Essential Film Festivals, Reeling32: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival

Established in 1981, Reeling: The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival is an annual event and the second longest running festival of its kind. In 2014, the festival’s 32nd year, it will run from 18th September to 25th September at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema and Chicago Filmmakers, with an opening night at the Music Box Theatre.

The Gay & Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgendered film festival this year includes feature films, shorts and documentaries. Highlights will include: Tom at the Farm, a 2013 film from Xavier Dolan which tells the story of Tom who travels to Quebec for his closeted lover’s funeral; Queers in the Kingdom, a 2014 documentary from Markie Hancock examining the deep history of evangelical Christianity in the United States; Alex & Ali, detailing the story of Alex, a peace corps volunteer in Iran, who falls in love with Ali, an Iranian, their subsequent separation of 35 years and the reconciliation that follows; Cupcakes, a parody of the Eurovision Song Contest from Etyan Fox, in which a group of neighbours, unimpressed with their country’s entry, submit their own song; and Appropriate Behavior, the feature film debut from Desiree Akhavan, looking at the life of Shirin, a woman suffering from the effects of a break-up whilst dealing with several identities.

Reeling Chicago

Film Festival Location

Chicago is a fantastic and unrivalled gay-friendly destination. Host to the International Gay Games in 2006, it was also the USA’s first government recognised gay neighbourhood and has a very well attended Gay Pride Parade with over 400,000 visitors each year. It is fast becoming one of the USA’s most gay-friendly cities.

Chicago is America’s largest City after New York and LA and has a visible, active gay and lesbian community. It is also a world class centre of culture, commerce, education, architecture, dining and shopping.

The gay scene is centred in the neighbourhoods of Lakeview and Anderson. Big Chicks in Sheridan Road is one of the top gay bars on the North Side; The Baton Show Lounge in Clark St offers nightly drag performances and is one of Chicago’s most well known performance bars; Crew in Broadway is Chicago’s premier gay sports bar and grill

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Film Festival Accommodation

Thompson Chicago is a luxury 4-star boutique hotel in a prime downtown location, offering recently refurbished chic interior design by Tara Bernard. The hotel provides fabulous accommodation, modern conveniences, a state of the art gym and delicious cuisine. Nico Osteria Restaurant provides Italian dining with freshly made pasta and grilled seafood choices.

Another fantastic choice for the discerning traveller is the luxurious and boutique Hotel Arista At Citygate Centre. Located in Citygate Centre in Naperville, the hotel offers the homely feel of residential accommodation together with all the convenience of first class hotel services. The artistic and contemporary rooms offer all the modern amenities. Sugar Toad Restaurant serves fine dining options. prepared using fresh sustainable ingredients and also provides a full breakfast each morning.

Hilton Chicago Mag Mile Suites is situated ideally in the heart of the city centre and offers superior accommodation and services, a state of the art gym and spa and delicious and varied dining options. Mrs Park’s Tavern serves American classic choices, Blenz Coffee Bar offers pastries and Down Bar provides the chance to enjoy cigars, cheeses, pates and a range of cocktails.

Carmell Scarlett

Carmell Scarlett

Content Contributor at Gay Essential
Carmel is a freelance proofreader and content/copy writer. Writing experience includes policy, procedure, technical manuals, training material and web content writing. Carmel is an expert knitter specialising in fun knitwear and toys, ‘delighting’ her friends with her creative efforts.
Carmell Scarlett


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