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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Pride Film Fest announces streaming features, shorts, in-person screenings for April, May
--From a press release

This article shared 2588 times since Tue Apr 4, 2023
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CHICAGO — Pride Film Fest has announced its slate of LGBT-themed feature, mid-length and short films through early June. In making the announcement, Pride Film Fest Director David G. Zak said, "This spring, Pride Film Fest takes the next step towards creating a year-round queer film festival in Chicago as we present its first in-person events to accompany our weekly streaming of new, international LGBTQ films." Pride Film Fest's programming for April and May will include streaming presentations of new and recent LGBT shorts programs, mid-length films and features, as well as an in-person screening of the Austrian feature EISMAYER at Facets on May 17. A screening of the Argentine film HORSEPLAY at Facets has also been announced for June 15. The festival website is at .

The year-round festival of LGBT films from around the world presented in streaming and occasionally in-person formats in Chicago, is currently streaming the feature BLESSED BOYS, a gay romance from Italy, which will be available through April 9. It will be followed by a program of eight shorts that have won awards in festivals around the world. BEST OF THE FESTS will stream from April 5 — 16. Feature films from Italy and Spain will round out the month of April. In the Italian family comedy AN ALMOST ORDINARY SUMMER (April 12-23), the patriarchs of two very different families make a surprise announcement — they're getting engaged! The Spanish film MY EMPTINESS AND I (April 19 -30) concerns a young woman who may be experiencing gender dysphoria.

The festival will turn back to shorter films, with two programs in the BEST OF PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL. The first program is a collection of four short films from the United States and one from Israel — streaming from April 26 — May 7. A program of three mid-length films will follow, streaming from May 3-14. Completing May's streaming offerings will be the features ELEPHANT, from Poland, streaming May 17-28; and EASY TIGER, from Belgium, streaming May 24 — June 4.

Facets, at 1517 W. Fullerton in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, will be the venue for two one-night-only in-person screenings of recent feature films. The 2022 Austrian feature EISMAYER, about a closeted gay officer in the Austrian military, will be screened on Wednesday, May 17 at 7 pm. And looking ahead into June, the homoerotic Argentinian feature HORSEPLAY will be screened on Thursday, June 15 at 7 pm.

Access to the films is $12.00 per film for either the streamed or in-person screenings. Monthly memberships are also available for $10.00 per month which entitles the purchaser to view short and mid-length programs for no additional charge and to view the feature length films for $7.00 per film. Tickets for the individual programs are now on sale at Membership passes are available at

More information about the festival, directed by David Zak, can be found at .



March 29 — April 9, 2023 BLESSED BOYS (Italy, 2021, 1:37)

Directed by Silvia Brunelli. Written by Silvia Brunelli and Francesca Scanu

Lino (Francesco Pelegrino) does deliveries, and Mario (Vincenzo Antonucci) is a motorcycle mechanic. Both play soccer and look for fun. Lino lives with his mother Perla (Pina di Gennaro) and his radiant younger sister Annaluce (Sophia Guastaferro). When Annaluce brings a dead dove back to life, everything changes for the town, family, and friends.

April 5-16, 2023

BESTS OF THE FESTS (1:54:00) Eight short films from around the world

UNTIL NOW (Israel, 11:00)

Directed by Dan Gatr.

Ofer and Yotam have been together for eight years, but their history and future may change when Ofer returns from a late night out.

BREATHE (Netherlands, 6:00)

Directed by Harm van der Sanden

A visual, coming-of-age story of young Bram discovering his sexuality. A visual, coming-of-age story of young Bram discovering his sexuality.

LEO AT NIGHT (France, 24:00)

Directed by Nans Laborde-Jourdàa

Paul can't say no. He goes from one man's arm to another's without knowing what tomorrow will bring. But on Wednesday, he will have to look after his 8-year-old son, whom he barely knows.

CHRISTOPHER AT SEA France/UK, USA, 22:00) Directed by Tom Brown

Christopher embarks on a transatlantic voyage as a passenger on a cargo ship. His hopes of discovering what lures so many men to sea sets him on a journey into solitude, fantasy and obsession.

MOTTA, (Netherlands/UK, 15:00) Directed by Nish Gera

Motta follows "hard to classify" Brazilian artist Fabio da Motta as he questions the boundaries between fantasy, power, provocation, and art.

TANK FAIRY (Taiwan/USA, 9:00) Directed by Erich Rettstadt

In Taiwan, the magical Tank Fairy delivers propane tanks unlike any other - with sass, stilettos and a healthy helping of glitter. Her arrival upends the life of Jojo, a lonely ten-year-old who dreams of dancing and drag. TANK FAIRY is a musical extravaganza that encourages us all to embrace our authentic selves.

DAS DING (Brazil, 11:00) Directed by Cade Moga

Das Ding takes the viewer on a poetic and visually striking voyage, organized in 3 chapters:

A stop-motion animated opening raises a philosophical question. In the second chapter illustrations eerily morph into live-action, building up to a fantastic final chapter where a vulnerable and violent personal story is enacted.

PRAYERS FOR SWEET WATER (UK, 16:00) Directed by Elijah Ndoumbe

Submergence into the vivid realities of three Transgender sex workers living in Cape Town, South Africa, during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Directed by Simone Godano. Written by Simone Godano, Giulia Louise Steigerwalt

Two very different families spend their holidays in the same house at the seaside. The unexpected announcement of the two patriarchs' engagement will disrupt an apparently ordinary summer and turn the lives of everyone around them upside down.

