One might also say that for gay, lesbian and transgendered people in America, even in 2012, it is not only silence but, perhaps, invisibility, that may equal death — or at least isolation and despair.
Gays and lesbians must be acknowledged and respected, and their stories – which are, after all, human stories with a universal quality – must be told.
And cinema, replete with both sound and pictures, is perhaps the most powerful way for the gay community to share those stories.
That’s why it’s important that the SHOUT Gay & Lesbian Film Festival – the only such event in the state of Alabama – returns to Birmingham Saturday and Sunday, August 25-26.
SHOUT, which will share dates and a festival footprint downtown with the Sidewalk Film Festival, will feature 12 features and a shorts block.
The following is a brief run-down of the feature films to be screened in this, the seventh edition of SHOUT.
Thank You for Judging – Carver Theatre, 1631 Fourth Ave. North. Sat., Aug. 25, 12:40 p.m.
The documentary Thank You for Judging deals with the world of speech and debate, specifically the competitors at the Texas Forensics Association State Championships. The film was co-directed by actor Michael Urie, who was 1998 TFA champion. Urie chronicles many of the students participating, particularly young men and women struggling with their sexuality. Also screening is the documentary short, “In Search of Avery Willard.”
Gayby – RMTC Cabaret Theatre, 301 19th St. North. Sat., Aug. 25, 2:55 p.m.
A Sidewalk/SHOUT Collaborative Feature, directed by Jonathan Lisecki, Gayby is a comedy about Jenn and Matt, college friends now in their 30s and single. They decide to have a child together, despite the fact that Matt is gay.
deepsouth – Carver Theatre. Sat., Aug. 25, 3:15 p.m.
Another Sidewalk/SHOUT Collaborative Feature, the documentary deepsouth, directed by Lisa Biagiotti, explores the lives of Southerners affected by HIV. Film participants include Birmingham AIDS activist Kathie Hiers.
My Best Day – Alabama School of Fine Arts Sat., Aug. 25, 4:15 p.m.
Also on the program is the SHOUT Exclusive Short, “Cock ‘n Bull,” directed by Nathan Adloff (whose feature, Nate & Margaret, is part of SHOUT). Wes (co-writer Danny Rhodes) invites his best friend, Chris ( Adloff), over for a night-in after being dumped by Henry. They attempt to blow off some steam by prank calling strangers, but soon realize that may have been the worst idea ever.
Naked as We Came – Hill Arts Center, 1870 Third Ave. North. Sat., Aug. 25, 7:55 p.m.
This drama, written and directed by Richard LeMay, is the Saturday Night Spotlight film. After a strange phone call, a brother and sister rush to their family’s country home, where their estranged mother is dying and being cared for by Ted, a gorgeous young groundskeeper.
The Silent Thief – Hill Arts Center. Sat., Aug. 25, 10 p.m.
Directed and co-written by Jennifer Clary, The Silent Thief is part of SHOUT After Dark. It is billed as an intense psychological thriller about a young photographer who rents a room from a family. Stars include Frances Fisher.
Ballroom Rules – RMTC Cabaret Theatre. Sun., Aug. 26, 10:15 a.m.
This documentary takes you into the world of same-sex ballroom dancing, including a large competition in Germany. See the trailer at Vimeo. Also screening is the documentary short, “Johnny & Lyman: A Life Together.”
Unfit: Ward vs. Ward – The Venue, 1612 Third Ave. North. Sun., Aug. 26, 10:30 a.m.
This documentary tells the story of Mary Ward, who lost custody of her 11-year-old daughter because she was a lesbian. Also screening is the prize-winning documentary short, “Sepulte the Buried,” the story of the murder of a young, gay man in rural Alabama.
All the Way Through Evening – Hill Arts Center. Sun., Aug. 26, 12:40 p.m.
The documentary All the Way Through the Evening follows New York pianist Mimi Stern-Wolfe as she stages another in an annual series of concerts by composers who were lost to HIV/AIDS. You’ll also see the Australian short, “Shopping,” called “a poetic journey of two women in search of love.” See the trailer at Vimeo.
Petunia – Alabama Theatre, 1817 Third Ave. North. Sun., Aug. 26, 1:10 p.m.
In Petunia, a Sidewalk/SHOUT Collaborative Feature, an off-beat family of New Yorkers must come to terms with their own misgivings about life and love. Sidewalk alum and Petunia director Ash Christian and star Thora Birch will attend the screening.
Nate & Margaret – Alabama School of Fine Arts. Sun., Aug. 26, 2:50 p.m.
This narrative feature, a dramedy directed and co-written by Sidewalk alumf, Nathan Adloff depicts the friendship between Nate, an aspiring young film student, and Margaret, a wannabe stand-up comic in her 50s. Roger Ebert calls it “a sweet, delicate story about friendship.”
Adloff was the co-star (with Taylor Reed and Joe Swanberg) of star of the 2010 SHOUT Best Narrative Feature winner Blackmail Boys and showed an earlier cut of Nate & Margaret as a secret screening at SHOUT 2011.
Blues for Willadean – Alabama School of Fine Arts. Sun., Aug. 26, 5 p.m.
The SHOUT Closing Night event is the world premiere of this narrative feature written and directed by Del Shores. It tells the story of Willadean, whose abusive husband has banned her from having contact with their homosexual son. Her best friend is played by Oscar winner Octavia Spencer.
SHOUT will also present a block of shorts at The Venue,1612 Third Avenue North, on Sat., Aug. 25, at 10:20 a.m.
For all the details regarding films and other SHOUT events, including tickets, visit http://bhamshout.com.
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