REELING ANNOUNCES NINE PROGRAMS OF SHORTS
Chicago Filmmakers and Showtime Networks are pleased to announce the short films for the 34th edition of Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival. The second-oldest LGBTQ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution for more than 30 years, Reeling returns September 22-29, 2016 with an exciting slate of movies that showcases the diversity of the queer experience. Nearly 60 short films will be screened across nine themed shorts programs, with many filmmakers in attendance. For the full festival lineup, tickets and more, visit www.reelingfilmfestival.org.
From South Side Chicago high-schooler’s VERACITY to the gay zombie horror short SAUNA THE DEAD, there’s something for all tastes and temperaments. Buzz films include the kinetic HARD PACK starring model Madison Paige, the super-eerie PYOTR495 starring Orphan Black’s Alex Ozerov, and the touching documentary ALZHEIMER’S: A LOVE STORY with the film’s subject attending the screening.
Short films screen at the fest’s home base, Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.), and at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.). The programs:
Saturday, September 24, noon at Chicago Filmmakers
Universally understood stories of life, love and sexuality that cross generations are highlighted in this program of shorts that takes viewers through life’s ups and downs from formative years into adulthood and beyond.
Filip (dir.: Natalie Alvarez / Sweden, 2015, 11 mins.)
One evening Filip happens to see something unexpected between his older brother and his best friend and doesn’t know how to handle it. (In Swedish with English subtitles)
Life’s a Drag (dir.: Robin Royce Queree / Australia, 2015, 8 mins.)
Two old drag queens make up for a final show and ponder life.
Made of Sugar (dir.: Kevin Rios / USA, 2015, 6 mins.)
A nostalgic portrait of a Cuban-American family’s evolving cultural heritage.
More of Last Night (dir.: Ashley Arlow / USA, 2014, 16 mins.)
Three best friends – two guys and a girl – go on a farewell camping trip while on the brink of some major life transitions.
Mother’s Milk and Cookies (dir.: Conan McIvor / Ireland, 2016, 7 mins.)
A middle-aged gay couple struggles with coming out.
A Song for Your Mixtape (dir.: Brandon Zuck / USA, 2016, 7 mins.)
After their relationship ends, a young outcast finds himself unwelcome at his secret boyfriend’s birthday party.
Souls (dir.: Daniel Gage / UK, 2016, 8 mins.)
When Barrie goes to scatter his husband’s ashes on a mountain, he sees a man about to jump from the cliff.
Spark (Vonk) (dir.: Kuba Szutowski / The Netherlands, 2016, 8 mins.)
A thin cake delivery man and a lonely welder united by misfortune. (In Dutch with English subtitles)
Thanks for Dancing (dir.: Henrik Martin / Norway, 2016, 19 mins.)
A lifelong relationship is coming to an end, as we follow two elderly men and former athletes the last winter they are living together.
Saturday, September 24 3:15 PM at Landmark Century Centre
It starts with a crush and sometimes ends with a bad breakup – this series of shorts tackles all stages of the typical lesbian relationship.
Baggage (dir.: Sarah Ball / USA, 2015, 14 mins.)
A jilted window dresser uses her Valentine’s Day store window display to send a public message to her ex.
Little Doll (dir.: Kate Dolan / Ireland, 2016, 12 mins.)
After a chance meeting, preteens Elenore and Alex have an instant connection. Catching the unwanted attention of their peers, they face the confusion and uncertainty of developing a same-sex first crush.
Tits on a Bull (dir.: Tim Worrall / New Zealand, 2014, 16 mins.)
A young rugby star struggles to choose between her longtime friendship with her aging coach or her new relationship with the lesbian team captain.
Veracity (dir.: Seith Mann / USA, 2015, 20 mins.)
Written by a high school senior from the South Side of Chicago, Veracity explores the tensions and stigma of being gay in the Black community.
Wedlocked (dir.: Puppett / USA, 2015, 12 mins.)
This farcical comedy starring THE REAL L WORD’s Whitney Mixter takes on the ridiculous laws that governed gay divorce.
