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The Third Annual QFest at Proctors, Preview

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QFest: A Celebration of LGBTQ Cinema

Proctors Hosts the Third Annual QFest

John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)Hosted by Proctors in Schenectady and now in its third year, QFest offers a wide variety of films over the course of four days, including features, classics, regional premieres, documentaries and independent films that explore lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) issues.

The festival kicks off on Thursday, February 28th at 8pm with a screening of John Cameron Mitchell‘s Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001); based on Mitchell’s award winning Off-Broadway show, Hedwig is one of the greatest screen musicals ever made. Prior to the screening, there will be a celebration featuring a performance by the Capital Pride Singers, musical roller derby chairs with the Albany Allstars and fun and games provided by It Came From Schenectady.

Here’s a breakdown of the films being shown at this year’s festival:

Friday March 1st:

The Celluloid Closet, a 1995 documentary based on Vito Russo‘s critically acclaimed book, that shows how Hollywood has depicted gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters through the years. (5:30pm)

Following this screening there will be a panel discussion at 7:15pm with Rob Edelman, the  contributing editor of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide, and SUNY Albany lecturer of film Audrey Kupferberg about homosexuality in the cinema.

The cinematic adaptation of Tennessee WilliamsCat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) gives a unique snapshot into the unspoken reality of living in the closet and being unable to come to terms with who you are. Plus, who doesn’t love young Paul Newman? (8pm)

Saturday, March 2nd:

Keep the Lights On (2012) is a moving story about love in the face of addiction. It’s important to show that the gay community deals with the same troubles we all do, that the human experience transcends sexuality. Winner of the 2012 Teddy Award for best feature. (2pm)

How to Survive a Plague (2012) is a shattering exploration of the early years of the AIDS epidemic; the film was a nominee for Best Documentary at this year’s Academy Awards. (4:30pm). Immediately following this film will be a panel discussion about activism and advocacy with representatives from Pride Center of the Capital Region, the AIDS Council and members of the Empire State Pride Agenda starting at 6:30pm.

Tennessee Queer (2012) is a tale of acceptance in a small Tennessee town. Writer/producer Mark Jones will be on hand to discuss the film. (8pm)

Sunday, March 3rd:

New romantic relationships are challenging. But what if an old friendship gets in the way of that? Stud Life (2012) takes us to England to give us a snapshot at the stud lifestyle in the working class. (2pm)

At 3:30, there will be a Closing Day lunch catered by Homestyle Catering and a small discussion about LGBTQ issues with In Our Own Voices.

The recipient of over 25 International awards and featiring an amazing performance from Olympia Dukakis, Cloudburst (2011) is a sweet and endearing tale about an elderly lesbian couple from Maine who travel to Nova Scotia to get married when one of them is moved into a nursing home by her granddaughter. (4:30pm)

The festival concludes with a screening of Any Day Now (2012). Starring Alan Cumming and based on a true story, the film touches on legal and social issues related to adoption during the 1970s. (6pm)

Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for students (with ID, not available online). You can also get a Qfest Pass which gives you access to all of the films for $40. For more info, visit, or call 518-346-6204.

By The Free George Staff

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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