Worcester 2017 Program

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Thursday, September 14 @ 7:30 pm

SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER

Directed by David Berry, USA, 2017, 111 mins, Drama, Musical
New England Premiere
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This romantic musical is so original that it can easily be dubbed “a gay La La Land.” Its freshness in its approach in dealing with youthful identity, feeling comfortable in one’s own skin, and, finally, early adulthood is as heartfelt, truthful and engaging as the original songs and music that underscore the story of young love, gained, then lost, and later regained, but not before a wide range of emotions have been experienced, felt, accepted and understood.  Love discovered is not without its hardships and heartache and the young gay men go through many challenges and are even struck by tragedy before they defy the odds and look towards their future. Screenplay based on the novel by Jay Bell.

Prior to the film’s screening, the opening night ceremonies will include presentations of the qFLIX Worcester 2017 Producer’s Award to Carlos Pedraza, and the qFLIX Worcester 2017 Rising Star Award in Acting to Davi Santos.

Friday, September 15 @ 5:00 pm

FAIR HAVEN

Directed by Kerstin Karlhuber, USA, 2016, 93 mins, Drama
Northeast Premiere
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After a long stay in an intense ex-gay conversion therapy retreat, a young piano prodigy returns home to his family’s apple farm in a small town, his emotionally distant father, and a former boyfriend. Will boy love be rekindled or the future play out differently?

 

 

Friday, September 15 @ 7:15 pm

BROTHERLY LOVE

Directed by Anthony J. Caruso, USA, 2017, 115 mins, Drama
East Coast Premiere
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The struggle between God and man takes on many forms, challenges many issues, unearths many conflicts, resolves, sometimes in unpredictable and mysteries ways, the turmoil into peace. In this debut feature, a young man’s faith and calling to become a member of the clergy come into question. Though the love of God isn’t inherently questioned and his religious beliefs remain fervent, the meaning of love—spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, humanly—is thrown into chaos when the vow of celibacy and the desires of the flesh are in conflict. Without being preachy or heavy-handed, even with moments of comedy and light-heartedness, one young man’s journey into his soul, mind, heart and spirit are examined and explored. Love conquers all and God’s powers can manifest in strange ways.

Receipt of the qFLIX Worcester First-Time Director Award 2017. Anthony Caruso in attendance.

Friday, September 15 @ 9:30 pm

KEPT BOY

Directed by George Bamber. USA, 2017, 89 mins, Comedy
New England Premiere
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Gay writer Robert Rodi’s celebrated novel of the same name comes to the screen. The sexy, dark comedy shows how life with a sugar daddy can be bittersweet while, at the same time, asking the question—what is love and what is the price to keep it?  Upon the occasion of the 30th birthday of Dennis, celebrity daddy gives boy-now-turned-man, an unanticipated ultimatum that throws their relationship into a turmoil as his term of being the “kept boy” is quickly becoming terminated. But where is the love? The conflict and tension that ensues between the long-term established couple, despite the age differences and generational values, causes a rife. Suspicions and accusations are a few of the bumps and bruises that the pair undergo when a third party seems to be on the rise, from staffer to an object of affection. The hilarious, outrageous, witty romp is also filled with insightful, heartfelt humor.

Saturday, September 16 @ 11:00 am

THE FREEDOM TO MARRY

Directed by Eddie Rosenstein, USA, 2016, 89 mins, Documentary
New England Premiere, CENTERPIECE SELECTION
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The story of how same-sex marriage became a reality after a long and difficult fight for fair is told as a story of passion and stuck-to-it-ness as the father of Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson dedicates almost every waking hour for three decades to the cause, along the way we meet the many other activists, named and unnamed, but all dedicated to the success for the LGBTQ community and nation.

Saturday, September 16 @ 1:15 pm

B&B

Directed by Joe Ahearne. UK, 2016, 87 mins, Thriller
Massachusetts Premiere
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Direct from its world premiere at the London Independent Film Festival, the critically-acclaimed and award-winning Best LGBT Feature at LIFF, B&B is, ostensibly, a simple story centering on a gay male British couple who were refused use of a double bed at a remote countryside Christian-owned and operated bed-and-breakfast. After having won their court case, they return to the guest house to claim their conjugal rights as a same-sex couple. The property, being pretty unoccupied, the couple have some interaction with the father-owner and the owner’s young son. The only other guest at the B&B is a tall, roughed, imposing, non-English speaking Russian. Is he friend or foe? Gay or straight? On a holiday or a mission? Influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, the suspense thriller, with its twists and turns in the plot, even killer instincts, make for a truly entertaining film.

 

Saturday, September 16 @ 3:30 pm

OPEN

Directed by Paul Hart. USA, 2016, 93 mins, Comedy
New England Premiere
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On the eve of their 10-year anniversary a gay couple starts wondering if monogamy is working. Inspired by another couple who are happy with their successful open relationship the monogamous couple draft a set of rules for their newly forged open relationship and then proceed to experiment with mostly calamitous, sometimes poignant and often hilarious results.

Actor Bruce Hart will be in attendance.

 

Saturday, September 16 @ 5:45 pm

SEARCH ENGINES

Directed by Russell Brown, USA, 2016, 101 mins, Drama, Comedy

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It’s time to share the Thanksgiving Day dinner with family and friends but getting everyone to mix and mingle is challenging when so many are addicted to their cell phones. A power outage causes everyone to have to “communicate” in real time and space that’s when the tragedy and the comedy come into play. Stars Connie Stevens and Joely Fisher.

