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14 Events in LGBT History That Deserve Films

14 Events in LGBT History That Deserve Films


The Advocate asked the filmmakers at Outfest for the LGBT people, events, and stories they would love to capture for the silver screen.

14-events-in-lgbt-history-that-deserve-filmsx968_0The secret loves of Eleanor Roosevelt. A gay king in the Crusades. The coming-out of Mary Cheney. These are just a few of the countless untold stories involving LGBT lives that the filmmakers of Outfest 2015, the premier LGBT film festival of Los Angeles, said they would love to retell through film.

See their full responses below, and feel free to leave your own proposals for film-worthy historic events in the comments.

And don't miss this year's Outfest, where over 150 (already made!) LGBT films will screen in Los Angeles from July 9 to July 19.

[RELATED: "The Advocate's 31 Favorite Films of Outfest 2015"]

Foucault_quinto-477506048x633_01. The Final Years of French Philospher Michel Foucault in San Francisco

"Foucault was a bombshell. He was a hero and a genius, and yet his life was cut short by HIV. It only makes sense to honor him with a loud, tough, and shattering chronicle of his final years. Cast Zachary Quinto in 10 years. Reuse the Spock ears."

--Jay Dockendorf is the writer and director of Naz and Maalik, which will be released by Wolfe Video in 2016.

Coversx633_02. One, Inc. v. Olesen, a Landmark Supreme Court Case for LGBT Rights

"I would love to make movie about the 1958 court case One, Inc. v. Olesen. The publishers of One magazine (a gay magazine), sued the U.S. Post Office for refusing to mail their "obscene" magazine - and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the gay magazine. This victorious moment was a ripple in the tidal wave of the '60s civil rights movement to come. I'd love to tell the tale from the point of view of the gay publishers."

--Jamie Babbit directed Addicted to Fresnoas well as But I'm a Cheerleader and episodes of HBO's Girls and Looking.

Gay-evolutionx633_03. Queer Evolution

"My movie would be a LGBT science fiction story where natural evolution has responded to overpopulation by making everyone homosexual. The 10 percent of heterosexuals form alliances so they are not completely ignored by the narrative of history. It takes 6,000 years for their story to be told. It'll be a miniseries."

--Jim Hansen, director and cowriter of this year's Outfest film You're Killing Me, also directs the Chloe videos with Drew Droege as well as several other Web series.

Karl_maria_kertbeny_ca_1865x633_04. Gay Activism in 19th-Century Hungary

"I would love to make a film about Hungarian human rights campaigner Karl-Maria Kertbeny, who around 1869 was the first writer to establish the view that homosexuality was innate and unchangeable. He began to fight injustice after a coworker of his, who was being blackmailed for being gay, committed suicide. I can't imagine the odds this passionate man had to face during his lifetime and would be honored to tell his story with film."

--Raised in Austria and refurbished in the U.S., Philipp Karner is a writer, director, and actor whose directorial debut, Like You Mean It, is world premiering at Outfest 2015.

A-streetcar-named-desirex633_05. The Making of the 1947 Play A Streetcar Named Desire

"I'd love to make a biopic of Tennessee Williams that follows him leading up to the opening night of A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway."

--William Sullivan is a New York-based filmmaker who likes to take on projects that scare the crap out of him. Recent credits include That's Not Us in Outfest, Percival's Big Night, and Jane Wants a Boyfriend, starring Eliza Dushku and Louisa Krause.

Hickokrooseveltx633_06. The Secret Romances of Eleanor Roosevelt

"This isn't really an event per se, but I'm really interested in same-sex romances from the past, every bit as prevalent as today, but unthinkable in that society and forced to be kept hidden. I'd love to make a film exploring these little-known and forbidden romances such as Eleanor Roosevelt (above left) and Lorena Hickok (above right) among others."

--Marq Evans is an independent director and producer based in San Diego. His film The Glamour & the Squaloris featured in Outfest.

Scott_johnson_bondi_beachx633_07. The Mass Murders of Bondi Beach

"Bondi Beach, early '90s. Eighty gay men plunge to their deaths off the cliff-face of Australia's most iconic coastline. The local police department chalks them all up to suicide -- after all, they're gay. A wealthy entrepreneur from Boston, whose brother is amongst the dead, travels halfway across the world to uncover the truth. He wages a 23-year battle against homophobic Australian cops to expose the grisly truth: The men were chased to their deaths in ritualistic slayings by sexually repressed teenagers from all over Sydney who gleefully engaged in the macabre sport of 'teaching the poofters a lesson.' This remains a largely untold true story."

