Thursday, October 30, 2008

ImageOut Films on DVD

People are always asking me about the DVD availability of some of the films shown at our recent Festival. I'll try to post DVD release dates here when I can.

So far, I know these films are now available on DVD:
FOUR MINUTES (I highly recommend it to those who missed it!)
SAVAGE GRACE (Canadian market)
BREAKFAST WITH SCOT (Canadian market)
ANTONIO'S SECRET (Asian market)

Available on pre-order:
SAVE ME (Jan 20)

In limited theatrical release (unfortunately not in Rochester, NY):
CIAO (Dec 5)
SEX POSITIVE (Winter 2009)

As usual, feel free to check Wolfe for DVDs -- your purchase using this link helps ImageOut.

If I missed anything, feel free to share information in the comments section.

~ Michael G

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Roger Ebert Controversy

Now that I have posted our Audience Award winners this year, I was wondering if you guys have read Roger Ebert's controversial review of TRU LOVED. He basically lambasted the film but the kicker is he only watched the first 8 minutes of the film (oh I just noticed that he has since watched the whole film and posted a new review). I think that was a bad call. What do you think? Should Mr. Ebert just retire from being a critic? Did you see the film in our festival? Do you agree with the review? Use the comments section to discuss.

Check this link for more on the issue.

ImageOut Audiences Embrace TRU LOVED

After two years of picking heavy powerful dramas, ImageOut 16 voters opt for something lighter by giving the 2008 Audience Award for Best Independent Feature to the comedic romp TRU LOVED. The film, also one of the Festival's top sellers, manages to squeak by some of the heavy favorites including XXY and SAVE ME, which many voters note are the best films in this year's lineup. But sometimes it only takes a couple of people to have issues with a film to bring its average down.

However, TRU LOVED rates consistently high among the many people turning in their votes. And the film screening also has the most diverse audiences attending. So congratulations to Director Stewart Wade for winning this coveted award.

Here's how you rate our feature films this year:

1. Tru Loved
2. The Secrets
3. Steam
4. Four Minutes
5. Clapham Junction
6. Save Me
7. What Love Means
8. The Sensei
9. XXY
10. Breakfast with Scot
11. Ready? Ok!
12. The New World
13. Mulligans
14. Were the World Mine
15. The World Unseen
16. Antonio's Secret
17. Fashion Victims
18. Ciao
19. Grimm Love
20. Savage Grace
21. Drifting Flowers
22. Boystown
23. Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!
24. To Each Her Own
25. Sugar Rush
26. Otto; Or, Up With Dead People
27. The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela
28. Newcastle

Popular PAGEANT Wins the Crown

PAGEANT charms its way to the hearts of ImageOut audiences and captures our 2008 Audience Award for Best Independent Documentary. Our documentary films this year really connect with our audiences with the Top 10 all rating within .30 point of each other. The rest are not too far behind.

Congratulations to filmmakers Ron Davis and Stewart Halpern!

Here's how you rate our documentary films:

1. Pageant
2. The Times of Harvey Milk
3. In Sickness & In Health
4. U People
5. It's Still Elementary
6. The Universe of Keith Haring
7. Equality U
8. Out Late
9. Sex Positive
10. Ask Not
11. Be Like Others
12. Laughing Matters . . . Next Gen
13. Eleven Minutes
14. Bi the Way
15. Searching for Sandeep
16. Ebony Chunky Love: Bitch Can't Get a Date

NO BIKINI wins Best Short Film

Congratulations to Claudia Morgado Escanilla (Vancouver, Canada) for winning ImageOut's Audience Award for Best Short Film for her wonderful and entertaining piece, NO BIKINI! Ironically, this award-winning short is the very first film I booked for our 2008 lineup having first seen it at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival in September of last year (yes, even before ImageOut 15 started!). Claudia, whom I met at TIFF last year and again at Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, generously agreed to participate in our Youth Project Series because she understands what we are trying to accomplish here at ImageOut -- to reach out to as many LGBT youth as possible through films. Her film narrowly edges out another popular youth film, ODD ONE OUT, VERY NORMAL REALLY.

