( CHICAGO, IL — September 13, 2017 ) Reeling, the second-oldest LGBTQ film festival in the world, kicks off its landmark 35th anniversary festival next Thursday, September 21 at Music Box Theatre with the Chicago premiere of Northwestern University alum Tom Gustafson's HELLO AGAIN. The sex-fueled all-star screen adaptation of the 1994 Off-Broadway musical stars Pretty Little Liars heartthrob Tyler Blackburn, American Horror Story's Cheyenne Jackson, Glee's Jenna Ushkowitz, Broadway legend Audra McDonald, Empire's Rumer Willis, Steppenwolf Ensemble member Martha Plimpton and more. Tyler Blackburn, director Tom Gustafson and writer-producer Cory Krueckeberg will be in attendance for opening night.
Over the following week, Reeling presents an exciting slate of movies that showcases the amazing diversity of the queer experience September 21-28 at Landmark Theatres' Century Centre Cinema. Reeling 2017 closes September 28 at Landmark 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. A full schedule, festival passes and individual tickets are available now at www.reelingfilmfestival.org .
Additional visiting talent includes: actor-director Kit Williamson ( Mad Men ) and actor Van Hansis ( As the World Turns ) for Netflix's upcoming EASTSIDERS 3: GO WEST ( Tuesday 9/26, 9pm ); Northwestern alum Adam Fried and director Rob Williams ( Role/Play, Shared Rooms, Make the Yuletide Gay ) for the World Premiere of HAPPINESS ADJACENT ( Sunday 9/24, 7pm ), a bisexual love triangle set aboard a cruise ship; stars Grant Davis and Ben Baur and writer-producer Carlos Pedraza from the musical romantic comedy SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER ( Saturday 9/23, 9pm ); writer-director-starChristopher Schaap from the comedy PROM KING, 2010 ( Saturday 9/23, 4:45pm ); writer-director Mike Roma from DATING MY MOTHER ( Saturday 9/23, noon ), a comedy co-starring Kathryn Erbe and Kathy Najimy; writer-director-star James Fanizzafor his romantic drama SEBASTIAN ( Wednesday 9/27, 9:15pm ); actor Nicole J. Pursell for THE RING THING ( Saturday 9/23, 9:15pm ), about a lesbian couple facing the pressures of getting married now that it's legal; and writer-director Melissa Finnelfrom SENSITIVITY TRAINING ( Saturday 9/23, 7pm ), a comedy in which an abrasive microbiologist becomes attracted to her sensitivity coach. Cast and crew from locally produced films EN ALGUN LUGAR ( Friday 9/22, 5pm and Saturday 9/23, 2pm ),Tadeo Garcia's gay romantic drama set against the backdrop of the controversial U.S. immigration system, and MARKET VALUE ( Monday 9/25, 6:30pm ), Wendell Etherly's compelling child custody courtroom drama focused on a lesbian couple fighting to keep their adopted son, will be in attendance.
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!
Other festival highlights include: the critically acclaimed Sundance hit, I DREAM IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE, Mexican director Ernest Contreras' drama about two elderly men who are the last living people able to speak a dying language but who refuse to talk to each other; the eccentric Scottish film SEAT IN SHADOW, director Henry Coombes' film about an aging free-spirited artist who plays therapist for the young gay grandson of a friend; and APRICOT GROVES, Pouria Heidary Oureh's beautifully realized story about an Iranian Armenian transman living in the U.S. who visits Armenia to ask his girlfriend's father for her hand in marriage;
Reeling35 is presented by Showtime Networks, and is a program of Chicago Filmmakers, a non-profit media arts organization that has been serving Chicago's independent film community for more than 40 years. Reeling extends a special thank you to Premier sponsors Gilead, TimeOut Chicago, HereTV and ChicagoPride.com; Grand sponsors AARP, Orbitz,Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace, Edge Media Network and Nexus Radio; and Major sponsor Yes! Press.
* Public Information
For more information, the public can call ( 773 ) 293-1447, consult the festival website at www.reelingfilmfestival.org, or follow @reelingfilmfest on twitter for the latest Reeling updates.
* Ticket Information
Tickets may be purchased online ( www.reelingfilmfestival.org ). Ticket prices are $12 for regular screenings, $10 for matinees starting prior to 5 pm. Special admission programs include the opening night film, HELLO AGAIN, $15 for the film only and $35for the film and red carpet pre-reception and SATURDAY CHURCH, the closing night film, $15 for admission to the film and $25for the film plus the after-party. Special admission prices may apply to other programs TBA.
* Pass Information
Discount passes are available at $45 for a Pick-5 Pass, $80 for a Pick-10 Pass, and $100 for a Festival Pass. These passes are good for regularly priced screenings only. An Enhanced Festival Pass, which includes entry to all general admission andspecial presentation screenings and events, is $130.