6th Annual Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Kicks off in Palm Springs
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
PALM SPRINGS- Film festivals have a rich history in Palm Springs and the 6th annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is no different. It kicks off today.
Folks may remember the campy, cult classic ‘Sordid Lives’ directed by Del Shores about a boy growing up in the south struggling with his sexuality while also dealing with his flamboyant and nosey family.
Shores says his new film, ‘Southern Baptist Sissies’, takes a more dramatic approach but keeps its trademark humor. It opens the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival also known as Cinema Diverse.
"I am exploring all that the church does to the gay community, especially when you were raised in those pews and how those words and, what I call hatred, that is spewed in the name of the Lord manifest and become engrained in your soul,” says Shores.
The film began as a play but residents say they've been waiting a long time to see the play turned into a movie. "We found out he was going to turn ‘Southern Baptist Sissies’ into a movie and we knew we had to come,” says La Quinta resident Richard Brown.
"I've seen his other plays and I love the cast that's in the movie plus I’m here to celebrate the lesbian and gay crowd,” says Palm Desert resident Dixie Stevens.
Festival Director Michael Green says the film dives deep into the relationship between religion and being gay. "There's a lot of Del's incredible humor in this film but this is also a very serious film. It's dealing with adolescent boys growing up in the Baptist church in the south where it's very difficult to grow up and be gay,” says Green.
He says a lot of the self loathing gay people feel growing up can stem from the church and says the movie is indicative of that struggle. "Everything that defines who they are goes against what they're hearing in the church so it's a very powerful film in that regard. Also it's very timely right now because as gays and lesbians become more visible, younger children are having to face these same issues,” says Green.
The festival will screen more than 50 films through Sunday and is $13 per movie. There are also bundle packages for purchase. "Palm Springs is such a great area to live in and we should all be very supportive of a film festival like this,” says Stevens.
Shores says the movie speaks for itself but hopes it leaves a message of love and acceptance of ones self. "You're ok just as you are. You are the creation, perfect, that God created."
For a complete list of film screenings, click here.