SHOWBIZ NATION LIVE! Interview with Reeling Film Festival’s RICHARD KNIGHT, JR.
Renowned Chicago film critic and friend RICHARD KNIGHT, JR discusses the upcoming 2015 Reeling Film Festival for which he serves as features co-programmer. This years festival centerpieces include the hotly anticipated Julianne Moore-Ellen Page real-life drama FREEHELD and director Roland Emmerich’s chronicle of the burgeoning gay rights movement in STONEWALL. Reeling 2015: The 33rd Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival takes place September 17-24, 2015. Festival passes and à la carte tickets at reelingfilmfestival.org.
Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution for more than 30 years, announces play dates for its exciting slate of movies showcasing the diversity of queer experience. From the hilarious gay dude comedy FOURTH MAN OUT on Opening Night, to Natalia Meta’s erotic, queer-tinged crime thriller from Argentina DEATH IN BUENOS AIRES, starring Academy Award® nominee Demian Bichir (A Better Life) on Closing Night, the 33rd edition of Reeling has something to satisfy every cinephile. Festival centerpieces include the hotly anticipated Julianne Moore-Ellen Page real-life drama FREEHELD and director Roland Emmerich’s chronicle of the burgeoning gay rights movement in STONEWALL.Reeling 2015: The 33rd Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival takes place September 17-24, 2015. Festival passes and à la carte tickets on sale August 27 at www.reelingfilmfestival.org.
Opening night bro comedy FOURTH MAN OUT will be attended by the film’s star Evan Todd (Heathers: the Musical; ABC Family’s Switched at Birth) and co-star Kate Flannery, the alcohol-fueled, accident-prone Meredith on NBC’s The Office, who is a veteran of both The Second City and the Annoyance Theatre. A red carpet reception precedes the Thursday-night screening at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport.
Friday’s World Premiere of “L.A. noir” KISS ME KILL ME features Queer as Folk‘s Gale Harold in his first gay role since QAF ended its five-season run on Showtime. The film’s stars Jai Rodriguez(Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) and Shangela (RuPaul’s Drag Race) will join filmmaker Casper Andreas at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark Street, for a post-show Q&A.
The eagerly awaited period drama STONEWALL – a labor of love by director Roland Emmerich (White House Down, Independence Day, Day After Tomorrow) set against the backdrop of Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn and the ignition of the Gay Civil Rights Movement in 1969 – makes its Chicago premiere on Sunday, Sept. 20 at the Landmark. The film’s stars Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful) and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) will be in attendance for a Q&A.
Lionsgate’s hotly anticipated real-life drama FREEHELD, written by Ron Nyswaner, makes its Chicago Premiere on Monday, Sept. 21. Nyswaner, the Oscar®-nominated screenwriter of Philadelphia, 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. Nyswaner will stick around Monday night for the Chicago Premiere of his documentary directorial debut SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT, about legendary stage actress Mary Louise Wilson (Grey Gardens). Wilson herself will join Nyswaner in a very special audience talk after the screening.
Additional visiting filmmakers include: co-directors Dylan Hansen-Fliedner and Dane Mainella who will discuss their minimalist, semi-autobiographical musical drama DRIVING NOT KNOWING.Boston filmmaker Erica Tremblay (IN THE TURN), director Joseph Graham and co-producer Bill Parker (BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING), director and actor Philipp Karner (LIKE YOU MEAN IT), and director Billy Clift and producer David Millbern (HUSH UP SWEET CHARLOTTE) will also attend their screenings.
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
Reeling launches its eight-day festival with the Opening Night Gala presentation of FOURTH MAN OUT, director Andrew Nackman’s uproarious debut feature, a bro comedy with a lot of heart. When Adam (Evan Todd), a sweet-spirited car mechanic in a small, working class town, comes out of the closet to his unsuspecting, blue-collar best friends who are straight, his bros are baffled but supportive. All seems copacetic until one night mixed signals between Adam and one of his buds threaten to change things for good. The Second City and Annoyance Theater alum Kate Flannery (Meredith on The Office) co-stars as Adam’s overbearing but well-intentioned mother. The bright, energetic cast – which also includes Glee’s Chord Overstreet and Enlisted’s Parker Young – shines in Nackman’s endearingly funny elevation of the typical bromance comedy which Variety has hailed as, “A sleeper delight…a thoroughly ingratiating, touchingly heartfelt comedy.” Flannery and Todd are expected to attend the 6:00 pm Music Box Theatre red carpet event and pre-screening reception before the film starts at 7:30 pm.
