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Movie mania: All you need to know about FilmOut's 16th annual LGBT Film Festival

SAN DIEGO, California – FilmOut San Diego’s 16th annual LGBT Film Festival is just two weeks away, showcasing 25 feature films and shorts.

The popular film festival, one of the oldest in the U.S., will run Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1 at the historic North Park Theatre. Patrons will notice a number of changes made by the ownership of the theater, including new seating that reduces capacity to 550 and an improved sound system.

“After receiving over 350 submissions, we strategically chose 25 of the best LGBT films possible for the streamlined three-day film festival,” said Michael McQuiggan, FilmOut’s Programming Director.

“There will be an influx of filmmakers/talent attending most of the screenings with amazing Q&A's and photo opportunities for our audience members to enjoy! Additionally, we will program new LGBT films from June through September at our monthly screenings.”

“Boy Meets Girl,” a quirky and sweet coming-of-age romantic comedy, will be the Opening Night selection. Director Eric Shaeffer and “Boy Meets Girl” cast members Michelle Hendley, Michael Welch and Alexandra Turshen are expected to attend Opening Night ceremonies and be available after the screening for a Q&A session with the audience.

The cast will also attend the popular Opening Night Party at Claire de Lune’s Art Deco treasure, the Sunset Temple, just across the street from the North Park Theatre. Tickets are $25 for the the Opening Night movie and party.

The Closing Night film comes from Canada and will be having its U.S. premiere in San Diego. “John Apple Jack,” directed by Monika Mitchell, stars Chris McNally as John, a handsome, philandering gay playboy whose life turns upside down after he learns his sister’s fiancé (Kent S. Leung) is his secret childhood crush. John’s family, which heads a restaurant empire in Vancouver, British Columbia, tires of his sexual antics and disowns him. Can he mend his ways and find true love?

The Closing Night Party will be held after the Q&A session in the lobby between North Park Theatre and West Coast Tavern. Tickets are $15 for the Closing Night movie and party.

Tickets for all other movies are $10. Click HERE for tickets or a VIP All-Access Pass.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, FilmOut debuted a YouTube video to promote the festival, seen below:

The following synopsis of movies was compiled by FilmOut.



“Boy Meets Girl” (2014), Director: Eric Schaeffer, 95 min, USA. WEST COAST PREMIERE.

This poignant, sexy, romantic coming-of-age comedy is about three twenty-somethings living in Kentucky. Robby (Michael Welch, Twilight) and Ricky (Michelle Hendley), a gorgeous trans girl, have been best friends since childhood. Lamenting the lack of eligible bachelors in their small town, Ricky considers dating a woman. In walks Francesca (Alexandra Turshen), a beautiful young debutante waiting for her fiancé to return from duty with the Marines. When Ricky and Francesca’s new friendship becomes intense, it forces Robby to face his true feelings. This is a sex-positive, human-positive modern fable that everyone can identify with, whether straight, gay, trans or bi.

With: “Beyond The Mirror’s Gaze” (2013), Director: Iris Moore, 4 min, Canada. WEST COAST PREMIERE.

In this endearing and playful animated short, two people discover their true selves by exchanging genitalia and sexual roles while broadening their acceptance of intimate exploration.

With: “Playing It Straight” (2013), Director: Michael Kenney, 20 min, USA. WEST COAST PREMIERE.

In this comedy, Patrick wakes up to the aftermath of his bachelor party the day before his wedding. Faced with his own inner turmoil, he’s forced to remove all obstacles to achieve his perceived wedded bliss.



“Lilting” (2014), Director: Hong Khaou, 91 min, United Kingdom. (Official Selection of the Sundance, Berlin and London film festivals).

In this touching and intimate film, a Chinese Cambodian mother (Pei-pei Cheng) mourns the death of her closeted son. Her world is further disrupted by a visit from her son’s partner (Ben Whishaw, “Skyfall”) thought to be just a friend. Through a difficult language barrier, they slowly connect and piece together memories of a man they both loved.

With: “Naked” (2013), Director: José Antonio Cortés, 13 min, Spain.

Intercepted by his conservative father, a message from Javier’s boyfriend causes the entire family to reconsider their own personal relationships in a very provocative way.


“GIRLTRASH: All Night Long” (2013), Director: Alexandra Kondracke, 85 min, USA.

This kick-ass, high-energy, hilarious musical is about five lesbian women experiencing one epic night! Daisy (Lisa Rieffel) and Tyler (Michelle Lombardo) are two hapless punk rockers trying to make it to a Battle of the Bands contest. They are waylaid by Daisy's sister, Colby (Gabrielle Christian), who has her sights set on hooking-up with Misty (Mandy Musgrave)…the girl of her dreams. As the night spirals out of control, the girls find love, lust, girl-fights, rock & roll…and a whole lot of stoned sorority members. — With a cameo by Heather Thomas and original music by Killola.

