10th Annual Celebration!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 | 6-8 PM
Join us as we celebrate 10 years of LGBTQ film in the Queen City. Free and open to the entire community! Click here to RSVP.
Special guest speaker Brian Michael, out trans actor of color from OWN’s Queen Sugar, as well as Chicago PD and HBO’s Girls, will join us to talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion in film and television.
Cash bar. Light hors d’oeuvres.
Want to join us for the exclusive VIP Pre-Reception? Learn more about our Weekend Pass here.
Brian Michael was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. As a child, he channeled his boundless energy into athletics and stage performance.
Although assigned female at birth, he self-identified as, and was perceived as, male throughout his childhood. He always challenged societal pressures to conform to his assigned role.
While in high school he played football on the Boys team in the fall and set records in throwing events on the Girls Track team in the spring.
He fell in love with acting in elementary school, because he was allowed to be whomever he wanted to be onstage and he discovered the power of performance to generate understanding and move people.
Brian attended Kent State University where he continued to study acting and found a deeper passion for screen work. Confronted with increasing gender-based restrictions on which roles he could play, Brian shifted focus to Video & Film Production and began transitioning during his final years at Kent State.
Upon graduating from Kent State, Brian returned to Michigan and began teaching and mentoring youth through filmmaking, eventually moving to New York City to pursue his career in acting.
His professional career began training under Terry Knickerbocker at the William Esper Studio in 2011. While studying he earned featured roles on a few TV shows and films and joined SAGAFTRA.
Building on his gift for comedy, Brian also trained and performed with several sketch and improv troupes, most notably Gotham City Improv. Also taking the stage off-Broadway and regional performances in a handful of plays including Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**Holes and Mitch Albom’s Duck Hunter Shoots Angel.
Most recently, Brian has appeared as Roland Garrett, a troubled suspect turned witness in NBC’s Chicago P.D. and Nate an EMT caught in a standoff in Showtime’s Homeland.
Annual Shorts Showcase
THURSDAY, MAY 17 | 6:30 PM
Join us for our annual Shorts Showcase, featuring the best in LGBTQ short films. Free and open to the entire community! Click here to RSVP.
You’ll see a selection of awesome shorts, and be able to participate in our annual Best Short-Viewers’ Choice, voting on your favorite film at the end of the evening!
Camp North End Friday Night Series + Shorts Q&A
FRIDAY, MAY 18 | 6 PM
Camp North End hosts its weekly Friday Night Series, featuring food trucks, a band and loads of fun. Join us for drinks in our lounge, along with encore screenings of our short films Michael Joseph Jason John and Something New.
Michael Joseph Jason John’s encore screening and Q&A with director Scott Hinson begins at 7pm. Something New’s encore screening and Q&A with actor Ben Baur (of Something Like Summer) begins at 8pm.
Free admission, with suggested $5 donation.
Scott T. Hinson was raised in Monroe, North Carolina, where he used to sit on his dad’s lap and help sell tickets at the local movie theater. He grew up performing in community theatre in Union County and Charlotte, attended Sun Valley High, went to Governor’s School East (Drama) and left home a year early to attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he earned his high school diploma and a BFA (Acting). He has acted in commercials, industrials and theatrical productions in NYC, LA, Philadelphia and The Hamptons. He wrote and directed a short film for the Child Help Partnership (childhelppartnership.org) and has written a feature film that he plans to direct called “Frank & Mikey ‘81” about a series of murders on Fire Island in July of 1981. He recently performed the role of Happy in “Death of a Salesman” at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. He currently resides in Manhattan.
Ben Baur is a previous OUT 100 honoree who can be seen in television shows such as The Following (FOX), Happily Divorced (TV Land), and Difficult People (Hulu). Ben just wrapped and can be seen soon in the upcoming feature film, Something Like Summer. Ben has also appeared in a variety of web series such as These People, Tough Love, and Hunting Season. Follow him on twitter/instagram/snapchat – @BenJBaur
Trans Youth Panel
SATURDAY, MAY 19
Trans Youth screening – 11 AM
Panel discussion immediately following
Presented in partnership with PFLAG Charlotte, Sebastian Sterling, a cast member from the documentary Trans Youth, will join other trans young people and advocates for a panel discussion immediately following the screening.