Saturday, September 16 @ 8:00 pm

THIRSTY

Directed by Margo Pelletier, USA, 2016, 97 mins, Drama, Biography, Comedy

Worcester Premiere, CENTERPIECE SELECTION

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The buzz about “Thirsty,” the heavily biographical life story of Scott Townsend, AKA Thirsty Burlington, began almost immediately once it hit the film festival circuit, winning the Audience Award at the Harlem Film Festival, then arriving at the Raindance Film Festival, and many others, from as close as Provincetown to as far away as Germany. It caught the attention of VARIETY and of “Thirsty,” it wrote: “It’s not hard to see the film’s appeal, riffing on musicals as diverse as ‘West Side Story,’ the series ’Glee’ and John Cameron Mitchell’s seminal ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch.’ It draws on. . .Townsend, an extraordinary boy from an ordinary background who grew up to be a gifted Cher impersonator.” It’s not all joy and celebration dealing head-on with harsh realities about sexual identity, gender, LGBTQ issues but it’s an inspirational, uplifting and triumphant in its survival against the odds.

 

Cher impersonator/actor Scott Townsend, producer Lisa Thomas, and writer Laura Kelber will be in attendance.

Saturday, September 16 @ 10:00 pm

GRINDER

Directed by Brandon Ruckdashel, USA, 2016, 89 mins, Drama, Crime
New England Premiere, CENTERPIECE SELECTION
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This modern gay film noir centers around Luke, an innocent and naïve teenager wanting to escape an abusive home in the suburbs while searching for his sexual identity. When he is unsuspectingly lured by a sexy agent on an online dating app into the meat grinder world of the NYC modelling scene, he quickly discovers that nothing is as it seems.

Director Brandon Ruckdashel in attendance.

Sunday, September 17 @ 11:00 am

DIVERSITY RULES: LGBTQ SHORTS “WE ARE EVERYONE AND EVERYWHERE,” 89 mins

Directed by Various Filmmakers, Global, 89 mins
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Sunday, September 17 @ 1:15 pm

FEMINISTA

Directed by Myriam Fougère, Canada, 2017, 60 mins, Documentary
East Coast Premiere
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How about a female road movie?  One that follows a caravan of feminist activists, from various backgrounds and nations, across Europe to explore, discover, connect with native women who identify in their similarities as well as their differences with women’s rights in a philosophic and practical way in the global feminist movement. You’ll come along for the ride and glimpse, in the best of TV Reality style, the women’s journey inside their vans sharing their experiences in real time and everyday life to what’s happening right now to women in countries as diverse as Turkey, Italy, the Balkans and more.  What bonds all these women together is their passion, commitment, dedication, energy, hard work, to make better lives, fair and equal, for the female population worldwide. It’s a film everyone should see.

Receipt of qFLIX Worcester Barbara Gittings International Human Rights Award 2017.

Preceding FEMINISTA:

SIS, Directed by Dimitris Toulias, UK, 2017, 10:29 mins, Short, Drama, World Premiere

Is honesty ultimately the best policy? Indeed, it seems to be in this intense portrait of two estranged sisters separated by their set of beliefs and contrasting lifestyles, religious and transgender, and how they reunite and reconcile their differences.

MOMO. Directed by Yunjoo Chang, South Korea, 2017, 15:44 mins, Short, Drama, East Coast Premiere

Lesbians and cats? Really? Three women, one the current partner, the other the former, become entangled in the dilemma of who, why and how they will keep MOMO, their loveable feline. The simple story turns complex as there is an evaluation and examination by each lesbian considering the meaning of love and life, with MOMO the catalyst. In Korean with English subtitles.

 

Sunday, September 17 @ 3:30 pm

PLAY THE DEVIL

Directed by Maria Govan, Trinadad-Tobago, 2016, 90 mins, Drama, Political, Thriller
New England Premiere
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Set against the backdrop of Trinidad and Tobago’s mystical Carnival, a raw, seductive, sexy, at times, scary, intense portrayal of the collision of age, class, cultural, personal, sexual identity and socioeconomic backgrounds in a relationship between a youth and an older, well-meaning businessman.

Sunday, September 17 @ 5:45 pm

RUSSIAN DOLL

Directed by Ed Gaffney, USA, 2017, 83 mins, Drama
East Coast Premiere
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How about a female-driven, sexy, lesbian, edgy crime thriller—about, what else, but revenge? In a world where everyone has at least one secret, the heroine, an attractive, sexy, blonde, still grief-stricken over the loss of her deceased partner, meets, during a crime investigation, an objection of her affection. The idea of having attraction to another woman throws the smart cop into a feeling of unresolved guilt. While a young woman goes missing, their investigation leads them to the cast and crew of “The Russian Doll,” a production by a local play group. Little do the cops know that there’s a killer in their midst ready to avenge a 30-year-old crime. It’s a revenge drama. It’s a girl power movie. It’d gal cop caper. There’s captives, blood, guts, romance, and crime gone crazy. What else do you need?

Director Ed Gaffney and Executive Producer Suzanne Brockmann will be in attendance with cast and crew: Peter Adams, Vanessa Dunleavy, Cheryl McMahon, Bill Kuhlman, Annie Kerins, Alicia Zipp, Randy Diviniski, Kathy Lague, Mike Lague, Colby Thompson, Andrea Rees, Maya Landi, Linda Goetz, and Erik Johnsen.

Sunday, September 17 @ 8:00 pm

CLOSING NIGHT AWARDS CEREMONY

HANDSOME DEVIL

Director by John Butler, Ireland, 2017, 100 mins, Drama
New England Premiere
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In “Handsome Devil,” Ned and Conor are forced to share a bedroom at their Irish boarding school. The loner and the star athlete at this rugby-crazed school form an unlikely friendship until it’s tested by the authorities. The two roommates, arbitrarily housed together, are very different high schoolers yet they share much more than a room and a school but the status of genuinely being outsiders who, ultimately, must learn to be true to themselves, the most important lesson of all, no matter what the consequences.

 

 

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