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Queer Filmmakers React to Controversial Taylor Swift Video: Do We Need to Calm Down?

Queer Filmmakers React to Controversial Taylor Swift Video: Do We Need to Calm Down?
On Monday, Taylor Swift released a video for her new song “You Need to Calm Down,” the second single from her forthcoming album, “Lover.” Taking a page from Beyoncé’s book, Swift shares a directing credit with filmmaker Drew Kirsch, as well an Ep credit with frequent “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge and choreographer Todrick Hall. Clad exclusively in pink (millennial and other shades), Swift waltzes through a kaleidoscopic set that is colored in astroturf greens and chlorinated blues. An early shot has Swift dumping cotton candy into a blender — a perfect metaphor for the bubble-gum-hued visuals and dizzying parade of Lgbtq celebrity cameos to follow.

Released in the middle of Pride month, “You Need to Calm Down” is Swift’s attempt at producing a gay anthem. Despite staying silent during the 2016 election, prompting many to speculate that she voted for Donald Trump, Swift has amped up her activism in the last two years,
See full article at Indiewire »

PBS Unveils Pov’s Inclusive, Female-Fronted 32nd Season

  • Deadline
Exclusive: Women are front and center in PBS’ slate for its 32nd season of Pov. A total of 16 feature films in this year’s lineup were created by women directors, while four of the five short films are helmed by females. To further diversify its season, Pov has a global reach with 10 of the feature films coming from abroad.

The new season kicks off June 17 with Nancy Schwartzman’s Roll Red Roll on all PBS stations and across its platforms and pov.org and amdoc.org. October will welcome broadcast premieres with pop-out episodes in early 2020. The second season of Pov Shorts will begin July 22 with Changing Same, which will premiere after the feature On Her Shoulders. In addition to Changing Same, the rest of this year’s Pov Shorts confirmed slate feature filmmakers of color: Water Warriors, Stay Close, Edgecombe and Crisanto Street.

The surge of women filmmakers and
See full article at Deadline »

SXSW Adds Jodie Foster, Katie Couric And More As Featured Speakers; Pj Raval, Dawn Ostroff To Keynote Lineup

  • Deadline
SXSW Adds Jodie Foster, Katie Couric And More As Featured Speakers; Pj Raval, Dawn Ostroff To Keynote Lineup
The lineup for keynote and featured speakers continues to grow at SXSW with their final round up of guests. Call Her Ganda filmmaker Pj Raval and a conversation with Spotify chief content officer Dawn Ostroff, Gimlet co-founder Matt Lieber and Anchor co-founder Michael Mignano have been added to keynote program while journalist Katie Couric, Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster, MasterClass CEO and cofounder David Rogier; entrepreneur and model Ashley Graham; journalist and author Malcolm Gladwell; writer and director Noah Hawley; actress Billie Lourd, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim and others have been added to the feature lineup.

SXSW continues to be a unique destination for innovation and discovery,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer. “The addition of groundbreaking filmmakers like Pj Raval and influential voices like Ashley Graham and Malcolm Gladwell expresses the depth of the event, and we’re so pleased about how the whole of Conference programming has come together.
See full article at Deadline »

Film Review: Call Her Ganda (2018) by Pj Raval

Following the case against the Us Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton for killing Jennifer Laude, and the consequences of his deed with an engaged yet not biased eye, “Call her Ganda” demonstrates film-maker’s stance, as well as capacity to build a coherent and comprehensive narration. It leaves an important report that is still just a piece of a large puzzle

She was born Jeffrey Laude, died Jennifer Laude, but since she was a child, she called herself “Ganda” – pretty, beautiful – and required to be called that. Her death by hands of a Us Marine lead to protests not only by the members of transgender community, but also to vehement questioning of the Us – Philippines relation.

Call Her Ganda” is screening at San Diego Asian Film Festival (Sdaff)

In October 2014, Jennifer Laude, a transgender woman in her twenties, went out with her friend Barbie to the Ambyanz disco bar in Olongapo.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

The 38th Hawaii International Film Festival (Hiff 2018) has Loads of Asian Titles

Oahunov Nov 8-18, 2018

Kauainov Nov 15-18, 2018

Big Island & Maui Nov 29 -Dec 2, 2018

The 38th Hawaii International Film Festival is about to start and to continue the festival’s proud tradition of showcasing content and creatives from the Pacific, Asia and North America.

