: The Musical, stars in the movie as a sweet-spirited car mechanic in a small, working class town, who comes out of the closet to his unsuspecting, blue-collar best friends. Annoyance Theatre alum Kate Flannery, best known as Meredith on NBC’s The Office, co-stars as Adam’s overbearing but well-intentioned mother. Flannery and Todd will attend the 6:00 pm Music Box Theatre red carpet event and pre-screening reception before the film starts at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Sept. 17.
Tony- and Drama Desk Award-winning actress Mary Louise Wilson, who played Edith Bouvier Beale in Broadway’s Grey Gardens, is the subject of the documentary SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT, making its Chicago premiere on Monday, Sept. 21. Wilson and the film’s director Ron Nyswaner – Oscar®-nominated screenwriter of Philadelphia – will be in attendance for a very special audience talk moderated by Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones.
The hotly anticipated real-life drama FREEHELD, also written by Nyswaner, makes its Chicago Premiere earlier Monday evening. Ron Nyswaner will be in attendance to discuss the true story of a lesbian police officer (Julianne Moore) fighting to leave her pension to her life partner (Ellen Page) when she is stricken with terminal cancer. The film’s male lead is A Red Orchid Ensemble member Michael Shannon, who will next be seen at the Old Town theater in October in the World Premiere of Brett Neveu’s Thanksgiving-set play Pilgrim’s Progress, directed by Shade Murray.
Also of interest to theatergoers is festival centerpiece STONEWALL, director Roland Emmerich’s passion project about the burgeoning gay rights movement. The film’s screenwriter Jon Robin Baitz is the award-winning playwright of The Substance of Fire and Other Desert Cities, the latter mounted in 2013 by Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
HUSH UP SWEET CHARLOTTE, Billy Clift’s campy send-up of the Bette Davis/Olivia de Havilland classic Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, features former Chicago actor Jeffrey Patrick Olson – a Hell in a Handbag regular – as the hunky sheriff. Writer-director Billy Clift and producer David Millbern will be in attendance for the Thursday, Sept. 24 screening.
Louise Wadley’s Australian road movie ALL ABOUT E, making its Chicago premiere on Saturday, Sept. 19, was a finalist for Pride Films & Plays’ Great Gay Screenplay contest and had a staged reading here in 2010.
Reeling will present nearly 40 features and more than 60 short films from around the world, the majority of them Chicago premieres. The festival’s opening night presentation returns to the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) and to the Landmark Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.) for the bulk of the festival. The fest’s home base, Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.), will also host screenings as will The Comfort Station at 2579 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square.
REELING 2015 FEATURES SCHEDULE
All feature screenings below take place at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema unless otherwise noted. Film synopses below.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
7:30PM Fourth Man Out – Opening Night at Music Box Theatre. *Actors Evan Todd and Kate Flannery in attendance
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
7:00PM The New Girlfriend
7:15PM Portrait of a Serial Monogamist
9:15PM Kiss Me Kill Me – World Premiere *Filmmaker Casper Andreas and actors Jai Rodriguez and Shangela in attendance
9:30PM The Summer of Sangaile
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
NOON Out To Win
2:15PM Brokeback Mountain (10th Anniversary)
2:30PM Olya’s Love
5:15PM I Feel Like Disco
7:00PM Liz in September
7:15PM Those People
9:00PM All About E
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
12:15PM From This Day Forward
2:45PM Sand Dollars
3:00PM Naz & Maalik
4:45PM Margarita With a Straw
5:00PM A Sinner in Mecca
6:45PM While You Weren’t Looking
7:00PM Stonewall – *Actors Jonny Beauchamp and Jeremy Irvine in attendance
8:30PM I Am Love
9:30PM Driving Not Knowing – *Q&A with co-directors Dylan Hansen-Fliedner and Dane Mainella
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
7:00PM Freeheld – *Q&A with screenwriter Ron Nyswaner
7:15PM How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)
9:15PM In the Grayscale
9:30PM She’s the Best Thing In It – *Q&A with actor Mary Louise Wilson and filmmaker Ron Nyswaner
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
7:00PM Coming In
7:15PM Seeking Dolly Parton – * Q&A with director Michael Worth
9:15PM You & I
9:30PM Love Me Anyway – *Post-show Q&A with the actors
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
6:45PM In the Turn – *Q&A with director Erica Tremblay
7:00PM Beautiful Something – *Q&A with director Joseph Graham and co-producer Bill Parker
9:15PM Two 4 One
9:30PM Like You Mean It – *Q&A with director Philipp Karner
THURSDAY, SEPTEMEBER 24
7:00PM Stuff – * Q&A with Suzanne Guacci
7:15PM That’s Not Us – * Post-show Q&A
9:15PM Hush Up Sweet Charlotte – *Q&A with director Billy Clift and producer David Millbern
9:30PM Death in Buenos Aires – Closing Night Feature
For more information, the public can call 773-293-1447, consult the festival website at www.reelingfilmfestival.org, or follow @reelingfilmfest on twitter for the latest Reeling news, ticket giveaways and cat-related puns.
Tickets and passes may be purchased online (www.reelingfilmfestival.org) or in person at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.).
* Sponsors confirmed at this time include:
Presenting Sponsors: Showtime, XFINITY
Official Airline: Southwest Airlines
Premier Sponsor: GILEAD
Premier Media Sponsors: ChicagoPride.com, TimeOut Chicago
Grand Hotel Sponsor: Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace
Grand Media Sponsor: Nexus Radio
Major Hotel Sponsor: Days Inn Chicago
Contributing Media Sponsors: Chicago’s Progressive Talk Radio (WCPT), GC Magazine, GRAB Magazine, Windy City Media Group
Event Sponsor: Dark Horse Wine