Film and TV

CinemaQ, Denver's Queer Film Festival, Announces 2018 Lineup

Steven Waddington plays the title character in Edward II, director Derek Jarman's startling and singular radicalization of Christopher Marlowe.
Steven Waddington plays the title character in Edward II, director Derek Jarman's startling and singular radicalization of Christopher Marlowe. Courtesy of Film Movement
CinemaQ, Denver's premier queer film festival, has announced its 2018 slate of movies.

The festival, which will be held July 18 to 22 at the Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, will include a mix of fiction and nonfiction films by and about LGBTQ people.

“CinemaQ continues to be the most powerful and provocative look at the state of queer cinema across the globe,” says Denver Film Society chief programmer Keith Garcia. “This year’s films are no exception, from opening night’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post to the centerpiece title McQueen, documenting the beautiful and tragic life of fashion designer Alexander McQueen."

Here's the list of films:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Directors: Desiree Akhavan / USA
Screens Wednesday, July 18 at 7:00pm
Based on the celebrated novel by Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows Cameron (Chloe Grace Moretz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night.
Opening night - Reception immediately following the film in Henderson's Lounge.

Director: Yen Tan / USA
Screens Thursday, July 19 at 7:00pm
Inspired by the award-winning short film of the same name, 1985 follows Adrian (Cory Michael Smith), a closeted young man returning to his Texas hometown for Christmas during the first wave of the AIDS crisis.

We the Animals
Director: Jeremiah Zagar / USA
Screens Thursday, July 19 at 9:00pm
Based on the celebrated Justin Torres novel, We the Animals is a visceral coming-of-age story propelled by strikingly layered performances from its astounding cast, elements of magical realism, and unbelievable animated sequences.

Director: Daisy Asquith / UK
Screens Friday, July 20 at 4:00pm
Queerama is a film created from the treasure trove of BFI archive. The story traverses a century of gay experiences, encompassing persecution and prosecution, injustice, love and desire, identity, secrets, forbidden encounters, sexual liberation and pride.

Hard Paint
Director: Filipe Matzembacher, Marcio Reolon / Brazil
Screens Friday, July 20 at 7:00pm
Set in Brazil’s southern city of Porto Alegre, the film focuses on a socially repressed young man who only comes out of his shell during chatroom performances, when he strips and smears neon paints on his lithe body. Winner of the prestigious Teddy Award for best LGBTQ film at the Berlinale Film Festival.

Dykes, Camera, Action!
Director: Caroline Berler / USA
Screens Friday, July 20 at 7:30pm
Filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Cheryl Dunye, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du, film critic B. Ruby Rich, Jenni Olson, and others share moving and often hilarious stories from their lives and discuss how they’ve expressed queer identity through film.

Shorts Package
Screens Saturday, July 21 at 2:00pm

The Layover
Narrative Short / Director: Ashley Connor, Joe Stankus / USA
After being delayed at the airport, a flight attendant hurries home to commemorate a meaningful anniversary.

Are We Good Parents?
Narrative Short / Director: Bola Ogun / USA
When Lauren and Bill's 14-year-old daughter says she's going to her first dance with her classmate Ryan, they welcome the news with excitement...and hesitation. Lauren and Bill always assumed their daughter was gay, in the same way that most parents assume their child is straight (until given notice).

The Things You Think I'm Thinking
Narrative Short / Director: Sherren Lee / Canada
A black male burn survivor and amputee goes on a date with a regularly abled man. After the bar, they go back to his apartment, where he faces his demons as he attempts to experience intimacy for the first time since his accident, ten years ago.

The Sermon
Narrative Short / Director: Dean Puckett / UK
In an isolated church community in the English countryside, a powerful hate preacher prepares to deliver a sermon to his flock, but his daughter has a secret that could destroy them all.

I Like Girls
Narrative Short / Director: Diane Obomsawin / Canada
First love is an intoxicating experience, but with it can come excruciating awkwardness, unrequited emotions, and confusing issues of identity. In her trademark playful style, Quebec cartoonist and animator Diane Obomsawin, a.k.a. Obom, adapts her latest graphic novel for the screen.