The festival this year features over 180 films, talks and events from 37 countries, with 47 Us, International and World Premieres across 32 sections. 2018 continues the tradition of programming a selection of critically-acclaimed and highly-anticipated films from Asia and around the world, while also giving a platform from emerging creative talents from across the Hawaii-Pacific region.

Outstanding films are accompanied by stars and filmmakers from around the world, connecting East and West through a dedication to discussion, diversity and creativity.

We have picked the Asian titles in the Programme and they are a lot!

Let’s have a look:

Shadow – Opening Night Film

China 2018 – Director: Zhang Yimou

50 First Kisses

Spotlight On Japan – Japan
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Keira Knightley Is ‘Colette’; ‘The Sisters Brothers’, ‘Love, Gilda’ Among Weekend Openers – Specialty B.O. Preview

  • Deadline
Keira Knightley Is ‘Colette’; ‘The Sisters Brothers’, ‘Love, Gilda’ Among Weekend Openers – Specialty B.O. Preview
Another busy post-summer lineup of specialties are heading into theaters this weekend, including Sundance and Toronto’s period bio-drama Colette by filmmaker Wash Westmoreland, opening in New York and L.A. via Bleecker Street. And fresh off of its Venice and Toronto debuts, Annapurna’s The Sisters Brothers by French filmmaker Jacques Audiard, starring John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal, which will also begin in both cities before rolling out further in the coming weeks. Tribeca Film Festival opener, Love, Gilda will get a wider bow in over eighty locations Friday via Magnolia Pictures. Sundance Selects is launching fellow doc Tea with the Dames spotlighting Dames Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith, while also on the non-fiction front, Greenwich Entertainment is opening Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable theatrically before airing on PBS next year.

Other limited releases coming out this weekend include Pj Raval
See full article at Deadline »

Film News Roundup: Tom Arnold, Paige Howard to Star in Indie Comedy ‘Hollywood.Con’

  • Variety
Film News Roundup: Tom Arnold, Paige Howard to Star in Indie Comedy ‘Hollywood.Con’
In today’s film news roundup, Tom Arnold and Paige Howard star in an indie comedy, “Call Her Ganda” is getting an Oscar campaign, and Epic Level has hired a “Charlie Says” executive producer.

Castings

Tom Arnold, Paige Howard, Devin Ratray, Brian Krause, and Cody Kasch are starring in the just-completed independent comedy “Hollywood.con.”

The film is a father-daughter collaboration with Benjamin Boorem producing and Mika Boorem starring and directing. Mika Boorem, whose credits include “Blue Crush” as Kate Bosworth’s sister, “Good Day for It,” and “Hearts in Atlantis,” makes her feature directing debut. The cast members have all acted with her in prior projects.

The script is written by the Boorems, Cshediiz Coleman, Benjamin Lockman, and Michael Lindley. Mika Boorem portrays a struggling actress who accidentally steals the identity of a big-time producer, portrayed by Howard, and gets thrown into a Mayan movie in Guatemala. She’s
See full article at Variety »

Outfest: ‘We The Animals’, ‘Tucked’ Among Winners

  • Deadline
Outfest: ‘We The Animals’, ‘Tucked’ Among Winners
The Outfest Los Angeles Lgbtq Film Festival has unveiled winners for its 2018 edition that wrapped Sunday, with Jeremiah Zagar’s We the Animals taking the U.S. Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize and Jamie Patterson’s Tucked scoring the Best Narrative Audience Award among the honors.

Drew Droege, who starred in the Michael Urie-directed Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, won the U.S. Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize for Best Performance. The top documentary winners included T Cooper’s Man Made in the audience category and Jamal SimsWhen the Beat Drops landing the grand jury prize.

The Orchard acquired North American rights to We The Animals, based on Justin Torres’ debut novel, after it took the Next Innovator Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It will hit theaters sometime this year. Tucked, meanwhile, inked an output deal with Gravitas Ventures last week ahead of its world premiere.
See full article at Deadline »

'White Rabbit' wins 2018 Inside Out Lgbt Film Festival audience award

Laura Marie Wayne’s Love, Scott wins the Best Canadian Feature Award.