Here are your Top 25 choices for Best Short:

1. No Bikini (Growing Pains)
2. Odd One Out, Very Normal Really: From Lucas to Luus, From Boy to Girl (Growing Pains)
3. The Postcard (His Dark Secret)
4. Traces (His Dark Secret)
5. Laundromat (screened with In Sickness & In Health)
6. Mano-A-Mano (screened with Another Gay Sequel)
7. Mrs. Kasha Davis: The Life of an International Celebrity Housewife (Flower City Flicks)
8. In-Sight-Out: Mark Groaning (Flower City Flicks)
9. Babysitting Andy (Growing Pains)
10. Ready? Ok! (Growing Pains)
11. Auld Lang Syne (screened with Out Late)
12. Souljah (His Dark Secret)
13. The Crown (Womyn Power is Everywhere)
14. Pages of a Girl (Arts & Crafts)
15. Crafty (Arts & Crafts)
16. A Boy Named Sue (Flower City Flicks)
17. Pitstop (Arts & Crafts)
18. HerzHaft (His Dark Secret)
19. Ready or Not (screened with Searching for Sandeep)
20. Solace (His Dark Secret)
21. The Premiere (Arts & Crafts)
22. Ta (His Dark Secret)
23. Donkey Girl (Growing Pains)
24. Death & Taxes (Flower City Flicks)
25. Buffalo-Bangalore-Buffalo (Flower City Flicks)

ImageOut 17 - Save the Dates!

Did you miss ImageOut 16 because you were on vacation? Or away on business? Well, you missed a lot! And we missed you too! So let's not make that same mistake and plan early for next year. ImageOut 17 will be bringing excitement to Rochester and our LGBT community from October 9 to 18, 2009. We hope to see you then.

ImageOut 16 is His(Hers)tory!

And just like that, another great ImageOut Film Festival is over. What great 10 days we had! Thanks to everyone who made ImageOut 16 another huge success for us -- our Board of Directors, our Grantmakers, Donors, Sponsors, Members and Community Partners, our Volunteers, our Audiences, and the staff at our venues. The films were well-received, the parties were well-attended, and the feedbacks have been great. Of course, we'll just have to make ImageOut 17 even better!

I'm particularly very happy (and proud of our audiences!) that our new ImageOut There! Series was well-received. There were a couple of comments that we might be alienating our audiences with darker subjects but the feedbacks have been overwhelmingly positive. So I think we gained a lot more by having the series.

We will be posting more pictures in the next few days so I hope you continue to visit the blog. And we'll keep you in the loop on what's going for the next year.

I will also be posting the results of your votes for our Audience Awards -- and the competition was very tight!

Don't forget that we welcome and appreciate your comments.

See you soon!
~ Michael G

Monday, October 20, 2008

Today's Steamy Q&A

Photos from today's Q&A session with the beautiful Kate Siegel, star of Steam, and the film's director, Kyle Schickner.

Photos by Matt DeTurck

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Scenes From A Sweet Sexy Sixteen

Thanks to everyone who made our Closing Night Film and Black & Pink Gala Party such a success!

Don't forget, we've still got an entire day's worth of films and special guests today at the Little Theatre, so I hope to see you all there!

Photos By Matt DeTurck

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gearing up for the Weekend

OMG -- how time flies! I can't believe it's our second weekend already. And what an exciting weekend it will be! Now that incestuous lovers, gay cannibals and gay zombies are out of the way, our upcoming films will be focusing on more fun, fun, fun stuff starting tonight! I was just informed that TRU LOVED will only have Rush Tickets available at the box office. But worry not as we have been able to get in everyone who shows up in the Rush Line.

Just a friendly reminder that all our films are screening at The Cinema tonight. Tomorrow, we will have screenings at both The Cinema and The Dryden. And then we are back at The Little before ImageOut 16 bows out.

Closing Night tickets are still available. Make sure to join us for the party of the weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halfway Point Discussion Topic

Michael G's pants: Friend or Foe?

We all remember his outfit from Opening Night this year, but will he be able to top himself for Closing Night? Anyone want to place bets on color choices? Whether he'll be able to find a pair that glows in the dark?

Talk amongst yourselves, and I'll see you at the movies!

Midpoint Festival Update

I can't believe we're already halfway through ImageOut 2008! This year's festival has been amazing. I'm really proud of our lineup of films and how well they've gone over with audiences. Last night I caught our Archive Night screening of The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, the 1984 Oscar-winning documentary about legendary gay rights activist Harvey Milk, at the Dryden Theatre. Even though I'd seen the film before, seeing it in a theater was a totally new experience.

