( Chicago, IL ) Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world and a beloved Chicago cultural institution for more than 30 years, is back with an exciting slate of movies that showcases the diversity of the queer experience. From the hilarious gay dude comedy FOURTH MAN OUT on Opening Night, the hotly anticipated Julianne Moore-Ellen Page real-life drama FREEHELD and director Roland Emmerich's chronicle of the burgeoning gay rights movement in STONEWALL, to the entertaining and empowering trans documentary TCHINDAS, the sexually adventurous BEAUTIFUL SOMETHING and THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE, the 33rd edition of Reeling has something to satisfy every cinephile. This year's fest will entertain, inspire, amuse, arouse and break a few hearts along the way. A bevy of special guests and events is also part of the schedule. Reeling 2015: The 33rd Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival takes place September 17-24, 2015.
Reeling will present nearly 40 features and more than 60 short films from around the world, the majority of them Chicago premieres. The festival's opening night presentation returns to the Music Box Theatre ( 3733 N. Southport Ave. ) and to the Landmark Century Centre Cinema ( 2828 N. Clark St. ) for the bulk of the festival. The fest's home base, Chicago Filmmakers ( 5243 N. Clark St. ), will also host screenings. Additional satellite screenings and venues TBA.
Reeling launches its eight-day festival with the Opening Night Gala presentation of FOURTH MAN OUT, director Andrew Nackman's uproarious debut feature, a bro comedy with a lot of heart. When Adam ( Evan Todd ), a sweet-spirited car mechanic in a small, working class town, comes out of the closet to his unsuspecting, blue-collar best friends who are straight, his bros are baffled but supportive. All seems copacetic until one night mixed signals between Adam and one of his buds threaten to change things for good. The Second City alum and Annoyance Theater co-founder Kate Flannery ( Meredith on The Office ) co-stars as Adam's overbearing but well-intentioned mother. The bright, energetic cast — which also includes Glee's Chord Overstreet and Enlisted's Parker Young — shines in Nackman's endearingly funny elevation of the typical bromance comedy which Variety has hailed as, "A sleeper delight…a thoroughly ingratiating, touchingly heartfelt comedy." Flannery, Todd and Nackman are expected to attend the 6:00 pm Music Box Theatre red carpet event and pre-screening reception before the film starts at 7:30 pm.
Reeling is also honored to present FREEHELD, director Peter Sollett's ( Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist ) eagerly anticipated real-life drama about a lesbian police officer ( Julianne Moore ) fighting to leave her pension to her life partner ( Ellen Page ) when she is stricken with terminal cancer. Based on Cynthia Wade's 2005 Oscar-winning short film of the same name, Freeheld also stars Academy Award nominees Michael Shannon and Steve Carell, plus Luke Grimes ( 50 Shades of Gray ) and Josh Charles ( The Good Wife ). The film is Julianne Moore's follow-up to last year's Oscar-winning performance in Still Alice and was scripted by Oscar nominee ( for Philadelphia ) Ron Nyswaner.
Director Roland Emmerich, renowned for action blockbusters like 2012, Independence Day and White House Down, is represented in the Reeling festival with his most personal film: STONEWALL. Jeremy Irvine ( War Horse, The Railway Man ) stars as a confused young man, kicked out of his home for being gay, who heads to New York's Greenwich Village in the summer of 1969. Here, he is befriended by a group of queer outsiders and is eventually caught up in the swirl of events leading up to the Stonewall riots, the historic series of events cited as having kickstarted the gay rights movement in America. Jonathan Rhys Meyers ( The Tudors ), Joey King ( White House Down ), Caleb Landry Jones ( X-Men: First Class ) and Ron Perlman ( Sons of Anarchy ) co-star.
