Though the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (starting Sept. 28) may be at the point where it can star in its own coming-of-age story, the annual collection of shorts has really served more as a documentary, chronicling an era of unprecedented progress for equality and rights. Now in its 16th year, the festival, which takes place at Northwest Portland’s Cinema 21, will continue to educate and inspire with more than a week of moving films. Event coordinators are currently in the process of setting the dates and selecting the films, making this a great time to look back on the works that have shined brightest on the festival’s silver screen.
Update: As of Sept. 9, the schedule is now online!
The event took a bold stance as far back as 2000, when it showed the 1995 documentary Ballot Measure 9, which explored the anti-gay amendment proposed by the conservative group, Oregon Citizen’s Alliance in 1992. Including anti-gay clips produced by the Citizen’s Alliance and interviews of those who successfully fought passage of Measure 9, the film moved viewers of every orientation. In 2007, For the Bible Tells Me So explored the Bible as it applies to homosexuality, revealing the church-sanctioned anti-gay bias to be based on a misinterpretation, and how people of faith — including former House Majority leader Richard Gephardt — reconcile having a gay child. And last year, We Were Here documented the AIDS crisis in 1980s San Francisco, probing the political and social impact of the disease on the LGBTQ community. With director David Weissman in attendance, the screening was both heartbreaking and informative — a perfect example of what makes this event so important.
Stay tuned as the festival nears for more updates, including this year’s dates, selected films and ticket sales.