Alabama Moving Image Association (AMIA), the organization that produces the nationally recognized Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, proudly announces the line up for this year’s Birmingham SHOUT Film Festival. The one day celebration of gay and lesbian films will take place on March 29, 2008 at WorkPlay, located at 500 23rd Street South.
SHOUT will once again showcase narrative and documentary features in WorkPlay’s soundstage. This year’s one day festival will be a concentrated effort to present the very best in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender films. This year’s festival features the freshest line up in SHOUT history. CHASING THE DEVIL will be making its world premiere in Birmingham while BI THE WAY and SEX POSITIVE premiered at last month’s South by Southwest Film Festival. Also featured will be SPIDER LILIES which was screened at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Teddy Award for best feature film. Released in early March 2008, the award-winning SHELTER will anchor this year’s festival. Birmingham SHOUT will be held on Saturday, March 29 and will begin at 11:30 A.M. For a complete listing of film times, events and more information please visit www.bhamshout.com.
The feature films for this year’s event are:
CHASING THE DEVIL (color, 120 minutes) is directed by Bill Hussung and Mishara Canino-Hussung. “Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-Gay Movement” is a feature documentary film presenting an unflinching look at the personal journeys of four people who claim to have changed their sexual orientation from gay to straight. Their stories mark the first time documentary filmmakers have been allowed inside the “ex-gay” movement and provide an empathetic and, at times, devastating portrait of those who claim homosexuality is an illness that can be healed.
BI THE WAY (color, 85 minutes) is directed by Brittany Blockman and Josephine Decker, takes a journey through the changing sexual landscape of America, BI THE WAY investigates the latest scientific reports and social opinions on bisexuality,while following five members of the emerging “whatevergeneration” teens and twenty-somethings who seem to be ushering in a whole new sexual revolution. For more information please visit www.bithewaymovie.com.
SPIDER LILIES (color, 94 minutes) is directed by Zero Chou, was screened at the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Teddy Award for best feature film tells the story about when Jade, a web-cam girl visits Takeko’s tattoo studio she becomes entranced with the image of the spider lily and with Takeko as well. In order to get closer to the object of her desire, Jade asks Takeko to give her the same lily tattoo, challenging Takeko’s monastic existence and opening up memories which threaten to tear the two women apart. For more information ple.ase visit www.encorefilms.com/spiderlilies.
SEX POSITIVE (color, 75 minutes) is directed by Daryl Wein. Sex Positive explores the life of Richard Berkowitz, a revolutionary gay S&M hustler turned AIDS activist in the 1980s, whose incomparable contribution to the invention of safe sex has never been aptly credited. Berkowitz emerged from the epicenter of the epidemic demanding a solution to the problem long before those both within and outside of the gay community would take heed. However, it was not Berkowitz’s voice alone that sparked contention. Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, a controversial virologist and AIDS doctor, postulated that AIDS was more complicated than just a new virus. With Sonnabend’s theory in tow, Berkowitz fought, alongside beloved activist and musician Michael Callen, for safer sex practices with out giving up on sex altogether. Sex Positive explores the explicit bravery of this unrecognized triumvirate, and their dire quest to save lives in the midst of unwavering dissent. Through the eyes of Mr. Berkowitz, we are made witness to a graphic testimony of sex, death, and betrayal, placing the invention of safe sex in a fresh and compelling context. Now destitute and alone, Mr. Berkowitz tells his story to a world who never wanted to listen. **Please note that the director and star will be in attendance.
SHELTER (color, 97 minutes) directed by Jonah Markowitz, is the story of Zach (Trevor Wright) who is forced to give up his dreams of art school in order to take care of his family. Zach has become accustomed to a life where he neglects his own needs in favor of taking care of his older sister, Jeanne (Tina Holmes) and his nephew, Cody. When his best friend’s older brother, Shaun (Brad Rowe), returns home to cure a case of writer’s block, Shaun and Zach develop a friendship that develops into a true, intimate relationship. Shaun presses Zach to take control of his life, and to take ownership of his artwork. He also develops a strong bond with Cody, and Zach happily notices the positive effect Shaun’s attention has on him. As time progresses, however, a host of new issues come up. Zach struggles with his identity, his family, and friends, while trying to understand the new emotions Shaun has brought into his life. When the cat is let out of the bag, Jeanne threatens to take Cody away. Wanting nothing but the best for him, Zach is forced to decide between his pattern of always putting others’ desires first or fighting for what is really most important and appropriate for both his and Cody’s future.