Other highlights of the festival include: GUIDANCE, Canadian writer-director Pat Mills' boisterous black comedy in which he also stars; Natalia Meta's erotic, queer-tinged crime thriller from Argentina DEATH IN BUENOS AIRES starring Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir ( A Better Life ); Alanté KavaÃ»té's sensual Lithuanian lesbian love story THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE; Marco Kreuzpaintner's outrageous German comedy COMING IN; Fina Torres' passionate and surprisingly moving Chilean lesbian drama LIZ IN SEPTEMBER; FranÃžois Ozon's latest French cream puff, the trans dramedy THE NEW GIRLFRIEND; Joey Kuhn's spot-on portrait of Upper East Side privileged young gay men in the romantic drama THOSE PEOPLE; Josh Kim's contemplative Thai drama of brotherly love, HOW TO WIN AT CHECKERS ( EVERY TIME ); Catherine Stewart's rich character study of a South African black lesbian couple's faltering relationship in WHILE YOU WEREN'T LOOKING; Louise Wadley's exciting genre smasher ALL ABOUT E, an Australian road movie/thriller/romance all in one; and William Clift's latest drag queen parody HUSH UP SWEET CHARLOTTE, an homage to the Bette Davis-Olivia de Havilland Grand Guignol Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte featuring Mink Stole, Varla Jean Merman and Heklina in its ribald cast; and, the world premiere of KISS ME, KILL ME, the latest from gay film fave Casper Andreas ( Going Down in La-La Land, Violet Tendencies, The Big Gay Musical ). A gay twist on the classic L.A. film noir thriller, this over-the-top and very sexy murder mystery features Queer As Folk's Gale Harold and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Jai Rodriguez in its cast.
Documentaries, as always, are part of the exciting Reeling lineup. This year's Documentary Centerpiece is TCHINDAS, a glittery, oh-so-fabulous examination of a little-seen culture reminiscent of Paris Is Burning. Director Marc Serena and Pablo Garcia Perez de Lara's cinema vérité approach looks at the close-knit world of a renowned transgender woman and her colorful cohorts on the tiny island of Cape Verde, Africa as they and their neighbors, prepare for their annual Carnival festivities. Other documentary highlights include: director Malcolm Ingram's ( Small Town Gay Bar ) OUT TO WIN, which focuses on the unique challenges faced by professional gay and lesbian athletes; A SINNER IN MECCA, Parvez Sharma's controversial, eye-opening follow-up to A Jihad for Love; Kirill Sakharnov's up-to-the-minute, inside look at the battle for LGBTQ+ rights in Russia in OLYA'S LOVE; IN THE TURN, Boston filmmaker Erica Tremblay's affectionate, bracing portrait of a 10-year-old Canadian trans girl whose life is turned around by a US-based queer roller derby collective; and SHE'S THE BEST THING IN IT, the charming biography of Tony Award-winning actress Mary Louise Wilson ( Grey Gardens ) from Freeheld screenwriter Ron Nyswaner, making his directorial debut.
Special retrospective screenings are also a part of the Reeling lineup. What better way to celebrate queer cinema than with a 10th anniversary screening of Ang Lee's multiple Oscar winning BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, the instant classic of the hidden love story of two cowboys in Wyoming in 1963, and with a 5th anniversary screening of Luca Guadagnino's lavish I AM LOVE, starring gay film audience favorite Tilda Swinton as an Italian matriarch who finds inspiration in her daughter's lesbian love story to find her own happiness? These two celebratory films with their sensational acting work are matched by the more recent SAND DOLLARS, a lesbian themed romantic drama with a tour-de-force performance by Geraldine Chaplin, winner of the Best Actress award at the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival.
Tickets and passes may be purchased online ( www.reelingfilmfestival.org ) or in person at Chicago Filmmakers ( 5243 N. Clark St. ) beginning August 27.
Sponsors confirmed at this time include:
Presenting Sponsors: Showtime, XFINITY
Official Airline: Southwest Airlines
Premier Media Sponsor: ChicagoPride.com
Grand Media Sponsor: Nexus Radio
Major Hotel Sponsor: Days Inn Chicago
Contributing Media Sponsors: Chicago's Progressive Talk Radio ( WCPT ), GC Magazine, GRAB Magazine, Windy City Media Group
Event Sponsor: Dark Horse Wine