TWIST Seattle Queer Film Festival released its 2018 lineup boasting many amazing things. First of all, the film fest opens on National Coming Out Day, October 11, 2018. More than 50% of the films picked this year are directed by women! The Happy Prince, the Opening Night Gala presentation, is Rupert Everett’s directoral debut film. For the first time in 15 years, all four Gala films will be presented on Capitol Hill at the SIFF Cinema Egytpian.
“I am thrilled with this year’s lineup of diverse, powerful and entertaining films and am excited to share the range of stories with the Seattle LGBTQ and film communities,” said Kathleen Mullen, TWIST Festival Director. “Queer cinema continues to be an important and vital way for our community to see ourselves reflected on screen, learn about our history and experience queer life and culture across the globe.”
“There are so many cutting-edge stories that you can only see at queer film festivals and that unique quality is just one of the many things that excites me about being a part of this incredible organization.” said Ben McCarthy, Three Dollar Bill Cinema’s new Executive Director. “I am very excited to be working for an organization that supports and promotes film and media by, for and about the queer community; especially during these turbulent times for LGBTQ people in our country and around the world.”
TWIST features the latest slate of queer cinema from 25 different countries including Kenya, Taiwan, Switzerland, Columbia, Australia, Tonga, Israel and Argentina. The lineup of 64 programs is comprised of 143 narratives, documentaries and short films. The Closing Gala film, Rafiki, a Kenyan film banned in its home country for promoting lesbianism.
Get festival tickets and information here.
THE HAPPY PRINCE
• Thursday, October 11, 7:00 p.m., SIFF Cinema Egyptian
• Director: Rupert Everett; UK/USA, 2018
• Northwest Premiere
• Opening Night Gala Party following the film at Velocity Dance Center
THE HAPPY PRINCE focuses on the last years of the life of the infamous poet, author, and playwright, Oscar Wilde (Dorian Grey, The Importance of Being Earnest). Now suffering from the effects of two years of hard labor, poverty stricken, and alienated from his wife Constance (Emma Watson) and children, Wilde (Rupert Everett, who also wrote and directed) finds his way back to his playboy love Lord Alfred Douglas, better known as Bosie (Colin Morgan); his devoted former lover Robbie (Edwin Thomas); and loyal friend Reggie (Colin Firth).
• Sunday, October 21, 7:00 p.m., SIFF Cinema Egyptian
• Director: Wanuri Kahui; Kenya, 2018
• West Coast Premiere
• Closing Night Gala Party following the film at Queer/Bar
This remarkable achievement by director Wanuri Kahiu—the first LGBTQ Kenyan film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival (in the prestigious Un Certain Regard section)—received a 10-minute standing ovation but has been banned in Kenya for its “clear intent to promote lesbianism.” Closing our festival with a moving, sexy, and unapologetically queer film about fighting for love is a reminder that our work continues. Through Kena and Ziki’s strength, we find the hope we need so much today.
• Sunday, October 14, 7:00 p.m., SIFF Cinema Egyptian
• Directors: Fiona Dawson & Gabriel Silverman; USA; 2018
• Centerpiece Gala Party following the film at Saint John’s
While the ban on transgender Americans serving openly in the military was lifted in 2016, given the current administration’s stance, the futures of these warriors (as well as an estimated 15,500 others) remain uncertain. This timely, powerful documentary debut won the Audience Award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival and opened Frameline42: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival.
• Wednesday, October 17, 7:00 p.m., SIFF Cinema Egyptian
• Director: Jeffrey Walker; Australia; 2018
• Centerpiece Gala Party following the film at Queer/Bar
Jeffrey Walker’s RIOT is a fictional re-telling of the true story of Australia’s gay rights movement in the 1970s. The film chronicles the creation of Sydney’s LGBT Mardi Gras—but more importantly, illustrates why it was needed and vividly brings to life the passionate individuals who were unwavering in the fight for recognition and equality.
• Friday, October 19, 6:45 p.m., AMC Pacific Place
• Director: Ondi Timoner; 2018; USA
Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos of New York’s underground gay male BDSM scene, male nudes, female bodybuilders, and bound-up penises helped fuel the notorious culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Bold and beautiful, this biopic follows the queer artist’s life, from dropping out of college, befriending a young Patti Smith, and moving into the infamous Chelsea Hotel to becoming lovers with art collector Sam Wagstaff. Mapplethorpe lived lavishly (and dangerously) as his fame grew and eventually died of an AIDS-related illness at the age of 42. Award-winning director Ondi Timoner (DIG!, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC) brings life and passion into her first feature debut.
WHEN THE BEAT DROPS
• Sunday, October 14, 4:30 p.m., SIFF Cinema Egyptian
• Director: Jamal Sims; 2018; USA
Category is…bucking realness! In the tradition of PARIS IS BURNING, this energetic, endearing documentary delves into “bucking,” from its origins at historically black colleges in the South, through its evolution at underground queer clubs. Candid conversations with the performers illustrate their dedication and the risks they take. Inspired by the dance routines and pageantry of marching bands, bucking has become what voguing was to the ballroom scene of the late 1980s: a true form of self-expression and freedom.
