Why PRIDE Film Festival Should Be On Your Radar

This post was co-authored by Spencer Biery and Lacy Piper 

Bloomington pride screening

If you haven’t been able to make it to the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival in the past, there’s still time to get tickets and see a host of awesome LGBTQ+ movies! And if you have, this year’s films look amazing, so make sure to come to the Buskirk-Chumley Theater for some great LGBTQ+ films!

In 2003, two Indiana University graduate students started a film festival to uplift and recognize LGBTQ+ content and film creators. This year’s program explores a diversity of issues, perspectives, and struggles within the LGBTQ+ community by screening films about and by sexual and gender minority subjects and producers.

This year, the festival has a host of movies exploring issues both in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the communities it comprises.  For example, films like The Same Difference explore differing perceptions of sexuality and gender roles and expression within communities of lesbians and bisexual women of color through documentary form. Other films touch on subjects like love, age dynamics, and trauma. A host of communities are represented at the film fest, with many gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer films filling this year’s roster.  There’s something for everyone at the Pride Film Festival, be it drama, discourse, or romance!

Here, in no particular order, are some films we wanted to highlight for their unique celebrations and explorations of LGBTQ+ identity and culture:

A person sits on a chair

Especially in times of resistance and fierce opposition to the existence of LGBTQ+ people and especially LGBTQ+ people with intersecting oppressed identities it can be heartening and inspiring to reflect back on past victories and celebrations of LGBTQ+ expression. Jewel’s Catch One reflects on Jewel Thais-Williams, owner of the Catch One nightclub in Los Angeles. Jewel, a black, poor, lesbian, was a force to be reckoned with in actuating change in her community by advocating for law reform, providing safe space for LGBTQ+ people, and actually physically protecting and nursing gender and sexual minorities back to life. Thursday Jan. 26, 7 p.m.

People stand in line side by side for no reason

Mentioned earlier, feature film The Same Difference looks to be an incredibly interesting documentary for its exploration of lesbian and bisexual women of color and the often-restrictive heteronormative gender roles imposed on them by society.  Friday Jan. 27, 7 p.m.

People swim

Float is an experimental short film that depicts nude transgender and genderqueer people swimming freely and unhindered. We think it is a super important and cool exploration of LGBTQ+ bodies as too often our bodies are depicted and described as threatening, alien, or bizarre. Friday, Jan. 27, 10:45 p.m.

2 people ion a conversation at the front porch

Real Boy is a feature film length documentary focusing on the life of Bennett Wallace, and the experience of coming out and living life in a family setting as a transgender male. This film has some really important and interesting explorations of family, both assigned family and chosen. It also explores the real life of transgender people, and doesn’t forget that they are more than just their gender identity, that they have lives and interests and feelings. Saturday, Jan. 28, 2 p.m.

The first night of the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival is January 26 and the festival runs through to the 28th, with multiple screenings throughout most days.

The festival is located in the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, located on 114 E Kirkwood Avenue.

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