That Reeling Feeling
By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 25, 2006 6:19PM
We knocked ourself out at the Chicago International Film Festival and RESFEST|10, and we see no reason to end our film-addicted ways. So already we've been perusing the schedule for Reeling, the 25th Chicago Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. It's the second-oldest festival of its kind in North America, and when they say they're proud of the diversity of their offferings you know they aren't kidding -- we spied romantic comedies, avant-garde shorts, provactive dramas and even a few musicals.
The November 2 opener is Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds, described as "the world's first-ever gay sequel" (they obviously aren't counting Miss Congeniality 2.) We admit that we haven't seen the first Eating Out, but this installment features gay boy Kyle (American Idol's Jim Verraros) playing straight in order to win the hot new guy in town. It's directed by Illinois native Phillip J. Bartell.
At Reeling, the films obviously come first ... but the parties are a very close second. Following the opening film is the launch party, this year at Architectural Artifacts. Normally it's a Ravenswood warehouse crammed floor-to-ceiling with beautiul odds and ends; shopping there is like crashing Proust's garage sale. The three-story atrium space is going to be a specatular space for the party. Trust us: we have friends on the planning committee, and you're going to want to get a ticket. Local girl band 8 Inch Betsy will provide the music. The Closing Night party will feature "karaoke drag" at Columbia College (surely some kind of a first). And if those weren't enough, there's also the 25th Anniversary Party, held at the Andersonville Brown Elephant thrift store. Word to the wise: tickets will sell out fast, so don't procrastinate!
The festival runs for eleven days, unspooling dozens of films at several different venues. It takes a lot of work to make it all happen, and the festival is still looking for volunteers. We know there are some nice fringe benefits when you volunteer, but we'll let the Reeling folks fill you in on that. Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled at Chicagoist for additional details.
The 25th Chicago Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival runs November 2-12 at various venues, including the Music Box and Landmark's Century. Tickets and full info available at the festival's website. Image from the festival's Closing Night feature 20 Centimeters.