Oak Park library hosts third annual GLBT film festival
Director and producer Randall Jenson (right) and members of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays watch a part of the film "50 Faggots" Sept. 23 at First United Church. | Jeff Krage~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 5, 2012 6:05AM
OAK PARK — The third annual GLBT Documentary Film Festival will begin this Sunday at the Oak Park Public Library.
The documentary film festival focuses on the many aspects of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender life.
“The festival is a fresh audience made up of a mix of people attending for different motivations,” Communications Coordinator Sharon Grimm said.
The Oak Park Public Library and Oak Park Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays partnered to make this festival a reality three years ago.
Four documentaries will be shown, all free and open to the public. A discussion will follow each screening.
Previous to the festival, PFLAG members saw great films, but had no audience.
“We thought a film festival would be a great idea to bring a larger audience to the films,” PFLAG Secretary Nancy Johnson said.
This year, Chicago Gender Society and the Oak Park Area Lesbian and Gay Association are hosting films.
Johnson is pleased two films being shown are closed captioning.
“I always wanted to make the films accessible to the deaf community,” Johnson said.
A sign-interpreter will also be available at each screening.
The first film, “TRANS,” will screen at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. The documentary is a feature about males and females — and everything in between. Chris Arnold, the director and editor, will join the discussion following the screening.
Katie Thomas of the Chicago Gender Society selected the film.
“The film touched me,” Thomas said. “I loved everything about it.”
Thomas said different scenes that were true to her life experiences particularly moved her.
“What the transgender community needs is a film to identify with,” Arnold said. “A film about real people and real issues.”
Arnold believes the transgender community is the most discriminated against community in the country. He hopes the film will raise awareness.
“By no fault of their own, transgender people have a tough road and life ahead of them,” Arnold said. “We want people to understand who these people are and what being a transgender person is all about.”
“Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” will screen at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. The film is about Bayard Rustin, a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr., an architect, and a man who lived openly gay during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The screening will be hosted by PFLAG.
“In-laws and Outlaws” will be shown at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. The film highlights true stories of couples and singles —both gay and straight. PFLAG will also host the screening.
“Love Free or Die” will screen at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. The film shows the conflict Gene Robinson has between his love for God and for his partner Mark. The Oak Park Area Lesbian and Gay Association will host the screening.~.