Just a decade ago, the idea that Colorado Springs would inaugurate and sustain the Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival, one of the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festivals in the country, seemed unimaginable.
Each year, this little festival raises the bar, bringing the best films of the genre right here to ground zero. It's a festive and art-filled weekend, complete with opening- and closing-night parties, a gala opening reception and two days of exceptional films.
This year's selection of films includes, among others:
My Summer of Love, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. This highly acclaimed British film tells the story of two young girls, played by Natalie Press and Emily Blunt, who, in an intense but fleeting summer friendship, create an impenetrable world of their own over the objections of their families.
Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing, directed by Linda Thornburg, based on May Sarton's loosely autobiographical novel about interviewing Hilary Stevens. An author who shocked the country in the 1920s with her novel about two women in love, Stevens is discovered by a new generation in the 1960s. At 70 years old and as an out lesbian poet, Mrs. Stevens finds fame and recognition as well as a greater degree of understanding.
Gay Sex in the '70s: Joseph Lovett, a producer for ABC's "20/20," interviews participants in the gay cultural revolution in New York City in the 1970s and discovers the movement wasn't just about sex. While AIDS and drugs are important legacies of the period, so are community-building and the founding of an important American political movement. It will be screened with the documentary Gay Republicans, which looks at the decisions facing gay Republican men and women in the midst of the growing war over gay marriage.
To those of you always complaining that Colorado Springs never gets any interesting independent or foreign films: Get yourself to this festival. It deserves the community's support.
-- Kathryn Eastburn
Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St.
Friday-Sunday, Sept. 16-18
For a full schedule or more information, visit pplff.org.