AGLIFF Going Online, Holding Weekend Teaser Festival
House of Cardin and more streaming free for Pride Weekend
By James Scott,
11:45AM, Thu. Jun. 11, 2020
Queer cinema enters the virtual zone, as the organizers of All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF) announced today they will be bringing their programming online and on demand for two weekends this coming August. Before that, they're offering a teaser of free features and shorts as Prism Pride Weekend.
In a Facebook live announcement this morning, aGLIFF President Casandra Alston explained that the main festival (running Aug. 6-9 and 13-16) will be curating a variety of content not exclusive to just film streams but including talkbacks, Q&As, and other special surprises unique to each weekend – not unlike, she said, when Lizzo played at ACL last year.
However, if you’re jonesing for some good queer content right away, aGLIFF has kicked off their entirely free Prism Pride Weekend today, with seven short films from the aGLIFF archives on offer for the entire weekend (starting today) as well as three feature films available for a limited amount of views (starting Friday, June 12). These three films include: Chilean drama Ema, directed by Pablo Larraín (Jackie, No); Leon Le’s queer romance, Song Lang, set in Eighties Saigon (which also played at aGLIFF 2019); and House of Cardin, a documentary detailing designer Pierre Cardin and his fashion career – which also boasts a director Q&A on Saturday, June 13.
Both directors of House of Cardin, the husband team of P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes, were in attendance at today’s press event and revealed the Pride Weekend news along with a clip from their film, excitedly celebrating with a shout of “Gay film!”
Gay film indeed. The virtual festival will be held on Eventive, a virtual festival platform directed toward independent film, with the added on-demand accessibility being extolled by Alston as a way to include all Texans in way not previously available. Now even more people hoping to see themselves or discover something new will be able to find queer cinema. She added that her own personal experience with cinema affirmed not just her nonbinary identity, but also was a way to find community, to “find our power, our strength.”
This press event didn’t only cover film festival news, however, as it was also announced that aGLIFF will be holding a community forum on Friday, June 12 at 12pm via Facebook Live. The forum will discuss racial inequality and be moderated by Quita Culpepper of KVUE.
More information regarding the forum, Prism Pride Weekend, and aGLIFF’s virtual festival in August is available at www.agliff.org.
Badges for the August event are priced at $35 for each individual weekends, and $65 for both weekends. All films screening for Prism Pride Weekend are available for free, but there will be a limited number of "tickets" available.
Here's the full lineup for this weekend, as well as the first wave of festival features.
aGLIFF 33: Prism Pride Weekend, June 11-14
House of Cardin
D: P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes
House of Cardin is a rare peek into the mind of genius French-Italian designer Pierre Cardin. This authorized feature documentary includes unprecedented interviews at the sunset of his glorious career as well as exclusive access to Cardin’s archives and his empire. Directors P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes will hold an online Q&A, Saturday, June 13 at 4pm Central. House of Cardin will also play the festival in August.
D: Leon Le (2018, Vietnam, in Vietnamese with English subtitles),
From director Leon Le, a rich drama about a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites, equally uncompromising, set against the backdrop of a gorgeous, fading art form.
D: Pablo Larraín
Chile, 2019, in Spanish and English with English subtitles. Texas Premiere.
From director Pablo Larraín, in his first film since the 2016 double bill of Neruda and Jackie, Larraín returns to present-day Chile for an incendiary portrait of a young woman in rebellion. Set in Valparaíso, the film concerns married couple Ema (Mariana Di Girolamo), a platinum-blonde reggaeton dancer, and choreographer Gastón (Gael García Bernal), who have abandoned their adopted 7-year-old son. A portrait of a modern family and a tenacious exploration of art, desire, and personal liberation, Ema is a rare character study that moves with the intensity of a heart-pounding dance film, set to an absorbing electronic score by Nicolas Jaar.
