Dallas International Film Fest gets really gay — including me on the dais

HWMFTY_Halley Feiffer - Times Square

The Dallas International Film Festival continues today (and through Sunday), following a spate of uber-gay films for the past few days, including Ash Christian’s Petunia and Michael Urie’s He’s Way More Famous Than You, pictured, just last night. Tonight gets even gayer — though they are mostly competing with each other. You can start with Laurence Anyways at 1 p.m., a sort of Wuthering Heights with a trans character, then you can hop over to Urie’s Famous at 4 p.m. Then it starts to get messy.

The screening of C.O.G., based on the writing of David Sedaris, starts at 7 p.m.; at the same time, Cry screens, with local actors like Denise Lee and honorary Dallasite Del Shores featured; then God Loves Uganda, a documentary about all the anti-gay legislation (promoted by American fundamentalists) in the African nation at 7:15 p.m. All are worth a look, but you’ll have to pick!

And you can learn even more about two more movies just before 7. From about 6 to 7 p.m., I’ll be interviewing the filmmakers with two of the hotly discussed films at this year’s fest: The Dirties and Diving Normal. Best of all? Neither film screens until 10 p.m., so you can attend the interviews (conducted on the stage outside the Magnolia Theater in the West Village, between it and Mi Cocina), see one of the 7 p.m. films and then make one of the others.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gay filmmakers need help funding films

Ash Christian, the Texas-bred filmmaker who recently debuted his latest underground comedy, Mangus!, at the Dallas International Film Festival, could use your help. His third film as a director is already in the can, but he has one as a producer that still needs help getting off the ground. Continental is a documentary about New York’s Continental Baths, the gay bathhouse where Better Midler and Barry Manilow got their starts. (You can see a video of Bette performing there in 1971 by clicking here.) The film is being directed by documentarian Malcolm Ingram, whom we have also written about.

“We are raising our modest production budget for the documentary via Kickstarter and private equity and I genuinely believe this is an important story to be told while the players are still alive and wanting to talk.” Christian says. “It is very important that we reach our goal in a timely fashion or we don’t get any of the funds already donated.” He’d also accept a bigger private equity investment from someone with the bucks, but even a $10 donation would be appreciated.

You can donate by clicking here.

Ash isn’t the only filmmaker trying to raise money this way for a documentary. Quentin Lee, whose charming romantic comedy The People I’ve Slept With played at the Asian Film Festival of Dallas last year, is trying to raise $3,800 to complete his documentary short,  A Woman Called Canyon Sam, about America’s first Asian American lesbian activist. He’s also using Kickstart to get the money flowing.

You can see the trailer below, or donate by going here.

A Woman Named Canyon Sam Kickstarter Campaign from People Pictures on Vimeo.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gay Texan may be last villain on 'Law & Order'

Ash Christian
Ash Christian

It was a bit stunning earlier this month when NBC announced unceremoniously it was canceling “Law & Order” after an amazing, record-tying 20 seasons as the longest-running primetime drama series, along with “Gunsmoke.” Well, the final guy to die on “Gunsmoke” was famously Gary Busey; it may be that the final bad guy ever on “L&O” will be Ash Christian.

Ash is an actor and director who was born and raised in Paris, Texas. He debuted with “Fat Girls,” which was a festival hit, and is in post on his second directorial effort, “Mangus and, if the episode plays out as hoped, he could also be one of the final actors to appear on “L&O.”

I’ll be TiVo’ing it. Maybe Ash could become the next Busey … you know, with an Oscar nomination, not horrific mug shots and embarrassing character parts into his dotage.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones