Month-long Series Focusing on LGBT Issues Features Talk-back
with Former Presidential Candidate Fred Karger Sept. 7
A screening of “FRED,” featuring a talk-back with Fred Karger, the film’s subject and the first openly gay presidential candidate from a major political party in history, highlights the lineup during the third-annual LGBT Film Series at the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks this summer. The film series, presented by Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley and ArtsQuest, kicks off Aug. 19 with “To Be Takei” and concludes Sept. 14 with “My Prairie Home.”
On Sept. 7, 7:15 p.m., the Alehouse Cinemas will screen “FRED,” the film by Director John Fitzgerald Keitel that chronicles Fred Karger’s run for President of the United States in 2010-’11. The one-hour documentary follows Karger as he fights for inclusion in the debates, takes on his opponents, and campaigns to let lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans know that anything is possible. Following the screening, attendees are invited to meet and ask questions of Karger during a special talk-back and discussion moderated by Adrian Shanker, Founding Director of the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.
During his career, Karger worked on nine presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant on campaigns for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford. He retired after 27 years and has since become an activist for gay rights causes. In March 2011, he was the first person to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential race.
Other films in the LGBT Film Series include:
To Be Takei – Aug. 19, 7:15 p.m.
Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot; starring George Takei
George Takei doesn’t shy away from digging into his remarkable career and personal life in Jennifer Kroot’s delightful and incisive film “To Be Takei.” As a child forced into Japanese-American internment camps, the actor-turned-activist reveals the ways that racism affected him well into his early acting career, where he played stereotypical Asian stock characters in film and television shows. Even after landing the iconic role of Hikaru Sulu on “Star Trek,” Takei’s sharp eye, coupled with his wicked sense of humor, continued to challenge the status quo well into the 21st Century.
Now at 76, nine years after formally coming out of the closet, Takei and his husband, Brad, have become the poster couple for marriage equality, highlighting homophobia through television interviews and hilarious skits, many of which have gone viral and garnered widespread attention. Whether dishing on William Shatner or parodying the now-infamous comments made by Tim Hardaway, Takei proves time and again why his presence in popular culture remains as fresh and necessary as ever.
Hot Guys with Guns – Aug. 25, 7:15 p.m.
Directed by Doug Spearman; starring Leon Acord, John Ainsworth & Dalila Ali Rajah
This gay comedy-action-thriller co-stars Marc Samuel and Brian McArdle as thrown together gay ex-boyfriends out to solve an ominous Hollywood gay sex-party robbery in the terrific directorial debut from out gay actor Doug Spearman (Noah’s Arc).
Tru Love – Aug. 26, 7:15 p.m.
Directed by Kate Johnston & Shauna MacDonald; starring Shauna MacDonald, Kate Trotter, Christine Horne
“Tru Love” is a sparkling and evocative love story about the intersecting lives of three women. Alice has recently lost her husband and, still coming to terms, has on the spur of the moment decided to visit her daughter Suzanne in the big city. When Suzanne, whose relationship with her mother is already conflicted, is too busy to spend time with her, she enlists friend Tru to babysit Alice while she works.
A commitment-phobic lesbian, Tru forms an unlikely but deeply touching bond with Alice, helping her to pick herself up and move on with her life and the possibility of a relationship between the two sparks into life. When Suzanne witnesses a tender moment between mother and friend her subsequent actions stress the relationship of all three women, leading to a heartbreaking climax.
Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf? – Sept. 3, 7:15 p.m.
Directed by Anna Margarita Albelo; starring Anna Margarita Albelo, Guinevere Turner & Janina Gavankar
In this eccentric all-female romantic comedy, charismatic filmmaker Anna faces a midlife crisis. She has neither job nor girlfriend, and lives in her friend’s garage in Los Angeles. Just when she’s about to throw in the towel, she meets Katia who becomes her muse, inspiring her to write and direct an all-female remake of Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Surrounded by beautiful women as cast and crew including Guinevere Turner in a tour-de-force performance, Carrie Preston and gorgeous ingénue Agnes Olech as her smitten cinematographer, Anna destroys everything to get to the bottom of what is truly stopping her from love and life.
Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo – Sept. 4, 7:15 p.m.
Directed by Matt Livadary
This film chronicles a complete season of the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA). Roping and riding across North America, the IGRA’s courageous cowboys and cowgirls brave challenges both in and out of the arena on their quest to qualify for the World Finals at the end of the season. Along the way, they’ll bust every stereotype in the book.
An unprecedented look at the strength it takes to be gay in the rural west, this film explores the many struggles threatening the IGRA and the LGBT community at large, how far society has come on the subject of LGBT equality, and how far it still has to go.
My Prairie Home – Sept. 14, 7:15 p.m.
Directed by Chelsea McMullan; starring Rae Spoon
With only an acoustic guitar and a laptop, transgender singer/songwriter Rae Spoon, who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they,” embarks on a modest tour across the vast and blue-skied plains of Canada, facilitated by Greyhound buses and generic motel rooms. Delicately observed through Spoon’s contemplative moments, “My Prairie Home” takes an impressionistic approach to its subject, thwarting the expectations of a traditional music documentary. The film poetically weaves together Spoon’s personal history of an evangelical household back in Alberta, a troubled family life, and a forbidden first love—all of which left indelible marks on their lyrics and are brought to life through playful, music-video–like visual sequences.
Following the screening of My Prairie Home, attendees are invited to take part in a talk-back moderated by Trish Boyles, Ph.D., Director of LGBTQIA Services at Lehigh University, and Mary Foltz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English at Lehigh University.
The Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas are a two-screen independent, foreign and art house cinema located in the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. Tickets for all LGBT Film Series screenings are $10 (regular), $8 (seniors ages 60 and older) and $7.50 for ArtsQuest Members. For more information, visit www.artsquest.org/film/.