Last March, organizers at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Charlotte’s GayCharlotte Film Festival set out to raise awareness and build community across lines of difference by collaborating with the Charlotte Jewish Film Festival. Now, GayCharlotte is at it again, this time partnering with the Charlotte Film Festival to present a feature documentary on elderly LGBTs.

A production still from producer/director Stu Maddux’s “Gen Silent.” Photo Credit: Mad Stu Media, LLC.

GayCharlotte Film Festival’s director, Teresa Davis, says the Charlotte Film Fest first reached out to them about two months ago and asked if they were interested in helping to bring “Gen Silent” to town. The film, from producer and director Stu Maddux, follows the lives of older LGBTs and explores the discrimination, fear and challenges they face from a still unwelcoming society.

Davis admits she and other GayCharlotte Film Festival organizers weren’t too keen on the idea of sponsoring (read: helping pay for) a documentary.

“I told the Charlotte Film Festival, ‘You don’t pay money for a documentary,’” she says.

Her opinion quickly changed when she visited the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Durham and saw the film Charlotte Film Fest organizers had planned on screening.

“This thing is so worth it,” she says. “We went to the festival in Durham and saw this movie and said, ‘Oh my gosh. This is the best documentary we’ve seen.’ This is so important.”

Davis says she is excited about the film and the potential for future “bridge building.”

“We’re hoping we can create some buzz and when we do our film festival in March, the filmmaker will be able to come back and show it again for our film festival,” she says.

The GayCharlotte Film Festival is a relatively new kid on Charlotte’s indie film block. But, through partnerships such as those with the Charlotte Film Festival and Charlotte Jewish Film Festival, GayCharlotte is quickly becoming more stable and recognizable. This year, for example, they won a grant from the Charlotte Arts & Science Council.

“The fact we were granted an award made us elated that we could get that support,” Davis says.

“Gen Silent” will screen on Sept. 26, 5:45 p.m. at Regal Park Terrace in Charlotte. Admission is $8. The day before, Davis will participate in a panel discussion on indie films and Charlotte.

For more information about “Gen Silent,” its upcoming screening or more about the Charlotte Film Festival, visit : :

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.