With: “Little Vulvah & Her Clitoral Awareness” (2013), Director: Sara Koppel, 5 min, Denmark.

In this dreamy and graphic animated short, a girl wakes up aroused by the birds of pleasure as she sets out exploring nature and discovering her own shivering, orgasmic changes as she develops into a young woman.


“Gerontophilia” (2013), Director: Bruce LaBruce, 82 min, Canada.

Lake (Pier-Gabriel Lajoie), an eighteen-year-old boy, realizes he has an attraction to elderly men. Working as an orderly in a retirement home, the young man develops a romantic and sexual relationship with Mr. Peabody (Walter Borden), an elderly gentleman who lives at the facility. Mr. Peabody shares romantic stories of youth, life and love while confessing his dream to see the Pacific Ocean one last time. Cult filmmaker, writer and photographer Bruce LaBruce creates a fascinating, heartfelt story about love, age and the taboo of “gerontophilia.”

With: “A Last Farewell” (2013), Director: Casper Andreas, 13 min, Sweden.

Both touching and moving, director Casper Andreas (“Going Down in La-La Land”) creates a beautiful portrait of an aging author mourning the death of his long-term partner. Haunted by visions of his late husband, his daughter attempts to mend their broken relationship while he sorts through the impossible task of finding peace in the wake of a devastating loss.


“Waiting In The Wings: The Musical” (2014), Director: Jenn Page, 107 min, USA.

In this star-studded romantic comedy and musical…two entertainers destined for the big time are mistakenly mismatched in a casting office for two VERY different shows. Tony (Adam Huss), a male stripper from New York, is erroneously cast in an Off-Broadway musical and needs to trade in his tear-away briefs for a tux and tap shoes…while Anthony (Jeffrey A. Johns), a naive musical theatre enthusiast from Montana, is cast in an All-Male Strip Show and forced to decide if he can put modesty aside to pay the rent. Both men realize that to make their dreams come true, they’re going to have to learn some new tricks. — With Lee Meriwether, Shirley Jones, Sally Struthers and Christopher Atkins.


“The 10 Year Plan” (2014), Director: J.C. Calciano, 94 min, USA. WEST COAST PREMIERE.

Following on the success of his previous hits, “Is It Just Me?” and “eCupid,” director J.C. Calciano is back with another sexy romantic comedy you’re sure to enjoy! Myles (Jack Turner) and Brody (Michael Adam Hamilton) are best friends with two very different ways of finding love. Both displeased with their love lives, they make a pact to be together if neither finds love in ten years. Now two months shy of their deadline, both friends set off to do whatever it takes to avoid ending up as each other’s last resort.

With: “Dinner at 40” (2014), Directors: Carl Byrd, 19 min, USA. WORLD PREMIERE.

This romantic comedy about the anxiety of a gay man turning 40: the panic, the doubt and the supposed loss of youth overwhelm him as he plans to spend a quiet evening at a restaurant with a small group of his closest friends…until unexpected guests, a hot ex-lover (Wilson Cruz), a drag queen (Lady Bunny) and lots of cocktails add to the hilarious mix.

With: “The Phallometer” (2013), Director: Tor Iben, 7 min, Germany.

The phallometric tests were used in the Czech Republic in order to verify the homosexuality of those seeking asylum. This short will astonish and surprise you as one young man’s sexuality is satirically evaluated.


“Folsom Forever” (2014), Director: Mike Skiff, 72 min, USA.

In 1984, a scrappy little neighborhood in San Francisco - home to many low-income tenants and the heart of the gay male leather scene - faced destruction from the bulldozers of redevelopment and the AIDS crisis. The Folsom Street Fair was created to call attention to gentrification and raise money for AIDS charities. “Folsom Forever” tells the story of how this small street fair grew into the largest outdoor kink and fetish event in the world.

With: “Grind” (2014), Director: Zachary Halley, 32 min, USA. WEST COAST PREMIERE.

In this darkly dramatic musical, Vincent (Anthony Rapp) is a guy uncomfortable in his own skin but witty on his favorite hook-up app. Thane (Pasha Pellosie) is his young, hot model roommate who can't seem to express himself intelligently. Devising a plan that Vincent will speak as Thane on his “grind” profile…they make the perfect combination for Thane to peruse the men of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. However, Vincent gets addicted to the attention…leading to a grim outcome neither had anticipated.



“Boys” (2014), Director: Mischa Kamp, 78 min, Netherlands.

