Essential Films Festivals, Reeling 2015: The 33rd Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival

One of the oldest and most celebrated LGBTQ International Film Festivals in the world, Reeling Chicago returns this September for it’s 33rd year.  This eight-day festival delivers an incredible catalogue of gay themed documentaries, shorts, and feature films, including the festival centrepiece film, Stonewall, starring Jeremy Irvine and directed by Roland Emmerich.  Stonewall follows a young man who joins a group of outsiders in New York after he is kicked out of home for being gay.  The gay movement heats up in NewYork, leading to the historic Stonewall riots.

Filmmaker Casper Andreas returns with a gay twist on film noir with Kiss Me Kill Me.  An affair, a blackout, and a mystery murder are the plot devices of this enticing and entertaining world premiere.  For a comedic twist on the typical “bro-movie,” director Andrew Nackman delivers his latest film, Fourth Man Out.  The film shares the story of Adam, a regular guy doing regular guy things with his buddies.  All seems well and good until Adam’s 24th birthday, when he announces he is gay to the surprise of his close straight friends.  The result is an awkward and funny lesson on friendship and stereotypes.

On a more serious note, Reeling delivers the highly anticipated film Freeheld, starring Oscar winning actress Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, and Steve Carrell.  Based on true events, this touching film share the challenges faced by domestic partners Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree when Laurel is diagnosed with terminal cancer and Stacie is denied access to her lover’s pension benefits.  Reeling 2015 wraps up with a 10th Anniversary screening of the popular film, Brokeback Mountain, a touching story of gay love between two ranchers, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger.

Reeling Chicago

Film Festival Location

One of the largest cities in the country, Chicago draws visitors from all walks of life.  The city has a bustling gay community, which exists primarily in two of the city’s neighbourhoods.  The hub of gay Chicago is Boystown, also known as East Lakeview.  Boystown is situated on the eastern edge of the city and features a large collection of gay bars and nightclubs.  While most bars in the city close at 2AM, travellers will find some after hours bars still partying into the early morning.  Further to the north, visitors will find Andersonville.  This gay friendly destination offers plenty of gay clubs and restaurants, as well as easy access to the city’s tourist attractions.

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Film Festival Hotels

Recently refurbished, the chic boutique Thompson Chicago provides stunning accommodations in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast.  Guests lavish in luxury rooms and suites featuring lush design by Tara Bernard.

Another Gold Coast favorite is the Talbott Hotel.  This magnificent boutique hotel exudes European elegance and style, from its mahogany-paneled walls to its exquisite fireplaces.  The charming Talbott Hotel also grants guests easy access to Michigan Avenue.

Recognized as one of the World’s Best Hotels, the Park Hyatt Chicago delivers the ultimate luxury experience.  Offering breathtaking views and a wide range of personalized services, guests will feel like royalty in this stunning and modern gay friendly hotel.

Dave Croyle

Dave Croyle

Dave Croyle is an advertising and marketing professional with a knack for building ideas and getting things done. Throughout his career he has written and produced creative work for a variety of brands, big and small. As a history buff and art geek, Dave is passionate about exploring cultures and seeing the world. Dave resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two dogs.