Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival kicked off its 36th year at The Davis Theater on Sept. 20. The movie Freelancers Anonymous screened after a red carpet with several members of the cast and crew.
The 2018 comedy combines an office worker, a wedding and a start up app with a strong female perspective.
Freelancers Anonymous star Natasha Negovanlis mentioned she was sent the script after being seen in her web series Carmilla. She said, "What impressed me about it was it's a very broad American style comedy, but instead of a straight white male lead, it's a queer woman. It is completely normalized. I think it has broad appeal outside of the LGBT community. We have to show the straight world that we are just people."
Lisa Cordileone who stars and also co-wrote the film, explained that they made Freelancers Anonymous a year ago in Chicago, adding, "We shot in Bethany Church for two weeks, Angelina's and the West Loop."
She also said "This is about a group of women that help each other and make something better."
Cordileone said that Alexandra Billings, who plays her boss in the film, "is the real deal. I was intimidated by her at first, then I relaxed and we went to work.'
After the screening, a question and answer portion was moderated by Chicago Reader's Amy Matheny and Windy City Times' Scott Duff.
Director Sonia Sebastian recalled that movie was made in 19 days. When an audience member asked for advice on how to be a filmmaker, she replied, "Go out and shoot with a phone or camera. Work with actors that will tell your story. Practice and just do it."
A reception followed at Carbon Arc Bar & Board attached to the theater, complete with food and drinks to celebrate the debut of Freelancers Anonymous.
Other significant screenings throughout the festival are planned with cast and crew in attendance, such as Rupert Everett on Sept. 27 at Landmark Century Centre Cinema at 7 p.m. for his film The Happy Prince, and Jason T. Gaffney with Kevin Held for Analysis Paralysis, also at Landmark on Sept. 27 but at 9:30 p.m.
Closing night on Sept. 30 features the documentary Studio 54 at 5 p.m., screened at Chicago Filmmakers, 5720 N. Ridge Ave. A wrap party in the new space will follow the movie, with this year's award winners announced.
Visit ReelingFilmFestival.org for tickets and information.