In this beautiful and uplifting romance, two teenage track stars, Sieger (Gijs Blom) and Marc (Ko Zandvliet) discover first love as they train for the biggest relay race of their young lives. During their courtship, the two swim, bike and flirt while sharing ice cream and gentle kisses…gradually finding the courage to be vulnerable with one another. The romance between them unfolds with a palpable sense of longing and an aching sense of heartache as Sieger reluctantly fights his desires. With its authentic and perfectly poignant tone, “Boys” certainly ranks as one of the most wholesomely romantic gay dramas.

With: “Boygame” (2013), Director: Anna Nolskog, 15 min, Sweden.

John and Nicholas are best friends. They both claim to be interested in girls but feel insecure when it comes to their first sexual encounter. So as not to come across inexperienced…they decide to “practice'” with each other.


“Tru Love” (2014), Directors: Kate Johnston and Shauna MacDonald, 87min, Canada. WEST COAST PREMIERE.

Tru (Shauna MacDonald) is a woman who can’t commit to a relationship for any length of time. Restless by nature and wounded by the past, she goes through life bed-hopping with no anchor to ground her until she meets Alice (Kate Trotter), a beautiful 60-year-old widow who has come to town to visit her workaholic daughter Suzanne (Christine Horne), who is also Tru’s best friend. Despite Suzanne’s opposition, sparks fly between Alice and Tru until a life-changing event changes the paths of everyone involved.

With: “The Kiss” (2013), Director: Filip Gieldon, 21 min, Poland. WEST COAST PREMIERE.

After a night of clubbing, Emilia awakes in the apartment of an unknown woman, Matylda, who claims they slept together. This tense drama is a cat-and-mouse game of discovery, persuasion and flirtation.


“Floating Skyscrapers” (2013), Director: Tomasz Wasilewski, 89 min, Poland. WEST COAST PREMIERE [graphic content, 18+ only]

In this sexually-charged film, handsome and self-assured Kuba (Mateusz Banasiuk), a promising professional swimmer who indulges in sexual encounters with men in bathroom stalls at the gym, meets young student Michal (Bartosz Gelner) and falls in love. Despite his anonymous activities and living with his controlling girlfriend, his situation is compounded by his own internal conflicts and insecurities as he attempts to keep one foot in the closet. This artful and provocative coming-out drama emphasizes the psychic turmoil of an individual wrought by homophobia.

With: “Caged” (2013), Directors: Dylan Tonk, Lazlo Tonk, 13 min, Netherlands. U.S. PREMIERE.

After discovering that his best friend is gay, two high school students test the limits of their friendship as one faces homophobia, bullying and self-doubt…while the other deals with his own issues of acceptance.


“Such Good People” (2014), Director: Stewart Wade, 95 min, USA.

A cute, contemporary screwball comedy centers on a gay couple, (Michael Urie, “Ugly Betty”) and (Randy Harrison, “Queer as Folk”), who find a million dollars while house sitting in their dream home. Wanting what every couple desires: success, family and a fabulous house in LA…they find themselves in a rat race of greed, jealousy, real estate, sibling rivalry, greyhounds, labradoodles, porpoises and the orphans of Bhutan. — With Scott Wolf, Ana Ortiz, Drew Droege, Alec Mapa and Lance Bass.


“John Apple Jack” (2013), Director: Monika Mitchell, 89 min, Canada. U.S. PREMIERE.

When handsome, philandering John (Chris McNally) discovers his sister’s fiancé is Jack (Kent S. Leung), his secret childhood crush, passions ignite and his life quickly spirals out of control. Losing his job, his playboy reputation and his underwear…John was easy for Jack to ignore for years. But a newer, penniless, more soulful John may soon prove too difficult to kick to the curb. Set in Vancouver’s trendy East-meets-West restaurant industry, both John and Jack struggle to find a way to blend money, sex, love and family into one sumptuous recipe for life.

With: “A Little Bit Country” (2013), Director: Amy Coop, 8 min. United Kingdom. CALIFORNIA PREMIERE.

Dylan is a teenager who harbors a dark secret. While he may look like any other sulky teen, he hides a side to his personality that inevitably shocks his family.

With: “Gaysian” (2013), Director: Austin Wong, 10 min, Canada.

In this hilarious comedy tackling the thorny subject of racism in dating, an Asian man, Aaron, notices many gay men are taking a “no-Asians” stance. So he decides to change his approach and date men that are only attracted to Asians (Rice Queens). The change provides Aaron unexpected results leading him to reevaluate his own stance on dating.

About FilmOut San Diego

FilmOut San Diego affirms the ongoing integrity and boundless imagination of our community and the artists who tell our stories. We believe our work is an integral part of an ongoing effort to build a vibrant, affirming and sustainable LGBT community in San Diego County. We hope you will join us.

Financial support for FilmOut San Diego is provided in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture. While attending our festival, please spend time in America’s Finest City, support our neighboring restaurants, and enjoy the many museums, parks, beaches and other recreational facilities that out city has to offer.

Festival tickets are now on sale HERE.

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