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Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things

Film Review: Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things at BFI Flare

You’re probably familiar with Pride Toronto and other popular, long-awaited festivals and activities that happen during the summer. But have you ever heard of a gay parade in the Arctic? Well, it just so happens that an unusual pride event in the capital of Canadian Nunavut spurred interest among two filmmakers and was the decisive spark in igniting a desperately needed discussion about LGBTQ rights within the Inuit community.

In Their Room

Gay Essential Documentaries To Watch, In Their Room: London/Berlin/San Francisco

In Their Room is a continuing Travis Mathews endeavour that captures the private thoughts, feelings, and day-to-day activities of a diversity of gay men. The clips are shot in men’s bedrooms in order to create an atmosphere of closeness and intimacy between viewer and subject. The project began in 2009 with the twenty-minute-long In Their Room: San Francisco, followed by In Their Room:Berlin in 2011, and In Their Room: London was released in 2013.

Jewel’s Catch One

Film Review: Jewel’s Catch One at BFI Flare

Being different is not a blessing or a curse, it’s what you make it – and you have the power to make it into anything you want. This is the seemingly idealist, but sublimely compelling message of Jewel’s Catch One, a heartening documentary on the most revered and cherished disco for the LGBT community in Los Angeles. Despite its historical roots, the film focuses less on providing a comprehensive chronicle of the club’s evolution and more on shedding light on the ethnic violence in Hollywood, as well as how bravery and a strong purpose can impact the lives of thousands of people.

Out Run

Film Review: Out Run at Outfest Fusion Film Festival

LadLad is the world’s first LGBT political party. Established and based in the Philippines, the party ran two unsuccessful campaigns for seats in their Congress – the first in 2010 and the second in 2013. That 2013 campaign is the subject of the 2016 documentary Out Run, which chronicles an entire year leading up to that election.

Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America

Film Review: Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America at Outfest Fusion Film Festival

The documentary, titled Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America, puts a lot of the politics behind the ongoing immigration debate aside to give us a personal take on what it’s like living in the United States under the constant threat of deportation – all the while trying to pursue the American Dream it has promised despite the road blocks that come with being undocumented.

Seed Money

Essential Opinion: Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story

With Falcon Studios, gay porn mogul Chuck Holmes built an empire on flesh and fantasy. Chuck fought against the FBI, vice squads and an AIDS epidemic in order to document emerging gay culture and provide homosexual men across the country with a vision of life that was unashamed and celebratory. Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story is the story of one of the gay rights movement’s more unlikely – and spirited – pioneers. Released in 2015 and directed by Michael Stabile, the documentary features Jeff Stryker, Chi Chi LaRue, Steve Cruz, Tom Chase and legendary filmmaker John Waters.

Raising Zoey

Essential Opinion: Raising Zoey

Zoey, her mother Ofelia and her sister Leticia are the subjects of the 2016 documentary Raising Zoey — which not only takes us through Zoey’s physical and emotional transition into that happy self, but also covers how Zoey and her mother became reluctant and unexpected activists for the ongoing Trans Rights Movement.

Tab Hunter Confidential

Essential Opinion: Tab Hunter Confidential

Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz, Tab Hunter Confidential is a 2015 documentary about the life and career of the titular former actor, matinee idol and heartthrob who was also a closeted homosexual in 1950s Hollywood. The documentary features Tab Hunter, Clint Eastwood and Debbie Reynolds.

El Canto de Colibri

Film Review: El Canto de Colibri at Outfest

El Canto de Colibri is a study in love and acceptance that should be used at every PFLAG meeting, religious conference, parenting class and political campaign. And though the documentary is in Spanish with English subtitles and subjects of varying Latino descent, every ethnic group can draw something from this documentary whether as a parent, a child, a politician, a clergyman, a sociologist or otherwise.

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