Daryl Wein’s White Rabbit won the audience award for best narrative feature as the 2018 Inside Out Lgbt Film Festival came to a close in Toronto at the weekend.

Pj Raval’s Call Her Ganda won the audience award for best documentary feature, and Nate Trinrud’s Pop Rox won the audience award for best short film.

Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla’s Bixa Travesty won the Inside Out Special Award for Innovation, Alvaro Delgado Aparicio’s Retablo won the Best First Feature Award, Laura Marie Wayne’s Love,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Searching’ Takes Top Audience Award at L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival

‘Searching’ Takes Top Audience Award at L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival
“Searching,” from director Aneesh Chaganty and starring John Cho and Debra Messing, won the audience award for North American narrative film at the 34th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The thriller will open nationally in August in theaters through Screen Gems.

The documentary “Minding the Gap,” directed by Bing Liu, won the audience award for documentary feature, and also was given the special jury prize for best director.

The festival gives out awards in both North American and international categories. For international narrative feature divisions, “In the Life of Music,” directed by Caylee So and Visal Sok, was a double winner, with both the audience award and special jury prize.

The international documentary-feature audience award was given to “Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story,” directed by Frank W. Chen.

Other winners: “Call Her Ganda,” directed by Pj Raval, grand jury prize for North American docu feature; “Anote’s Ark” from director Matthieu Rytz,
See full article at Variety »

“It’s about the Barriers to Justice that Exist when you are Poor and Up Against a Foreign Superpower”: Pj Raval on Call Her Ganda

Fresh off its Tribeca world premiere, and currently wrapping up at Hot Docs, Call Her Ganda, an alumnus of Spotlight on Documentaries at Ifp Week, is the latest feature from 25 New Faces of Independent Film alum Pj Raval. The thought-provoking doc follows the heartbreaking and utterly thorny story of Jennifer Laude, much beloved by a doting mother, sisters, and her German fiancé. After a night out with girlfriends back in 2014, the 26-year-old ended up being murdered by Us marine Scott Pemberton, who left her […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

“It’s about the Barriers to Justice that Exist when you are Poor and Up Against a Foreign Superpower”: Pj Raval on Call Her Ganda

Fresh off its Tribeca world premiere, and currently wrapping up at Hot Docs, Call Her Ganda, an alumnus of Spotlight on Documentaries at Ifp Week, is the latest feature from 25 New Faces of Independent Film alum Pj Raval. The thought-provoking doc follows the heartbreaking and utterly thorny story of Jennifer Laude, much beloved by a doting mother, sisters, and her German fiancé. After a night out with girlfriends back in 2014, the 26-year-old ended up being murdered by Us marine Scott Pemberton, who left her […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Tribeca Film Review: ‘Call Her Ganda’

  • Variety
Call Her Ganda,” director Pj Raval’s non-fiction investigation into the death of a Filipina sex worker at the hands of an American Marine on leave, should function as a murder mystery, courtroom drama, and exposé about the U.S.’s thorny post-colonial relationship with the Philippines. Yet with access to only one side of its central conflict, and a scattershot approach that skims over key details and points of interest, this well-intentioned documentary leaves audiences feeling like they’re only getting part of a much larger story. After its Tribeca Film Festival debut, its theatrical prospects seem slim.

In 2014, 26-year-old Filipina prostitute Jennifer Laude – known by her mother as “Ganda,” which means “beauty” – was found strangled and drowned (in a toilet) in a motel across the street from the nightclub where she plied her trade. According to both friends and security camera video, Laude was last seen in the
See full article at Variety »

Tribeca 2018: The Best Lgbt Films to See at This Year’s Festival, From ‘Disobedience’ to ‘Studio 54’ Documentary

Tribeca 2018: The Best Lgbt Films to See at This Year’s Festival, From ‘Disobedience’ to ‘Studio 54’ Documentary
When the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival opens this week, New York audiences will have a chance to catch some of the most anticipated queer films of the year. Sebastián Lelio’s “Disobedience” will play in New York days before its theatrical release; the film stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams as two women who must hide their attraction in their tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community. Desiree Akhavan’s Sundance winner “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” will also make its New York debut at the festival, with Chloë Grace Moretz and Sasha Lane. Provocateurs Andre Leon Talley and Robert Mapplethorpe each headline their own film, and prolific gay filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer uncovers the inside story of Studio 54.

