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World Premiere LGBT Films "In Competition" at the 2011 Sundance Film Fest

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The 2011 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 20-30 in Park City, Utah where several new films with LGBT themes and characters will make their debut in the fest's four Competition Categories. 

A lineup of competing films was announced on Wednesday, with further announcements of films playing out of competition out today.

Among the standouts to root for is Dee Rees' feature narrative debut Pariah, which was first conceived as a short film that played the 2008 festival.  After going on to win a variety of accolades at other fests including Outfest and the Frameline Film Festival, Rees became a finalist for the 2009 Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award and adapted her short into a feature.  The film tells the heartbreaking story of a teenage lesbian to struggling to maintain conflicting identities between her family life and her social world.  View the trailer for the original short below.

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Pariah will compete in the U.S. Dramatic category alongside Gun Hill Road from director Rashaad Ernesto Green, who made the film as part of his senior thesis at NYU.  Gun Hill Road follows the efforts of a man recently released from prison to reconnect with his estranged wife, and a teenage son who has started to realize he is transgender.

In the World Cinema Dramatic category, the Algerian and French film A Few Days of Respite from director Amor Hakkar portrays the story of two gay Iranian men who have escaped their home country and seek refuge in a French village.  Ticket to Paradise from director Gerardo Chijona Valdes uses early 90s Cuba and an AIDS hospice as a backdrop to follow the crossed paths of a runaway teenage girl and young male rocker.

On the documentary side of things, the US Competition will feature Miss Representation, which examines the lack of media portrayals of women in power positions, and the effect it has on developing generations. Look for appearance by Rachel Maddow, Margaret Cho, and variety of other strong female personalities.  In the same category, We Were Here looks at the devastating arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco and the people inspired to take action in its wake.

You can find the full list of Films in Competition here, and look for additional posts on more Sundance films soon!

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