SAN DIEGO – “Meth Head” and “Raid Of The Rainbow Lounge” dominated the 2013 FilmOut LGBT Film Festival awards this year, along with audience-favorite "I Do."
The film festival, which ran from May 29 through June 2 at the Birch North Park Theatre, attracted record attendance and box office revenue, according to organizers.
“Meth Head,” a gritty and brutally honest movie about the scourge of meth addiction, won six total awards:
• Best Narrative Feature
• Best Director for Jane Clark
• Best Screenplay for Jane Clark
• Best Actor in a Feature Film for Lukas Haas
• Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Blake Berris
• Best Actress in Supporting Role for Necar Zadegan
Filmmaker Jane Clark said she was blown away by the six awards.
"I am truly humbled by the gift of honors that FilmOut has bestowed on me, our film, and the amazing actors who gave their trust, commitment and incredibly layered performances," she said. "We all gave the best of ourselves to this labor of love. To have that love returned six-fold reaffirms that the hard times and struggles are worth it."
“Raid Of The Rainbow Lounge” was named Best Documentary for the compelling story about the police brutality during a 2009 police raid at a gay bar in Fort Worth, Texas, which ironically came on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that launched the modern gay rights movement. The documentary showed that the attempted cover-up by police became unraveled, and the real story emerged as witness history of the event was told. In the end, the police raid resulted in a city that rallied behind the LGBT community and Fort Worth emerged as a city that became inclusive of all its citizens.
Director Robert L. Camina also won the Freedom Award, presented by the festival and programming directors, to movies that inspire our community or make a profound difference in our lives.
Camina, reached live on Facebook, reacted to the news with pure joy.
"I am completely in shock! I am very grateful for the awards," Camina said. "I had always hoped 'Raid Of The Rainbow Lounge' would help inspire people to create change and to fight for the freedoms we lack.
"We were up against AMAZING documentaries!" he added. "I'm humbled by the Best Documentary award. Thank you to everyone who thought we were deserving of both awards."
The Audience Awards showed a lot of love to “I Do,” “Out In The Dark” and “G.B.F.”
“I Do,” a very timely movie about same-gender marriage and LGBT immigration issues, won Audience Awards for Best Narrative Feature (directed by Glenn Gaylord) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jamie Lynn-Sigler). “I Do” also won a Festival Award for Best Screenplay (David W. Ross, who shared the award with Jane Clark of “Meth Head”).
Gaylord said he has been overwhelmed by the support that "I Do" is getting from audiences.
"We are all so grateful to FilmOut San Diego and to the audience for the awards," he said. "This is going to sound ridiculously cheesy, but it really comes from my heart when I say that the connection we're having with audiences from all over the world is extremely gratifying. I'm so proud of this film and hope that it can play a part in changing hearts and minds and in galvanizing those who already believe in equal rights.
Ross, who also starred in the movie that he wrote, was happy that San Diego audiences loved "I Do."
"Thank you to everyone who came out and supported 'I Do,' the festival and gay cinema. We can only do what we do because of you and I'm thrilled "I Do' was recognized in this way. As a writer I can't believe 'I Do' is out on iTunes and VOD the very same month as DOMA is being ruled on," Ross said. "Congratulations to all the winners as I know what an uphill battle filmmaking can be but our stories must be told."
"Out In The Dark," made in Israel and the Palestinian territories, was named Best International Feature. Writer-director Michael Mayer also collected an Audience Award for Best First Narrative Feature. The riveting film is about a taboo gay love story between a Palestinian student and an Israeli lawyer, capturing all the tensions of Middle East conflict between two societies that have stark differences not only politically and religiously but also in regards to LGBT rights.
Mayer, who was attending an Outfest function Tuesday night, told FilmOut programming director Michael McQuiggan that he was excited and grateful for the award. He said Glenn Gaylord, the director of "I Do," was also at the function and relayed how "psyched" they were to win the awards.
"G.B.F.," the popular opening night selection, hauled in Audience Awards for Best Comedy Feature (director Darren Stein) and Best Screenplay (George Northy) and a Festival Award for Best Soundtrack (Dan Arriaga and Evan Stein).
Stephen Israel, who produced both "G.B.F." and "I Do," said it was a "great honor" to have both his movies recognized with awards.
"San Diego's a great festival - and one of the first to recognize 'Meth Head,' for which they should be congratulated, as it's an important film that deals with a tough subject and has been unfortunately overlooked thus far," the ever gracious Israel said.
McQuiggan called the 2013 "a huge hit with audiences" and said the feedback from patrons was "overwhelmingly positive."
2013 FilmOut Festival Awards
Lifetime Achievement – Divine
Best Narrative Feature – Jane Clark, “Meth Head”
Best Screenplay – TIE: David W. Ross, “I Do” and John W. McLaughlin, "Meth Head"
Best Actor in a Feature Film – Lukas Haas, “Meth Head”
Best Actress in a Feature Film – Nicola Correia-Damude, “Margarita”
Best Actor in Supporting Role – Blake Berris, “Meth Head”
Best Actress in Supporting Role – Necar Zadegan, “Meth Head”
Best International Feature – “Out In The Dark,” Michael Mayer
Best Overall Short Film – “Adults Only,” Michael J. Saul
Best Short Film Male – “Sabbatical,” Glenn Kiser
Best Short Film Female – “Polaroid Girl,” April Maxey
Best International Short Film – “Undress Me,” Victor Lindgren
Best Cinematography – Michael Marius Pessah, “Joshua Tree 1951: A Portrait Of James Dean”
Best Documentary – Robert L. Camina, “Raid Of The Rainbow Lounge”
Best Direction – Jane Clark, “Meth Head”
Best Soundtrack – Dan Arriaga and Evan Stein, “G.B.F.”
2013 FilmOut Audience Awards
Best Narrative Feature – “I Do,” Glenn Gaylord
Best First Narrative Feature – “Out In The Dark,” Michael Mayer
Best Screenplay – George Northy, “G.B.F.”
Best Overall Short Film – “Dirty Talk,” Jeff Sumner
Best Short Film Male – “Divine Decadence Of Cheesecake,” Peter Savieri
Best Short Film Female – “T Is For Twig,” Judson Scott
Best Actor in a Feature Film – BooBoo Stewart, “White Frog”
Best Actress in a Feature Film – Lily Hall, “Submerge”
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Michael Aloni, “Out In The Dark”
Best Actress in Supporting Role – Jamie Lynn-Sigler, “I Do”
Best International Film – Xavier Villaverde, “Angels Of Sex”
Best Comedy Feature – Darren Stein, “G.B.F.”
Best Documentary – Jeffrey Schwarz, “I Am Divine”
2013 FilmOut Programming Awards
The Festival and Programming Directors are responsible for these awards:
Freedom Award – Robert L. Camina, “Raid Of The Rainbow Lounge”
Outstanding Emerging Talent – Dave Scala, “Grotto”
Outstanding Artistic Achievement – Kai Staenicke, “Cold Star” and “It’s Consuming Me”
Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at [email protected], @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.