McAlester will “Glitter” with LGBTQ themed film festival

The Glitter Film Festival, in McAlester, Okla. July 27-29, features LGBTQ themed films or films by LGBTQ artists.

by Rob Howard
Associate Editor

“Come have a great time and watch some great films while you are at it,” says Kelly White, co-director of the Glitter Film Festival. Created to include LGBTQ themed films or films by LGBTQ artists, this is Glitter’s inaugural year. The festival will be in McAlester, Oklahoma, July 27-29.

So far, White says they have had over 100 submissions. “We’ve had a great response. We are getting films – half are domestic – but we are getting them from all over the world. We have films from France, Canada, Australia and Denmark.”

White, who is also the co-founder and co-director of McAlester’s EyeCatcher Film Festival, and Glitter co-director Jason Heath-Fitzgerald (also known as Mr. Bunny Lamar) wanted to do a diversity weekend and decided to do a film festival with it.

Heath-Fitzgerald is handling most of the entertainment portions of the diversity weekend; White is working on the film festival.

Fat Mary’s Lounge and Cabaret, an LGBTQ bar in McAlester, is the main venue for the film festival; a non-bar venue is being sought by White so that the students from McAlester High School’s Gay Straight Alliance can see many of the films. White thinks that the documentary category is particularly important, saying, “I love documentaries. I’m excited about Upstairs Inferno. The documentaries are important, [because] they cover topics that many people may not know about it.”

“Upstairs Inferno” is a haunting documentary about one of the deadliest events to affect the LGBTQ community in U. S. history. Photo provided.

She said Upstairs Inferno is a good example. The film is a haunting and powerful documentary about one of the deadliest events to affect the gay community in U.S. history, the June 1973 arsonist set fire at the Up Stairs Lounge, a New Orleans gay bar. Over 30 died; it was the worst attack on LGBTQ people in the United States until the Pulse terror attack in 2016. Upstairsis written and directed by Robert Camina.

Other films include:

The Symphony of Silence - 17 year-old writer Zach struggles to survive in the "dog eat dog" world of high school where he is tormented by bullies. There is no chance of finding comfort in a bully-free home environment as one of the bullies happens to be his 18 year-old brother, Sean. Written and directed by Cedric Thomas Smith.

“Unimaginable”, which explores the horrors of domestic violence, is a selection for the Glitter Film Festival. Photo provided.

Unimaginable – The Feature – Explores the horror of domestic violence. “How much does love have to hurt before it is not love?” is the question that plagues Antonio as the past demons of domestic violence resurface at the hands of his partner, Kirk. Written and directed by Cedric Thomas Smith.

Politically Correct – A group of television writers try so hard to be politically correct, it impedes their writing process. Written by Savannah Rodgers and Makay Foster; directed by Savannah Rodgers.

Sketches - After falling deeply in love, two women struggle with domesticity and their opposite personalities. Written by Meagan Flynn; directed by Savannah Rodgers.

White estimates that 70 to 80 of the films will be selected for viewing during the three day festival. Fifty percent of the submissions are short films which allows people to see a lot of films in a short time span; ten percent are full length features.

The festival starts at Fat Mary’s Lounge and Cabaret, 1561 W. Brewer Road, McAlester, at noon on Thursday July 27 and continues through 8 p.m. on Saturday July 29. An awards ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Admission to the Glitter Film Festival is free. “We want to see people out supporting the arts in general. It’s not about making money, it’s about getting people in to see the films,” says White.

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – June 30, 2017 @ 1:10 p.m.