Keep an eye out for these LGBT-inclusive Sundance films to be released in 2015

The Sundance Film Festival, which wrapped up this past weekend, has long been one of the most LGBT-inclusive mainstream film festivals and this year followed that trend with the premieres of several inclusive films and documentaries.  A handful of those films were acquired for distribution at the festival and will be coming to cinemas, television or streaming services this year.

Sony Pictures Classics bought the worldwide distribution rights for the feature film Grandma which follows Elle (Lily Tomlin) and her teenage granddaughter Sage over one day as they try to get together $600 for Sage to get an abortion. Elle comes to realize how many bridges she has burned in the last year and a half in her grief over her partner Violet’s death. Grandma also stars Laverne Cox as one of Elle’s few remaining friends, Deathy, a trans tattoo artist.

The dramedy Dope will hit US cinema screens on June 12, 2015 from Open Road Films with Sony holding international rights.  The film follows three nerdy best friends obsessed with the ‘90s hip hop scene, including butch lesbian Diggy (Kiersey Clemons, Transparent), who balance their college applications and schoolwork with selling a huge stash of drugs that accidentally came into their possession to finance getting out of their Inglewood neighborhood. Dope also took home the Sundance U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Excellence in Editing.

Magnolia Pictures acquired worldwide distribution rights to Tangerine, notably filmed entirely on an iPhone 5s. The film follows two transgender sex workers, Sin-Dee and Alexandra (played by trans actresses Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor respectively), as they search out Sin-Dee’s pimp and boyfriend on a fateful Christmas Eve in Hollywood. IFC Films bought US rights for the dark comedy The D Train starring James Marsden as bisexual actor Oliver Lawless and Jack Black as his insecure former classmate Dan Landsman who hopes that getting Lawless to appear at their class reunion will win him the popularity he never had in high school. The Orchard purchased US distribution rights for swinger comedy The Overnight with a planned theatrical release later this year. Screen Media Films picked up domestic rights for Ten Thousand Saints with a planned late summer 2015 release; the 1980s-set film is based on the Eleanor Henderson novel of the same name. In the book, straight edge closeted tattoo artist and punk singer Johnny (here played by Emile Hirsch) offers to marry Eliza (Hailee Steinfeld) when she is found to be pregnant with the child of Johnny’s late brother.

The documentary Best of Enemies, about the 1968 television debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal, was acquired through a deal between Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media. Fresh Dressed, which explores the intersection of fashion and New York City’s hip hop era with interviews from several artists including Andre Leon Talley, was picked up by StyleHaul and Samuel Goldwyn Films for a planned theatrical and Vimeo On Demand release. CNN will also air the film.

There are still several LGBT-inclusive films that premiered or screened at Sundance which didn’t get purchased; including I Am Michael starring James Franco as “ex-gay” activist Michael Glatze, Sundance award winners The Summer of Sangaile (World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award) about two young girls who fall in love and James White (Next Audience Award) which starred rapper Kid Cudi as the gay best friend of the lead. These films can still be picked up for distribution and will likely continue to screen at festivals through the year.

Keep up to date with GLAAD’s newsroom through the year for more information as we get it!

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