The sixth annual Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival (or QDOC) is happening this weekend at the Kennedy School (nearby our office!) You can check out the full line-up of films at their website, but read through for some of our picks—from peeking inside the Celluloid Closet, to the openly-gay '70s superstar that never was, and a meditation on South African artist and activist Zanele Muholi. And if you're not in Portland, make sure these films and filmmakers are still on your radar!
Wish Me Away
Directors: Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf
Time: Thursday, May 17 @ 7pm. Party @ 9:30pm. Chely Wright in attendance
This documentary follow country singer Chely Wright (of "Single White Female" fame) and her decision to come out as gay to the country music world. And she'll be at the screening and party afterward! Don't forget to re-read Kristin Rawls' "Preacher's Daughter" blog post on femininity and country music before you go.
Director: Kieran Turner
Time: Saturday, May 19 @ 9:30pm Director in attendance. 21+ and over.
This film follows the brief career of Bruce Campbell, aka Jobriath—the flamboyant, openly gay superstar who never hit the big time he was promised. Although he made a grand opening in the seventies, he was never was catipulted to Bowie-size fame, and died too young from AIDS. Here's a film that may pick apart the man from the myth.
Directors: Zanele Muholi and Peter Goldsmid
Time: Sunday, May 20 @1:30pm. Screened with the Norwegian film Not a Man in Sight.
This film follows artist and activist Zanele Muholi, who photographs and documents black lesbians in South Africa. Her work not only makes visible people dealing with the legacy of racism, homophobia, and sexism in the country, but celebrates their everyday love, survival, and resiliency. Browse some of Muholi's gorgeous photographs at her website.
Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
Time: Sunday, May 20 @ 7pm. Director in attendance.
Anyone who took a queer film studies class in college probably came across the seminal Celluloid Closet. The book, which documents queer imagery and legacy on screen, was groundbreaking in the 70s, and this film recounts the life of its author, Vito Russo who was also a founder of GLAAD and AIDS activist. There's no official trailer of the film yet, but you can visit its official site here. Here's a trailer of film version of The Celluloid Closet.