Reel Q: Film festival with a new name, new venue

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New name, different venue, same mission.

Reel Q is the new moniker for the Pittsburgh International LGBT Film Festival, which starts Friday and concludes Oct. 21 at the Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown.

The festival, now in its 27th year, is the sixth oldest such festival in the world and fifth oldest in North America. Designed to present a mix of features, documentaries, shorts and community events, the festival was renamed to reflect "the entire LGBT community as well as our straight allies," says executive director Mitchell Leib.

Admission to opening night film "Cloudburst" ($25) includes a party at nearby Peirce Studio and the closing night ticket ($15) provides entry to "Love or Whatever" and party at Cruze Bar, 1600 Smallman St.

The festival also offers three passes: $125 Diva Pass provides admission for one person to all films, including opening and closing night events; $70 Screen Queen Pass, 10 tickets (opening and closing not included); and $45 Cheap Thrills Pass, six tickets (opening and closing not included).

Passes and party packages can be purchased at or Banner Coin Exchange, 347 Fourth Ave., Downtown. General admission tickets, $9, will be sold only at the Harris on the day of the film.

Scheduled to be shown:


7:30 p.m.: "Cloudburst" -- See review.


1 p.m.: "United in Anger: The History of ACT UP" -- Documentary about the pioneers who fought corporate greed, homophobia and government indifference to change world views on AIDS. Discussion afterward.

4 p.m.: "Mosquita y Mari" -- Coming-of-age story about a shy A student in a suburban LA high school who agrees to tutor a tough, troublesome girl. As their friendship grows, so do the rumors. In Spanish and English, with subtitles.

7 p.m.: "Facing Mirrors" -- Character-driven drama, from Iran, about two women brought together by a long fateful taxi ride. One is a driver forced to support her family, the other a young woman whose father is anxious to marry her to a male cousin but who has plans for gender reassignment surgery.

9:30 p.m.: "Gayby" -- See review.


1 p.m.: "Raid on the Rainbow Lounge" -- Documentary, narrated by Meredith Baxter, recounting events surrounding the raid of a newly opened gay bar in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2009. Discussion to follow.

3:30 p.m.: "Molly's Girl" -- When an awkward and eccentric young woman strikes out with men at a singles event, she starts a conversation and more with another woman at the bar who turns out to be a gay marriage activist.

7 p.m.: "Naked As We Came" -- See review.


7:30 p.m.: Women's Shorts -- A half-dozen short films, ranging from 6 to 23 minutes, geared toward lesbian and bisexual women.


7:30 p.m.: Men's Shorts -- Nine short films, ranging from 4 to 14 minutes, aimed at gay and bisexual men.


7 p.m.: "Mary Lou" -- See review.

OCT. 18

7 p.m.: Our Shorts -- Collection of eight shorts, including "Tar Baby Jane," a 17-minute film by Gregory Scott Williams Jr. It documents the complexity of Pittsburgh artist Vanessa German, how her work is created and how people respond to her sculptures and spoken-word performances.

9 p.m.: "Men to Kiss" -- Although opposites attract, a serious-minded banker who is new to Berlin is often unsure whether a bubbly performance artist takes their relationship as seriously as he does in this German-language comedy.

OCT. 19

7 p.m.: "Stud Life" -- A black lesbian and a white gay man who share an apartment and wedding photography business find their future jeopardized when she begins a tumultuous relationship with a woman in this film shot in London in 2010.

9:30 p.m.: "Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean" -- Set primarily in the '50s and focusing on Dean's experiences as an up-and-coming actor in LA, this film is a series of vignettes blending biographical and fictionalized elements.

OCT. 20

3:30 p.m.: "North Sea Texas" -- A teen, who lives with his ex-beauty queen mom in a small town on the Belgian coast, grows infatuated with his older neighbor and motorcycling hero as his mother longs to leave everything behind and see the world. Their dreams collide when a handsome stranger becomes their new lodger. In Dutch with English subtitles.

7 p.m.: "Kiss Me" -- Talk about a variation on the usual meet-cute. Mia, a well-to-do architect, unexpectedly falls in love with free-spirited Frida at an engagement party. Frida's mother is about to marry Mia's father, and Mia also is engaged to a longtime boyfriend. In Swedish with English subtitles.

9:30 p.m.: "I Do" -- When a gay man who has devoted himself to his late brother's family faces deportation to his native England he hatches a scheme to marry his best friend. But she's spooked by the possibility of being charged with fraud and he's intrigued by a sexy Spaniard in this film starring David W. Ross, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Alicia Witt and Maurice Compte. Director Glenn Gaylord is scheduled to attend.

OCT. 21

4 p.m.: "I Am a Woman Now" -- Dutch documentary in which the first generation of transsexuals who had their sex change in Casablanca in the mid-1950s or 1960s take stock of their lives. The women in the film were all treated by the same "miracle doctor" who asked no questions as long as the patients paid him. In English, French, German and Dutch with subtitles. Discussion afterward.

7 p.m.: "Love or Whatever" -- A gay man who thought he had it all learns otherwise when his boyfriend dumps him for a woman. That triggers a wild journey in this romantic comedy starring Tyler Poelle, Jennifer Elise Cox and Joel Rush.


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog:


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