Memorial Film Pedro Kicks off Fusion Festival

Pedro Zemora face a face to the many people with HIV to many young people in the early 1990s. Dustin Lance Black's latest film honors him and kicks off Fusion, a film festival for LGBT people of color in Los Angeles.

BY Kyle Buchanan

March 06 2009 12:00 AM ET

Outfest moved its
Fusion Film Festival from December to March this year, and the
Los Angeles-based festival (which shines a spotlight on queer
people of color) couldn't have lucked out with better
timing.

For its closing night
gala the festival will be premiering Pedro, written by Dustin
Lance Black, whose moving acceptance speech after winning the
Original Screenplay Oscar for
Milk

has suddenly made him white-hot. Much like Black's previous
film, Pedro tells the story of a crusading gay activist who
died too young: HIV-positive Pedro Zamora, whose stint on
Season 3 of
The Real World

lent him a national platform to educate about AIDS-related
issues. Zamora died almost fifteen years ago at age 22, just
one day after his final appearance on
The Real World

aired.

Since so much footage
is available of Zamora, one might walk into Pedro expecting a
documentary --it's not, though it too often feels like it
should be. Fully the first third of the movie is devoted to
Zamora's Real World experience, but too much of it simply
reenacts scenes that were already broadcast to millions by MTV.
It's a dissonant hurdle the film can't quite recover from:
though we should be getting to know and love Pedro (Alex
Loynaz) in the early going, we're too distracted by the near-
SNL

spectacle of actors recreating Real World alums like Judd,
Puck, and Rachel.

Tags: film

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