Sunday, August 17, 2008

13th NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

It has been a very busy weekend, starting last Thursday with the opening of the 13th NC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Local TV station NBC 17 did a feature, here.

I've been volunteering at the festival for several years now, starting as a ticket taker and manning the information booth. That is actually a lot of fun, because I got to look each in the eye and smile and basically get my face out there and become familiar. This year I was on the men's programming committee. I actually feel quite honored to have been asked to join.

Pictured here is the Carolina Theatre from Saturday night. This is between shows and the main features will be starting soon.

We started reviewing films in March, and had over 350 films submitted. Half of those were womens films, so they didn't need viewing by us. Well over half were shorts, but that is still some serious film watching. And trust me when I say that there is a fair share of them that just are not that good.

That explains why my Netflix activity is down to nothing lately. (If you aren't my Netflix friend, go here).

I had an absolute blast the entire 4 days. One of my responsibilities was to go onstage and introduce the film and welcome everyone to the festival. So here I get a chance to go in front of lots of gay men and talk to them. Talk about getting myself out there to be recognized! Another responsibility was to host filmmakers and others for the films. That meant getting them from/to the airport, and to the theater for their showings.

What made this a great weekend for me was how I was enjoying myself every minute. I was walking around saying hi to tons of people I knew, or even just sorta knew, or wanted to know. I also attended the reception this yea, my first time. I had no idea what to expect, and figure I'll be more prepared next year.

Meeting the various filmmakers and actors was also fun. The big name that we had was Randy Jones, the cowboy from Village People. When we were at the bar later and we talked, I think I was a giddy little school girl, which you know is not me. I think I was just enjoying the brownies and beer. There was the faintest of possibilities that Michael Emerson would be at the festival, because of his great part in Ready? Ok! Everybody quizes him about his role as Ben on Lost, but I didn't want to do that, so I tried to bone up on some of his other films. I had caught Straight Jacket where he is wonderful as a butler. I had 29th & Gay queued up, but that's when Netflix broke down last week.

The film selection this year was just awesome. We had a ton of films that covered a wide spectrum. From a silly teen sex farce to the artistic. Subtitled foreign films to spritual to wholesome to funny, we covered a lot.

Okay, I think Ive gone on enough. It really was a fun time, and initial figures show this festival to be the 2nd most successful season. And that's because it was fun!

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