Monday, August 02, 2010

DC Reel Affirmations film festival apparently postponed until Spring 2011

The Washington Blade is reporting that One in Ten has decided to postpone the next Reel Affirmations LGBT film festival until the spring of 2011, from October 2010. The festival has occurred in October for a large number of years, as I have volunteered for many of them.

The festival may run into competition with other festivals, such as Filmfest DC (focusing on foreign films) in late April, and AFI Silverdocs in late June.  Possibly it could join forces with Filmfest. 

Washington DC does have a short films festival every September at Landmark, and a 48-hour festival in May at AFI Silver.

The festival is marked by strong opening and closing night parties, attended by some of the film directors and actors.

The difficulty in raising money in this economy is one of the reasons. Another is that many LGBT films become available early in the year, and might have achieved commercial or cable distribution by the time the festival runs, making their appearance less interesting and sometimes resulting in the unavailability of some important films.

One in Ten will stills screen three films this fall, and then screen an additional film once a month starting in November.

In practice, the Landmark Theater chain usually has one or two important LGBT films shown commercially every month throughout the year. Recently, for example, Landmark screened American Experience’s “Stonewall Uprising” that will soon air free on PBS. Also, large studio films deal with gay themes (especially same-sex couples, marriage, and parenting) much more frequently than in the past. There has yet to be a large studio theatrical film (on the scale of “Inception”, at least) dealing with gays in the military (there have been numerous television or cable (“Soldier’s Girl”; “Serving in Silence”) and small films). It’s a good question whether an A-list actor and director would be up to the challenge.

The Blade story by Lous Chibarro (“Money woes spur LGBT film festival’s postponement) is here and was announced today on Twitter.

Reel Affirmations website was down today, and directed visitors to “One in Ten” here.

Reel Affirmations used to hold most films at the Lincoln Theater until 2009.

When I lived in Minneapolis, a similar pattern was followed: an LGBT festival in the fall, and an international festival in the Spring, with many films screened at the University of Minnesota.

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