GEORGE MICHAEL FREEDOM: DIRECTOR’S CUT
• Friday, October 12, 9:30 p.m., SIFF Cinema Egyptian
• Directors: George Michael & David Austin; 2017; UK/US
• US Premiere
“Careless Whisper,” “Faith,” “I Want Your Sex,” and, of course, “Freedom! ‘90” are just a few highlights from George Michael’s career, cut short by his death at age 53. Capturing his dreams, his life, and his music, this frank and honest documentary takes us through his dedication to his art, his coming out, his court case against Sony Music, and the story of his love for partner Anselmo Feleppa, who died of an AIDS-related illness.
JULES OF LIGHT AND DARK
• Saturday, October 20, 7:00 p.m., AMC Pacific Place
• Director: Daniel Laabs; 2018; USA
• West Coast Premiere
Stunning cinematography highlights the beauty of rural Texas, where college girlfriends Maya and Jules are trying to figure out where their lives are headed. After a rave and a devastating car accident, Maya meets Freddy, an older, closeted gay man, and an unlikely friendship forms through his simple act of kindness.
THE COMING OUT BALL MOVIE
• Sunday, October 21, Noon, AMC Pacific Place
• Director: Sue Thomson; 2018; Australia
• West Coast Premiere
Go down under in this grand tribute to LGBTQI seniors as they are invited to a celebratory ball in their honor during the contentious marriage equality debate in Australia. Often forced back into the closet in care facilities—or simply assumed to be heterosexual after they turn grey—this cast of wildly colorful characters share their fascinating life stories with insight and humor.
#20GAYTEEN: YOUTH SHORTS
• Friday, October 19, 5:00 p.m., AMC Pacific Place
Whether you’re in the city or the country, whether you’re rich or poor, we all share the experience of growing up queer. See what it looks like to be a young queer coming of age in 2018 in this collection of short films.
50 YEARS OF FABULOUS
• Saturday, October 20, 7:00 p.m., AMC Pacific Place
• Director: Jethro Patalinghug; USA; 2018
The Imperial Council, founded in San Francisco in 1965, is one of the oldest, most influential LGBTQ organizations in the world, played a pivotal role in advocating for LGBTQ rights and shaping gay culture. In 50 YEARS OF FABULOUS, writer-director Jethro Patalinghug documents the historical evolution of the Imperial Council, from its mid-’60s inception to today’s struggle to find relevance amid social progress and a newly empowered political movement committed to curtailing a half century of civil rights achievements.
• Saturday, October 20, 2:30 p.m., AMC Pacific Place
• Directors: Ben Dobyns & L. Gabriel Gonda; 2018; USA
In this open-source series filmed in Seattle, magic is real—and it’s getting stronger. Some fear it; others risk their lives for it. Our heroine Whit enlists the help of “strowlers” (who want to keep magic free) to protect a charmed young girl. Meanwhile, her girlfriend Amanda is developing a magic-hunting device for the government! Can true love survive such unlikely circumstances? Filmmakers and fans worldwide have contributed to this unique cinematic universe, told from the point of view of people resisting the powerful forces that want to limit free self-expression. Includes a panel discussion on open-source series and the worldwide generation of them.
BUILDING EMPATHY THROUGH INNOVATION: VIRTUAL REALITY STORYTELLING PANEL
• Sunday, October 14, 2:15 p.m., Northwest Film Forum
• Panel with Pride Foundation and Oculus VR for Good
This informative and exciting panel will discuss how we are utilizing VR to reshape the narratives about our community and foster dialogue that will lead to a more inclusive world.
AUTHENTICALLY US a project of Oculus VR for Good, in partnership with filmmaker Jesse Ayala of Fovrth Studios and the Pride Foundation.
Panelists include: Paula Cuneo, Partner & Strategic Marketing Director, Oculus; Jeremiah J. Allen, Project Director, Pride Foundation; and Isyss Honnen, Community Engagement Coordinator, Pride Foundation.
AUTHENTICALLY US: STORIES FROM THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY
• Sunday, October 14, Noon – 5:00 p.m., Northwest Film Forum
Put on an Oculus VR headset and meet this diverse group of transgender and gender-diverse people using interactive virtual reality (VR) to tell their stories.
HOW TO BE A TRANS ALLY
• Tuesday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Northwest Film Forum
Are you new to transgender concepts? Want to learn how to be a good ally? Join us for BEAUTY, a heartwarming documentary short about trans youth and their parents, and then stick around for a discussion with representatives from Gender Diversity, a local organization that provides education about gender-inclusive schools, support groups for families, and the Gender Odyssey conferences. Bring all your questions to this educational evening and come away with a working vocabulary and a more solid understanding of how to be supportive of the trans and gender-nonconforming communities.
About TWIST Seattle Queer Film Festival
Started as the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in October 1996, TWIST: the Seattle Queer Film Festival has grown into the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, gaining industry and audience recognition for showcasing the latest and greatest in queer film, from major motion picture premieres to emerging talent. An important venue in the Seattle film scene, the festival provides unique opportunities for visiting and local filmmakers to engage and entertain the Greater Seattle region’s LGBTQ and allied community. For more information, visit https://threedollarbillcinema.org/twist
About Three Dollar Bill Cinema
Three Dollar Bill Cinema is a nonprofit arts organization that provides access to films by, for, and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and a forum for LGBTQ filmmakers to share and discuss their work with audiences. Annual programs include TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival, Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival, Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema, and Reel Queer Youth. For more information, visit https://threedollarbillcinema.org