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The Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

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The 20th annual Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, featuring domestic and international films and videos, continues through Sun., Oct. 23. There will be a closing-night party at the Cheesecake Factory, at SouthSide Works, following the U.S. premiere of Eighteen.

 

Films and videos screen at the Harris Theater, Downtown, and the SouthSide Works Cinema. Tickets are $8 for single admissions; $6 for under 25. Discount passes are available, including: the Six Ticket packet ($45 for six admissions) and the Screen Queen Pass ($75 for 10 admissions). Contact 412-232-3277 or www.pilgff.org for more information.

 

Here is the screening schedule for the remaining films:

 

Wed., Oct. 19

 

8 p.m. MEN'S SHORTS. A program of short films by and about men. Harris

 

Thu., Oct. 20

 

7 p.m. THE AGGRESSIVES. Daniel Peddle's documentary depicts a secretive lesbian subculture in New York City's poor districts, where a group of gender-bending women known as "The Aggressives" lead hyper-butch lifestyles. To be screened via video projection. Harris

 

9 p.m. HATE CRIME. When his fiancé is beaten to death in a nearby park, Robbie suspects their new neighbor, who is openly homophobic. The police dismiss his theories as circumstantial at best, leaving Robbie to sort out the crime and enact justice in his own fashion. Unfortunately, Tommy Stovall's drama tackling such thorny topics as murder and vengeance, with an extra dose of domestic melodrama, is undermined by poor dialogue and amateurish acting. Even forgiving this, Hate Crime's eventual message, after several twists, is morally muddled. Of note: Bruce Davison, star of 1990's ground-breaking AIDS drama Longtime Companion, here plays a gay-hating evangelical pastor. To be screened via video projection. Harris

 

Fri., Oct. 21

 

8 p.m. SUMMER STORM. Two members of a young men's rowing team explore their respective sexualities in this coming-of-age drama from Marco Kreuzpaintner. In German, with subtitles. SouthSide Works

 

Sat., Oct. 22

 

4:30 p.m. EL FAVOR. When Roberta and Mora want to have a baby, their thoughts turn to Mora's brother, Felipe, who as coincidence has it works as a professional inseminator, albeit for turkeys. So, the couple stages a dinner party, complete with doctored cocktails, hoping to lure Felipe into sexual congress with the comely Roberta. But plans go awry when Felipe's girlfriend and business partner turn up. Pablo Sofovich's comedy from Argentina is essentially a one-room farce -- though set in a very colorful room -- that relies on bantering dialogue. Like other simply themed plots, El Favor drags a bit in the middle between set-up and resolution, but mostly stays afloat on its frantic nature. In Spanish, with subtitles. SouthSide Works

 

7 p.m. GUYS AND BALLS. Sherry Horman's enjoyable comedy is the familiar story about a ragtag sports team that must battle ridiculous odds to defend its honor. The twist here is that Ecki, a sweet young German baker who's just come out, must round up a team to prove that gay men can play soccer as well as, if not better than, any heteros. So bring on the leather threesome, the femme Turk with a Beckham fixation, the hot male nurse, the Brazilian brothers and the straight guy pretending to be gay -- and get 'em out on the pitch. The reputation of Dortmund's footie queers is on the line! (The German word for "team" is "Mannschaft," so you can start giggling now.) In German, with subtitles. SouthSide Works

 

9:15 p.m. UNVEILED. Fariba, an Iranian lesbian, flees to Germany, but is denied political asylum. Desperate, she instead assumes the identity of a fellow refugee and is temporarily admitted into Germany as a young man named Siamak. Sent to a small town, she struggles to maintain her charade, while a risky illegal factory job leads to a sympathetic relationship with a young single mother, Anne, who, ignorant of the charade, finds the Iranian man's gentleness a welcome change from her vulgar colleagues. Angelina Maccarone's film deftly handles several dramas -- Fariba's burgeoning romance with Anne, her assimilation into the West and her denial of identity, as well as the social and economic miseries faced by guest workers in contemporary Germany. Unveiled is a wistful love story that feels intimate despite its outlandish premise and its larger geo-political context. In Farsi and German, with subtitles. SouthSide Works

 

Sun., Oct. 23

 

5 p.m. GIRL PLAY. Adapted from the play Real Girls, based on a real-life story, Lee Friedlander's reflective comedy uncovers how two unlikely actresses -- the just-about-married-to-her-longtime-girlfriend Robin (Robin Greenspan) and the queen of quickie bar pick-ups, Lacie (Lacie Harmon) -- fall in love. Having them cast as lovers in a play together surely helped! Friedlander integrates monologues from each woman, flashbacks to their respective histories (Mink Stole is a scene-stealer as Robin's hysterical Jewish mother) and episodes from the path of their developing romance. To be screened via video projection. SouthSide Works

 

7:30 p.m. EIGHTEEN. From its mysterious car-crash opening sequence right through the film's shocking last-reel revelation, Richard Bell's feature keeps the melodrama flowing. We follow young Pip (Paul Anthony), who has chosen to live on the Toronto streets, as his 18th birthday brings new friends -- a male street hustler, a social worker, a kind priest (a nice turn by Alan Cumming) -- and a cassette tape pre-recorded by his late grandfather relating his 18th birthday, spent in the killing fields of World War II. Bell dramatizes this wartime story as well, and while the effect is a trifle disorienting, these flashbacks take the shine off Pip's self-pity by reminding him and us that there are surely worse situations than his. Occasionally the endless drama-upon-drama threatens to go right over the top, but the film is well acted without major histrionics and is quite affecting in places. To be screened via video projection. $15 (ticket includes dessert party afterward at adjacent Cheesecake Factory). SouthSide Works

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