42016Aug

Political Animals

Political Animals

Dir. Jonah Markowitz & Tracy Wares I 2016 I U.S.A. I  85 min. I Texas Premiere | Documentary
Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. | Buy Tickets
Co-Directors Jonah Markowitz & Tracy Wares, Producer Chris Panizzon and former California Legislator Carole Migden will be in attendance.

Political Animals

The inspiring story of some of the unsung heroes of the gay rights movement, “Political Animals” follows four visionary politicians in their fight for the legal rights of the LGBTQ community. Emotionally charged as its subjects, the film documents four groundbreaking lesbians who took the fight for the causes most personal to them and their communities from the streets into the halls of government. Winning both the Audience and Grand Jury prizes at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival, “Political Animals” tells the true, if often bizarre and maddening decades-long story of those paving the way for the freedoms we have today.


Watch the Trailer:


Preceded by:

A LIFETIME OF MAKING CHANGE
Dir. Megan Rossman I 2015 I U.S.A. I 3 min. I Southwest Premiere
Maxine Wolfe, 74, reflects on a lifetime of activism and her role as a coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

42016Aug

Real Boy

Real Boy

Dir. Shaleece Haas I 2016 I U.S.A. I 72 min I Southwest Premiere I Documentary
Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. | Buy Tickets
Director Shaleece Haas & subject Bennett Wallace will be in attendance.

Real Boy

Winning the Audience Award for Best Documentary at 2016 Frameline Film Festival and Best Documentary at Giffoni Film Festival, “Real Boy” is a charming and complicated coming-of-age story of Bennett Wallace, a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice-as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man. Though he has to navigate the ups and downs of young adulthood, he manages to gain the love and support of his mother and the mentorship of celebrated transgender musician Joe Stevens. A heartwarming story to share with family or friends which features extraordinary musical works by both musicians, “Real Boy” is crowdpleaser that succeeds in finding laughter, joy and its voice throughout.


Watch the Trailer:

82016May

aGLIFF Hosts Cast of HerStory

AGLIFF HOSTS CAST OF HER STORY, THE TRANSGENDER DOCUSERIES PREMIERING ON HBO, TO AUSTIN WITH A SPECIAL PREMIER SCREENING AND FUNDRAISER

The Austin Gay And Lesbian International Film Festival (aGLIFF) today announced fundraising events, including an evening reception with the cast of the groundbreaking documentary series Her Story, a catered luncheon, and a screening of the series.

The reception will be held on Tuesday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Seven Building’s 8th floor “Living Room” at 615 West 7th Street and will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a chance to meet the cast of Her Story. Tickets to the reception can be purchased for $50.00 via FirstGiving.

aGLIFF will also host a lunch at OutYouth with the cast for a meet and greet with area LGBTQ youth.

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar will host the Her Story screening on Wednesday, May 18th at 7:00 p.m., followed by a question and answer session moderated by Meghan Stabler of the HRC Board of Directors. Tickets are currently on sale for $20.00 at the Alamo Drafthouse website.

A portion of the proceeds of these events will go to support the Queer Youth Media Project (a summer camp for queer-identifying youth sponsored by aGLIFF), aGLIFF and Out Youth.

aGLIFF President Charlie Ray said about the event, “As an organization, aGLIFF is committed to bringing LGBT content to Austin and we are so proud of our dedicated volunteers and the community that worked hard to bring Her Story and the remarkable women profiled in the series to Austin. We are hosting a fundraising reception and have partnered with Out Youth and HRC to support queer youth in Austin along with our own Queer Youth Media Project, a summer camp for LGBT youth, to create a film to premier at the festival in September. As state legislatures and ignorant politicians continue to attack the trans community, we know that being visible and standing together as a community to support our trans brothers and sisters is more important than ever.”

Members of aGLIFF Board of Directors are: Tracy Peck, Doug Bolin, Matthew Burnett, Howard Goldman, Ashley Marshall, Jason McQueen, Jake Powell, Craig Ries, Charles Webre, Kelly West, and Aaron Yeats.

212016Apr

Viva

I’ve got a romantic soft spot for Cuba – rum, tobacco, sweltering beaches, grandiose machismo – but I also have a deep love and appreciation for drag queens which is why I was thrilled to attend the aGLIFF screening of Viva as a part of their 2016 monthly film seriesViva is the story of a young man living in Havana who does hair for the performers of a local drag nightclub, and what happens when his estranged father returns to live with him. The film got heavy at times, but between the richly textured visuals of the Havana slums and the powerful performances of Jorge Perugorría, Luis Alberto García, and Hector Medina, this movie had me captivated from start to finish.

We start by meeting Jesus, played by Hector Medina in a quiet, sensitive, and introspective way. He is an orphan – or, rather, his mother has passed and his father is good as dead, they say. Jesus is a hairdresser, and in addition fixes the wigs of the drag queens at the local cabaret. He is just dipping his toes into drag performance himself, mentored by the rough and passionate matron of the club, Mama (Luis Alberto García). The meager income he earns from hairdressing and performing at the nightclub are all that keep him from prostituting on the streets to survive. However, everything changes when his father (Jorge Perugorría), a respected boxer named Angel who has been in prison for killing a man, returns. Angel insists that he stop performing, and although you expect Jesus to try and break away from his father the two develop a deep, often painful, but ultimately touching relationship.

My favorite part of the movie was Mama. García fully embodies the grit, toughness, and emotional passion of the seasoned drag performer who has certainly seen her fair share of rough situations. She is the only character willing to stand up to Angel – an intimidating man clearly capable of deadly violence – never once breaking eye contact as she fiercely defends Jesus. That scene gave me chills. García’s passion translated on stage as well – I’d love to see a drag show as intense as the one that Mama gives.

Although the movie was shot in Havana with an all-Cuban cast, it’s actually an Irish film, produced by the Irish Film Board and RTE, along with Magnolia Pictures. An odd choice? Maybe. But director Paddy Breathnach’s talent spans many genres – he is known not only as an award-winning documentarian, but also as a cult horror filmmaker as well. Viva only adds to his repertoire and, in my opinion, might be his crowning achievement to date.

Viva will premiere in theaters April 29th, 2016.

See what’s next on aGLIFF’s monthly screening roster by visiting agliff.org/events.