Saturday, September 24 7:30 PM at Chicago Filmmakers
From charming narratives to experimental musical shorts, these films are jam-packed with stories from the queer, trans and gender nonconforming communities.
Dear Armen (dir.: Kamee Abrahamian / Armenia, 2015, 5 mins.)
An experimental journey into the memoirs of Armen Ohanian; an enigmatic writer, performer, and survivor of the early 20th-century anti-Armenian pogroms.
The Friend from Tel Aviv (dir.: Federica Gianni / USA, 2015, 11 mins.)
Noam, a young Israeli transgender man, is nervous and excited to reconnect with his childhood friend Natan at a party.
Hard Pack (dir.: Emmanuelle Pickett / USA, 2015, 11 mins.)
Quinn (played by model/musician Madison Paige), born a female, is ready to become a man. After taking an enormous dose of testosterone, the world changes.
Nuoc (Nước) (dir.: Quyen Nguyen-Le / USA, 2016, 6 mins.)
A queer Vietnamese American teen attempts to piece together and understand their mom’s experience as a Vietnam War refugee.
Ryans (dir.: Rain Valdez / USA, 2016, 14 mins.)
A trans woman named Tori goes on a blind date with a man named Ryan – the same name as her ex. Tori and Ryan hit it off, but can she date another Ryan after swearing them off for good?
Take Me to The Sea (dir.: Amy West / USA, 2016, 5 mins.)
A young adult experiencing everyday discomfort with the gender they were assigned at birth must address their dysphoria head-on when it manifests as a sinister, humanoid monster.
Tear Jerker (dir.: Amy Adler / USA, 2016, 15 mins.)
When a trans guy is faced with difficult life circumstances, he has to find a new way to express old feelings.
Transcend (dir.: Kai Towns / USA, 2016, 17 mins.)
A transman (Kingston Farady) who hasn’t seen his family in years unexpectedly returns home for Thanksgiving.
Saturday, September 24 9:30 PM at Chicago Filmmakers
These shorts are hot and steamy…and a little bit twisted. Reeling’s sexiest shorts are packed in with their scariest ones, so watch with somebody you don’t mind holding onto!
The Den (La Tana) (dir.: Lorenzo Caproni / Italy, 2015, 15 mins.)
Christian is on vacation with his wife and son when he runs into an old friend, Luca, and the two restart a dangerous sexual game. (In Italian with English subtitles)
Folsom Street (dir.: Aron Kantor / USA, 2015, 6 mins.)
A leather, kink and S&M-inspired homage to Bob Fosse.
Johnny (dir.: Micah Stuart / USA, 2016, 19 mins.)
A conflicted older man hires a young male sex worker to be his first gay sexual experience, and the two share an intimate night full of difficult truths.
MASK4MASK (dir.: Aron Kantor / USA, 2015, 3 mins.)
When the fetish lifestyle takes over the world, who are the real deviant ones?
Photo Op (dir.: Dave Solomon / USA, 2015, 9 mins.)
A lonely photographer (QUEER AS FOLK’s Randy Harrison) gets the courage to come out from behind his camera to capture his crush. Director Dave Solomon will be in attendance.
PYOTR495 (dir.: Blake Mawson / Germany/Canada, 2016, 15 mins.)
Alex Ozerov (ORPHAN BLACK, BITTEN) stars as gay teen Pyotr, who is baited by an ultranationalist group known for their violent abductions. But Pyotr has a dangerous secret his attackers don’t know. (In English/Russian with English subtitles)
Sauna the Dead – A Fairy Tale (dir.: Tom Frederic / UK, 2016, 21 mins.)
A fable in the vein of A Christmas Carol, set in a gay sauna, with zombies.
Siblings (dir.: Jon Bryant Crawford / USA, 2016, 6 mins.)
The last moments of intimacy between two men.
Sunday, September 25 12:30 PM at Chicago Filmmakers
Strong characters abound in this Dyke Delicious program.
BOOTWMN (dir.: Paige Gratland / Canada, 2015, 11 mins.)
A heartwarming and funny portrait of the queering of a traditional art form by a third generation New Mexico boot maker who hand-crafts wearable pieces of art.
