Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rainbow Cinema steps in to fill LGBT film fest niche

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 5:26 PM

On Tuesday, we reported on the demise of the Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival after a 12-year run in Colorado Springs.

We mentioned the departure of a number of board members as well as infighting between organizer Alma Cremonesi and other members of our local LGBT community. We also mentioned Cremonesi's willingness to pass the torch to an earnest and capable party should they care to carry on under the Lavender banner.

Turns out, at least for the time being, that won't be necessary.

Former Lavender board president (for the last two years) and 10-year member Paul Forsett has stepped forward under the new name of Rainbow Cinema, which will be put on by a soon-to-be-formed Colorado Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 501(c)(3) organization.

Rainbow tentatively plans to show six feature films between Nov. 16 and 18 in Colorado College's Cornerstone Arts Center — all for free.

Colorado College's community relations director Connie Dudgeon has played a key role in keeping some form of the LGBT festival alive, saying, "CC has given huge in-kind support to Lavender in recent years and we'll definitely continue to do so for its 'offspring'."

Dudgeon is also excited by the later dates this year, as students will be back on campus then to benefit from the film fest. (Previously, she notes, the fest took place during a block break week.)

Forsett says he hopes to expand the festival's offerings next year, after formalizing a new advisory board early in 2013 (with several former Lavender members). He also has plans to incorporate gay and lesbian theater under the 501(c)(3), to carry on the legacy of Tony Babin, who passed away in late 2009.

A regular attendee of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Forsett says he also hopes to borrow some of its format for 2013, such as choice seating lines (based on membership levels).

As for this year's films, Rainbow won't be paying for newly released flicks (hence the free entry), but Forsett plans to show some recent favorites such as Shortbus and 20 Centimeters, as well as a late night Rocky Horror Picture Show screening.

20 centimeters
  • A scene from the 2005 Spanish film 20 Centimeters, which will play at this year's newly formed Rainbow Cinema film festival at Colorado College.

Briefly addressing the infighting and contention with Cremonesi, Forsett says, "I saw we needed change, which wasn't happening ... I've seen so many wonderful films in San Francisco that I wanted to bring out here, and she was always censoring them, saying that our audiences wouldn't like them ... I want to see it open up a little bit, I want to see who we can get back in terms of the audience."

Think of this year as a transition year, between a longstanding fest and a newbie, with a gap filled by some older but still worthy programming. To Forsett, "Rainbow is a continuation of gay and lesbian films in Colorado Springs — it's what we need in Colorado Springs."

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