SHORT WEEKEND PREVIEW FILMS
"Sweater" D: Nick Borenstein (USA)
"Misdirection" D:Carly Usdin (USA)
"Ausencia" D: Victor Alex Perez (USA)
"Dress Up Like Mrs. Doubtfire" D: Will Zang (USA)
"The One You Never Forget" D: Morgan Jon Fox (USA)
"Momster" D: Drew Denny (USA)
"Touchscreen" D: Arthur Halpern (USA)
"More Than He Knows" D: Fiona Dawson (USA)
"Next Level Shit" D: Gary Jaffe (USA)
aGLIFF 33: Prism, August 6-9, 13-16
The Glass Room
D: Julius Sevcík (Texas Premiere)
Secret affairs and history’s shifting tides shatter a Czech marriage in this erotic wartime saga in which an iconic modernist home takes center stage. Wealthy Jewish industrialist Viktor Landauer (Claes Bang, The Square) and his gentile wife Liesel (Hanna Alström, Kingsman: The Secret Service) brim with optimism while building their architectural masterpiece. But as 1930s idealism evaporates under Hitler, their dream house reveals passionate, dark desires. Viktor seeks solace in a young Jewish refugee, while Liesel’s flirtation with sensual Hana (Carice Van Houten, Game of Thrones) simmers. Slipping from Nazi to Soviet possession, the omnipresent house inexorably draws the characters back together. Based on Simon Mawer’s bestselling novel and filmed on location at the stunning Villa Tugendhat.
D: Hong Khaou (Texas Premiere)
Crazy Rich Asians’ sexy leading man Henry Golding stars in this poetic film from director Hong Khaou (Lilting, a 2014 aGLIFF selection) about a man who returns to his native Vietnam from the UK to distribute his parents’ ashes. As part of his journey, he hooks up with an American, Lewis (Parker Stevens) who has his own personal connection to the country – their liaison offering both men a sympathetic ear. Asking questions about home, place and identity, this beautifully shot film, with the dreamy Golding at its heart, finds that the answers can sometimes be wondrously elusive.
D: Elegance Bratton (Texas Premiere)
Pier Kids interrogates the meaning of community, both within at-risk LGBTQIA youth of color and in the larger gay community as well. Casper, a trans-attracted young black man, is left vulnerable in his pursuit for true love, all the while navigating homelessness. Desean is at a critical point in his life: He must navigate whether the best alternative to escaping homelessness is to commit a crime or become HIV+. Krystal utilizes the ballroom scene to survive, but when her gay family proves unable to help her, she is forced to go back to her blood family for support. When Krystal and her birth mother are face to face, they realize that the only thing they can agree on when it comes to Krystal’s identity is their mutual love of gospel. Pier Kids puts the viewer in the skin of the pier kids it depicts and shows what happens to gay youth when they are kicked out. The film follows these youth over the course of five years to understand what it means to be black and queer 50 years after Stonewall.
Surviving The Silence
D: Cindy L. Abel (Southwest Premiere)
Surviving the Silence tells the story of two women in love who played a part in changing military policy, shining light on the unknown history of how a closeted colonel forced to expel an Army hero for being lesbian did so in a way resulting in reinstatement via federal court. Years before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Colonel Patsy Thompson presided over the review board that dismissed Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer for being a lesbian. Although she had been in tough spots over the course of her 28-year service, this was the toughest. Presiding over this case forced Patsy to confront her own moral dilemma and her own secret: she too was a lesbian. Margarethe Cammermeyer, a highly decorated nurse, and war hero was on track to becoming a general. During a security clearance interview, she truthfully answered when asked if she was a lesbian. This started an investigation which led to her eventual and highly publicized expulsion from the Army National Guard. In 1995, Margarethe’s memoir was adapted as a television movie, which was executive produced by Barbra Streisand and starred Glenn Close. But Patsy’s story has remained a secret … until now.
D: Ray Yeung (Southwest Premiere)
The story of two secretly homosexual married men in their twilight years. One day Pak, 70, a taxi driver who refuses to retire, meets Hoi, 65, a retired single father, in a park. Despite years of societal and personal pressure, they are proud of the families they have created through hard work and determination. Yet, in that brief initial encounter, something is unleashed in them which had been suppressed for so many years. As both men recount and recall their personal histories, they also contemplate a possible future together. "Suk Suk" studies the subtle day-to-day moments of two men as they struggle between conventional expectations and personal desires.