More gay stuff at the Asian Film Festival

The Asian Film Festival continues throughout the week, and there’s even more gay content now that I’ve had a chance to review more of the films.

Each of the shorts blocks — 1, which plays Monday at 4:05 p.m.; 2, which plays Tuesday at 6:10 p.m.; and 3, which runs Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. — have films with gay storylines. In 1, it’s between one of the couples in the short Tu & Eu, about how couples relate to one another. In 2, a young woman flirts with a female yoga instructor in Savasana, though not all is what it seems. But the big gay short is A Woman Called Canyon Sam, a documentary about one of the first lesbian Asian activists in America. (I’m glad about the last one, because the director, Quentin Lee, was still looking for funding a few months ago, which we wrote about.)

The centerpiece of the gay content — aside from the experiemental film The Image Threads, which I wrote about last week — is I Am, a documentary about being gay in Indian culture. “Gay marriages are completely legal in India,” remarks the narrator, who interviews several families and how they deal with having gay and lesbian sons and daughters. It’s an unusual insight into how different cultures deal with issues of homosexuality.

I Am plays tonight at 7:30 at the Magnolia Theatre, where all films in fest screen.

—  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