OUTwatch Virtual Film Festival 2020: Looking Back; Moving Forward

OUTwatch 2020 – Wine Country’s LGBTQI Film Festival is Online and Virtual, watch anytime Friday, October 16th through Sunday, October 25th, 2020.

We’ve named the festival: Looking Back; Moving Forward to honor those LGBTQI individuals who fought for the civil rights we presently enjoy, while recognizing now we must struggle to keep those rights and fight to expand them to our entire community.  This year's virtual festival showcases four enlightening, empowering and entertaining documentaries.

Tickets are $12 each

USA; 80 min; 2020

Dir. Patrick Sammon; Bennett Singer

This powerful new documentary by Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer illuminates a pivotal yet largely unknown chapter in the struggle for LGBT equality: the campaign that led the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 1973. The film takes audiences behind the scenes of this riveting narrative to chronicle the strategy and tactics that led to a crucial victory in the movement for LGBT rights. This David vs. Goliath story follows the psychiatrists and activists who fought to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Facing treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy, castration, or hysterectomies as “cures” for homosexuality, gay people stayed in the closet. Through archival footage and interviews with the activists, this film reveals a pivotal moment in the gay liberation movement—one that changed not only the LGBTQ community, but the field of psychiatry.  


Ahead of the Curve

USA; 95 min; 2020

Dir. Jen Rainin; Rivkah Beth Medow

The film tells the story of one of the most influential women in lesbian history you’ve never heard of and the impact her work continues to have today. In 1990, Franco created a safe place for lesbians in the form of Curve magazine. Her approach to threats and erasure in the ”90s was to lift all kinds of lesbians up and make them beautifully visible. The magazine helped build a foundation for many intersectional movements being led by today’s activists in the face of accelerating threats to the LGBTQ community. Decades later, as her legacy faces extinction and she reassesses her life after a disabling injury, she sets out to understand visibility work being led by an intersection of queer women today. Featuring Andrea Pino-Silva, Kim Katrin, Denice Frohman, Amber Hikes, Jewelle Gomez, Melissa Etheridge, and Lea DeLaria, and a score composed by the legendary Meshell Ndegeocello.



USA; 93 min; 2018

Dir. Gabriel Silverman; Fiona Dawson

This heartbreaking documentary follows the Emmy™-nominated short film Transgender, at War and in Love. Around 15,500 transgender people serve in the U.S. military (notably the largest transgender employer in the U.S.), where they must conceal their gender identity because military policies ban their service. The documentary chronicles the lives of four individuals (Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Villanueva, Captain Jennifer Peace & First Lieutenant El Cook) defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own. They put their careers and their families’ livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender to top brass officials in the Pentagon in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve. The ban was lifted in 2016, but with President Trump now trying to reinstate it, their futures hang in the balance again.


Tongues Untied

USA; 55 min; 1989

Dir. Marlon Riggs

This 1989 experimental documentary film directed by Marlon Riggs, and featuring Riggs, Essex Hemphill, Brian Freeman, among others. The film seeks, in its author's words to, "...shatter the nation's brutalizing silence on matters of sexual and racial difference." To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Teddy Awards, the film was selected to be shown at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2016.  The film blends documentary footage with personal account and poetry in an attempt to depict the specificity of black gay identity. The "silence" referred to throughout the film is that of black gay men, who are unable to express themselves because of the prejudices of white and black heterosexual society, as well as the white gay society.


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