Queer Lounge Continues to Raise Awareness of LGBT Issues in Park City with guests including Robert Redford, Jim Carrey and Benjamin Bratt
Photos, videos of panel discussions and interviews with LGBT filmmakers available at: http://glaadblog.org/tag/queer-lounge
February 09, 2009, Los Angeles, CA - Queer Lounge, a program of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) presented by ABSOLUT® Vodka, is proud to congratulate the LGBT filmmakers and films with LGBT content that received honors at this year's Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals. Queer Lounge worked to build visibility for the following films and the more than 40 others by LGBT filmmakers or featuring LGBT content which were shown at the Park City film festivals:
- Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire, from out director Lee Daniels, won both the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.
- Vapid Lovelies, winner of the Spirit of Slamdance Award. The film looks at two aspiring gay designers from Utah who set out to craft the perfect outfit for Sundance.
- Louise-Michel, winner of Sundance's Special Jury Prize for originality. The inclusive film follows a group of female workers who seek revenge after being fired from a toy factory.
- Good Hair, winner in the U.S. Documentary category, which features one openly gay man among the stylists and salon owners profiled in the film.
"These films brought intense personal stories to the screen, strengthening and shaping LGBT-inclusive cinema for future filmmakers," said Ellen Huang, the founder and program director of Queer Lounge. "We are proud that Queer Lounge was able to connect these and other LGBT filmmakers with leaders in the entertainment industry and provide a unique opportunity for them to make our stories heard."
LGBT filmmakers from films such as Amreeka, Motherhood, Children of Invention, Mississippi Damned, City Rats, Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire, Weather Girl and Dare participated in the seven panel discussions hosted at Queer Lounge. The program also coordinated interviews for LGBT filmmakers, including an "Open Call" with Associated Press Television in which 18 LGBT filmmakers or filmmakers of films with LGBT content participated.
Photos and videos of panel discussions, interviews with LGBT filmmakers and a press conference for the film I Love You Phillip Morris featuring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor held at Queer Loungeare available at:http://glaadblog.org/tag/queer-lounge/.
The program's comprehensive listing of more than 40 films by LGBT filmmakers, in addition to all Sundance films featuring LGBT content shown at the Park City film festivals is available at:http://www.queerlounge.org/films/alphabetical.php.
"This was an incredible year for LGBT visibility at the Park City film festivals," said Neil G. Giuliano, president of GLAAD. "Not only did over 3,000 unique visitors come through Queer Lounge, but audiences also experienced new stories about our lives. We are hopeful that our work in raising visibility for these films will bring these inclusive images to broader audiences."
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2009 GLAAD QUEER LOUNGE INCLUDE:
- Coordinating and securing interviews including the Associated Press Television "Open Call," for LGBT filmmakers to increase visibility of their inclusive works.
- Celebrity guests of the lounge included Robert Redford, Kevin Bacon, Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Benjamin Bratt, Christopher Meloni, High School Musical's KayCee Stroh, and Erika Alexander.
- Panel discussion on the role of cinema in reaction to Proposition 8 with John Cooper (Director of Programming, the Sundance Film Festival®), Rob Epstein, (Oscar®-winning director of the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk)and moderator B. Ruby Rich (cultural critic and professor, UC Santa Cruz). (Video:http://glaadblog.org/2009/01/20/lgbt-civil-rights-film-activism-proposition-8/).
- I Love You Phillip Morris press conference with cast members Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Rodrigo Santoro, executive producer Luc Besson, producer Andrew Lazar and writers/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. (Video: http://glaadblog.org/2009/01/19/i-love-you-phillip-morris-at-queer-lounge/)
- La MISSION panel with star Benjamin Bratt, producer Peter Bratt, consulting producer John Amaechi and other cast members focusing on homophobia in communities of color. (Video:http://glaadblog.org/2009/01/21/benjamin-bratt-peter-bratt-more-talk-up-la-mission/)
- GLAAD's launch of the 2009 "Thank GLAAD It's Friday (TGIF)" networking series for young LGBT professionals, featuring DJ Randi Bettis.
- Queer Lounge's opening weekend party, "Glamdance," with performances by Richie Rich, Tokyo Diiva and DJ Kevin Haskins of Love and Rockets.
- Viewing party of the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
- Queer Lounge closing night party, "Homos Away from Home," with a performance by Matt Alber.
- Sponsored parties by Film Independent, Regent Media, Swedish Consulate, Visual Communications, Cape Cod Films, the film Toe to Toe, which was in Sundance's U.S. Dramatic Narrative competition, as well as a joint party sponsored by the Alliance of Women Directors, Fund for Women Artists and SWAN Day.
Launched during the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Queer Lounge attracts about 6,000 people annually. It has become the hub for activity surrounding LGBT films, where LGBT and LGBT-friendly filmmakers, professionals and audiences convene and network. Queer Lounge has quickly become a Sundance phenomenon, producing some of the festival's most talked-about events and attracting celebrities and leaders in the film community, from Naomi Watts and Toni Collette to John Cameron Mitchell and Gus Van Sant. Festival-goers are offered unique amenities, including a comprehensive printed guide to the festivals' films by LGBT filmmakers or featuring LGBT content, online access through HP computers and free Wi-Fi, entry to Queer Lounge panels and networking events, and a hospitality lounge where journalists can blog and conduct interviews. The program works year-round to build mainstream audiences and boost box office for LGBT films and filmmakers. Presenting Sponsor, ABSOLUT® Vodka; Official Airline Sponsor, Southwest Airlines; Major Sponsors: Green Lab, MPicardi Custom Fine Furnishings; Project Sponsors, Abreva, Wolfe Video; and Foundation Support from the Bastian Foundation.