Spring Affirmations

District's LGBT film festival Reel Affirmations announces plans to move the annual fall event to the spring

By Chris Geidner
Published on July 30, 2010, 5:24pm | Comments

Reel Affirmations, Washington, D.C.'s international gay and lesbian film festival, set to celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, will be moving to the spring of 2011 in an effort to improve the event's placement in the calendar of film festivals throughout the year. The event had been scheduled for Oct. 14 to 23, 2010.

Larry Guillemette, director of development and external relations for One in Ten, spoke with Metro Weekly on Friday afternoon, July 30, about the move.

''It allows us to move to the beginning of the festival season,'' he said. ''What this allows us to do is...have early or first access to a lot of titles that we were screening after they'd been screened at a number of other festivals.''

He said the organization is ''thrilled'' with the change, noting, ''We are confirming venues, but are looking at late April, early May.''

''It's going to be the same mix of independent films [and] international films,'' he said, pointing to past engagements for film screenings with the Canadian, French and Irish embassies.

Speaking of the approximately $40,000 debt that One in Ten had announced it held in March, Guillemette said, ''We do have remaining debt and are working to retire that debt.

''These changes, though, are being done for much larger reasons,'' he said. ''It's much, much different in 2010...to find access to gay films.''

Referring to the advent of Netflix and gay-specific stations like LOGO, he said, ''It's made it a much more challenging situation for film festivals.''

But, Guillemette said, audiences won't have to wait until April for Reel Affirmations programming.

''We do plan to have a significant amount of programming this fall,'' he said. ''In October, we do plan on screening a few films in the week that we used to have the festival, including a major feature [on Saturday, October 16] – an award-winning film – and then the following Friday, two other films as well. Important films.''

Additionally, he said that beginning in November, Reel Affirmations plans to reinstitute ''RA Xtra, a monthly screening series that we did for a very long time.''

Check back at Metro Weekly for more details in coming weeks.