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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 - Film News »

‘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’

Tribeca Film Review: ‘Call Her Ganda’
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 - Film News »

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 »

Tribeca Film Festival Unveils 2018 Slate

Tribeca Film Festival Unveils 2018 Slate
The Tribeca Film Festival has set its full feature film slate for 2018, tapping 96 movies, including Drake Doremus’ “Zoe” — a sci-fi romance starring Ewan McGregor and Lea Seydoux — and closing night offering “The Fourth Estate,” the first episode of Liz Garbus’ four-episode Showtime documentary series about the New York Times as it covered the first year of the Trump administration.

Of the almost 100 titles on the Tribeca docket, 75 are world premieres and 46% of the films are directed by women. Programmers divide the lineup in sections that include narrative features, international narratives, and docs up for the juried competition, as well as spotlight sections and genre programming, among other sections.

The latest by Doremus (“Like Crazy”), screening as the festival’s centerpiece selection, centers on colleagues at a high-tech research lab, and features a cast that also includes Christina Aguilera, Rashida Jones, Theo James, and Miranda Otto. Films lined up for competition
See full article at Variety - Film News »

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 »

Film Review: ‘Before You Know It’

Film Review: ‘Before You Know It’
In Pj Raval’s engrossing documentary, what arrives “Before You Know It” is old age. While advocacy docs on the subject such as “Gen Silent” or “A Place to Live” examine problems or celebrate triumphs specific to the elderly gay community, “Before” takes a laid-back, observational approach as it follows three very different gay seniors, letting their stories and personalities develop over the course of a year. Though hardly multiplex fodder, the resultant 112-minute film provides sufficient contrasts, surprises, epiphanies and warm moments to keep it rolling engagingly along for target audiences — and anyone else along for the ride.

Soft-spoken Dennis Creamer, a cross-dressing septuagenarian who remained tightly closeted until his wife’s death, is the only one of the film’s protagonists without a fixed geographical center. A loner who is distanced from his family and has few friends, he escorts the filmmakers through his small Florida house, pausing
See full article at Variety - Film News »

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 »

#ArtistServices Austin Workshop: Talking Crowdfunding, Torrents, Dcp and More

Sundance often faces criticism from the independent film community as being inaccessible and too commercial. Two weekends ago Austin Studios, the Sundance Institute and the Austin Film Society held the sold-out “#ArtistServices Austin Workshop,” proving Robert Redford’s initial vision of supporting truly indie film is strongly intact. The day-long event was focused on educating filmmakers about the business side of fundraising, marketing, and distribution for small movies. Filled with local filmmakers like Two Step director Alex Johnson and Before You Know It director Pj Raval and producer Annie Bush, the raw hanger space (Austin Studios is located on the site […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

#ArtistServices Austin Workshop: Talking Crowdfunding, Torrents, Dcp and More

Sundance often faces criticism from the independent film community as being inaccessible and too commercial. Two weekends ago Austin Studios, the Sundance Institute and the Austin Film Society held the sold-out “#ArtistServices Austin Workshop,” proving Robert Redford’s initial vision of supporting truly indie film is strongly intact. The day-long event was focused on educating filmmakers about the business side of fundraising, marketing, and distribution for small movies. Filled with local filmmakers like Two Step director Alex Johnson and Before You Know It director Pj Raval and producer Annie Bush, the raw hanger space (Austin Studios is located on the site […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Film Independent Selects Documentary Lab Fellows

Film Independent Selects Documentary Lab Fellows
Among the many things that Los Angeles-based Film Independent does, besides the high-profile Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, is provide crucial support to independent filmmakers. Every year a select few get chosen to participate in their Documentary Lab, which is designed to help them during the post-production phase on a film. In the past, participants have gone on to complete excellent work, among them Andrew Droz Palermo & Tracy Droz Tragos, whose "Rich Hill" won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, as well as Pj Raval ("Before You Know It"), Hilla Medalia’s ("Dancing in Jaffa"), Nicholas Wrathall ("Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia"), Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali Worrall ("Call Me Kuchu"), Laura Nix and Julia Meltzer ("The Light In Her Eyes") and Nicole Karsin ("We Women Warriors"). Among this year's mentors are editor Doug Blush ("20 Feet from Stardom"), Laura Gabbert
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »
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