Winners of 24th Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Awards Announced
Out Film CT wrapped up the 24th Annual Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on Saturday, June 4th, with The Green earning the Audience Award for favorite feature film. Over 2,000 attendees from all over Connecticut and beyond enjoyed a wide selection of exceptional feature films, shorts and documentaries during the 10-day festival at Cinestudio, located on the beautiful campus of Trinity College in Hartford.
Out Film CT is pleased to announce the top film honors at this year’s festival:
Best Feature - Audience Award
Winner – The Green
Runner Up – Mary Lou
Special Mention – Going Down in LA-LA Land
Best Documentary - Audience Award
Winner – Gen Silent
Runner Up – We Were Here
Special Mention – The Sons of Tennessee Williams
Best Short - Jury Award
Winner – Gaysharktank.com
Runner Up (Tie) – Gayby
Runner Up (Tie) – The Colonel’s Outing
Casper Andreas (Going Down in LA-LA Land)
Festival Director Shane Engstrom stated, “This year we showed a rich collection of films from around the globe, but for the first time in the festival’s history, we came home to Connecticut for the festival’s top honor.” The prestigious Audience Award for Best Feature Film went to The Green, a film that was written, set and filmed right here in Connecticut. “Our audience was immediately drawn into the rich story written by Connecticut’s own Paul Marcarelli and the superb acting of a first class cast.” Marcarelli and producer Molly Pearson were present at the screening to answer questions about the film from the enthusiastic audience. Runner Up and Special Mention honors went to Mary Lou (a musical by renowned Israeli director Eytan Fox) and Going Down in LA-LA Land (a film about the lengths to which people will go to find love and success in Tinseltown).
This year’s Director Award went to film director Casper Andreas for Going Down in LA-LA Land. According to Engstrom, “Our audience has always enjoyed Casper’s films, and this year was no exception when his film earned a rare standing ovation on closing night. Casper Andreas, accompanied by scene-stealing actress Allison Lane, created one of the high points of this year’s festival.”
In the Best Documentary category, the Audience Award went to Gen Silent, a film that explored a wide array of issues and unique challenges that members of the LGBT community face in their later years. We Were Here, a film that examines the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco, was runner up, followed by The Sons of Tennessee Williams, a film that explored the historic impact of the Mardi Gras “drag balls” on the New Orleans gay community.
The Jury Award for Best Short Film was given to Guy Shalem’s Gaysharktank.com, a side-splitting comedy about a gay knock-off version of the popular video chat website Chatroulette.com. The short films Gayby and The Colonel’s Outing tied for runner up.
Connecticut native Betsy Kalin also made a special guest appearance and shared her film Chained!, an amusing mini-documentary about the uncanny popularity of the wallet chain in the lesbian community.
Out Film CT does more than produce the annual Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Through a longstanding collaboration with the Trinity College gay-straight student organization, EROS (Encouraging Respect of all Sexualities), Out Film CT will present the 13th EROS Film Festival in November. This annual event brings more LGBT films to Hartford with an emphasis on youth, history and classic films. In addition, the “Out Film CT Presents” film series continues at Cinestudio throughout the year. Check the website for updates at www.OutFilmCT.org. The organization always welcomes new volunteers who wish to become more active in the community by helping out at a single event or joining the committee to screen films throughout the year. Becoming involved in Out Film CT or providing support through monetary donations are wonderful ways to support the arts, the queer community, and to raise awareness and appreciation for the diversity and freedoms that Connecticut offers its residents.
Out Film CT is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to presenting outstanding LGBT cinema and other theatrical events throughout the year, culminating in the 10-day Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Preparations have already begun for the 25th annual film festival (May/June 2012) which promises to be a spectacular celebration of film and community, with lots of special guests, parties and much more.