--Dean Francis is a Sydney-based director, producer, and cinematographer of the multi-award-winning Drown, which is fast becoming one of the best-selling LGBT titles in the world. (Above: Murder victim Scott Johnson)

David-kilmnick-and-ligaly_publicityx633_08. The LGBT Advocacy of David Kilmnick and LIGALY

"Having been raised on Long Island, I would love to do a documentary on David Kilmnick and LIGALY (Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth), which is an organization he created over 20 years ago to serve our LGBT youth. LIGALY has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and is now part of what's called the LGBT network, which includes services to our elders through an organization called SAGE, and over 25,000 Long Island LGBT community members through antibullying, HIV testing, counseling, family advocacy, magazine publishing, and much, much more. Great man who has made a great difference to our community."

--Suzanne Guacci is a Long Island filmmaker whose latest film, Stuff, can be seen at Outfest July 12.

Obama-signs-478986488x633_09. The Day LGBT America Obtains Workplace Protections

"Michael and I would love to be there on the day that whatever sitting president signs an executive order adding federal protection for the LGBTQA community, by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the national Civil Rights Act. That will be history in the making, and the time for civil rights for all is now. In many states you can be married on Sunday and fired on Monday just because you are gay or transgender."

--Add the Wordsis the second film for award-winning team Cammie Pavesic and Michael D. Gough after working on The Sanguinarian in 2006. They are extremely excited to be part of Outfest.

Mary_cheney-51254428x633_010. Mary Cheney's Coming-Out Story

"There's a great drama in the moment when Dick Cheney is realizing that his daughter is a lesbian. We'd love to explore the personal, political, and emotional conflicts that swirled in his head at that moment. And on the other side, the fears, excitement, and pride that Mary must have felt. It's a cultural conflict wrapped in an intimate family drama."

--Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon are co-directors of Best of Enemies. Neville won an Academy Award for 20 Feet From Stardom.

Howard-ashmanx633_011. The Gay Disney Renaissance

"I'm dying to make a biopic about Howard Ashman, the incredible gay lyricist who reinvigorated the entire Disney animation department in the late 1980s with his work on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. He tragically died of AIDS right before Beauty and the Beast was released. I love that these iconic Disney songs of my childhood are imbued with the feelings of a gay Jew from Baltimore."

--Native New Yorker and NYU Tisch alumnus Joey Kuhn tells a story of unrequited love, the 1 percent, and Gilbert and Sullivan in his first feature, Those People.

Jean_genetx633_012. The Trials of French Writer Jean Genet

"The trial of Jean Genet, when Sartre and Cocteau saved Genet from a lifetime in prison for obscenity charges. Both as courtroom drama and biopic -- and a turning point for mid-century queer identity -- the film would explore the perception of homosexuality as criminal, [as well as] art, the freedom of expression, and the lives of some of my artistic heroes. In my personal LGBT history, rescuing Genet from prison -- by proving his gay erotic imaginings were not obscene -- was a monumental event."

--Joseph Graham is a filmmaker living and working in San Francisco. His film Beautiful Somethingis in Outfest.

Lionheartx633_013. The Gay Crusade

"Maybe this is my Game of Thrones withdrawal talking, but King Richard the Lionheart, who was king of England during the late 12th century, I think is a fascinating character. In addition to leading the crown during the third Crusade and the years of Robin Hood, he's widely regarded by historians to have been gay. I think a story about what went on in his personal life behind the major events of the time would be really interesting."

--Andrew Nackman is from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., and studied film production at the University of Southern California. His USC thesis film, Paulie, won the Palm Springs Grand Jury Prize. Fourth Man Outis his first feature film.

Ethel-watersx633_014. The Life of Singer Ethel Waters

"I would love to develop a narrative film based on the life of Ethel Waters, the African-American singer and actress who rose from poverty and working the black vaudeville circuit to become the second African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award in 1949. She was a bawdy, brilliant survivor who nonetheless went to great lengths to conceal her live-in relationship with dancer Ethel Williams. As a performing icon and in her personal life, she navigated the challenging paths between black, white, straight, queer, and mixed worlds."

--Hillevi Loven is the filmmaker and producer of Deep Run, which is executive-produced by Susan Sarandon. She is based in New York City and is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective.

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