The 19th annual QFest hits Philadelphia with a lineup that promises to make the summer a bit steamier! Running July 11 through July 22, 2013, the East Coast’s largest LGBT film festival will play host to over 100 films, filmmakers from across the globe, and a jam-packed schedule of events.
With 108 films that include 46 feature films, 23 documentaries, and 39 shorts films, as well as 3 World Premieres, 4 East Coast Premieres and over 50 Philadelphia Premieres, QFest is showcasing the absolute best in LGBT cinema. As has become tradition for the festival, QFest will be also offering up films that touch on several hot button topics facing the LGBT community, immigration, sexual identity, addiction, and marriage equality.
“While not prone to hyperbole, I have to say that this year’s selection is the best in many years,” says Ray Murray, Artistic Director for QFest. “Not only are there entertaining comedies and dramas from Philadelphia to around the world, there are amazing documentaries that examine queer politics and heart rendering family stories. We open with a pop high school coming out comedy and end with a stylish noir murder/mystery. And in between there are talking bears, murderous gay boys, slinky vampires, drug addiction, sex addiction, a politician who sees the light and a gay rugby player who becomes a national hero.”
Opening Night kicks off July 11th at 7:15pm in Ritz East 1 with a screening of G.B.F. This light-hearted comedy involves the hottest new accessory trend among high school girls: a gay best friend. Directed by Darren Stein, the film features an all-star cast including Megan Mullally, Natasha Lyonne and Rebecca Gayheart. Actors Paul Iacono, Xosha Roquemore, Taylor Frey will be in attendance.
What’s an Opening Night without a party? Festival attendees are invited to head over to Lit Ultra Bar, 460 N. 2nd Street, from 9:30pm- 2:00am, for the official “Prom Night Gone Wild” Opening Night party, presented by TD Bank, tlagay.com, Lit Ultra Bar, Tavern on Camac, U Bar, and Underground Arts. Dance the night away with performances by Brittany Lynn and the Drag Mafia, along with hot bodied dancers dressed in their finest prom night attire. The night will end like any traditional prom would: with the crowning of the fiercest Prom Queen and her G.B.F.!
QFest closes this year’s festival on Sunday, July 21st with a screening of Hot Guys with Guns in Ritz East 1 at 7:15pm. The film, directed by Doug Spearman, is a thrilling murder mystery about a young man willing to go to great lengths to become an actor on his favorite TV show. Spearman will be in town with the film.
As another year of amazing LGBT cinema comes to an end, festival goers are encouraged to attend the official Hot Guys with Guns Closing Night Party at Philly’s most talked about new venue, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St, from 9:30pm- 2:00am. Presented by TD Bank, tlagay.com, Lit Ultra Bar, Tavern on Camac, U Bar, and Underground Arts, and hosted by Brittany Lynn and the Drag Mafia, the Closing Night Party will feature live music from the Philadelphia Freedom Band ensemble and local celebrity performances. Spearman and his Hot Guys with Guns posse will help bring the festival to a close in a blaze of glory!
The Tavern Group, owners/operators of Tavern on Camac, U Bar, Upstairs Inn, terra restaurant, is the first-ever Gayborhood business to become a presenting sponsor of QFest. Philanthropists, business and life partners Stephen Carlino and Dennis Fee have supported the festival in the past but have increased their support this year at a crucial time when funding for arts and culture in general have been dramatically decreased. What’s more, QFest is excited to have TD Bank on board as a returning sponsor.
“TD Bank is extremely proud and excited to sponsor QFest 2013. This event is a wonderful example of the investment in the LGBT community through film by depicting positive images and building LGBTA awareness in a fun and meaningful way,” said Robert Pompey, Head of Commercial Management Administration at TD Bank and Co-Chair of the bank’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Allies Subcommittee.
Tickets for single screenings can be purchased in advance at the William Way Center, 1315 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, or at the door for $11. A pass for 10 screenings can be purchased for $100. An All-Access pass, good for all screenings and parties, can be purchased for $240.
This year’s Centerpiece Screenings are:
- The Happy Sad: This narrative, directed by Rodney Evans, follows two couples, one black and one white, whose lives collide as they navigate open relationships and sexual identity. The film will be screened on Saturday, July 13th at 7:15pm in Ritz East 1. Director (and Temple University professor) Rodney Evans, screenwriter Ken Urban, and actors Leroy McClain and Cameron Scroggins will be in attendance.
- Alice Walker: Beauty in the Truth: Directed by Pratibha Parmar, this feature documentary film follows the captivating story of Alice Walker, the first black woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Color Purple. This film will be screened on Saturday, July 20th at 6:45 in Ritz East 1 and Sunday, July 21 at 2:45pm in Ritz East 2. Director Pratibha Parmar will be in attendance.
- Five Dances: A coming of age tale about a talented young man who comes to New York City on a dance scholarship and must overcome many obstacles in his life. Directed by Alan Brown. This film will be screened on Saturday, July 20th at 12:15pm in Ritz East 2. Director Alan Brown and actor Ryan Steele will be in attendance.
- Animals: Directed by Marçal Forés , Animals is a story of teenage love, talking bears, tragedy and sacrifice among high school students. The film will be screened Thursday, July 18 at 7:15pm in Ritz East 1 and Friday, July 19th at 5:00pm in Ritz East 2.
- Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf?: Forty year old Anna sets out to recreate an old favorite film of hers, hoping the project will turn her life around before she hits rock bottom. This film will be screened on Saturday, July 13th at 7:15pm and Sunday, July 14th at 2:30pm in Ritz East 1. Director Anna Margarita Albelo will be in attendance.
- The Go Doc Project: A young college grad plans to shoot a documentary about New York City go-go dancer, Go, in hopes to build a real life relationship with him. Directed by Cory Krueckeberg. This film will be screened on Saturday, July 13th at 9:15pm and Tuesday, July 16 at 5:00pm in Ritz East 1.
This year’s QFest promises to deliver 12 days of cinematic magic from directors and producers driven by a desire for outstanding LGTB filmmaking. It is an event truly worth attending this July in Philadelphia.
Screening locations for QFest 2012 are the Ritz East Theatre 1 and 2 and the Ritz at the Bourse. For more information on QFest, visit www.qfest.com or call 267.765.9800. And be sure to follow the festival @QFEST on Twitter, and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/qfestphilly.
Says Murray, “Forget the shore –air conditioned Old City cinemas are the place to be this July!”