These are LGBT highlights from the Chicago International Film Festival running Oct. 11-25.
Any Day Now (Oct. 15, 17 and 18; 97 min.): In the late 1970s, when a mentally handicapped teenager is abandoned, a gay couplea drag performer (Alan Cumming) and a closeted attorney (Garret Dillahunt)takes him in and becomes the family he's never had. But, once the unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to care for as their own in this gripping testament to love and family.
The Bella Vista (Oct. 16 and 21; 73 min.): The Bella Vista tells the story of a onetime soccer team's clubhouse in Uruguay. Left abandoned for years, the house is revived as a brothel for the town's transvestite prostitutes, raising the ire of residents who seek to reclaim the building for a Catholic chapel. In capturing the opposing sides of this conflict over a rather small, mundane building, director Alicia Cano creates a lyrical, intimate portrait of a provincial city. Spanish with subtitles.
Everybody's Got Somebody ... Not Me (Oct. 21-23; 100 min.): Alejandra and Maria make an unlikely couple, to say the least. Alejandra is a painfully shy middle-aged intellectual, while Maria is a loud, outgoing teenager attending a private high school. This stylish film explores the joys, complexities, and limitations of love between two very different people. Spanish with subtitles
Keep the Lights On (Oct. 12-13; 102 min.): A one-night stand between Erik and Paul quickly grows into something more. However, the two men's drastically different attitudes towards work, life, and intimacy, along with Paul's struggles with addiction, soon chip away at their chances of happiness. This sensitive, subtle account (Ireland/UK) of an intense, nine-year on-off relationship tenderly reminds us that love is not always enough.
Kern (Oct. 12 and 21; 98 min.): Outrageous, funny, contentious, and talented, prolific Austrian actor and filmmaker Peter Kern is a sheer force of personality. Though Franz and Fiala set out to create a straightforward portrait of the aging artist, the mercurial Kern berates the filmmakers (and anyone else within earshot) every step of the way, and can't help but assert his own sensibilities onto a film in which he is ostensibly the subject. German with subtitles
Out in the Dark (Oct. 13, 14 and 21; 96 min.): Nimer, a Palestinian student, dreams of a better life abroad. One fateful night he meets Roy, an Israeli lawyer. As their relationship deepens into love, Nimer is confronted with the harsh realities of a Palestinian society that refuses to accept him for his sexual identity, and an Israeli society that rejects him for his nationality. Nimer soon must choose between love and the life he thought he wanted. Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles
Westerland (Oct. 13, 14 and 20; 90 min.): In the midst of a freezing winter on the island of Sylt, Cem comes across JesÃşs, who is on the verge of committing suicide. The two young men become fast friends, with their friendship unexpectedly threatening to develop into something more. Cem and JesÃşslaconic, alienated lonersfind their previously uneventful lives starting to spin out of control now that each has someone who means something to him. German with subtitles
See www.chicagofilmfestival.com .