The 27th annual Fresno Reel Pride LGBTQ+ Film Festival will feature more than 50 films from around the world. The festival – scheduled to run from Wednesday, Sept. 21, to Sunday, Sept. 25 – is a collection of comedies, dramas, short films and documentaries.
“It is our goal to entertain, enlighten and build valuable bridges of understanding, support and acceptance within the LGBTQ+ communities,” says Kathleen Arambula-Reyna, Fresno Reel Pride’s board president. “The films presented at this year’s festival will address not just the comedic and romantic whims of our invited artists, they will also touch upon issues of need within our community.”
Kicking off the festival is “Pushing Dead,” scheduled to be shown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. James Roday (“Psych”) and Danny Glover (“Lethal Weapon”) star.
Also on the festival schedule is the documentary “Upstairs Inferno.” It looks at the 1973 fire set by an arsonist at the Up Stairs Lounge, a gay bar located on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans, that killed 32 people. Until recently, it was the deadliest single event to affect the gay community in U.S. history.
“Audiences should expect to see a balance between investigative reporting and very intimate profiles of people lost or affected by the tragedy. The victims are more than statistics, more than names in a newspaper clipping or even names on a plaque,” says director Robert L. Camina. “These were unfinished lives tragically cut short by a senseless act.
“The victims and their families and friends left to cope with the aftermath deserved better treatment than what they got.”
Movies will be screened at the Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave.; VISTA Theatre, 1296 N. Wishon Ave.; and Mia Cuppa Caffe, 620E. Olive Ave.
For more information and a complete schedule of this year’s films, visit ReelPride.com.
Here are the centerpiece films for the festival:
Wednesday, Sept 21
“Pushing Dead,” 7:30 p.m. Tower Theatre: Dan has been dealing with being HIV positive for 22 years. His life changes when his medical coverage is suspended.
Thursday, Sept 22
“BearCity 3,” 7:15 p.m. Tower Theatre: A couple faces a battle between responsibilities and being over protective.
“Girl Gets Girl,” 8 p.m. VISTA Theater: After getting caught cheating by her girlfriend, a woman’s life goes into a spiral.
Friday, Sept. 23
“Summertime,” 7:20 p.m. VISTA Theater: A farmer’s daughter moves to Paris to gain financial independence.
“Akron,” 7:30 p.m., Tower Theatre: Love is threatened by events of the past.
Saturday, Sept 24
“Retake,” noon, VISTA Theater: A prostitute tries to uncover the secrets of the middle-aged man who hired him.
“Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America,” 5 p.m., Mia Cuppa Caffe: Documentary on one man’s fight for justice.
“Upstairs Inferno,” 5:15 p.m., Tower Theatre: Documents the 1973 Up Stairs Lounge arson.
“Suicide Kale,” 7:30 p.m. Tower Theatre: Anonymous suicide note challenges what two couples know about each other.
“Front Cover,” 9 p.m., VISTA Theatre: New York City fashion stylist rejects his traditional Asian upbringing.
Sunday, Sept. 25
“Political Animals,” 1 p.m. Tower Theatre: A look at the gay rights movement through the eyes of four elected women.
“Other People,” 7:30 p.m., Tower Theatre: A struggling New York City comedy writer moves to Sacramento to help his sick mother.