The Outflix Film Festival starts tonight at Malco's Ridgeway theater and runs through next Thursday. I previewed the opening night features — documentary Bridegroom and the high school comedy G.B.F. — in this week's paper. Here are a few potential highlights from the Saturday and Sunday slates:
Out in the Dark (3 p.m.): A Palestinian student who falls for an Israeli lawyer and finds himself caught between worlds in multiple ways — ostracized in Palestinian society because of his sexuality and in Israeli society because of his nationality. Has won awards at GLBT film festivals in cities such as Toronto, Philadelphia, and Miami.
Any Day Now (1:30 p.m.): This strong feature from writer-director Travis Fine is based on a true story and set in West Hollywood circa 1979, where a gay couple (Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt) take in a teenager with Down syndrome who's been abandoned by his mother and fight a biased legal system to keep their new family together. An audience-award winner at festivals around the country, including Tribeca, Chicago, and Outfest. Cumming and Dillahunt's odd couple pairing isn't always the most convincing, but the film is moving without straining too hard for effect, and Cumming's performance as a big-hearted drag queen walks a tightrope, but mostly stays balanced. Well worth a wider theatrical run than it got.
The New Black (5:30 p.m.): A documentary about gay-rights issues within the African-American community. One activist asserts early on that her quest for equal rights for homosexuals is part of “the unfinished business of black people being free,” but the film explores such hurdles as the prevalence of homophobia in the black church and the use of gay rights as a black community wedge issue by political conservatives. Also a multiple audience-award winner on the fest circuit.
The Rugby Player (7:30 p.m.): A documentary about the relationship between Mark Bingham, one of the passengers on United 93 on 9/11 and his former flight attendant mother, Alice Hoagland.
For a full schedule and ticketing info see outflixfestival.org.