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Opening Night Film, Children of God

Reeling 2010, the second-oldest LGBT film festival in the world, opens its 29th year on November 4th, showcasing innovative gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender films from around the world. Reeling will take place at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema (2828 N. Clark St.), the Festival’s home base at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.) and, for the first time in festival history, Instituto Cervantes (31 W. Ohio St.) and ShowPlace ICON (150 W. Roosevelt Rd.).

For almost thirty years, Reeling has continued to push boundaries and keep the festival’s programming fresh and culturally rich by presenting work from worldwide perspectives over a vast range of film genres. Our mission is to recognize the important artistic and socially relevant contributions LGBT filmmakers have made to our culture and to counteract stereotyping with valid, meaningful, and diverse portrayals of LGBT people.

This year’s Opening Night Film, Children of God, is as timely as it is timeless. Under the warm Bahamian sun, two very different men begin to stray from their culture’s expectations and find the courage to live their lives as their hearts dictate. Johnny, a slender painter with piercing blue eyes, is losing touch with his artistic voice and struggles to regain his creative passion. The muscular Romeo’s hidden sexual identity is creating a rift between himself and his close-knit family. After much soul-searching, both realize that life is not as black and white as they first believed it to be, and they are forced to face their demons.

This year’s Closing Night Film is Undertow, directed by Javier Fuentes-León. Not only was this film the winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but it is also Peru’s Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Award for the 2011 Academy Awards. Undertow is the story of a young fisherman who, after a tragic accident, must choose between sentencing his male lover to eternal torment or doing right by him and, in turn, revealing their relationship to his beautiful bride, Mariela…and the entire village.

Undertow is a part of this year’s Latin American showcase. This film will be screened at Instituto Cervantes, which will also feature two films from Argentina: The Last Summer of La Boyita, the story of a young girl who travels to her family’s ranch in Argentina and befriends a farm boy who is not like other boys, and Plan B, where a man hatches a plan to seduce his ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend, to surprising results. Rounding out the showcase at other film venues is Brazil’s From Beginning to End, Argentina’s The Fish Child, and Mother Earth from Mexico.

This year, Reeling is proud to present three Centerpiece films. In the highly anticipated, much-talked about I Love You Phillip Morris, Jim Carrey plays a charismatic conman who repeatedly escapes from prison for the love of his life and cellmate, Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). This true and incredible story premiered at Sundance to rave reviews, and Reeling is thrilled to debut the Chicago premiere!

With “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” being such a hot button issue, nothing could be more fitting than this year’s Women’s Centerpiece, A Marine Story, winner of two Grand Jury Awards at 2010’s Outfest. Honorably discharged from the military, Alexandra (played by The Gymnast’s Dreya Weber) returns to her rural home to rebuild her life and come to grips with her sexuality.

In Robert Gaston’s thriller, Flight of the Cardinal, a group of New Yorkers travel to the Appalachian Mountains to stay at their friend’s inn, but the weekend takes a dangerous turn when a local man with a hidden agenda exposes each of their secrets.

Further confirmed titles include Elena Undone, which boasts the longest kiss in cinematic history; the super-charged Amphetamine; the poignant Eloïse’s Lover; the fantastic ensemble comedy The Four-Faced Liar; the heartbreaking Gen Silent; Grown Up Movie Star, an official Sundance selection; the star-studded Handsome Harry; Cannes favorite I Killed My Mother; JoJo Baby, about one of Chicago’s own outrageous artists; The Owls, a revolutionary docu-narrative; and the hilarious Violet Tendencies.


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