Five Must-Watch Films From Reeling 2023


Five Must-Watch Films From Reeling 2023

Get ready for the glitter and glamour of Reeling 2023, Chicago’s 41st LGBTQ+ International Film Festival! It starts on September 21 and struts its stuff until October 8. To celebrate this fabulous showcase of LGBTQ+ talent, we’ve handpicked five must-watch films just for you!

20,000 Species of Bees
September 24, 2023 | 3:30 PM CDT


An inspiring tale of self-discovery, this coming-of-age story follows a young child’s journey to explore her true gender identity within the unique backdrop of a Basque beekeeping matriarchy. Born as a male named Aitor and known by the nickname Coco, neither name truly captures her authentic self.

In the serene Basque hills, Coco finds solace with her grandmother, Lourdes, who tends to the family’s beekeeping farm. Amid the soothing buzz of bees and Lourdes’ accepting support, Coco gradually begins to confide in her family and friends about her discomfort in her own body. As she discovers her true self during the summer, her family, too, learns to embrace and accept her for who she truly is.

With an exceptional, award-winning portrayal by the young star Sofía Otero, “20,000 SPECIES OF BEES” is a touching story that delves into family connections and introspection.

Single, Out
September 25, 2023 | 9:15 PM CDT


In this irresistibly fun and unapologetically gay Australian TV series, much like Netflix’s “HEARTSTOPPER,” we embark on an amusing journey alongside Adam, a budding young artist who’s just had his first sexual experience. As he juggles his job, artistic passions, and the complexities of new relationships, Adam grapples with the challenge of embracing his true self and leaving behind the closeted single life. While being single is a breeze, being out and proud is a whole new problem.

In a genre often characterized by the dilemma of anti-gay prejudice, “SINGLE, OUT” takes a refreshing approach by immersing viewers in a delightfully queer world, offering a more straightforward and joyous narrative. The series builds up to Adam’s grand exhibition, where relationships evolve, secrets are unveiled, and meaningful conversations deepen, vividly portraying the essence of young love and self-discovery in today’s world.

Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn
September 26, 2023 | 7:15 PM CDT


Malcolm Kenyatta, who proudly identifies as a “poor, gay, Black man from North Philly,” ventures on a groundbreaking and inspirational journey in his 2022 bid for the U.S. Senate. Despite the wild fundraising hurdles and the world’s eyebrow-raising about his sexual orientation, Kenyatta armed himself with his personal flair and electrifying speeches, showing everyone how an underdog can skyrocket to political renown. Amidst his whirlwind 15-month campaign, Kenyatta’s bond with Dr. Matt Jordan-Miller deepens as they stick together through thick and thin.

Director Timothy Harris crafts an engaging and heartwarming portrait of a man whose voice is starting to resonate loudly.

September 27, 2023 | 7:15 PM CDT


On her 64th birthday, Zoe, a Cuban exile living a solitary life, is on the point of grandmotherhood. But there’s a surprising twist in store for her. After more than four decades of separation, Helena, her childhood best friend, unexpectedly returns to reconnect and reminisce about their lives through songs, letters, and cherished memories. Little do they realize that this reunion will forever alter the course of their lives. As a long-buried secret emerges, both women reevaluate their relationship. With stellar performances and exquisite cinematography, this film takes a deep dive into the often untold tale of life at a crossroads.

September 28, 2023 | 7:00 PM CDT


Fresh out of college, aspiring writer Annie (Natalia Dyer from “Stranger Things”) is packing up her Philly pad, prepping for a finance job in LA. But a chance bar encounter introduces her to the thrill-seeking Tyler (Rachel Keller from “Fargo”) and the more reserved Danny (Danny Ramirez from “Top Gun: Maverick”). What follows is a whirlwind love triangle packed with sparks, uncertainty, and those oh-so-slow-burning moments of connection. In Annie’s world, neon lights paint the scene as she distances herself from her loved ones, delaying the inevitable choice about her future, all in a tale of youthful indecision.

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