Admission to the panel discussion is included in your screening ticket.
Sebastian is a nonbinary individual originally from Austin, Texas. Ze is a passionate advocate for social justice, and mostly spends hir time exploring gender identity while fitting into the world as a young adult. Currently pursuing a college education, ze intends to spend hir life fighting for equality.
Take Over Charlotte + Tom of Finland After Party
SATURDAY, MAY 19
God’s Own Country – 5 PM
Takeover Charlotte – 7-9 PM
Tom of Finland – 9 PM
Woodshed After Party – 11 PM
Join us for a full Saturday evening of the most fun you’ll ever have at the movies!
First, come at 5pm for our screening of God’s Own Country, then stay for a FREE party with Takeover Charlotte. DJ SPK will be spinning the tunes and our cash bar will be open!
At 9pm, our Tom of Finland screening begins, followed by a special Tom of Finland-inspired afterparty at The Woodshed (4000 Queen City Dr., Charlotte, NC 28208) with the Charlotte Tradesmen and Uproarr!
Southwest of Salem Q&A
SUNDAY, MAY 20
Film screening – 6 PM
Q&A – Immediately following film
Southwest of Salem director Deborah Esquinazi and documentary cast member Anna Vasquez join Reel Out Charlotte for the screening of their acclaimed film. Following the screening, Deborah and Anna will chat with audience members in a Q&A about the film.
Admission to the Q&A is included in the price of your screening ticket.
I can remember the first time i was angered about the justice system. It was right after watching paradise lost. It’s the doc about the west Memphis 3. I was so angered about the way they were treated and quickly convicted in the eyes of the public. My first thought was that they were railroaded. It was something I completely related my self to especially because of the charges brought on against me. I had not yet been convicted of my charges but the media put my case in the hands of the public and was certainly already convicted in their eyes. I was portrayed as this horrible, perverted lesbian who gang raped these two innocent children. It was a drug enfueled orgy and they were handed to us by their aunt Liz. I had always believed in the justice system and could not imagine all the injustices that go on and still to this day. We are seeing more and more of this on a daily basis. People innocently languishing away in prisons for a crime they never committed. There are so many different factors that come in to play. Whether it is coming to quick judgement, lack of defense due to being poor, not knowing your rights, or even worse, the prosecution side is just looking for a win and will do anything to get it. I was convicted in 1998 for aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a child. I was fortunate to continue my fight while being on an appellate bond. In 2000, my appeal was denied and was heading to prison to start my sentence. But prior to that Cassandra and I started to look for anything that would debunk the testimony of the children. We went back to the apartments were the alleged incident occurred but to no avail. They had been tore down. I went to the agency that holds the schematics to the apartments but could not find any record of them. It just happened that I ran into an old tenant of the complex and interviewed him. He spoke about the walls being thin and could hear things going on in the next apartments and the locks on the door were waist level were even a child could reach. I didn’t know how to use this new evidence but it didn’t matter I had it on film. I certainly never imagined I would see it on a big screen. After all these years of going through hell I have a passion for the truth. I want more then anything to be an advocate for those who don’t have a voice. The wrongfully convicted have a place in my heart and trying to right a wrong is my determination. Who better to fight for those then someone who has had a front row seat. There are so many issues with the justice system that need to be addressed and changed. I am only one person but I know with my determination I can make a change.
Deborah S. Esquenazi is a film director, screenwriter, and investigative journalist. She is the director of the critically acclaimed documentary Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four which won the Critic’s Choice Award for ‘Best First Feature’, garnered an Emmy nomination for ‘Outstanding Social Issues Documentary’, a Peabody Award, and won a GLAAD Media Award for ‘Outstanding Documentary’, among other distinctions. The film helped exonerate the ‘San Antonio Four’ and is mentioned in the opening passages of the Writs of Habeas Corpus in Ex Parte Anna Vasquez, Cassandra Rivera, Elizabeth Ramirez, and Kristie Mayhugh.Esquenazi is also a Rockwood JustFilms Ford Fellow, Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, and a Firelight Film Fellow. Her work, including essays and half-dozen short films (La Loma, Wake Up Dead Men), tackles the intersections of Mythology & Justice, Identity & Power. Esquenazi is developing a series of essays on these themes. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her wife and two sons.