Charlotte Pride is back and the in person events are on the way. After two years of quarantines, gatherings of 10 people or less and virtual LGBTQ Pride celebrations – this year, pride goers can do more than long for the fellowship in person Pride events foster. One of those events everyone is excited about: Reel Out Charlotte.  

What Is Reel Out? 

It’s been years since actor and thespian Harvey Fierstein said, “Theater is my temple and my religion and my act of faith. Strangers sit in a room together and believe together.” However, the sentiment still holds true for many and Reel Out is one such event that epitomizes Fierstein’s feelings on the matter. Reel Out is Charlotte’s Annual LGBTQ Film Festival, which initially began in 2008. In 2015 the festival became part of Charlotte Pride’s array of diverse events; offering theater buffs and those who know how much visibility matters an opportunity to support LGBTQ independent film makers and aspiring LGBTQ actors. 

Day 1: Wednesday, May 11

When & Where Will It All Happen? 

This year, the Annual Film Festival showcasing independent LGBTQ cinema will return May 11 through May 15, 2022. A total of 25 films (10 features and 15 shorts) will be shown. All features and shorts will be screened at Camp North End’s Boileryard Space at 300 Camp Road in Charlotte and will kick off Wednesday, May 11 at 6 p.m. with an opening night reception. The reception will feature remarks from representatives of the Charlotte Film Society. It’s free and will include complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar where guests can utilize their one free beer/wine drink ticket. Immediately following the reception, attendees will be able to view the series of over a dozen short films Reel Out will showcase this year. Additionally, viewers will have a chance to cast a ballot and vote for the festival’s Best Short Viewers’ Choice Award, giving props to their favorite LGBTQ Independent Film. Feature length film screenings will be held for the remainder of the festival from Thursday, May 12 through the festival’s last day on Sunday, May 15.

How Much Will It Cost to Check Out A Film?

Individual screening tickets are reasonably priced at only $5 and can be purchased though FilmFreeway’s website. For those who fire for film is so intense they can’t imagine missing any of these independent creations, All Access Passes are also well within reach at $40. It’s all so exciting, being able to finally and safely gather in person in support of such worthy efforts and artists. 

Charlotte Pride Communications Director Matt Comer talked about the upcoming event. “We are incredibly excited to be able to host in person, after two years of not being able to. Every film we show this year will be a premier of some sort; North Carolina premiers or Southeastern U.S., either way, it will be the very first time they’ve been shown and seen [in the state or region].”

What Will Viewers Be Watching?

All film shorts will be shown on the festival’s opening night, Wednesday, May 11. 

2022 Reel Out Full-Length Feature Films Include:

Day 2: Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m. 

Doors open at 6 p.m. for a community mix-and-mingle and pre-show reception.

Feature Film: “Wildhood” (Drama)

English and Mi’kmaw with English subtitles

In a rural east-coast trailer park, Link lives with his toxic father and younger half-brother Travis. When Link discovers his Mi’kmaw mother could still be alive, it lights a flame, and prompts him to leave with his younger brother in search of a better life. 

Possibly Triggering: This film contains depictions of violence and childhood abuse which may not be comfortable or appropriate for all audiences. 

A scene from “Wildwood,” the debut feature film for Charlotte’s LGBTQ film festival. Photo: Reel Out

Day 3: Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m. 

Doors open at 6 p.m. for a community mix-and-mingle and pre-show reception. Arrive early and enjoy Camp North End’s Friday Night, with live music, shopping, food trucks and more.

Feature Film: “Boy Meets Boy” (Drama)

English and German with English subtitles

Meeting on the dance floor of a Berlin club, two young men (Harry and Johannes) connect and spend the day together experiencing the contrasts in their lives and confronting their own truths before one must catch a flight back home to London. 

In the English-German co-production “Boy Meets Boy” two young men have a whirlwind encounter after meeting in a Berlin nightclub. Photo: Peccadillo Pictures

Day 3: Friday, May 13 at 9 p.m. 

Feature Film: “Raw! Uncut! Video!” (Documentary) 

A love story about fetish porn chronicling the rise and fall of homegrown gay porn studio Palm Drive Video. This film explores how a devoted couple helped battle a devastating health crisis by promoting kinky sex and assisting in the promotion of sex positivity. 

Age-restricted event: Guests must be 18 years of age or older and will be asked to show a valid ID prior to entry. This film depicts graphic and explicit sexual and fetish scenes.

Day 4: Saturday, May 14 at 1 p.m.  

*Double Feature!

Feature Film: “Death And Bowling” (Drama)

In a fractured, dream-like world, a transgender actor struggles with what it means to be seen after the beloved captain of his lesbian bowling league dies and a mysterious stranger shows up at the funeral.

Feature Film: “Kapana” (Drama/Comedy)

Two lives, two secrets and one unlikely meeting in a bar; takes place in Namibia, where George and Simeon meet within an atmosphere where sigma and anti sodomy laws are alive and well. 

In “Death and Bowling” Will Krisanda plays a transgender actor who reconnects with friends from his past after the captain of their lesbian bowling team dies. Photo: T4T Productions

Day 4: Saturday, May 14 at 3:30 p.m. 

Feature Film: “Framing Agnes” (Documentary/Drama)

In 1958, a young trans woman named Agnes entered a study about sex disorders at UCLA. Her story was long considered to be exceptional until never-before-seen case files of other patients were found in 2017. This documentary includes an all-star cast of transgender artists and performers. 

“Framing Agnes” features an all-star cast of trans actors and performers. Photo: Reel Out

Day 4: Saturday, May 14 at 6 p.m. 

Feature Film: “Leading Ladies” (Drama)

Spanish with English subtitles

More aptly described as a recorded experiment, this film captures five friends at a reunion dinner. Their time together sheds light on how guilt affects us in different ways based upon our perspectives and memories. While kept secrets are exposed the women realize how difficult it is to lead their own lives without the influences guilt can produce. 

There will be an additional film screened at 8 p.m. Reel Out is currently waiting to confirm that film – so check the charlottepride.org/reelout website to stay in the loop. 

“Leading Ladies” is described as a recorded experiment that captures five friends at a reunion dinner. Photo: Reel Out

Day 5: Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m.

Feature Film: “Milkwater” (Drama/Comedy)

During a quest for direction and purpose a woman (Milo) decides to become a surrogate and egg donor for an older gay man she meets in a bar. However, she becomes increasingly attached to him, she starts leveraging the pregnancy as a means of staying embedded in his life.

Day 5: Sunday, May 15 at 5 p.m.

Feature Film: “The Obituary Of Tunde Johnson” (Drama)

After being pulled over and shot to death by police, a wealthy Nigerian American teenager immediately awakens, trapped in a terrifying time loop that forces him to confront difficult truths about his life and himself. Tackling the social issues of racism, police brutality, LGBTQ+ acceptance, mental health and addiction, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson confronts these seminal issues, all too prevalent in American society.

Content Note: This film depicts scenes of racist violence, including death, and may not be comfortable or suitable for all audiences. Minors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Following the film, hang around for the “Tunde” Talkback. Community members will explore and discuss the issues addressed in this film at 5:45 p.m. The “Tunde” Talkback is in partnership with the Freedom Center for Social Justice and only open to those who have attended the 5 p.m. screening of the film.  

After a Nigerian teenager is shot to death, he awakens to find himself caught in a time loop in “The Obituary of Tunde Johnson.” Photo: Reel Out

For more information and tickets visit charlottepride.org/reelout.

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