The Queer Films and Filmmakers at Sundance in 2014

 
 

Lilting

Liliting

Ben Whishaw (Cloud Atlas, Bright Star) stars as a gay man trying to connect with his late partner’s non-English speaking Chinese-Cambodian mother at the old-age home where she lives. Written and directed by British gay filmmaker Hong Khaou, Lilting co-stars prolific Chinese actress Pei-Pei Cheng.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

The Internet's Own Boy

Best know as a leading figure in the world of internet activism (including pioneering involvement in the creation of RSS format, Creative Commons and Reddit), Aaron Swartz was also the author of a simple but provocative 2009 blog post “Why I Am Not Gay” (in which he reflected on his own sexuality: “I hook up with people. I enjoy it. Sometimes they’re men, sometimes they’re women. I don’t see why it needs to be any more complicated than that.”). Brian Knappenberg’s documentary profile looks at the life and achievements of the man whose life ended tragically in suicide, just one year ago (on January 11, 2013).

Jamie Marks is Dead

Jamie Marks is Dead

From out gay writer-director Carter Smith (whose gay short Bugcrush wowed audiences in 2006), this dark homoerotic drama tells the tale of the lonely young ghost of Jamie Marks. As Jamie revisits his former classmate Adam and Adam’s girlfriend Gracie, the two boys develop an eerie connection.

The Skeleton Twins

stwins

Kristen Wiig stars as Maggie, and Bill Hader co-stars as her gay twin brother Milo in this tale of sibling reconnection in a small New York town.

Dear White People

dwp

This much anticipated satire from out gay writer-director Justin Simien tells the story of four black students at an Ivy League college.

Drunktown’s Finest

dtown

Three Native American teens—including a promiscuous transsexual named Felixia (Carmen Jones)—struggle to find balance in their lives on an Indian reservation as they learn they might be the next generation of medicine people for their tribe. The debut feature from writer-director Sydney Freeland, Drunktown’s Finest is executive produced by Robert Redford.

My Prairie Home

My Prarie Home

Transgender singer/songwriter Rae Spoon reflects on gender identity, faith and the challenges of their religious upbringing in this unconventional portrait.

The Case Against 8

The Case Against 8

This highly-anticipated documentary goes behind-the-scenes following the =legal team that took California’s Prop 8 case all the way to the Supreme Court.

Lambert & Stamp

Lambert and Stamp

A late addition to the festival, this feature documentary profiles the legendary duo of Kit Lambert (who was gay) and Chris Stamp—the high-flying music management team who brought The Who to America and caroused like rock stars themselves.

Lastly, the festival’s groundbreaking New Frontier section claims two new works of LGBT interest this year. From veteran gay filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris comes the poetic documentary exploring African American photographers, Through a Lens Darkly; and from artist Jonathan Harris, the interactive documentary I Love Your Work depicts the private lives of nine women who make lesbian porn via a series of more than two thousand 10-second video clips. Also, in the shorts programs keep an eye out for four gay-interest shorts: MeTube: August Sings Carmen, Rat Pack Rat, Burger and Best.

For more information about the festival including info about tickets and how to attend, go to Sundance.org.

Jenni Olson (@JenniOlsonSF) is VP of e-commerce at WolfeVideo.com and has been writing about LGBT film since 1986. She is also a filmmaker and proud to have had her work shown at Sundance several times: her short 575 Castro St. in 2009; the experimental feature, The Joy of Life in 2005; and her movie preview extravaganza, Trailer Camp in 1996. With a bit of luck she’ll be there next year with her current film project The Royal Road. This piece is cross-posted on FilmmakerMagazine.com, Queerty.com and AfterEllen.com— whichever of these you’re NOT currently reading warrants your attention as well.

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