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Eau Queer Film Festival set for Oct. 13-16

RELEASED: Sept. 29, 2011

LGBTQ
Participants in the women's studies travel seminar visited Pink Triangle Park in San Fransisco as part of the Castro Historical and Cultural Tour.

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host the second annual Eau Queer Film Festival Oct. 13-16 in Davies Theatre.

The purpose of EQFF is to embrace difference, promote equality and educate through the powerful medium of film, according to its organizers.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer film festival will show a wide range of films, from feature-length comedies and dramas to documentaries and shorts. The film festival originated last fall as an extension of an immersion course titled "LGBTQA Studies: San Francisco Travel Seminar." The course — taught through the women's studies program by Ellen Mahaffy, assistant professor of communication and journalism, and Dr. Pamela Forman, associate professor of sociology — included a trip to San Francisco to experience its annual gay pride celebration, make documentary films and attend Frameline, the longest running LGBT international film festival.

Five award-winning films from Frameline will be shown during the 2011 EQFF: "Three," "Weekend," "Gun Hill Road," "Gen Silent" and "Wish Me Away."

The opening night film, "Three," is a feature-length drama out of Berlin that explores a love triangle between a straight married couple and their lover, a man, with whom they are both having an affair. "Three" will screen at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 and at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 14.

"Weekend" considers the possibilities when two opposites attract each other. The film will screen at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 13.

"Gun Hill Road" follows a male-to-female transitioning teen who is struggling to handle the demands of his religious, unaccepting father and the social norms of gender and sexuality. "Gun Hill Road" will screen at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 15.

The festival's closing night will feature "Wish Me Away," a documentary about Chely Wright, a famous country musician from a small southern town and conservative Christian family. In 2010, Wright came out publicly as a lesbian despite facing scrutiny from a heterosexist and homophobic industry. "Wish Me Away" will screen at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 16.

Three student documentaries will screen at 4 p.m. Oct. 15. They include "Our Town," by seniors Kim Acheson, Eau Claire, Katy Cobb, Onalaska, Brooke Verwiel, Oshkosh, and junior Lindsay Miklya, Burnsville, Minn. The documentary, which shows the different realities of being queer in Eau Claire and in San Francisco, ends with a call to action to make Eau Claire a more welcoming LGBTQ community.

"With Open Arms," by senior Kelly Brill, Marshfield, and juniors Bryton Fredrick, Hustisford, Katie Johnson, Eau Claire, and Tatjana Trommershauser, Rice Lake, examines three churches that are affirming of LGBTQ identities in San Francisco. The film includes reflection from its producers about the impact of religion on their lives.

"Hear Me Now," by seniors Liz Albert, Merrill, Katie Chaplin, Manawa, Brianna Mueller, Oshkosh, and junior Megan Chilman, Le Sueur, Minn., tells the stories of members of San Francisco's deaf queer community, who are reconciling what it means to face double oppression.

This event is free and open to the public.

The festival receives funding through a Domestic Intercultural Immersion Grant, a Blugold Differential Tuition Grant and support from the University Activities Commission.

For more information, visit the event website, find it on Facebook or contact Katie Johnson at johkatie@uwec.edu.

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MC/JB/DW

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