Reeling Films 2022: Defying Stigmas and Pushing Boundaries

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Reeling Films 2022: Defying Stigmas and Pushing Boundaries

The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film —often known as the —is the world’s second-longest-running LGBTQ+ film and takes pride in showing the best LGBTQ+ films each year. But first, how did it all begin?

The History

In April 1981, Chicago Filmmakers’ 90-seat folding-chair screening room on West Hubbard Street hosted the first Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival. Almost every screening was sold out, leaving viewers wanting more. The festival’s popularity prompted Chicago Filmmakers to commit to continuing it as an annual event, and it has been running strong ever since.
Reeling 2022
Throughout its existence, the Film has been known to push boundaries with controversial and inventive films portraying LGBTQ+ culture. The festival offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to celebrate these identities for a group far too often misrepresented or disregarded in mainstream film and television.
In its 40th edition, the includes dramatic features and documentaries and focuses on unorthodox and experimental films. I know you’re itching to see all of the films, so we’ll give you a sneak peek!

Films 2022

One feature film in this year’s is Nana’s Boys, a story about a struggling individual named Amari (David J. Cork). Amari, who lacks a career and a sense of purpose in his life, realizes it’s time to make some decisions, especially because his long-term partner Q (Jared Wayne Gladly) appears to have everything sorted out. The film celebrates the love between Black homosexual men, which is still sadly uncommon. With subtle, sympathetic performances, Nana’s Boys zeroes in on the intimate life of a couple confronted with the realization that their relationship is not as stable as they thought.

Three Headed Beast, another feature film this year, comes on its heels! It follows a long-term couple on the verge of ending their open relationship and finds themselves in unfamiliar territory when one of them develops an intense connection with a younger man. With almost no conversation, this ambitious experimental romance depends on precise editing to follow three entangled lovers. Three Headed Beast appears to be a peaceful, relaxing, and sensual film about three people learning to love themselves and each other.

If you need a break from strong emotions and want something lighthearted, Homebody is the film to watch. This fun spin on Freaky Friday follows Johnny, a 9-year-old boy who adores his babysitter, Melanie, who never judges him when he wants to put on lipstick and try on his mother’s outfits. They spend their final day together watching an online video on spirit projection. It’s unclear how seriously she takes it, but Johnny is captivated, which is how he temporarily manages to possess her body. Homebody, with its upbeat score, explores the simple pleasures of imagination, fantasy, and intuition.

Finally, step into another world with Uýra-The Rising Forest, a lyrical and visually spellbinding film. Uýra, a trans-indigenous performance artist and ecologist, voyages through the Amazon on a journey of self-discovery, using performance art and ancestral messages to teach indigenous youth and confront structural racism and transphobia in Brazil. Uýra and their fellow activist-artists bring their message of LGBTQ+ rights and environmental protection to life through dance, poetry, eye-popping make-up, and costumes, many of which use natural elements in the forest. The connections between LGBT identity, Indigenous identity, bodily/cultural autonomy, and the natural world are greatly separated, but these intersections are at the heart of Uýra-The Rising Forest.

There are many more to choose from, so don’t miss out on these films at Reeling this year!

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