Reeling 2021, Chicago’s 39th annual LGBTQ+ International Film Festival kicks off on September 23rd and runs all the way through October 7th. Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s festival is offering a hybrid version with in theater premiers alongside online streaming.
The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is the second longest-running film festival of its kind. Seeks to, “recognize the important artistic contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender filmmakers have made to our culture; to educate the general population and sensitize them to lesbian, gay and transgender issues; to investigate the history of LGBTQ+ film, including the stereotyping that has been a major part of this history; and to counteract this stereotyping with valid, meaningful and diverse portrayals of those in the LGBTQ+ community.”
In honor of this fascinating springboard of LGBTQ+ talent, we’ve put together a list of five films not to be missed!
Boy Meets Boy
In Theater | Landmark Theater | Tue, Sep 28th | 9PM
Streaming | Fri Oct 1st - Thu, Oct 7th (US Only)
Boy Meets Boy tells the story of two strangers from different backgrounds who meet in a nightclub and spend a day together. Harry, the professional dancer, was raised in a loving and supportive family, while Johannes, a doctor, struggled to achieve success with little help from his family. While traveling through Berlin, several challenges arise, yet they find peace in a public park. The ending is quite abrupt and makes you realize that nothing is a sure thing, regardless of one’s upbringing.
In Theater | Landmark Theater | Sun, Sep 26th | 4:30PM
Streaming | Wed, Sep 29th - Tue, Oct 5th (Illionis Only)
‘Jump, Darling’ casts legendary actress Cloris Leachman as Margaret, the grandmother of queer actor Russell struggling as a drag queen because of his unsuccessful acting career. Russell escapes a controlling relationship with the hope of finding a new start in a small country town. While being pulled into another unhealthy relationship, he realizes that his grandmother needs more help than imagined. His meddling mother gets in the way as ghosts of the past haunt everyone involved. Russell finds his path back to the drag stage, and the final climax makes a distinct statement about mental health struggles.
In Theater | Landmark Theater | Sat, Sep 25th | 7:15PM
Streaming | Tue, Sep 28th - Mon, Oct 4th (US Only)
No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics
In Theater | Landmark Theater | Sat, Sep 25th | 5:15PM
Streaming | Tue, Sept 28th - Mon, Oct 4th (US Only)
Comic book nerds unite as the documentary ‘No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics’ traces the history of the underground genre through the voices of five iconic artists. They share how they found their voices to share stories of life in the most relatable and accessible medium. You may not know their names (Alison Bechdel, Rupert Kinnard, Howard Cruse, Jen Camper, Mary Wings,) but you will recognize their cartoon and the common themes we have all struggled with. The movie is as moving and emotional as it is educational; and essential for everyone, especially Gen Z and Millenials who might not have been exposed to the history of our culture.
The Sixth Reel
In Theater | Landmark Theater | Thur, Sep 30th | 9:15PM
Streaming | Fri, Oct 1st - Thur, Oct 7th (US Only)
The Sixth Reel is a comedy film starring legendary drag performer Charles Bush as Jimmy. When cash-strapped Jimmy discovers that his friend with benefits Gerald has passed away, he and Geralds niece Helen (Julie Halston) find a film relic worth millions while rummaging through Geralds belongings. Helen and Jimmy enlist their good friend Doris (Margaret Cho) on a hilarious journey of lies, deception, twists, and turns. So get your popcorn and edibles ready for this lighthearted ode to classic film.