We are one month away from the opening night of the 29th International Pittsburgh LGBT Film Festival also known as ReelQ. I’ll be sharing some previews of the films scheduled for this year and once again, sponsoring a film.
The opening night film is pretty impressive. It is called Blackbird and this is the Pennsylvania premiere of the film. Opening night will be Friday, October 10. The movie shows at 7:30 PM followed by a Q&A session with the film’s producer and then an Opening Night reception at Bricolage Theater.
Blackbird tells the story of 17-year-old Randy Rousseau, a devout high school choir boy struggling to come of age in the small religiously conservative Mississippi town he calls home. Randy juggles his role as star of the church choir with facing the everyday trials of life as a high school misfit- a misfit plagued by eerie visions and premonitions. Complicating matters, his little sister has gone missing and his parents have subsequently split up, leaving him to care for his heartbroken mother, Claire. When Claire discovers a shocking secret her son has been hiding, she blames him for the disappearance of his sister. Randy’s father, Lance, who has been keeping a watchful eye on his broken family, steps in to give his son a hand as he struggles to make the difficult transition into manhood.
This marks Mo’Nique first return to films since her Oscar-winning performance in Precious. Randy’s story is one that we don’t see in mainstream media very often. It is sadly ironic that The Harris Theater is located along the Pittsburgh Stroll, as described in such heartbreaking detail in episode one of Sisters on TransperienceTV (The Stroll is a section of street where many young queer youth of color who are rejected by family end up engaging in sex work to survive.)
Another interesting development is that the Film Festival has lowered the price for Opening Night to $15.00 per person to make the festival more accessible to the community. $15 for a movie, a Q&A and a reception is an incredible deal given the price of a typical movie ticket. So you can enjoy a pretty nice evening, support queer artists in the film industry and make sure stories like this one get an audience.
It is unfortunate that other groups opted to schedule a different movie event that same evening, but hopefully they’ll find ways to work together in the future (and use tools to avoid scheduling conflicts.)
Tickets are available here.