Reeling LGBTQ film festival announces Sept. 21-28 lineup – Including Bette Midler’s Freak Show

Windy City Times
Reeling LGBTQ film festival announces Sept. 21-28 lineup
By Press Release
August 18, 2017


( CHICAGO, IL – August 17, 2017 ) Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ film festival in the world, celebrates its 35th anniversary with an exciting slate of movies that showcases the amazing diversity of the queer experience. Chicago’s international festival unreels Sept. 21-28 at Landmark Theatres’ Century Centre Cinema, with the opening night premiere at Music Box Theatre. Festival passes and individual tickets go on sale September 1 at

The festival kicks off Thursday, September 21 at Music Box Theatre with the Chicago premiere of Northwestern alum Tom Gustafson’s HELLO AGAIN. The sex-fueled all-star screen adaptation of the 1994 Off-Broadway musical stars Cheyenne Jackson, Audra McDonald, Martha Plimpton, Tyler Blackburn and Rumer Willis. Reeling 2017 closes Thursday, September 28 with SATURDAY CHURCH, the coming-of-age story of a young Black teen exploring gender expression and finding acceptance in the Harlem Ball scene, which stars Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated actor and Goodman Theatre playwright Regina Taylor.

From Trudie Styler’s hotly anticipated directorial debut, the outrageous dramedy FREAK SHOW, about the fictional high school “transvisionary” Billy Bloom, starring Alex Lawther ( The Imitation Game ), Bette Midler and Laverne Cox; and writer-director Vincent Gagliostro’s intergenerational gay romantic drama AFTER LOUIE, starring Alan Cumming in a career-defining performance; to the crackling energy and entertaining story of the rise of YouTube musical superstar Todrick Hall in the documentary BEHIND THE CURTAIN; to the inspiring story of the long road to acceptance for Brooke Guinan, New York’s first out transgender firefighter in WOMAN ON FIRE; to Looking actor Russell Tovey’s stunning performance in THE PASS, the story of two football players whose reactions to the homoerotic tension between them as young men shape their divergent futures; the 35th edition of Reeling Film Festival has something to satisfy every film taste!

Brenda Webb, festival founder and Executive Director of Chicago Filmmakers, the nonprofit media arts organization that produces Reeling, commented on the lineup: “It is gratifying to know that, after more than 35 years since Reeling started in 1981, LGBTQ cinema is more vibrant than ever before. Each year, there are new stories that emerge as well as familiar stories told in fresh and exciting ways. It has become a challenge to limit the number of films we screen over the eight days of the festival because LGBTQ cinema is ever-growing. I couldn’t be more thrilled with our opening and closing night selections this year — both are innovative musicals singing their stories with voices that need to be heard, now as much as ever before.”

The festival kicks off with its opening night at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., on September 21 and then moves on to seven film-packed days at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., September 22-28. Reeling will present 30 feature films and 10 programs of shorts, coming from 22 countries, including Armenia, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, UK and USA. Nearly all of the films are Chicago premieres, some of them world premieres. A bevy of visiting directors, writers, producers and actors will appear for Q&A and special events.

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