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QFest Brings Modern Queer World Cinema to U City

The fifth annual QFest begins Sunday at The Tivoli.

Cinema St. Louis presents St. Louis QFest from April 22-26 at the in University City. The 2012 edition, presented by TLA Releasing, features 21 movies (10 features and four documentaries) and seven short subject films from the United States, Canada, Belgium and Italy.

Now in its fifth year, QFest 2012 offers a diverse representation of familiar and fresh faces in contemporary queer world cinema. 2012 again sees an increase in the number movies screened at QFest. The films shown focus on issues of significance to the LGBT community while fostering interest in film amongst the Saint Louis’ queer community by offering eclectic, and broad ranged programming which includes filmmaker interviews, special guests, parties and exclusive events.

QFest is the culmination of work by Cinema St. Louis Artistic Director Chris Clark. Clark spends most of the year looking at new titles that debut at early winter film festivals such as Sundance or The Palm Springs Film Festival. He also looks for movies that have created a buzz and won awards at other LGBT film festivals throughout the previous year.

In its fifth year, QFest has grown every year. 

“Attendance has been steady the past few years at 1,000 (people)," Clark said. "But diversity in the attendees is quite evident as it is increasingly mixed with gay/straight audience members. It doesn’t matter at all who people are as long as they walk away with something from the experience whether (it be) sheer entertainment or learning something new.”

Here is a sampling of five films being screened this year.

Cloudburst

Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker star in a comedy about Stella and Dot, a couple who have been together for over three decades. When a meddling granddaughter places Dot in a nursing home things get fun as they bust out and head off to Nova Scotia to be married.

Cloudburst will screen at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22.

Love Free Or Die: How The Bishop of New Hampshire Is Changing The World

Director Macky Aston’s documentary about Gene Robinson, the openly gay Anglican bishop of New Hampshire, screened to rave reviews at Sundance.

The film deals with how Robinson wrestles with the conflicts of belief between his religion and his personal life.

Love Free Or Die: How The Bishop of New Hampshire Is Changing The World screens at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, April 22.

North Sea, Texas

From Belgium comes this coming of age story about Pim, a young teen who creates his dream world to escape the abuse and humiliation he faces every day. This world contains a life with Gino, the boy next door that he has a tense sexual attraction for. This film explores what becomes of hopes and dreams while portraying the difficult adolescent life of gay teens. 

North Sea, Texas plays at 7 p.m. Monday April 23.

Finding Me: Truth

Faybien is comfortable with who he is yet vulnerable and low on self-esteem. His comfortable world spins out of control when his ex comes back into his life seeking reconciliation. To make things more complicated his friends also have their own unique baggage and drama that swirl around him constantly.

Director Roger S. Omeus Jr. has assembled a cast led by Ray Martel Moore as Faybian who portrays the queer African American experience with vivid realism. Ray Martell Moore will be in attendance for a Q&A session following the film.

Finding Me: Truth screens at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 25.

My Best Day

QFest closes with St. Louisan Erin Greenwell’s My Best Day, a film about Karen, a Midwestern receptionist who suddenly reconnects with her father after he calls her about fixing his refrigerator. What happens next is a story of family, bullying, heartache, hope and finding your true path in life.

Erin Greenwell will attend and host a Q&A after the film at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26,.

The complete QFest lineup of films and special events can be found online. All screenings will be held at the Tivoli Theatre.

QFest closes things out on Thursday, April 26, with a party at the Moonrise Hotel's rooftop terrace bar starting at 9:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the LGBT Center of St. Louis.

Advanced tickets are available now at the Tivoli Theatre box office or via the Landmark Theatres website. Tickets may also be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and Cinema St. Louis members. For more information call 314-289-4152.

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