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 18 – 29. Check out our must-see Lgbt films below.

“Disobedience”

Sebastián Lelio concludes his sumptuous triptych of films about women with “Disobedience,” the Chilean filmmaker’s first English-language film.
See full article at Indiewire »

Firelight Media Documentary Lab Announces Open Call For Submissions From Underrepresented Communities

  • Deadline
The Firelight Media announced today a national open call for submissions for its Documentary Lab program. The fellowship supports filmmakers from racially and ethnically underrepresented communities working on their first or second feature-length documentary film.

In an effort to bring more inclusion and diversity to the filmmaking industry, the Documentary Lab is an 18-month program that provides filmmakers with customized mentorship from prominent leaders in the documentary world, funding, professional development workshops and networking opportunities.

“There are hundreds of talented, diverse filmmakers out there creating work that pushes the boundaries of documentary. These voices are critical to providing new narratives about the most pressing issues of our time,” says Loira Limbal, Vice President and Documentary Lab Director at Firelight Media. “Many of them, however, do not have accessible points of entry to the film industry. Through this open call, Firelight can better reach those filmmakers, support them, and flood the
See full article at Deadline »

10 Unproduced Documentary Projects That Deserve to Get Made — Hot Docs

10 Unproduced Documentary Projects That Deserve to Get Made — Hot Docs
“Where is the hope?”

That was the question was posed last week at one of the world’s most prominent launch pads for nonfiction films in development — Hot Docs Pitch Forum — and it reflected the general mood in the room.

As 20 filmmaking teams pitched their projects to dozens of top decision-makers, funders, and broadcasters sitting around the long wooden table in the Gothic-designed Hart House at the University of Toronto, there was a particular excitement for new documentaries that were “fresh,” “optimistic” and “fun”—to use some of the words spoken publically over the two-day pitch-a-thon.

See MoreHow Hot Docs, North America’s Smartest Festival, Could Anoint an Oscar Winner

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you could see those same powerbrokers struggling over what to do with still essential, but tough issue-driven films having to do with post-revolutionary countries in the Middle East or the global refugee crisis.
See full article at Indiewire »

Haigh, Barthes & Terence Nance Among Ifp Independent Film Week Participants

The premiere post-tiff destination (September 20-25th) in the film community and a major leg up for narrative and non-fiction films in development, the Independent Filmmaker Project (Ifp) announced a whopping 140 projects selected for the Project Forum at the upcoming Ifp Independent Film Week. Made up of several sections (Rbc’s Emerging Storytellers program, No Borders International Co-Production Market and Spotlight on Documentaries), we find latest updates from the likes of docu-helmers Doug Block (112 Weddings) and Lana Wilson (After Tiller), and among the narrative items we find headliners in Andrew Haigh (coming off the well received 45 Years), Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls and Madame Bovary), Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty), Lawrence Michael Levine (Wild Canaries), Jorge Michel Grau (We Are What We Are), Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal (Stranger Things) and new faces in Sundance’s large family in Charles Poekel (Christmas, Again) and Olivia Newman (First Match). Here
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Watch Texas Films from Past Sundance Festivals

The Sundance Institute Artist Services program recently announced the availability of 14 independent films through digital video on-demand platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Launched in 2011, Sundance Institute's Artist Services is designed to connect consumers directly with films associated with the Sundance Film Festival and Institute through partnerships with key online distribution platforms.

Four films in this new collection are from Texas, all of which received support from the Austin Film Society. For details on the additional titles available in this new collection, visit the Sundance Institute's "Now Playing."

