Saturday, January 19, 2008

Savage Grace Panel at Queer Lounge

A great panel just wrapped up at the Queer Lounge featuring the creative talent behind Savage Grace, which focuses on a notorious true-life murder about a domineering mom (played unabashedly by Julianne Moore) and her gay son (Eddie Redmayne).

Director Tom Kalin returned to Sundance with this film 16 years after his debut feature Swoon helped define the 'New Queer Cinema' movement of the early '90s. Also in attendance was the remarkable exec producer Christine Vachon, writer Howard Rodman and producer Katie Roumel. Interestingly, this film, based on the book by the same name, took the last 16 years to get to the screen, making it the longest film in development for Vachon's Killer Films. The producer told the crowd in attendance that one of their next films, based on the rise and fall of Halston, is their second-longest in development.

English actor Eddie Redmayne (above left) was able to briefly join the panel and says his freckles helped him nail the casting for his role as Tony. Not only does he look remarkably like the real-life Tony, he also resembles screen-mom Moore. "There have only been two things I've read that have really spoken to me where I knew I had to play the part," says Eddie. One was Edward Albee's play The Goat, the other was Savage Grace. The actor went on to note that in The Goat he slept with his father and in Savage Grace he slept with his mother.

Writer Howard Rodman gave a surprise gift to Tom Kalin at the panel. A vintage 1991 workout video on VHS (remember that?) in unwrapped mint condition. He wasn't giving Kalin a subtle hint; the video was called The Savage Grace Workout. And the review blurb on the video: "Hot. Hot. Hot."

Just like Kalin and company's Savage Grace.

The cast and crew tell us how they got involved with the film: 

Screenwriter Howard Rodman tells us the plot of Savage Grace

Who's at Queer Lounge?

Queer Lounge is a great place to hang out and meet film fans like YOU!

Queer Lounge Daily: Day 1

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Watch Us Work It!

Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was Queer Lounge.
Watch 608 Main Street go from drab to fab, as crews transform the third floor into the place to be!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Full House on Opening Day of Queer Lounge

Today's grand opening of Queer Lounge in Park City was a huge success. Hundreds made their way through the doors at 608 Main Street to get out of the cold, have a Borba, Izzi or ABSOLUT VODKA, the presenting sponsor of the lounge. Queer Lounge --- open daily through Thursday --- features lux furnishings, free WiFi, and the best looking guys and gals this side of the Mississippi.

GLAAD's prexy Neil Giuliano hosted a standing-room-only open house tonight at the lounge---featuring lots of queer and emerging filmmakers, actress Jane Lynch, Advocate editor Anne Stockwell and the Abbey's David Cooley. Shelter producer JD Disalvatore snapped this shot of Neil (left), GLAAD Senior Director of Media Programs Rashad Robinson, filmmaker Jorge Sanchez, and GLAAD's Entertainment Media Director Damon Romine.

This was the first of many events and panels to be hosted there in the coming days. Up next: 1:30 Saturday panel featuring the creative talent behind the new Julianne Moore film Savage Grace.

Read more about QL in this new article.

Day One: Interview with Filmmaker Maurice Jamal

Out filmmaker Maurice Jamal (Dirty Laundry) sits with Rashad Robinson, GLAAD's Senior Director of Media Programs, at Queer Lounge. He tells us about his view of Sundance, what it takes to be an independent filmmaker and his plans for the future. (Hint: it doesn't involve resting!)

Live From Park City & Queer Lounge

GLAAD is on the ground this week at the place to be for new films and emerging filmmakers. During the Sundance and Slamdance film festivals, Queer Lounge, a program of GLAAD, is the hub where LGBT filmmakers and allies gather for networking, educational panels and mixers.

Check back often because we'll have plenty of Queer Lounge updates, video, pics and interviews with filmmakers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Slamdance LGBT Slate

As Hollywood and the rest of the film world prepare to descend on Park City and the Queer Lounge, Sundance won't be the only game in town. Competing Slamdance also features a slate of films that are LGBT-inclusive or made by out filmmakers, such as Goodbye Baby (right).

LGBT people will be the subject of several Slamdance docs, including Pageant, which follows five men as they prepare to compete as female impersonators in the 34th Miss Gay America competition. The fest will also screen many LGBT-inclusive shorts, including the Hurricane Katrina-survivor profile Holdout, and the animated film Softly, which uses plastic dolls in place of actors.

We've put together a comprehensive list of LGBT Slamdance films here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

She's A Boy I Knew Makes U.S. Premiere

The Palm Springs International Film Festival rang in the new year with a splash and a large dash of star power. The festival now proudly bills itself as the largest U.S. film festival second only to Sundance. The biggest difference, however, is the audience. While Sundance is heavily attended by filmmakers, would-be filmmakers, distributors and international press, the audiences in P.S. are made up of locals, true film lovers and those looking to check out offerings that rarely screen in the U.S. or make it to the multi-plex.

On Saturday, audiences were in for a treat with the Canadian documentary She's a Boy I Knew. From director Gwen Haworth (far right), the film is a first-person account of Haworth's transition from straight male to gay female. Blessed with two generations worth of archival footage, Haworth has made a 70-minute trans-primer that is part genealogical record, part family drama and part love story — with comedic observations and a handful of animated sequences to lighten the mood.

With revealing and emotional interviews with her two sisters, parents and ex-wife Malgosia (above left), Haworth weaves a tale of a family who mourned the loss of Steven and eventually came to embrace Gwen. The film doesn't shy away from details (or video) of Haworth's sexual reassignment surgery and the high price — financial, physical and emotional — the director has paid.

The doc won the Audience Award for Most Popular Canadian Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival, as well as the fest's Women in Film and Television Artistic Merit Award. "That was extremely gratifying," says Haworth about being recognized by a jury of her peers, female filmmakers.

Haworth was on hand in P.S. for the U.S. premiere of her film, missing the last-minute wedding of her lesbian sister in the process. Hopefully the trip was worth it and the exposure of She's a Boy I Knew at the festival will lead to a television deal because this is one film that deserves a much larger audience.