Reel Q film fest prepares to unreel

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A film from Brazilian director Bruno Barreto ("Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands") along with a documentary about drag artist Divine will open Reel Q 2013 on Oct. 11.

Once known as the Pittsburgh International LGBT Film Festival, the event will span nine days and feature 15 movies along with three sets of short films and four parties.

The festival will open with "Reaching for the Moon," an English-language movie recounting the midlife years of Pulitzer Prize-wining poet Elizabeth Bishop when she left America for Rio de Janiero where she met architect Lota de Macedo Soares.

Initial hostilities between the pair, portrayed by Miranda Otto and Brazilian telenovela star Gloria Pires, give way to a complicated love affair dramatically altering Bishop's relationship to the world around her.

It will screen at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave., and "I Am Divine" about filmmaker John Waters' close friend and muse will start at 9:30 p.m., with a party in between.

"Who else could convincingly turn from teenage delinquent to mugger, prostitute, unwed mother, child abuser, fashion model, nightclub entertainer, murderess and jailbird? All in the same movie?" Mr. Waters said, in giving his blessing to the documentary about Harris Glenn Milstead, a bullied fat kid from working-class Baltimore who became Divine.

Admission to one film and party is $25 or two films and party, $30.

The festival will close with "G.B.F." about a trio of popular girls at a suburban high school who race to bag the trendiest accessory, a gay best friend. The film, which had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, features cameos by Megan Mullally, Natasha Lyonne, Jonathan Silverman and Rebecca Gayheart.

Pittsburgher George Northy, who wrote the screenplay, is scheduled to appear at the showing and closing night party at the ToonSeum. Tickets, which include admission to both, $15.

General admission tickets, not applicable for opening or closing nights, are $9 per film or $6 for students. Also available: Diva Pass, $125, admission to all films; Screen Queen, $70, package of 10 general admission tickets; Cheap Thrills, $45, six general admission tickets.

They will be sold at the Harris Theater on festival nights, online via or (also accessible through 1-888-718-4253) or at Banner Coin Exchange, 347 Fourth Ave., Downtown, which does not charge a service fee.

Scheduled to be shown, all at the Harris Theater, Downtown:


7 p.m.: "Reaching for the Moon" -- 2013 Brazilian film imagining a little-known time in the life of American poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979).

9:30 p.m.: "I Am Divine" -- New documentary, with extensive interviews.

Next Saturday

3 p.m.: "Heterosexual Jill" -- Filmmaker Michelle Ehlen wrote, directed and stars in this satirical, pseudo-romcom about an actress on the "best mockumentary about cat-actors that the world has ever seen."

5 p.m.: "The Happy Sad" -- A chance encounter between two couples in New York -- one black and gay, the other white and heterosexual -- forces re-evaluations of fidelity and relationship norms.

7 p.m.: "Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf?" -- A 40-year-old filmmaker, preparing to shoot a lesbian version of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," is determined to change her life by losing 20 pounds and finding a girlfriend, but things don't happen in the way she plans.

9 p.m.: "Interior. Leather Bar" -- Filmmaker Travis Mathews collaborated with James Franco to re-create lost scenes from 1980's controversial "Cruising." Party at There Ultra Lounge, 931 Liberty Ave. afterward.

Oct. 13

5 p.m.: "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" -- Taiwanese comedy about a seemingly happy husband, father and career man who is secretly gay.

7 p.m.: "Snails in the Rain" -- When a linguistics student, committed to his girlfriend in 1989 Tel Aviv, begins to receive obsessive love letters from another man, he starts to question his sexual identity.

Oct. 14

7:30 p.m.: Women's short films.

Oct. 15

7:30 p.m.: Men's short films.

Oct. 16

7:30 p.m.: "Southern Baptist Sissies" -- Filmed version Del Shores' play about four gay Texas Christians. With William Belli and Leslie Jordan.

Oct. 17

7 p.m.: "Our Shorts" -- Short films for all audience members, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight.

9 p.m.: "Hot Guys with Guns" -- Comedy-mystery, set in LA, starring Marc Anthony Samuel from "General Hospital" and newcomer Brian McArdle. Party at 5801 Video Lounge and Cafe, Shadyside, follows.

Oct. 18

7 p.m.: "Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth" -- Documentary tracing the journey of the activist, journalist, poet and author from sharecropper's daughter to Pulitzer Prize winner for "The Color Purple." Steven Spielberg, Yoko Ono, Sapphire and Gloria Steinem among notables interviewed.

9 p.m.: "Free Fall" -- German film about the far-reaching effects of an affair between two male police cadets.

Oct. 19

4 p.m.: "Ian Harvie Superhero" -- Lighthearted documentary about transgender comedian Ian Harvie, with clips from his stage show.

6 p.m.: "Route of Acceptance" -- As a high school girl wrestles with her options, this Canadian film takes moviegoers on a journey into three possible -- and very different -- futures.

8:30 p.m.: "G.B.F." -- Comedy about having a trendy gay best friend from director Darren Stein ("Jawbreaker") who called the screenplay by Pittsburgher George Northy "snarky, smart, about something close to my heart and culturally relevant." Closing party at ToonSeum, 945 Liberty Ave.


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


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