Reeling is also honored to present FREEHELD, director Peter Sollett’s (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist) eagerly anticipated real-life drama about a lesbian police officer (Julianne Moore) fighting to leave her pension to her life partner (Ellen Page) when she is stricken with terminal cancer. Based on Cynthia Wade’s 2005 Oscar®-winning short film of the same name, Freeheld also stars Academy Award® nominees Michael Shannon and Steve Carell, plus Luke Grimes (50 Shades of Gray) and Josh Charles (The Good Wife). The film is Julianne Moore’s follow-up to last year’s Oscar®-winning performance in Still Alice and was scripted by Oscar® nominee (for Philadelphia) Ron Nyswaner.
Director Roland Emmerich, renowned for action blockbusters like 2012, Independence Day and White House Down, is represented in the Reeling festival with his most personal film: STONEWALL.Jeremy Irvine (War Horse, The Railway Man) stars as a confused young man, kicked out of his home for being gay, who heads to New York’s Greenwich Village in the summer of 1969. Here, he is befriended by a group of queer outsiders and is eventually caught up in the swirl of events leading up to the Stonewall riots, the historic series of events cited as having kickstarted the gay rights movement in America. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors), Joey King (White House Down), Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class), Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful) and Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy) co-star.
Other highlights of the festival include: GUIDANCE, Canadian writer-director Pat Mills’ boisterous black comedy in which he also stars; Alanté Kavaïté’s sensual Lithuanian lesbian love story THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE; Marco Kreuzpaintner’s outrageous German comedy COMING IN; Fina Torres’ passionate and surprisingly moving Venezuelan lesbian drama LIZ IN SEPTEMBER; François Ozon’s latest French cream puff, the trans dramedy THE NEW GIRLFRIEND; Joey Kuhn’s spot-on portrait of Upper East Side privileged young gay men in the romantic drama THOSE PEOPLE; Josh Kim’s contemplative Thai drama of brotherly love, HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS (EVERY TIME); Catherine Stewart’s rich character study of a South African black lesbian couple’s faltering relationship in WHILE YOU WEREN’T LOOKING; Louise Wadley’s exciting genre smasher ALL ABOUT E, an Australian road movie/thriller/romance all in one; and William Clift’s latest drag queen parody HUSH UP SWEET CHARLOTTE, an homage to the Bette Davis-Olivia de Havilland Grand Guignol Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte featuring Mink Stole, Varla Jean Merman and Heklina in its ribald cast; and, the World Premiere of KISS ME, KILL ME, the latest from gay film fave Casper Andreas (Going Down in La-La Land, Violet Tendencies, The Big Gay Musical). A gay twist on the classic L.A. film noir thriller, this over-the-top and very sexy murder mystery features Queer As Folk’s Gale Harold and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Jai Rodriguez in its cast.
Documentaries, as always, are part of the exciting Reeling lineup. This year’s Documentary Centerpiece is TCHINDAS, a glittery, oh-so-fabulous examination of a little-seen culture reminiscent of Paris Is Burning. Director Marc Serena and Pablo Garcia Perez de Lara’s cinema vérité approach looks at the close-knit world of a renowned transgender woman and her colorful cohorts on the tiny island of Cape Verde, Africa as they and their neighbors, prepare for their annual Carnival festivities. Other documentary highlights include: director Malcolm Ingram’s (Small Town Gay Bar) OUT TO WIN, which focuses on the unique challenges faced by professional gay and lesbian athletes; A SINNER IN MECCA, Parvez Sharma’s controversial, eye-opening follow-up to A Jihad for Love; Kirill Sakharnov’s up-to-the-minute, inside look at the battle for LGBTQ+ rights in Russia in OLYA’S LOVE; IN THE TURN, Boston filmmaker Erica Tremblay’s affectionate, bracing portrait of a 10-year-old Canadian trans girl whose life is turned around by a US-based queer roller derby collective; and SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT, the charming biography of Tony Award-winning actress Mary Louise Wilson (Grey Gardens) from Freeheld screenwriter Ron Nyswaner, making his directorial debut.
Press kits and film screeners (DVDs and online screeners) for selected titles will be made available for accredited press. Please contact The Silverman Group to reserve your preview copies or to apply for a press pass.
FILMMAKER AND ACTOR INTERVIEWS
Many of the filmmakers and actors are available for interviews before and during the festival. Reeling also invites several visiting directors, actors and other talent to attend the festival. Please contactThe Silverman Group for updates on expected talent and to arrange phone or in-person interviews for our guest artists.
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