Shifting gears completely, I then headed over to the Little Theatre to watch Grimm Love, one of my favorite films from this year's festival. There was a decent sized crowd of brave souls who showed up to see what City Newspaper called the "ImageOut There!-iest" film of our ImageOut There! program. I'm so happy that the audience seemed to react very positively to the film, though I did hear a lot of squirming in the seats during the cannibalistic finale.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Just a reminder that tickets are almost gone for Friday night's screening of Tru Loved. Make sure you purchase your tickets ASAP - you won't want to miss this hilarious film!

Photo By Matt DeTurck

Spotlight on D. Lee Inosanto

Actress and filmmaker Diana Lee Inosanto arrived in Rochester from LA late last night in time for the screening of her film THE SENSEI, ImageOut 16's Spotlight Feature Presentation tonight at 7:30pm at Little 1. Diana, a goddaughter of martial arts king Bruce Lee, will be available for a short Q&A after the screening.

Richard Berkowitz in town for SEX POSITIVE

Activist Richard Berkowitz is in town for the screening of the new documentary SEX POSITIVE today at 5:30pm at Little 1. He will be available for a short Q&A after the screening. Afterwards, Berkowitz will be at Spot Coffee House for additional questions and a book reading, hosted by AIDS Rochester.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Flower City Flicks Winner!

The local shorts were a hit this year! Receiving the first-ever Mary Elizabeth Knight Award for Best Local Short last Sunday was Gerry Szymanski for IN-SIGHT-OUT: MARK GROANING. Gerry was genuinely surprised by the win. But he truly deserved it.

Congratulations! Here's to more Flower City shorts in the future.

Drag-tastic Night Indeed!

The fabulous drag stars of Rochester were out in full force as they attended the screening of PAGEANT at ImageOut last night. The super funny Poison Waters set the mood for the film by making the audience members laugh out loud.

And that PAGEANT film got rave reviews from those who attended! I can't wait to see the ballots.

Lonnie Renteria Apologizes

Filmmaker Lonnie Tristan Renteria (EBONY CHUNKY LOVE) extends his apology as he cancels his scheduled appearance in Rochester for the screening of his film at ImageOut this Thursday. ImageOut wishes Lonnie much luck and looks forward to working with him again in the future.

ANTONIO'S SECRET Q&A and upcoming Guest Appearances

We had amazing filmmakers visit us this weekend and ImageOut was very proud to be able to provide talkback sessions to our audiences. But the Q&A following last night's screening of the powerful ANTONIO'S SECRET just blew me away. At one point, Director Jay Altarejos needed to pause as he became clearly (and understandably) emotional while answering a question about gay life and the perceptions of homosexuality in the Philippines. The people who stayed for the Q&A really raised very good questions and it was probably the most intense and meaningful Q&A session we've had in a while at the Festival.

My endless gratitude to both Jay Altarejos and Arvin Viola (Director of Photography) for traveling all the way up to Rochester from the Philippines just to attend the International Premiere of ANTONIO'S SECRET.

Tomorrow, Richard Berkowitz will be attending the screening of his film SEX POSITIVE and will also be a guest at WCMF's The Break Room at 8:30am. Actress and filmmaker Diana Lee Inosanto is also scheduled to attend the screening of THE SENSEI. Hope to see you all there.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mulligans Screening Ends A Great First Weekend

It's been a wonderful weekend full of loads of great movies, and I can't think of a better way to end it than with the screening of Mulligans that took place Sunday night. Derek James and Charlie David were just as friendly (and cute) in person as I could have hoped. I'm exhausted, however, so just a quick photo post for now, with more updates to come later.

Click photos for full res versions.

Photos by Matt DeTurck

First Weekend is History!

Wow. The weekend flew by quickly! And what a wonderful weekend it was. Great films. Great guests. Great audiences. I know it's too late for me to be blogging since I'm exhausted and still have to wake up early to take Charlie and Derek to the airport. But I just had to share something that I thought was really interesting. For the screening of MULLIGANS on Sunday night, a group of loyal Charlie David followers actually flew into town just to meet Charlie and to see the film. Two women came from Paris (as in France - can you believe it?); one girl flew in from London, UK; one from North Carolina; and another woman and her husband from Long Island. They all stayed at the Clarion Hotel. I think it's great that we can help Rochester tourism!

More posts to come...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Out on the Town

I met up with our guests from To Each Her Own last night for a night out in Rochester. Heather Tobin, director, and Kristen Dealy, actress, joined us for Karaoke at Nasty D's. We had a great time. Both women were so happy to be hear and are very excited to present their film this evening. And let me tell you, not only can Kristen act, but she's a pretty mean Karaoke singer too!

