( October 6, 2011 - Chicago, IL ) Though Reeling is the second-oldest LGBT film festival in the world and has reached a milestone 30th anniversary, we're still thinking young and looking forward. Rather than the expected seriousness of retrospective screenings, we prefer to celebrate our anniversary by showcasing new and exciting work that continues to push boundaries and expand LGBT representation - the kind of work that the festival was founded to encourage.
Reeling's poster image this year - a kitten in the sky with clouds and rainbows - is as far from the seriousness of our 30th anniversary as we could get - youthful, fun, and a bit silly. Why not? Maybe we've entered our second childhood, but our "Reeling Kitten" also represents the anticipation, excitement, and sense of discovery that we hope festival-goers will find in our line-up this year.
Reeling 2011: The 30th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival, running November 3-12, will present 65 different programs, including 53 features and featurettes and 78 short films from 21 countries. Reeling returns to its regular venues, including Landmark's Century Centre Cinema ( 2828 N. Clark St. ) , the Music Box Theatre ( 3733 N. Southport Ave. ) , and home base Chicago Filmmakers ( 5243 N. Clark St. ) . Screenings will take place for a second year at Instituto Cervantes ( 31 W. Ohio St. ) and, for the first time, at the Portage Theater ( 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave. ) and Block Cinema at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art ( 40 Arts Circle Drive, on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston ) .
Reeling launches its 10-day festival with the Opening Night Gala presentation of The Wise Kids by Chicago-based filmmaker Stephen Cone, to be held at the Music Box Theatre on Thursday, November 3. The Wise Kids is a coming-of-age drama set in the South, featuring a "brilliant cast of young actors" ( Variety ) . The film has garnered Best Feature awards at Outfest and Newfest ( the Los Angeles and New York gay film festivals ) . The 7:30 pm screening will be followed by a reception at Deleece, 3747 N. Southport Ave., just a few steps away from the theater.
Reeling closes on Saturday, November 12, at the Portage Theater with dual closing night selections: Lorene Machado's Margaret Cho performance film, Cho Dependent ( 6:00 pm ) and Casper Andreas' satire on "making it" in Hollywood, Going Down in La-La Land ( 9:30 pm ) . A Closing Night Reception will be held between the screenings in the grand lobby of the Portage Theater at 8:00 pm.
Documentaries take center stage this year with three centerpiece films, all showing at the Landmark Theater. On Saturday, November 5 at 7:00 pm, Reeling presents Wish Me Away, about country music sensation Chely Wright's struggle and fears around publicly coming out. The film has already won best documentary awards at the Los Angeles Film Festival and Frameline ( San Francisco's gay film festival ) . Fresh from its New York Film Festival world premiere, Vito is about activist and author of The Celluloid Closet, Vito Russo. The film screens at 7:00 pm on Monday, November 7 ( on the 21st anniversary of Russo's death from AIDS ) . Sundance documentary We Were Here, screening on Sunday, November 6 at 3:00 pm, is a moving look back at the onset of the HIV epidemic 30 years ago at its epicenter, San Francisco,
For more information, the public can call ( 773 ) 293-1447, consult the festival website at www.reelingfilmfestival.org, or follow "ReelingKitten" on twitter for the latest Reeling news, ticket giveaways, and cat-related puns.
* Ticket Information
Tickets may be purchased online ( www.reelingfilmfestival.org ) beginning October 13 or in person at Chicago Filmmakers ( 5243 N. Clark St. ) starting October 17 at Noon. Ticket prices are $11 for regular screenings, $9 for matinees starting prior to 4 pm. Special admission programs include the opening night film, The Wise Kids, $12 for the film only and $40 for the film and after-party; closing night films Cho Dependent and Going Down in La-La Land, $12 for admission to each film and $25 for one film plus the reception. A "Closing Night Package" is available at $35, including admission to both closing films and the reception.
* Pass Information
Discount passes are available at $45 for a Pick-5 Pass, $80 for a Pick-10 Pass, and $125 for a Festival Pass. Passes are good for regularly priced screenings only.