April 19 — 30, 2023 MY EMPTINESS AND I (Spain, 2022, 1:38)

Directed by Adrián Silvestre. Written by Carlos Marques-Marcet, RaphaÀ�lle Pérez, Adrián Silvestre

Raphi from France fantasizes about romances with princes and about starting a traditional family. But in reality, she works in a call center in Barcelona, struggles with at times embarrassing dates, and is diagnosed by her therapist as having gender dysphoria. This film follows this trans woman through this confusing yet valuable period as she makes her transition, as well as in her everyday life. She talks candidly with colleagues, queer friends, and the men she meets through apps. Despite all the advice she receives, it turns out that mostly time and experience will help her embrace her place in this world.

April 26 — May 7, 2023


PEER (USA, 19:25) Written and Directed by Marion Wallace

An aquaphobic college student on vacation falls for a lifeguard in Ocean City, Maryland, who helps him overcome his fear of the water.


Directed by Greg Roderick. Written by Kevin Broksky

A chance meeting of a playwright and a young ambiguously gendered person in the 1940s leads to one of the greatest works of theater of the 20th Century.

FACE TIME (USA, 16:00)

Directed by Sarah Kaidenow. Written by Sarah Kaidanow, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie

Brooklyn roommates Francesca, Scout and Janelle are all about to go on dates when they test positive for Covid. Instead of giving up on love (or a potential hook up), the roomies decide to move their romantic evenings online. That's where the fun begins.


Written and directed by Victor Dewayne Kirksey-Brown

A glimpse into Wit and Regina's relationship, all through moments they share in the car. Rearview is an interracial, queer love story based on the experiences of writer/director Victor Kirksey-Brown. This is a heartfelt and intimate portrayal of love through a lens rarely shown.

VIRGIN MY ASS (Israel: 16:39)

Written and Directed by Aidar Sigler

Ophir asks Harel for a small favor that might make him feel like a normal gay guy. OK, maybe not that small a favor. During the somewhat ridiculous, somewhat exciting night the two will spend in bed, they will learn a small lesson in intimacy and community.

MAY 3 — 14, 2023


Three mid-length films deemed Best of the Fest for Pride Film Fest.


Directed by Jeff "J.O." Oliphant

Written by James Peoples, Al Washington

Derrick struggles to find weed during a stressful return to his hometown until he learns that his family's acceptance is the ultimate high.

A SPELL FOR QUEER HOME (USA) Written and directed by Amanda Madden:

A meditation and reflection on the question - what does it mean to be at home as a queer person?

VISION OF LOVE (Canada, 26:47) Written and Directed by Felicia Gonzalez Brown

is an intercultural love story that follows Sonia on a journey to her hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland, in hopes of reconciliation with her mother, following the news of her father's death all while preparing for her wedding.

May 10 — 21, 2023 BEAU (United States, 2022)

Directed by Josh Rhodes. Written by Douglas Lyons

The story of musician Ace Baker, who at 12 discovered the grandfather his mother intended to keep a secret; a man who changed Ace's life forever by putting a guitar in his hand, and self-love in his heart. "Best of Show" winner of the IndieFest Film Awards.

May 17 — 28, 2023 ELEPHANT (Poland, 2022, 1:59)

Written and Directed by Kamil Krawczycki

Bartek is a young man who runs a small horse farm and looks after his possessive mother. Their relation is not easy but it becomes even more difficult when he falls in love with the musician Dawid and begins to dream of leaving home.

May 24 — June 4, 2023 EASY TIGER (Belgium, 2022, 1:30)

Directed by Karel Tuytschaever

An unexpected moment in a session with a client confronts a psychologist with his own inner world. Alienated by the isolation of his seemingly perfect city life, the psychologist encounters an extreme inability to understand and embrace his own human nature. His inescapable desires for his male client force the psychologist to look at who he does not want to be. It is the only way that he can find out who he really is. EASY TIGER is an intimate portrait of a vulnerable man during a true and insurmountable romance.


(1517 W. Fullerton Ave Chicago)

May 17, 2023 — 7 pm

EISMAYER (Austria, 2022, 1:27) Directed by David Meyer

Vice Lieutenant Eismayer is the most feared trainer and model macho in the Austrian Military and lives as a gay man in secret. When he falls in love with a young, openly gay soldier, his world gets turned upside down. Based on real events.

June 15, 2023 — 7 pm HORSEPLAY (Argentina, 2022, 1:42)

Written and directed by Marco Berger

A group of young men at a gathering in a luxury villa test each other's boundaries.


Pride Film Fest showcases the breadth of world LGBTQ film to express the variety and complexity of queer life across the globe. Programming includes films previously lauded in global film festivals alongside new films curated through the Pride Film Contest.

Pride Film Fest began in 2012 as Queer Bits, an in-person event curated by Pride Films and Plays. In 2022, Open Space Arts became the sponsor for the now independent, year-round streaming program, Pride Film Fest. Pride Film Fest is a member of the Chicago Alliance of Film Festivals.

David Zak is the Director of Pride Film Fest, a program of Open Space Arts. His award-winning works over 40 years as a theater director ranged from the musical ANIMAL FARM to JERRY SPRING THE OPERA to THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER. He recently directed THE KRAMER PROJECT at Center on Halstsed, and THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER for Beverly Arts Center. He was awarded six Joseph Jefferson Awards for his work as a writer and director. He has been elected to the City of Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of fame. He produced Dan Pal's award-winning short film Counting for Pride Films and Plays.

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