First, Bloomington's PRIDE Film Festival is preparing to host its 8th annual cinematic celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered communities at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Jan. 27–30. Every year, PRIDE extends a collection of programs for anyone interested, be they bi-curious film buffs or arrow-straight passersby who can't resist the fun. Live performances, lectures, public participation events, and films — all in the name of acceptance, awareness, and an appreciation of diversity. The goal here is celebration — of art, culture and community.
Highlighting the PRIDE film repertoire this year is Bloomington, a coming-of-age drama about a former child actress attending college who becomes romantically involved with a female professor — their relationship thrives until an opportunity to return to acting forces her to make life-altering decisions.
Danielle McClelland, executive director of the Buskirk-Chumley said of the festival, "PRIDE is important because it simultaneously helps people in the audience and on the Steering Committee gain a stronger sense of identity and makes the legitimacy of that identity more visible to the rest of the community.
"I thought from the beginning that the film festival concept would work well to bring together Bloomington residents and students, who each have thriving gay, trans, lesbian, and bisexual/queer communities, but who didn't seem to crossover very often, and rarely seemed to me to come together to 'build' something as an ongoing project."
Just up the road in Franklin, the Artcraft Theatre, one of Indiana's oldest picture-show gems, is preparing to host its own cinematic event with an emphasis on the local. On Jan. 29, the historic theater will host Shorts In January, a back-to-back screening of four films from three Indiana-based filmmakers, presented by 3Wizemen Productions. This event kicks off at 7 p.m. and $5 covers your admission to the whole shebang.
Highlighting Shorts In January is Left For Dead, written and directed by Franklin native Josh Etter. Left For Dead is the story of three college friends who are traveling cross-country while being stalked by a psychopath due to a case of mistaken identity. Produced and filmed in the Franklin and Bean Blossom areas, the film features original music from professional composer and educator Virgil Franklin, and two local Indianapolis bands, New Addiction and Eyes on Fire.
When asked about the status quo of the local indie film scene, Corey Miller, the director of Shorts In January and an affiliate of 3Wizemen Productions said, "I feel very hopeful about it. I think we have a community of people who are very supportive of our local events, musicians and artists."