SAN DIEGO – It’s Opening Night for FilmOut San Diego’s 15th annual LGBT Film Festival, which runs today through Sunday at historical Birch North Park Theatre.
Director Darren Stein and cast members from the Opening Night movie “G.B.F.” will be in attendance when the comedy is shown at 7:30 tonight along with two short films, director Dave Scala's "Grotto" and director Douglas Horn's “Coffee & Pie.”
"G.B.F." (standing for Gay Best Friend) will be making its West Coast premiere in San Diego. Think "Glee" without the musical numbers, but more edgy and more outrageous. "Will and Grace" scene-stealer Megan Mullally has a supporting role as the mother of a gay teenager who is outed. Also look for Jonathan Silverman as Mr. Daniels.
This very funny movie is an uplifting tale about a teenage boy who is outed by his classmates but becomes the object of attention by three prom queen candidates who want to gain an edge. Michael J. Willet plays Tanner, the outed teen, and Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen and Xosha Roquemore portray the three queen wannabes.
Before the movies are shown tonight, San Diego City Council president Todd Gloria will present FilmOut San Diego a proclamation.
“We are honored that Todd Gloria will present FilmOutSan Diego with a proclamation making May 29th FilmOut San Diego Day - to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of the LGBT Film Festival,” said Michael McQuiggan, the longtime programming director for FilmOut.
After an audience Q&A session with the “G.B.F.” filmmakers, the Opening Night Party will commence from 10 pm to midnight at the Claire de Lune Sunset Temple, an Art Deco-style ballroom at 3911 Kansas St., which is directly across University Avenue from the Birch.
“The cast/filmmakers of ‘G.B.F.’ and ‘Grotto’ will be in attendance for the Opening Night film and after-party,” McQuiggan said. “Mingle with them as well as filmmakers from some of the other films showing over the five-day festival.”
The Opening Night party will be catered by 12 San Diego restaurants that support FilmOut, and alcohol will be provided by liquor sponsors Smirnoff and Stella Artois.
Tickets are only $25 for the entire Opening Night evening. Festival tickets are on sale at the FilmOut San Diego website.
"Currently, ticket sales for FilmOut San Diego's 2013 festival are 75% higher than presales at the same time in 2012," said Kaleb James, festival director. "In particular, our opening night film, 'G.B.F.,' the James Franco-directed 'Interior. Leather Bar.' and our closing night film, 'I Am Divine,' are leading in sales and advanced purchase of tickets are strongly recommended for those films."
The LGBT Film Festival will present 35 feature films and shorts. Festival highlights include one world premiere, two U.S. premieres, 12 West Coast premieres and two California premieres. The quality of film submissions this year was spectacular, McQuiggan said, noting that more than 275 films were submitted for consideration.
The festival closes on Sunday, June 2, with the screening of director Jeffrey Schwarz's “I Am Divine,” which is getting its California premiere in San Diego. The biographical portrait of the most famous drag superstar includes interviews with Divine's muse, John Waters, and the legion of cult legends who worked with him, ranging from Ricki Lake to Mink Stole.
FilmOut will honor the late Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, with a posthumous award after the screening of "I Am Divine."
"The Closing Night Party, from 9 to 10:30 pm, will be held in the upper lobby of the Birch North Park Theatre's in-house restaurant/bar West Coast Tavern," McQuiggan said. "'I Am Divine' is the Closing Night film and complimentary and drink specials along with hors d'ouevres will be provided all for the low price of $15."
SHOWING ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 29
Time: 7:30 pm - OPENING NIGHT
Co-presented by CICA
“G.B.F.” (2013), directed by Darren Stein, 94 minutes, U.S.
West Coast premiere
Social warfare erupts in this edgy, outrageous comedy set in a suburban high school when the school’s powerful “Clique Queens” (Sasha Pieterse, Andrea Bowen, Xosha Roquemore) try to turn Tanner (Michael J. Willett) and Brent (Paul Iacono), two closeted gay teenagers, into the must-have social accessory of the year: The Gay Best Friend [“G.B.F.”]. As the girls fight for the edge to make them most popular, the boys deal with dysfunctional parents, down-low jocks and horny Mormons, culminating in a school prom that will blow the top off their town. With Megan Mullally, Natasha Lyonne, Rebecca Gayheart and Jonathan Silverman.
* Shown with “Grotto” (2012), directed by Dave Scala, 7 minutes, U.S.
West Coast premiere
A 20-year-old boy returns to his hometown after a year of big changes away at school.
* Shown with “Coffee & Pie” (2011), directed by Douglas Horn, 15 minutes, U.S.
An anti-romantic comedy about a lesbian couple who must come to terms with the fact that theirs is a love that could never be.
Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.