What's Gay About This Year's AFI Fest

With a lesbian romantic comedy, a transgender love story, and many more films of interest, the AFI Fest offers much for LGBT audiences this year.



Out of the LGBT-themed films, which ones are you most excited about audiences seeing this year?
There’s such a range, it’s wonderful. From Raul Fuentes’s Everybody’s Got Somebody ... Not Me (pictured at left), which is a lesbian drama, black-and-white, really influenced by American independents and then in some ways, Italian ’60s films, music and the energy, a little French New Wave influence in that film. Also, Laurence Anyways, Xavier Dolan’s new film, he’s kind of this dear old French-Canadian wunderkind who made Heartbeats, which we showed last year, and I Killed My Mother, which we also showed, in 2009. It’s this wonderful love story about this man and this woman, and the man decides to transition to a woman, but they’re still passionately in love with each other and trying to figure out how to have a relationship and how to continue that relationship.

I was really thrilled about that feature. Why do you think Laurence Anyways was worthy of selection?
It’s just so rich, it’s like a novel. It has the energy of youth that really drives it and drives the desire and the passion between them that I think is extraordinary. And I think, of course, the ’80s references, to that era and the music, makes it so much fun. It’s the longest film we’re showing at the festival this year — it’s 161 minutes — but I enjoyed every moment of it. When you come to the end of that film, when he’s in that beautiful suit and that interview, the journey that you’re taken on is extraordinary. That’s one of my favorite films of the festival.

It’s definitely one we’re looking forward to.
Yes. And we have The Most Fun I’ve Ever Had With My Pants On, the Drew Denny film, you know she’s an out lesbian. A really wonderful story. A road trip journey about these two women going to spread her father’s ashes. Beautifully shot! It’s rare that you see relationship dramas like that with two women that are romantic comedies — and a silly romantic comedy, because that really stood out for us and among our screeners. That’s one we found through the submissions process. And that was really exciting.

That’s one we’re really excited about too. What else did you find intriguing about that film?
It was really the performances. As I mentioned, it was the relationship between the two women — and they’re not supporting, they’re the leads, and they’re two leads together on this incredible journey. That was something we felt we just had to support, and it’s great that she’s also a local filmmaker.

Tags: film