Our Must-See Selections for Out on Film 30
By Elijah Sarkesian
For Out on Film’s 30th anniversary, the film festival is expanding to 11 days and three venues. That’s a lot of room for feature films, documentaries and short films to play. If you still need help deciding what to see, we’ve selected 11 films – one per day – that we think are worth checking out.
Happy: A Small Film with a Big Smile
Thursday, Sept. 28 • 7 p.m. • Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
Out on Film opens with this look at former Atlantan Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman and his journey to happiness. After losing his partner and battling grief and depression, Leonard began using his artistic process as a way to make it through the darkness surrounding him. As Leonard’s journey progresses, he creates a body of work that resonates with people around the globe.
A Million Happy Nows
Friday, Sept. 29 • 7:15 p.m. • Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
A veteran soap opera star decides to retire to her beach house along with her partner and publicist. Their relationship is tested, though, as Early Onset Alzheimer’s begins to impact their lives. In order to survive, the couple will have to decide what they truly mean to each other.
Saturday, Sept. 30 • 9:05 p.m. • Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
In this musical based on the play “La Ronde,” ten individuals find themselves slipping in and out of one another’s arms as they learn about love. The film features an all-star cast that includes Martha Plimpton, Audra McDonald, Cheyenne Jackson, T.R. Knight, Rumer Willis, Sam Underwood, Jenna Ushkowitz, Tyler Blackburn, Al Calderon and Nolan Gerard Funk.
Sunday, Oct. 1 • 5:15 p.m. • Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
Who killed Marsha P. Johnson? Twenty-five years after her body was found floating in the Hudson River, director David France examines the death and life of the woman credited with throwing the first brick at Stonewall.
Monday, Oct. 2 • 7:05 p.m. • Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
Sixteen-year-old Cyd spends her summer in Chicago with her novelist aunt. Cyd finds herself falling for a girl in the neighborhood, while she challenges her aunt in the realms of sex and spirit.
Tom of Finland
Tuesday, Oct. 3 • 9 p.m. • Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
This film explores the life and work of one of the most iconic figures of 20th century gay culture. Touko Laaksonen returns home from World War II as a decorated officer, only to find life in Finland just as distressing during peacetime. In Helsinki, he sees gay men persecuted and forced to marry women. Touko finds peace in creating liberating art – specifically, homoerotic drawings of muscular men freed from inhibition.
Wednesday, Oct. 4 • 7 p.m. • Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
After growing up gay and black in small-town Texas, Todrick Hall has worked to find a place in show business. Behind the Curtain follows the YouTube celebrity and RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars judge as he embarks on his most ambitious project to date: the full-scale original musical Straight Outta Oz.
Thursday, Oct. 5 • 8:30 p.m. • Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
Billy Bloom is a confident, eccentric teenager who faces intolerance and persecution at his high school. Billy decides to fight back by running for the title of homecoming queen. The film, directed by Trudie Styler, stars Alex Lawther (The Imitation Game, Goodbye Christopher Robin) and features Bette Midler as Billy’s mother, Laverne Cox as a reporter, and Abigail Breslin as Billy’s rival for homecoming queen.
Friday, Oct. 6 • 9 p.m. • OutFront Theatre Company
A group of people search for themselves in an unusual place: an orgy taking place in a Spanish mansion. As this group of strangers come together in search of sex, they find themselves exposing more than their bodies.
Saturday, Oct. 7 • 5 p.m. • Plaza Theatre
Leo is stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska, when what he wants is to become a drag superstar. Along with his twin sister, Leo finds himself stuck in the monotony of local life, and finds it necessary to learn how to physically fight in order to survive. When a new guy moves to town and offers to be his sparring partner, Leo has to come face to face with why he’s stuck in Alaska.
Sunday, Oct. 8 • 7:30 p.m. • OutFront Theatre Company
Young Ned attends a boarding school where he’s happy to stay under the radar, content with his love of subversive rock music at a school where everyone else cares about rugby. When the new kid and rugby star Connor gets assigned to his room, though, Ned’s world is rocked. The two form an unlikely friendship that forces them both to deal with questions of loyalty and self-interest.