‘Rainbow Lounge’ documentary to screen at UNT film fest Saturday

It’s been nearly a year since North Texas filmmaker Robert L. Camina first screened his documentary feature Raid of the Rainbow Lounge for Texas audiences. The 103-minute documentary, narrated by out TV star Meredith Baxter, chronicles the raid by TABC and Fort Worth police on the newly opened gay club, which happened to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the raid of the Stonewall Inn, which sparked the modern gay-rights movement.

Along the way, the film has been back a few times to Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as 20 film festivals (some gay, some mainstream), winning awards in the process: Audience Choice awards in Fort Worth, Cincinnati and Indianapolis; Best GLBT Film from the Breckenridge Festival of Film, the Platinum Reel Award from the Nevada International Film Festival and a host of others. In addition, it has been shown at special screenings for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the North District of Texas and at the request of the U.S. State Department.

Now, it’s latest local screening — and who knows, perhaps final — will be at UNT on the Square in Denton. Camina will be in attendance at the screening, which will take place Saturday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. on the campus of the university. You can get tickets at the festival’s website. ThinLineFilmFest.com.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

USA Film Fest opens with history of AIDS, Q&A

This week, I reviewed How to Survive a Plague, a fascinating and emotional documentary from journo-turned-filmmaker David France about the early days of the AIDS crisis, especially as it relates to the founding of ACT-UP. The screening kicks off this year’s 42nd annual USA Film Festival.

David France, pictured, will be in attendance, and yours truly will be moderating the question and answer session immediately following it, and bring your questions for David!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

“Wise Kids” kicks of Q Cinema’s spring series

Q Cinema’s spring multi-day festival is just around the corner, but you can get a taste of queer cinema with The Wise Kids, February’s monthly screening in Fort Worth, in Wednesday.

The coming-of-age comedy-drama — about three Church kids confronting one’s homosexuality — was an award-winner at the gay OutFest film festival last year. It’s a savvy look at Christianity confronting the real world. Tickets are $10. The screening is at Four Day Weekend Theatre at 312 Houston St. in Cowtown, starting at 8 p.m.

The other films and dates in the spring series are:

• Tomboy on March 28

Kawa on April 25.

For more information, visit QCinema.org.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Arson spree in L.A. narrowly misses “Bite Marks” actor and SMU alum Benjamin Lutz

Lutz on the set of 'Bite Marks'

After director Mark Bessenger posted on Facebook that Benjamin Lutz was almost a victim of the recent arson attacks in Los Angeles, I contacted the former Plano resident and SMU alum to see just what happened. He responded with the good news that he’s OK, but described how it went down.

“Yes, my parking garage was one of the ones hit by the arsonist,” he said. “It was on New Year’s Eve and I was at my apartment getting ready for a dinner party.  I heard people yelling ‘fire,’ and sure enough the car next to mine was set on fire. I was lucky enough to move my car in time and the fire didn’t spread to my apartment. Sadly, three other cars and the side of the building didn’t make it. It was a weird holiday and I couldn’t get back in my apartment for a long while. I did not lose my car, but some of my friends mistook the info as my car being blown up.”

Lutz starred in the 2011 indie horror flick Bite Marks which we featured in our coverage of the Fears for Queers film festival and its recent DVD release. The perp was arrested on Monday and will appear in court today.

Scary stuff.

UPDATE: Soon after posting this, I learned that former Dallas Voice writer Alonso Duralde and his partner Dave White were directly affected by the arsonist as their two cars were firebombed at their West Hollywood complex. A fund has been set up to help cover repairs and replacement of their vehicles (one was not insured). To contribute, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

“Houston, We Have a Problem” tonight at Avant Garden

Judy Garlow

Judy Garlow, director of the short comedy Connect

As excited as I am about the Sundance Theater opening and Houston, once again, becoming a two art-house city it’s important to remember that real independent films rarely, if ever, make it to the big chain art houses. If you, like me, enjoy the gamble of watching truly indie film (with the inherent risk of watching utter dreck or divine transience) you’ll want want to check out Houston, We Have a Problem tonight at Avant Garden (411 Westhiemer) starting at 9 pm.

Tonight’s monthly film festival includes the usual mix of shorts, documentaries and trailers and the opportunity to talk with their creators. Scheduled films include Max Xandaux May by Rachel Estrada, Connect by Judy Garlow and a sneak peak at Mike James’ new thriller Jes’us.

