The Denver Film Society is kicking off June by announcing (just in time for Pride month) the schedule for the Cinema Q Film Festival, which goes into full bloom July 21 through 24 at the Sie FilmCenter.
Kicking off the four-day fest on Thursday, July 21, is Strike a Pose, a new documentary that shines a light on the seven male dancers who joined Madonna for her legendary Blond Ambition tour in 1990 (famously chronicled in the 1991 film Truth or Dare) and what has become of them 25 years later. The film will be followed by a vogue-tastic opening-night party at Henderson’s Lounge, in the Sie’s lobby.
"What's great about this year's Festival lineup is looking at and experiencing topics and cultural happenings that have been part of the LGBT experience for decades, but through a contemporary lens," says Denver Film Society programmer Matthew Campbell. "These compelling and moving stories depict both triumph and perseverance as well as sadness and joy."
Indeed, Cinema Q will screen a varied list of films from all angles of the GLBTQ spectrum — twelve features, a shorts collection, and a hot-button panel — including a 25th-anniversary screening of Gus Van Sant’s queer love letter My Own Private Idaho, which starred River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves as a pair of Portland hustlers whose relationship is strained by the highs and lows of life on the streets.
The fest will welcome a handful of in-person guests with their works: Lazy Eye (director Tim Kirkman), Political Animals (director Jonah Markowitz), Women Who Kill (director Ingrid Jungermann) and Bed Buddies (director Reid Waterer). Director Cecilia Aldarondo and subject Nylda Dieppa will close out the festival with their documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart, which chronicles an investigation into the filmmaker’s family and an ugly conflict that grew at its core.
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The panel discussion will feature Los Angeles Film Festival director of programming Roya Rastegar and award-winning filmmakers Jungermann and Jessica Devaney, who will discuss the state of, and frustrations with, lesbian cinema, an often scarce and complicated genre in film. Denver writer and film critic Lisa Kennedy will moderate the panel.
To give Cinema Q a boost in June, the fest will have a booth at Denver’s PrideFest celebration on June 18 and 19 and host a double feature at the Sie on June 14 with partners OutFront and The Center of the 1978 classic French farce La Cage Aux Folles and its 1996 American remake The Birdcage, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. Tickets for that special screening are available here.
Tickets for Cinema Q are on sale now; they range from $10-$25, depending on the event and membership status, with an all-inclusive festival pass available for $85 ($70 for DFS members). The festival takes place at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Get more information and tickets denverfilm.org.