- From "Hollywood to Dollywood."
For over a decade, the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival, a cinematic celebration of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered communities, has taken place at venues around the city, including a now-shuttered Southside art theatre. It returns this weekend to its now-comfy homes at the IUPUI Campus Center and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The weekend-long festival kicks off Friday night with the documentary Hollywood to Dollywood, which follows twin brothers Gary and Larry Lane as they travel cross-country to personally deliver their screenplay into the hands of their idol, Dolly Parton. Both brothers experience personal revelations as they search for acceptance and freedom from bigotry. The Lane brothers will be in Indy Friday night, first for the screening at The Toby, then for a premiere party at Talbott Street later in the night.
There's something for everyone as the Fest heads into its two full days of screenings, according to festival director Kevin Kelly: "Ultimately, we are a platform for diversity. We want to present as many different kinds of films that we possibly can."
Longhorns, an '80s comedy throwback written and directed by Indiana native David Lewis, concerns a frat boy whose mutual JO sessions with his buddies lead to something more serious. Going Down To La-La Land follows an aspiring actor in Hollywood who finds himself being pimped out as a high-class escort to movie stars.
The titular character in the The Love Patient is a cocky, fast-talking ad executive who decides that the best way to regain an estranged boyfriend is to announce that he has cancer. The romantic lesbian comedy Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together mixes a few musical numbers into a story about sexual tension between two roommates. And the fast-moving Leave It On the Floor takes inspiration from voguing classic Paris is Burning in telling its tale of a ballroom dance competition.
It's not all about entertainment, according to Kelly: "The biggest hot button issue for our festival this year was bullying, especially since we are raising money for the Indiana Youth Group. We are playing a short film called Teach Your Children, narrated by Lily Tomlin, which needs to be seen by everyone."
Other documentaries on the schedule include This Is What Love in Action Looks Like, concerning a gay teen's public opposition to an ex-gay ministry; Question One, about a ballot initiative that overturned same-sex marriage in Maine; and Kink Crusaders, which goes behind the scenes and into the dungeons of the International Mr. Leather Competition.
Not that there's anything wrong with good old cinematic escapism, says Kelly: "People love to escape into a movie and forget about their bills, their work, or whatever else might be bothering them. Not everything has to be an issue. It doesn't always have to be so political."
Kelly notes that the film festival's lineup is ultimately shaped by festival submissions.
"We're at the mercy of the filmmakers. Obviously these are issues that concern us and are extremely relevant."
For tickets, venue information, and a full schedule of the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival, visit www.indylgbtfilmfest.com.