Happy F-ing Valentine’s Day (dir.: Jeremy Dehn / USA, 2016, 13 mins.)
How can trying to do something so good turn out so f-ing wrong?
The Right Bank (右岸) (dir.: Yvonne Li / USA, 2016, 12 mins.)
A young Chinese lesbian must conquer her fear of rejection and come out to her conservative mother in order to save the relationship with her American girlfriend. (In English/Chinese with English subtitles)
Victor XX (dir.: Ian Garrido / Spain, 2015, 23 mins.)
Victor likes to experiment with his gender, but secrets do not last forever and Victor will have to face his mother and girlfriend in order to stand up for the real image reflected in his mirror.” (In Spanish with English subtitles)
Virgin Territory (dir.: Emily Robinson / USA, 2016, 15 mins.)
A coming-of-age story chronicling a young woman’s sexual awakening and exploration, directed by and starring TRANSPARENT’s Emily Robinson.
Sunday, September 25 3:30 PM at Chicago Filmmakers
This collection of short documentaries uplifts voices of queer, trans and gender-nonconforming people from all walks of life, both young and old.
Blush (dir.: Marie-Michele Cyr / Canada, 2015, 9 mins.)
This portrait of a gender-bending relationship tells the story of performance artist Hannah and her lover Antonio, a veteran drag queen.
Gaysians (dir.: Vicky Du / USA, 2015, 13 mins.)
Five queer and trans Asian-Americans from New York City explore their relationships with their families and culture in this illuminating patchwork documentary.
Learning to Recognize Myself Again (dir.: André Pérez / USA, 2016, 18 mins.)
This episode of web series AMERICA IN TRANSITION puts the life of a trans woman and survivor front and center as she tells her story of struggling to reconnect with the bold, adventurous woman she’s always been.
Mezzo (dir.: Nicole Opper / USA, 2016, 14 mins.)
Twenty-five-year-old Breanna Sinclaire is a beautiful African American opera singer and the first openly trans woman to study at a major conservatory. This short piece traces her earliest memories of self-discovery.
Pink Boy (dir.: Eric Rockey / USA, 2015, 15 mins.)
An intimate look into the life of a gender non-conforming boy growing up in a conservative area of rural Florida.
Poshida (dir.: Faizan Fiaz / Pakistan, 2016, 29 mins.)
A documentary about the grim realities of Pakistan’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community at a time when LGBT human rights are under fire. Featuring Reeling alum and fan favorite, Fawzia Mirza!
Sunday, September 25 9:00 PM, Landmark Century Centre
The captivating lives of fascinating and complex LGBTQ-identified men in a selection of eye-opening short documentaries.
Alzheimer’s: A Love Story (dir.: Gabe Schimmel / USA, 2015, 16 mins.)
The heart-wrenching story of Greg and Michael as they struggle with a disease eradicating the memory of their 40+ year relationship. Subject Michael Horvich will be in attendance for a post-show Q&A.
Drag Me to Berlin (dir.: Jake Shebish / USA, 2016, 8 mins.)
Follow the escapades of the fabulous Trannika Rex and her squadron of drag queens as they prepare to perform at the ever-popular Berlin nightclub in Chicago. Producer Desmond Huey, cast and crew will be in attendance.
Gotta Have Heart (dir.: Sandi Perlmutter / USA, 2015, 26 mins.)
A love story about the 23-year relationship between Edd and Joe, and their unexpected journey to find a new heart for Edd.
Hattie Goes Cruising (dir.: Konstantin Bock / Germany/USA, 2015, 17 mins.)
Hank “Hattie” Major – a 70-year-old gay, Black man – takes us back in time, through his turbulent life of cruising.
Mirrorball (dir.: Brad Nguyen / USA, 2016, 5 mins.)
Rechristened as “Blue,” a young artist from Mexico works as a janitor by day and drag performer by night. Director Brad Nguyen will be in attendance.
Persistence of Vision (dir.: Rodney Evans / USA, 2016, 11 mins.)