On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi
Documentary Short / Director: Brandon Gross, Skyler Gross / USA
Having survived the Holocaust, Nani and Popi raised a family in America, endeared themselves to a wide circle of friends, and built a successful business. Now at age 95, a deeply-held secret is revealed: Popi is gay, and finally free to explore his identity and seek the companionship he craves.

Director: Fiona Dawson, Gabriel Silverman / USA / Jordan
Screens Saturday, July 21 at 4:30pm
Around 15,500 transgender people serve in the U.S. military (notably the largest transgender employer in the U.S.), where they must conceal their gender identity because military policies ban their service. TransMilitary chronicles the lives of four individuals (Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Villanueva, Captain Jennifer Peace & First Lieutenant El Cook) defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own.

Director: Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui / UK
Screens Saturday, July 21 at 7:00pm
A personal look at the extraordinary life, career and artistry of Alexander McQueen. Through exclusive interviews with his closest friends and family, recovered archives, exquisite visuals and music, McQueen is an authentic celebration and thrilling portrait of an inspired yet tortured fashion visionary.
Centerpiece - High Fashion Party immediately following the film in Henderson's Lounge.

Wild Nights With Emily
Director: Madeleine Olnek / USA
Screens Saturday, July 21 at 7:30pm
Molly Shannon plays Emily Dickinson in the dramatic comedy Wild Nights with Emily. The poet’s persona, popularized since her death, became that of a reclusive spinster – a delicate wallflower, too sensitive for this world. This film explores her vivacious, irreverent side that was covered up for years — most notably Emily’s lifelong romantic relationship with another woman.

Good Manners
Director: Marco Dutra, Juliana Rojas / Brazil
Screens Saturday, July 21 at 9:30pm
Set in São Paulo, the film follows Clara, a lonely nurse from the outskirts of the city who is hired by mysterious and wealthy Ana to be the nanny of her soon to be born child. Against all odds, the two women develop a strong bond, but a fateful night marked by a full moon changes their plans.

Every Act of Life
Director: Jeff Kaufman / USA
Screens Sunday, July 22 at 12:00pm
Every Act of Life profiles world-renowned playwright Terrence McNally’s pioneering 5-decade career in the theater, focusing on the struggle for LGBT rights and his pursuit of love and inspiration at every age. Featuring Angela Lansbury, F. Murray Abraham, Larry Kramer, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, and many more.

Edward II
Director: Derek Jarman / UK
Screens Sunday, July 22 at 2:15pm
In this version of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by taking as lover besides his diplomatic wife, the French princess Isabel, not an acceptable lady at court, but the ambitious Piers Gaveston, who uses his favor in bed even to wield political influence. The stage is set for a palace revolt which sends the gay pair from the throne to a terminal torture dungeon.

50 Years of Fabulous
Director: Jethro Patalinghug / USA
Screens Sunday, July 22 at 4:00pm
50 Years of Fabulous recounts the rich history of the Imperial Council, the oldest LGBT charity organization in the world. Founded in San Francisco by renowned activist, drag queen and performer José Sarria, the Council has helped shaped LGBT life and social history in San Francisco and beyond throughout the last five decades. Sarria was also the first openly gay man to run for political office in the United States in 1961.

Ideal Home
Director: Andrew Fleming / USA
Screens Sunday, July 22 at 7:15pm
Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan star as Paul and Erasmus, a bickering gay couple whose life is turned inside out when a ten-year-old boy shows up at their door claiming to be Erasmus’ grandson. Neither Paul, nor Erasmus, are ready to give up their extravagant lifestyles to be parents, but maybe this little kid has a thing or two to teach them about the value of family.

Closing Night Reception in Henderson's Lounge at 6 p.m.
And by no means is this festival exclusively for a queer audience.

"CinemaQ has something for everybody in and out of the LGBTQ+ community," says Garcia.

For more information, festival passes and individual tickets, which go on sale June 19, go to the Denver Film Society website
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris