Reel Out Charlotte to host indie LGBTQ films, directors and actors for 10th annual event

Charlotte’s LGBTQ film festival, May 16-20, to feature Peabody Award-winning documentary “Southwest of Salem,” Q&A with director and cast member

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Reel Out Charlotte, the Queen City’s Annual LGBTQ Film Festival, will celebrate a decade of LGBTQ art and film this year on May 16-20, at Camp North End (1824 Statesville Ave., Charlotte, NC 28206). The 10th annual event features 10 acclaimed films and several special events with film directors, actors and documentary cast members. Tickets and Weekend Passes are now on sale at

A 10th Anniversary Celebration will kick-off the weekend-long series of events on May 16, 6 p.m., with special remarks from transgender actor of color Brian Michael, known for his appearances on OWN’s “Queen Sugar,” HBO’s “Girls” and NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” The event is free and open to the public.

The festival’s annual Shorts Showcase will be held on Thursday, May 17, 6:30 p.m., also with free admission. Audience members are invited to vote for their favorite film, with the winner being bestowed Reel Out Charlotte’s Best Short-Viewers’ Choice Award.

Reel Out Charlotte will also host a screening and powerful Q&A as its closing event on Sunday, May 20, 6 p.m, featuring documentary director Deborah Esquinazi and cast member Anna Vasquez, whose story is told in the 2016 film “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonia Four.”

“Southwest,” winner of the 2017 Peabody Award, profiles Vasquez and three other Latina lesbian women who, during the height of the Satanic Panic of the 80s and 90s, were wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls. The women fought for years against mythology, homophobia and prosecutorial fervor in their struggle for exoneration.

Other special guests will include actor Ben Baur and director Scott Hinson. Both will join the festival on Friday, May 18, 6-9 p.m. for encore screenings of their short films and Q&As with audience members. “Trans Youth” documentary cast member Sebastian Sterling will join a panel discussion following a Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m. film screening held in partnership with PFLAG Charlotte.

Featured films being screened at the festival this year include: “Family Commitments,” “The Feels,” “Saturday Church,” “Trans Youth,” “Hello Again,” “God’s Own Country,” “Tom of Finland,” “Beats Per Minute,” “Signature Move,” and the closing film “Southwest of Salem.”

A full line-up of film screenings and special events are available online at Tickets and Weekend Passes are also on sale online. Individual screenings are $10 ($5 students, seniors, Charlotte Film Society members). Weekend Passes are $75 and include 10-pack of tickets, free popcorn and admission to an exclusive VIP reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres prior to the 10th Annual Celebration on May 16.

Festivalgoers are invited to join Reel Out Charlotte before each film for conversation, drinks and other concessions. Popcorn, candy, other snacks, beer, wine and cocktails will be available for purchase prior to each screening. Proceeds support Reel Out Charlotte programs and other screenings throughout the year.

Reel Out Charlotte, formerly known as the GayCharlotte Film Festival, is a program of Charlotte Pride. In anticipation of its 10th annual event this year, the film festival rebranded in 2017, marking a newer, more modern and more inclusive name for a growing, diverse LGBTQ community in Charlotte.

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Media Contact:
Matt Comer, Communications Director, Charlotte Pride