There’s no charge for the event and Avant Garden is featuring $2 drink specials for attendees.

—  admin

Inaugural Oak Cliff Film Festival announced

Aviation Cinemas, the company who purchased the Texas Theatre, just announced their plans for the first Oak Cliff Film Festival, a fest that  celebrates “brave and independent filmmaking of all stripes.” The OCFF is set to happen next summer throughout various venues in the OC. Texas Theatre director Jason Reimer will lead the acquisitions team along with Blake Ethridge, formerly with Fantastic Fest.

While the plan is to give emphasis to Texas filmmakers, the goal is to become a viable international festival. Makes sense and Oak Cliff is an easy sell. With such host venues like The Kessler, Texas Theatre, The Belmont and Bishop Arts Theater, the festival will play in all renovated spots in the area. Already, this isn’t your typical festival.

The projected dates for the OCFF is June 14–17, 2012. Want your film to be a part of it? Submissions open here Nov. 7.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Local filmmaker Shawn Ewert previews his new feature film ‘Sacrament’ with teaser

Dallas queer filmmaker Shawn Ewert, who co-founded the Fears For Queers film festival, is in the process of working on his newest horror flick, Sacrament. He previewed the movie with this teaser at the festival. At the same time, he and his company Right Left Turn Productions are also inviting people to contribute to the making of the film with donations. Basically, offer them some scratch and you could have a credit in a movie. How often does that happen?

They are about to release an extended clip after so many views of the one below. I wouldn’t say this is NSFW, but if you’re not that much into blood and cannibalism at the dinner table, well, maybe watch at home. Sacrament is the first feature-length film by Ewert and his company.

Oh yeah, what’s the movie about? Well, here’s the synopsis from RLTP:

Leaving work and school behind them for a weekend of hedonism, seven friends take a trip down to South Padre, Texas to relax and party it up. A breakdown lands them square in the rhinestone jewel of the bible-belt, Middle Spring during a tent revival. Middle Spring is known for their famous barbecue, and for their fervent preacher Isaac Renneker.

Our friends soon find themselves trapped in this town of food and faith. Every second that ticks by blurs the line between the two. With Renneker’s fire and brimstone whipping the town into a righteous whirlwind, the friends have to stick together to keep from winding up at the altar, or on the menu.

Watch the teaser below.

—  Rich Lopez

QLive’s Open Mic Night tonight in Fort Worth

Step on up to the microphone

You should be well aware of QCinema and their LGBT film festival out in Fort Worth. Well they’ve started an offshoot dedicated to live performances with QLive! And for the funny folk, tonight is all about them.

QLive’s Open Mic Night is for budding comedians and each one has five minutes to make an impression. It’s not like open mike for all kinds of entertainment, so don’t head there with your guitar, tambourine and dreams of becoming Bob Dylan. Not gonna happen this evening.

DEETS: Percussions,426 S. Jennings Ave., Fort Worth. 10 p.m. QCinema.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Fears For Queers 2 Film Festival announces date and is now open to submissions


Today we received the press release announcing the second Fears for Queers film fest. Last year, the event kind of took us by surprise, but we’re on it now. Local filmmaker Shawn Ewert and his production company Right Left Turn Productions have been keeping us in the loop as the event nears.

But first, they need more films and the call for submissions has officially been placed. Any budding or established LGBT filmmakers are encouraged to submit their short and feature films for inclusion. And there’s no cost to submit. Score!

Click the thumbnail to read the official press release. Fears for Queers is also presented by DOA Blood Bath Entertainment and is scheduled for June 25 at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. Proceeds from the event will benefit Youth First Texas.

 

—  Rich Lopez

Marlon Riggs Film Festival continues this weekend

Back in black

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs changed the face of black gay America with his monumental film Tongues Untied. The 1989 documentary was controversial, but his legacy endured. Two decades later, the Fahari Arts Institute strives to keep Riggs relevant — especially to a younger audience.

“Youth is a big focus this year,” says arts director Harold Steward. “We are encouraging people to bring their families to the festival.”

The Marlon Riggs Film Festival returns for a second year on Feb. 18. The festival is presented in association with Black Cinematheque, Q-Roc TV and the  South Dallas Cultural Center as well as with the cooperation of the United Black Ellument and AIDS Arms.

Read the entire article here.

—  Rich Lopez