Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe is arguably one of the most important artists of the 20th century and he discovered himself both sexually and artistically in New York City throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The film explores Mapplethorpe’s life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea Hotel, home to a world of bohemian chic. Here he begins photographing its inhabitants and his newly found circle of friends including artists and musicians, socialites, film stars and member of the S&M underground. Starring Matt Smith (DOCTOR WHO, THE CROWN), this biopic offers a nuanced portrait of an artist at the height of his craft and of the self-destructive impulses that threaten to undermine it all.

Preceded by SET ME AS A SEAL UPON THINE HEART; dir Omer Tobi; 14 min
A gay sauna encounter between a young man and an older man becomes an unexpected lesson about love.
.

Wild Nights With Emily

From writer and director Madeleine Olnek (FOXY MERKINS) comes a comical look at the life of Emily Dickinson starring the incomparable Molly Shannon as the literary icon. This quirky and irreverent film runs counter to the notion that Dickinson was a lonely spinster. Instead, we get a brighter picture of a more spirited woman who was forced to hide her love affair.

Preceded by UNTITLED SHORT FILM ABOUT WHITE PEOPLE; dir Nicholas Colia; 17 min
In an effort to rid herself of guilt for gentrifying the neighborhood, a WASPy young woman aggressively attempts to befriend the Indian woman who works at the bodega on her block.

TRANSMILITARY

Around 15,500 transgender people serve in the U.S. military (notably the largest transgender employer in the U.S.), where they must conceal their gender identity because military policies ban their service. TRANSMILITARY chronicles the lives of four individuals defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own. They put their careers and their families’ livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender to top brass officials in the Pentagon in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve. The ban was lifted in 2016, but with President Trump now trying to reinstate it, their futures hang in the balance again. This powerful film won the “Documentary Feature Audience Award” at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.

Preceded by THE TOOTHMANS; dir HANSEN BURSIC; 14 min
Quietly nestled in McConnellsburg, a rural town in Pennsylvania, a relatively normal family faces challenges as their daughter comes out as transgender.

Top Drawer Shorts

SOMETHING ABOUT ALEX / DIR. REINOUT HELLENTHAL / 9 MIN
Alex, a troubled and isolated teenager, finds a true and supportive friend in Hendrik, his sister’s boyfriend.

MEN DON’T WHISPER / DIR. JODAN FIRSTMAN / 22 MIN
After being emasculated at a sales conference, a gay couple set out to do the most masculine thing they can think of – sleep with some women.

SWEET AND SOUR / DIR. ANN SUN / 6 MIN
Wei believes that his traditional Chinese mom will have a hard time accepting his boyfriend.

MASKS / DIR. MAHALIYAH AYLA O / 23 MIN
A closeted med student risks being outed to her family on the same night of a horrific event.

DARIO / DIR. MANUEL KINZER & JORGE A TRUJILLO O / 15 MIN
Against his mother’s wishes, a teenager from Colombia loves to dance in a carnival dancing group.

THE INHERENT TRAITS OF CONNOR JAMES / DIR. ALLY PANKIW O / 14 MIN
Lea and Court, a happily-married lesbian couple, return to Lea’s hometown with their three-year-old son to attend an old friend’s funeral.