The Pittsburgh Gay and Lesbian Film Society (PLGFS) celebrates the experiences of the LGBTQ community with the 31st annual Reel Q film festival. From October 6th through October 15th, the annual event screens 17 full-length films, among them documentaries, comedies and dramas, and three short programs, all from the US and around the world. The lineup will also feature Pittsburgh premieres, works from the 1990s, and parties. All screenings will take place at the Harris Theater. See a full schedule and details below:
Strike A Pose
In 1990, seven young male dancers – six gay, one straight – joined Madonna on her most controversial tour. On stage and in the iconic film Truth or Dare they showed the world how to express yourself. Now, 25 years later, they reveal the truth about life during and after the tour.
Reel Q will also kick off the festival with a Strike A Pose afterparty at Bricolage.
Writer/director Cheryl Dunye‘s 1996 debut depicts the struggles of a young, black lesbian (played by Dunye) who works as a video store clerk while trying to make a documentary about a black actress known for playing racist “mammy” roles in the 1930s. Considered the first feature ever directed by a black gay woman.
A lonely middle-aged man hires a young male escort to help him relive a road trip from his past in director Nick Corporon‘s feature debut.
Based on the play by Jonathan Harvey (who also adapted the screenplay), director Hettie Macdonald‘s 1996 British drama follows two teen boys who fall in love in a rough London suburb.
In 1971, Delphine, a 23-year-old farmer’s daughter, comes to Paris and dreams of running her own business, something unthinkable for a woman to do at this time. There she meets Carole, a 35-year-old Parisian woman actively involved with burgeoning feminist movement. When Delphine and Carole meet, their love affair turns their lives upside down.
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four
After being wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls during the Satanic Panic witch-hunt era of the 1980s and 90s, four Latina lesbians fight against mythology, homophobia, and prosecutorial fervor in their struggle for exoneration in this riveting true crime documentary.
Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo
Two men spend the night together in the hospital after they have unprotected sex .
In Shaleece Haas‘s documentary, transgender teenager Bennett Wallace embarks on a journey to find his voice—as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man. As he navigates the ups and downs of young adulthood, he works to gain the love and support of his mother, who has deep misgivings about her child’s transition. Along the way, Bennett forges a powerful friendship with his idol, Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician with his own demons to fight.
Burn, Burn, Burn
Following the death of their friend, Seph and Alex, two women in their late twenties, go on a road trip to spread his ashes.
A New York teacher is fired from a small Texas school for being gay and returns disguised as Bianca to wreak revenge on the town. Stars RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio.
Passions reignite and hidden secrets revealed when a graphic designer in Los Angeles (Lucas Near-Verbrugghe) reconnects with an ex-lover (Aaron Costa Ganis) he hasn’t seen or heard from in 15 years. Over the course of a weekend at a vacation house in the desert, they must determine whether or not they have a future together.
Trans Shorts program
The Trans Shorts program will showcase a variety of short films from the US, Canada and the UK. Selections include Closing, Dawn, Handsome & Majestic, Mezzo, Say U Will and Tear Jerker.
Women’s Shorts program
The Women’s Shorts program will showcase a variety of short films from all over the world. The selections include B, Charlotte, Dance Card, Little Doll, Spunkle and Tits on a Bull.
Men’s Shorts program
The Men’s Shorts program will showcase a variety of short films from around the globe. Selections include Alzheimer’s: A Love Story, Bittersweet, Crazy House, Folsom Street, The Glory Hole, Noam, Thanks for Dancing and The Weigh In.
Grieving the death of her partner, a heartbroken Oklahoma artist returns to her childhood home and exposes cracks in her family’s complacent suburban routine when she falls for her brother’s girlfriend. Directed by Maura Anderson.
A fresh take on the coming-of-age story, this surreal tale follows the artistically driven Oscar (Connor Jessup) hovering on the brink of adulthood. Struggling to find his place in the world after a rough childhood and haunted by images of a tragic incident, Oscar dreams of escaping his small town. After he meets a mysterious and attractive new co-worker, Oscar follows the guidance of his pet hamster Buffy (voiced by Isabella Rossellini) and faces his demons to find the life he wants.
Joey (Lola Kirke) is a young woman in search of direction in her small town. A visit to an army recruiting office appears to provide a path, but when she meets and falls in love with Rayna (Breeda Wool) that path diverges in ways that neither woman anticipates. Building on the award-winning short of the same name, director Deb Shoval crafts a clear-eyed love story, and an impressive feature film debut.
Women Who Kill
Morgan and Jean work well together as true crime podcasters because they didn’t work well, at all, as a couple. When Morgan strikes up a new relationship with the mysterious Simone, their shared interest turns into suspicion, paranoia and fear. Ingrid Jungermann’s whip-smart feature debut is an adept and wry comedy on modern romance’s hollow results, set in an LGBTQ Brooklyn.
Polish-German writer-director Piotr Lewandowski‘s coming-of-age story follows Jonathan (Jannis Niewöhner), a German teen who discovers his dying father’s sexuality while working on a remote farm.
It’s 2006, YouTube is in its infancy, and internet porn is still behind a paywall. Taking the stage name Brent Corrigan, a fresh-faced, wannabe adult video performer (Garrett Clayton) is molded into a star by Stephen (Christian Slater), a closeted gay porn mogul who runs the skin flick empire Cobra Video from his seemingly ordinary suburban home. But as Brent’s rise and demands for more money put him at odds with his boss, he also attracts the attention of a rival producer (James Franco) and his unstable lover (Keegan Allen) who will stop at nothing to squash Cobra Video and steal its number one star. Based on a stranger-than-fiction true story, King Cobra is a deliciously dark, twisted plunge into the behind-the-scenes world of the pornography industry. Co-starring Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald.
To close the festival, Reel Q will host a King Cobra afterparty at Pierce Studio in the lower level of the Harris Theater.
Admission for both the opening and closing afterparties is $15 for the entire evening, $10 with student ID. Both parties are included with the Diva and Festival passes. All tickets are available for purchase online at Showclix.