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May 18: FilmOut lures patrons with Elizabeth Taylor classic "Suddenly, Last Summer"

SAN DIEGO – Filmmakers seems to love to tease an audience, dangling interesting plot developments before they yank them away for another 15 minutes.

This appears to be the modus operandi of FilmOut San Diego as well. While the full festival is not until August, FilmOut offers a monthly screening of an LGBT-related film leading up to the festival. This month’s installment is the Elizabeth Taylor classic “Suddenly, Last Summer,” showing at the Birch North Park Theater at 7 pm Wednesday, May 18.

SDGLN talked with festival director Kaleb James and festival programmer Michael McQuiggan about this selection and what festival-goers can expect this year.

SDGLN: What made you choose this particular Elizabeth Taylor film? Why this one over any other?

Michael McQuiggan: “Suddenly, Last Summer” was chosen to honor Elizabeth Taylor for her career and her gay rights/AIDS activism.

Also, there are themes of repressed homosexuality in the film. Taylor, Montgomery Clift, Katherine Hepburn, Gore Vidal, Mercedes McCambridge and Tennessee Williams are all iconic role models (most of whom were LGBT). A portion of all tickets sales will be donated to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

Other than this film, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” was the other choice, but screening rights were unsure.

SDGLN: What can festival patron expect this year?

Kaleb James: We've been surprised by the excellent selection of films submitted this year. As always, there will be film producers, directors, actors/actresses and other talent at many screenings and we are planning a fantastic opening night after-party, always a crowd favorite event.

SDGLN: Is there anything new or different happening for this year's festival?

KJ: Yes! We have split the festival over two weekends this year (Friday - Sunday, Aug. 19-21 and Friday - Sunday, Aug. 26-28) and we feel this decision will allow patrons to see more of the diverse variety of films we have prepared.

If you’re craving a little amuse bouche to the 13th annual FilmOut San Diego 2011, come to Birch North Park Theater this Wednesday and pay tribute to a screen legend all while contributing to a worthwhile cause.