When we think of the movie industry, most of us probably think of Hollywood or New York City, but don’t let the cute little orange kitty fool you. Reeling, Chicago’s Lesbian and Gay International Film Festival celebrates its 30th year by bringing GLBT themed films to local theaters across the city. The festival runs November 3rd through November 12th and will present 53 features and featurettes as well as 78 short films from 21 different countries. Although it has got great global diversity, the city of Chicago’s talent gets a taste of the spotlight.
The Opening Night Gala on Tuesday, November 3, 2011 screens The Wise Kids, a film by Chicago-based film maker Stephen Cone. The film takes place in a Baptist community in South Carolina and casts local actors including the young Allison Torem who has taken the stage in theater productions at Looking Glass Theatre and Steppenwolf. Make sure to catch this Chicago premiere as the film has already taken home awards at gay film festivals in New York and Los Angeles.
This year the festival pays close attention to documentary films with most screenings at Landmark Theater. Highlights include Wish Me Away, which follows country musician Chely Wright’s public coming out. (She was also the grand marshal at the Chicago Pride Parade in 2010) Other documentaries to watch out for include Vito and the Sundance documentary, We Were Here chronicling the onset of the HIV epidemic.
Reeling closes with Lorene Machado’s film, Cho Dependent. Yes, you got it. We’re talking the funny, yet crude Margaret Cho. It highlights Cho’s live performance based on her 2010 Grammy award-nominated comedy album.
The full schedule and tickets are available online or in person at Chicago Filmmakers. Generally, tickets are $11 and $9 for matinees before 4pm. Multiple screening packages are also available starting at $45. Chicago venues hosting Reeling events include: Landmark Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.), Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.), Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.), Instituto Cervantes (31 W. Ohio St.), and the Portage Theater (4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.).