There are still tickets left for the film tonight. You can pick them up at the Little Theater Box office all day today. Come on out and see a great film and chat with the filmmaker and cast!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jay McCarroll Has Designs On Rochester

I went to the screening of Eleven Minutes today at the Dryden and finally seeing it with an audience was awesome. Everyone there seemed to really enjoy the film. I love the way that the film documents the creative process of putting together a fashion show. As someone who doesn't follow the world of high fashion in the least and, I'll admit it, has never watched a single episode of Project Runway, the film is fascinating! It really gave me an appreciation for how much real work goes into putting a show like that together.

Even better was the Q&A with Jay McCarroll and co-director Rob Tate that followed the film. Starting off with a presentation of celebratory birthday cake to Jay (happy birthday Jay!), the designer offered up lots of gossip on the stars of Project Runway and filled us in on the winding path his career has taken in the two years since putting the show together. Probably the most entertaining post-film Q&A I've ever been to, Jay answered every question with his trademark catty wit and even continued to take questions after poor Michael tried to wrap things up! It was also great to hear Rob talk about creating the film and setting out to make it the "anti-Project Runway" by showing the creative process warts and all, avoiding the simplified techniques of reality TV. All in all, it was a fantastic time and I'm looking forward to many more in the coming week!

Click the photos to see the full-size versions.

Photos by Matt DeTurck

It's a Beautiful Saturday!

We had a good start for our second day. I know it's beautiful out today (which is not good for walk-in ticket sales!) but if you'd prefer to cool off inside the theater, you can still buy same day tickets at the theater boxoffice. And if you are buying tickets for other future shows, there is a separate counter setup for that. Please ask any ImageOut volunteer at the theater.

Getting ready to pickup the ELEVEN MINUTES talents from the airport. It should be another fun day at ImageOut!

Loud Pants and Audio Issues

One day down, nine more to go! Opening Night would have been perfect had we not encountered audio issues on both films. The audiences were very gracious though but I know the experience would have been more delightful if the sound were perfect. But we have addressed the issue so it should be better in the next few days.

And what a fabulous party! Those who were not in attendance really missed a good one.

Anyway, I'm still surprised at how much of a hit my pants were!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tonight is the Night!

Very excited about Opening Night. With two sold out shows and some people possibly showing up for RUSH tickets, the energy at the Little will be great tonight! I hope to see you all there.

I had a radio guest stint at WCMF earlier today and those guys were a hoot. I hope we were able to reach out to people outside of our usual audiences. It would be great to share all our wonderful films to everyone who loves movies.

I was also on WBER earlier this week and I was surprised at the feedback I got from the many people who listen to Jen V. I'm not a big radio person so I am not familiar with local stations anyway. Again, I'm just glad ImageOut can reach out to more people.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Parking at the Little

Our two Opening Night features are both sold out. Parking will definitely be a challenge. In case you don't know, you can conveniently park at the East End Garage and have a short walk to the theater. It won't be too far from Eros anyway when you have to walk back to your car after the party!

Rush Line

I am thrilled that both opening night films have sold out, and predict that many more will follow in the footsteps of The World Unseen and Were the World Mine.

If you didn't get your tickets early, there's always the rush line! Hang around outside the theater just a few minutes before the show begins (though you may want to get there even earlier to have a better shot) and wait to see how many tickets are available for immediate purchase.

I know I'll be in line right next to you for the first opening night film. In the excitement of getting ready for the festival, I bought one ticket too few myself!

Buying Tickets?

Now that online ticket sales have ended, ImageOut tickets are not available for purchase until Friday, Oct. 10 when the festival begins. The theatre boxoffice will sell tickets for any films screening at that venue on that day. Ticket committee members are available at the theatre lobby to sell tickets for other days.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CITY Newspaper Features ImageOut

ImageOut is prominently featured in this week's CITY Newspaper hitting the newsstands today. Read the cover story and check out Rochester's fabulous film critic Dayna Papaleo's take on 16 of the film selections.

ImageOut was also on the cover of THE INSIDER last weekend.


WERE THE WORLD MINE tickets are gone . . . for now. Both our Opening Night films have officially sold out as of Tuesday evening. But Rush Only tickets will be available at the Little Theatre on Friday right before the film screenings.

Don't forget that online tickets sales end at 5pm today. Tickets for the festival will be available at the theater venues once the festival starts.

