Saturday, October 22, 2011

FilmOut’s Attendance Remains Low

Organizers Show Old Movies Instead of New Gay Films

story and photo by LEO E. LAURENCE, J.D.

Copyright © 2011 by Leo E. Laurence, J.D. • All rights reserved

PHOTO: Free pizzas were served at the one-day marathon screening of six horror movies October 8 by FilmOut-San Diego.

Many of San Diego’s ethnic communities have their own film festivals: the Latino Film Festival shows mostly films by or about Latinos, and similarly for the Asian, Africal-American and Jewish communities.
We might, therefore, expect the Gay festival — called FilmOut-San Diego, to screen Gay and Lesbian films. Wrong.  Very few are Gay movies, even during its annual extravaganza, which took place this year in August.
FilmOut primarily screens classic movies from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. Maybe its name should be changed to the Classic Film Festival.
Some believe the lack of Gay movies may be the reason for its declining attendance. Only about 30 attended the recent one-day marathon showing of six horror movies (none were Gay) from noon to midnight on October 8. But, the low attendance didn’t seem to bother Kaleb James, who was running the one-day event.
“We do this more as a community service,” he rationalized while discussing the low attendance.
He also believed that the low attendance at the annual, FilmOut one-week festival in August was because it was so warm outside and “people are going to the beach.” But, tourists regularly go to the beach, not people who live and work here. More Gay films might help.
By moving their annual film festival to the spring, as James suggested, they would run into funding and sponsorship competition with the hugely popular Latino Film Festival.
On November 9, FilmOut will screen the controversial 1980 movie Cruising starring Al Pacino. Why would they choose a movie that glorifies the killing of Gays, was picketed by Gay rights groups while it was being filmed, and was reportedly responsible for numerous murders after it originally opened?
On December 14, FilmOut will screen the popular Rent.
But, again, no Gay movies?

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