Behind the scenes: Celebrating 10 years of LGBTQ film in Charlotte

Everyone loves an anniversary. Special occasions throughout our lives mark the important moments we share with our family and our friends. This year, Charlotte Pride will celebrate the 10th annual Reel Out Charlotte, the Queen City’s LGBTQ film festival. Special events, including a celebratory anniversary opening reception and partnerships with a variety of community groups, will make this year’s annual film festival a moment to remember for years to come!

Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek into some of the special memories you’ll be able to share in come May 16-20…

Celebrating the past, looking toward the future

Last year, we knew there was something special about celebrating our upcoming 10th annual event. It offered the perfect opportunity to dive deep and focus on all the things which made the GayCharlotte Film Festival special in the Queen City. Above all, we recognized that the film festival had always been a safe space which attracted a wildly diverse audience for unique and compelling stories of LGBTQ life, love, triumph and challenge, representative of every sexuality, gender, race and ethnicity.

Yet, our name was so limiting. We have grown by leaps and bounds since the time in which “gay” was the singular label to describe the breadth of diversity in our community. The 10th annual event in 2018 proved the perfect time to rebrand this special event for our community. And what better way to do it than involving the community itself? After weeks of online voting, combined with in-person votes at the 2017 film festival, community members chose from three options and voted for “Reel Out Charlotte.”

We love the new name… packed full of meaning and symbolism. Real lives. On movie reels. Playing out onto the big screen, for all in Charlotte and across the world to see.

Exciting films, new experiences

Over the past decade, Charlotte’s annual LGBTQ film festival has hosted a growing number of regional film premieres. This year will be no different, as we screen new films never shown before in Charlotte.

What goes into choosing which films we’ll screen? Lots.

Our awesome team of volunteers have spent weeks reviewing film submissions for both short and feature length movies. We’re assessing cinematography, story-telling and plot, character development, diversity and inclusion, and more… all so that we can screen films which have real meaning and impact for your life as an LGBTQ person in Charlotte, the Carolinas and our wider world.

Our full film line-up will be available soon, but suffice it to say, you won’t be disappointed.

As we approach this year’s festival, we’re also getting out and about into the community with new experiences and special events. In January, we hosted a community night at the theater to see the acclaimed Oscar-nominated Call Me By Your Name. It was a fun night, with a packed theater.

We’ll be hosting similar special events and movie nights as we get closer to the film festival, including a community movie night for “A Fantastic Woman” this Saturday, March 10. Click here to RSVP on Facebook and learn more, and be sure to check out our calendar of events for more.

Special events to celebrate the big 1-0

Your special pass to all that this year’s 10th annual celebration has to offer is the Weekend Pass. It gets you into every special event and every screening. And we’re pulling out all the stops to make sure this anniversary celebration is one to remember.

Join us on Wednesday, May 16, for a celebratory opening reception, featuring special remarks from trans actor Brian Michael. If you’re a Weekend Passholder, you get an invitation to a VIP pre-reception with a meet-and-greet and complimentary drinks.

On Thursday, we’ll host our annual short films showcase — free and open to the entire community — where audience members will vote to award the best short film.

On Friday, we’ll join with our host this year — Camp North End — for their spring-time Friday Night Series. Grab some bites at the food trucks assembled in the Boileryard for the evening and listen to the band playing tunes before our primetime feature. While the Boileryard is full of fun and music, pop into the Screening Room at selected times throughout the evening for a selection of short films, some new and others making an encore screening from Thursday’s short films showcase.

Finally, Saturday and Sunday will both feature special community partnerships, including with PFLAG Charlotte, the Charlotte Film Society, Charlotte Jewish Film Festival and more.

In short, it’s an event not to be missed.

Be sure to grab your Weekend Pass now, and stay tuned for the full event line-up in just a couple weeks!

(Click here to see all Spring 2018 newsletter content)