TRU LOVED looks like it's the next one like to sell out so don't miss out on a hilarious family comedy. Get your tickets now!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Program 1 is officially the first show to sell out at ImageOut 16. THE WORLD UNSEEN tickets have been selling briskly in the last few days, even outselling the also popular WERE THE WORLD MINE, although that is not too far behind. So if you haven't bought your tickets yet, you have until Wednesday at 5pm to get them online. Otherwise, all tickets will be available at the theaters when the Festival begins on Friday, Oct. 10.

We do have reserved tickets for all our shows and most of the time, not all of those tickets get used. For sold out shows, we offer them as Rush Tickets right before the film starts. So if you ever want to go to a sold out screening, you should really try our Rush Line as we have never turned people away in the past.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Argentina's XXY

ImageOut 16's Narrative Centerpiece is the incredible drama XXY about a teen hermaphrodite, raised as a female, who begins to question the gender choice made for her by her parents. This award-winning film has been featured in many international film festivals and was Argentina's official entry to the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar competition.

With all the many great choices you have in this year's lineup, I don't want you to miss out on possibly one of the best films we've had in the festival. So if you could squeeze in another program in your busy ImageOut schedule, I would highly recommend XXY.

Friday, October 3, 2008

To Read or Not To Read

Subtitled films have always been a hard sell -- not just for our audiences here but in many other US cities as well. Is it because people are just too lazy to read? Now I was just reading an article in the NY Times and someone said that subtitles are becoming acceptable to more people nowadays. And this welcome trend is being attributed to the popularity of text messaging, IM, and even emails to some extent. People are being forced to read more and more!

Anyway, we have tons of great foreign films and it would be a shame if you'd miss them just because you stay away from subtitles.

I'll take this opportunity to make a correction -- GRIMM LOVE as printed in the Festival program was mistakenly labeled as a subtitled film. It's actually in English! No subtitles required.

OTTO; OR, UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE is another one that is really mostly in English. I don't even remember subtitles to be honest.

Dark Horses...

One of the biggest challenges for the programming committee is trying to capture the essence of movies in writing for the festival program. We take great pride in our comprehensive program write-ups, but it is often difficult to fully express the emotion created visually and aurally by our most interesting films, and this year is no exception. It is a shame that some movies sometimes get overlooked in each lineup because words just cannot do them justice. Those who take a chance on films that seem unusual or heavy are usually glad they did.

One such dark horse candidate for this year’s audience favorite is Four Minutes. It is a favorite of a number of programmers, including Jes G who recommends the film here.

I am always excited to introduce and share the “Women’s Shorts” programs, and this year’s Arts and Crafts is sure to please a diverse audience. A wide range of entertaining and thought-provoking short films, the program will make you laugh, think, and maybe even shed a few tears. We have so much fun curating shorts programs and hope you will join us.

The World Unseen

I am so excited that tickets are selling very quickly to the Opening Night feature The World Unseen. In fact, there are only a few tickets left! I don’t know why you would be, but if you have been holding out on purchasing your festival tickets, this is definitely one movie that is well worth the rush to online ticket sales. You won’t want to miss this stunning drama featuring rich scenery, a poignant and moving storyline, and sultry leading ladies.

Remember that your ticket to either of the Opening Night films also includes admission to the after-party at Eros Restaurant, just a short stroll from the Little Theater. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres from the Eros kitchen, chocolate tasting from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, and a cash bar featuring our Premiere Sponsor, High Falls Brewing Co.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We have a Winner!

I just had an e-meeting with the 3 Jury Members for the Flower City Flicks Short Film Competition and they have selected the Best Local Short for this year. Amazingly, it's a unanimous choice! The winner receives the first ever Mary Elizabeth Knight Award and $500. The winning film will be announced after the screening of the Flower City Flicks Program on Sunday, Oct. 12. Come join us and celebrate our local filmmakers!

Adam Lubitow's Picks

Ciao - Probably my favorite film of this year's festival, I was deeply moved by this story of two men drawn together following the death of their close friend. I loved the intimate tone of the film and the way in which the characters are developed through their conversations. Subtle, extremely well-acted, and powerful, I can't recommend Ciao highly enough. Plus, it doesn't hurt that it's lead actors are so easy on the eyes!

Grimm Love - Dark, disturbing, and unforgettable, Grimm Love is unlike anything we've ever shown at ImageOut. A fascinating and shocking take on the infamous true story of the Cannibal of Rohtenberg, this is the perfect film to showcase in our brand-new "ImageOut There!" lineup of films highlighting those films whose subject matter delves into the taboo and the unsettling.

~Adam Lubitow, Programmer