POLARI (formerly AGLIFF), the oldest film festival in Austin, TX, is coming back to town on October 16-20, and we couldn’t be more excited to announce our festival theme and Gala/Special Presentations!
This year’s festival theme is “Don’t Just Sit There: Indulge. Engage. Create.,” which situates Polari as a space of active involvement, pleasure and participation, observable in the festival’s lively Q&A’s, interactive parties and panel discussions.
Dance, a community-oriented practice full of energy and spark, will be the visual embodiment of this theme and several dance-themed films will be featured throughout the festival.
“This year our theme and focus is on work that is uncommonly galvanizing, vibrant and sensuous,” says Artistic Director, Curran Nault. “We will bring our audiences to their feet.”
Boasting a slate of close to 100 films and a diversity of genres from comedy to science fiction, produced in countries as distinct as Mexico and Cambodia, Polari26 also promises something for everyone. According to Nault, “Polari26 will continue the festival’s long tradition of diverse and cutting-edge programming suited to our flourishing and ever-evolving LGBT and ally communities.”
In addition to five days of film screenings, Polari’s Film Program will feature panels, performances, parties and industry mixers. Anticipated Polari26 special guests include queer cinema trailblazer Pratibha Parmar and celebrated performance artist Nao Bustamante (read below to find out who else will be in attendance).
POLARI26′S GALA AND SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS INCLUDE:
OPENING NIGHT: FIVE DANCES (Alan Brown, 2013) The coming-of-age tale of an extraordinarily talented young dancer, FIVE DANCES is a visually sensual glimpse of life and first love in New York’s downtown modern dance world. Featuring music by Perfume Genius and Gem Club. Director Alan Brown and star Ryan Steele will be in attendance!
CENTERPIECE: THE NEW BLACK (Yoruba Richen, 2012) THE NEW BLACK takes audiences into the pews and onto the streets, providing a powerhouse view of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland while also charting the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community. Winner of Audience Awards at AFI Docs and Frameline. Director Yoruba Richen and subject Karess Taylor Hughes will be in attendance!
CLOSING NIGHT: TEST (Chris Mason Johnson, 2013) Frankie is the newest member of San Francisco’s most exciting contemporary dance company. The year is 1985, and he quickly finds himself navigating a world of unprecedented risk and unexpected romance. Winner of two Grand Jury Awards at Outfest. Director Chris Mason Johnson and star Scott Marlowe will be in attendance!
INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW? (Arvin Chen, 2013 ) In this madcap comedic romp, introverted, married optometrist Weichung meets an old friend who awakens dormant emotions, setting him off on a quest for true romance and desire. Maggie Lee of Variety calls the film “Poignant and heartening. Playfully channeling Woody Allen, Jacques Tati and Jacques Demy.”
U.S. DRAMATIC SPOTLIGHT: THE MOST FUN I’VE EVER HAD WITH MY PANTS ON. (Drew Denny, 2012) Childhood girlfriends Andy and Liv reunite to scatter Andy’s father’s ashes from LA to Austin where Liv will audition for the role of a vixen spy in a film noir. Between performing mini-funerals in surreal Southwestern landscapes, the girls practice being bad! Directed by Austin native and emerging auteur Drew Denny, who will be in attendance at the festival along with lead actress, and fellow Austin native, Sarah Hagan (FREAKS AND GEEKS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, 90210).
This is just beginning! The full festival lineup will be announced in mid-September, so stay tuned for more announcements and come to our Festival Launch on September 21st to get the skinny on all the surprises we have in store.
Also, be sure to support Polari and secure your festival registration by becoming a member today (click here). All memberships are tax deductible and directly benefit the Polari Nonprofit Organization’s LGBT community programs.