Before You Know It -- Three gay seniors (pictured at top) "navigate the adventures, challenges and surprises of life and love in their golden years." Check out Don's SXSW review and Jordan's interview with director Pj Raval. The documentary is available for purchase at this new website featuring bonus extras including Gary and Ose's wedding video and behind-the scenes-material. (on
See full article at Slackerwood »

An Introspective Look at the Non-Mainstream Elderly in 'Before You Know It'

Life incessantly runs its course leaving behind damaged bodies were there was once youthful exuberance, regret where there were hopes, and limited time where there used to be endless possibilities. For those lucky enough to make it to the golden years, the most pivotal necessities are not to be lonely, to feel relevant and appreciated, and to come to terms with their journey and enjoy whatever time remains. This can be said about anyone, but when the added factor of homosexuality comes into play, the promise of wonderful, family-oriented times is not always fulfilled. In Pj Raval’s introspective documentary “Before You Know It” three gay seniors are confronted with the victories and failures that define who they are.

Living alone in Florida since his wife past away Dennis, a closeted veteran in his late 70’s, enjoys cross-dressing in secret and searches for romantic companionship. His alter ego “Dee” has never seen the light of day, but unwilling to give up on life yet, Dennis decides to take gay-oriented vacations and spends some time at a retirement home for gay seniors in Portland, Oregon. There, at last, he can be fully himself and even decides to go out into the world wearing the clothes that reflect his once hidden personality.

In Texas, Robert “The Mouth” is a local drag queen legend who owns the Robert Lafitte bar, which also serves as refuge for other individuals pushed away by their families and society in general. When this welcoming space is endangered by a lawsuit, Robert is forced to reconsider his options. The memories of over four decades of love, friendship, and community are too precious to let go of.

Deeply invested in the advancement of the community, Ty, an African American gay activist in his 60’s, works for Sage – a Harlem-based non-profit that supports the elderly Lgbt community. When the unimaginable happened and same-sex marriage became legal in New York, Ty is simultaneously overwhelmed with joy and anxious given that his partner is not eager to tie the knot. To make matters even more irritating for him, one of his closest friends is getting married, which makes Ty reconsider the importance of the union both legally and emotionally.

Each one of their experiences as part of the non-mainstream elderly population is absolutely distinct, making for a compelling piece of observational cinema. Their perspectives on their own identities come from living in a time where the world around blatantly rejected them. Misguided by a sense of duty, Dennis felt that being a family man and abiding by the status quo were his only choices. Nevertheless, despite knowing that he will be judged by his age, he has allowed himself to cut ties with those who will never accept him in order to feel liberated from shame. “Dee” can now walk the streets, go to clubs, and even join a parade alongside others just like her.

Memories are all that remains when beauty is gone, and Robert is conscious of this harsh truth. Even after he is gone, his legacy will live in those he took under his wing and provided with a makeshift family. At his bar, there are no awkward stares or unwelcoming slurs, only laughter and affection between him, his costumers, and the performers. This is home for Robert, a man who prefers mockery to tears even when remembering those who are no longer living. As for Ty, his personal desire to wed doesn’t prevent him from taking in the unbelievable progress that has been achieved. Thinking of his friends that never got the opportunity to see their civil rights fight bear fruit, he feels lucky to have witnessed it in their honor.

With the utmost respect, Raval dives into these men’s lives and rediscovers the strength within them to surpass the voices that were constantly telling them it wasn’t Ok to be who they really are. Intermittently uplifting and meditative, “Before You Know It” is a film that invites the viewer to reflect and to perceive life as an ongoing battle for happiness beyond the glossy façade of youth. As years go by and the skin wrinkles, it is always better to strive for those expression lines to represent a meaningful existence rather than hurtful dissatisfaction.

"Before You Know It" is currently playing in N.Y. and open in L.A. on June 13th, 2014.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Before You Know It Is a Moving Doc On Being Gay and Aging

In Pj Raval's moving documentary Before You Know It, three aging gay men navigate their lives' third acts, and find that the setting of the story continues to shift.

Each has overcome obstacles to living openly: Two of the subjects, Dennis and Ty, are veterans of the armed forces, while Robert, who owns a raucous drag bar in Galveston, Texas, was raised the son of a Baptist deacon. But as Ty remarks, "History is changing so rapidly." Indeed, as Raval follows Ty's efforts as a community liaison to Lgbt seniors in Harlem, the New York State Legislature debates, and finally passes, the Marriage Equality Act.

Raval's unobtrusive camerawork makes it easy to fall in love with these three. Their stories are often melancholy — on a gay cruise, soft-spoken Dennis s...
See full article at Village Voice »
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