Director Rodney Evans (THE HAPPY SAD, BROTHER TO BROTHER) chronicles the experiences of photographer John Dugdale and the changes in his creative process after his loss of vision due to HIV.
These C*cksucking Tears (dir.: Dan Taberski / USA, 2015, 16 mins.)
A look back with the man behind the world’s first and only gay-themed country music album, 40 years after its release.
Tuesday, September 27 9:00 PM at Landmark Century Centre
Sometimes it’s hard to keep feelings from old relationships in the past, but new love is often right around the corner. These shorts tell stories of chance encounters, young love, heartbreak, loss and everything in between.
Alfa (dir.: Javier Ferreiro / Cuba, 2016, 18 mins.)
Alfa Méndez, Cuban gay porn actor, has to face returning to a film set without his late partner. On his first day of shooting, things don’t go according to plan. (In Spanish)
Guidance (dir.: Josh Wolff / USA, 2016, 17 mins.)
Charles, a high school psychologist at a parochial school, struggles to keep his personal and professional lives separate and intact. Director Josh Wolff will be in attendance.
Sign (dir.: Andrew Keenan-Bolger / USA, 2016, 15 mins.)
Through vignettes, music and sign language, we discover the story of a relationship between Ben, a hearing man, and Aaron, who is deaf.
True Colours (dir.: David Valent / Australia, 2016, 10 mins.)
An increasingly desolate teenage schoolboy creates a coded language using paint colour sample cards to express secret feelings. Writer-producer Ben Croker will be in attendance.
Ultra Bleu (dir.: Nick Neon / USA, 2016, 20 mins.)
Jim Park has a chance meeting with a stranger less than 24 hours after a violent breakup with his ex-boyfriend and confronts deeper issues. Director Nick Neon will be in attendance.
Walk With Me (dir.: Hazart / USA, 2016, 15 mins.)
Eric and Ryan, in a chance encounter, end up on an impromptu date walking around the city streets. One relationship, six blocks.
Wednesday, September 28 9:00 PM at Landmark Century Centre
Lesbian relationships can be, well, complicated.
Allo? (dir.: Carmen Jimenez / Spain/Mexico, 2015, 4 mins.)
A long distance relationship ponders whether or not a plane can fly for three weeks non-stop. (In Spanish with English subtitles)
Angelino Heights (dir.: Molly Manning / USA, 2016, 19 mins.)
A webisode featuring Dyke Delicious favorite, Guinevere Turner, centers on a group of unlikely house-mates living in LA’s Angelino Heights. Director Molly Manning will be in attendance.
The Cricket and the Ant (La Cigale et la Fourmi) (dir.: Julia Ritschel / Germany, 2015, 15 mins.)
18-year-old student Lena is interested in only one thing: French. However, her enthusiasm really lies in her attraction to her teacher. (In German/French with English subtitles)
Fake It (זייף את זה) (dir.: Tzuirt Hartzion / Israel, 2015, 23 mins.)
A photographer convinces her former partner to help her re-enact loving moments they shared in order to complete a photo series for her solo exhibition. (In Hebrew with English subtitles)
Great Escape (dir.: Sal Bardo / USA, 2015, 6 mins.)
A 70 year old woman leaves her husband to be with a woman she met in her youth.
Spunkle (dir.: Lisa Donato / USA, 2016, 13 mins.)
A brother contemplates fatherhood when his older sister (Dyke Delicious favoriteFawzia Mirza) and her free-spirited wife ask him to be their sperm donor. Director Lisa Donato and actress Fawzia Mirza will be in attendance.
Reeling is supported by many local and national businesses and corporations without whom the festival would not be possible. Reeling thanks Presenting sponsor Showtime Networks; Premier sponsors Gilead, HereTV, Time Out Chicago, XFINITY and ChicagoPride.com; Grand sponsors AARP, Gay Ad Network, Nexus Radio and Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace; and Major sponsors Coat of Arms and Yes! Press for their generous and essential support.
Visit www.reelingfilmfestival.org for the full festival lineup. Ticket Information
Tickets may be purchased online (www.reelingfilmfestival.org) or in person at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.).