Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Reeling Film Festival chooses Family first for opening night
by Jerry Nunn

This article shared 2766 times since Sun Sep 24, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Reeling: The 41st Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival kicked off a night of festivities with its first feature The Mattachine Family at Music Box Theatre on Sept. 9. One of the longest-running film festivals in the world, Reeling is produced by Chicago Filmmakers, a 50-year-old media organization located in the Andersonville/Edgewater area.

This season Reeling rolls out 41 feature films and 12 short films through Oct. 8. Opening night included a special reception in the Music Box Lounge before the screening, with several cinematic creators stopping by the red carpet before entering the main theater on Southport Avenue.

Made in just 20 days in Los Angeles, The Mattachine Family is the story of Thomas and Oscar, a couple on a journey to expand their family. The story is loosely based on the film director Andy Vallentine and writer Danny Vallentine's lives as their daughter was born just five days after completion of the project. Andy described the situation as "a wild time and we were able to create some magic in those 20 days.

"After watching the film, I hope people understand what chosen family means to the queer community. I wove that in deeply throughout The Mattachine Family."

Speaking of family, Vallentine's parents and aunt attended the screening that evening, as well as star Nico Tortorella who plays Thomas in the film.

Vallentine went on to say that his future plans include seeking out investors for scripts his husband has written once the Writer Guild strike is over. "Queer stories with an important message are what we are interested in telling, because that is who we are."

Another dynamic duo attended the opening night presentation and talked to the press. Director Colby Holt described his project Ganymede as "a southern gothic horror film about the son of a small town politician who develops feelings for his openly gay classmate and then pretends to be stalked by a grotesque creature. It's a supernatural LGBT coming-of-age horror film. His co-director and partner Samuel Probst exclaimed, "It's just in time for spooky season!"

Holt said, "We are excited to be at Reeling and we are Chicagoans, so this a hometown win for us. It feels very special."

After a brief introduction by this reporter, state Sen. Mike Simmons spoke about the importance of having an LGBQT+ film festival in Illinois during the current political landscape. "Even if I were not an elected official I would still be here because I am a big film geek," Simmons said. "My partner and I love watching queer films all day. We are living in crazy times right now where LGBT people are being targeted all over the country and this is upsetting. When we come out to support Reeling we are taking back our community and our experiences. I am not going back in the closet, hell no! This festival does a great job of showing the diversity, heart and essence of our community. The greatest gift the universe gave me was making me gay and I wouldn't give it back!"

After thunderous applause, the narrative feature programmer Morgan Jon Fox hyped up the seated spectators, and Reeling operations manager Leila Sherbini thanked sponsors such as AARP Chicago before the movie began. Following the screening, Fox moderated a question-and-answer portion of the program with Vallentine and Tortorella.

Other notable features to explore include the world premiere of Queen Tut starring Alexandra Billings on Monday, Sept. 25 and A Big, Gay, Hairy Hit! Where the Bears Are: The Documentary on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Both films will be screened at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., with special guests slated to attend. For a complete listing of films, including virtual streaming options, visit .

This article shared 2766 times since Sun Sep 24, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Three films score 10 nods each in Chicago Film Critics Association's 2023 Awards 2023-12-08
--From a press release - Chicago, IL (December 8, 2023) — The Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) announced nominees for their top film honors of 2023; winners will be announced at the organization's annual awards ceremony to be held in Chicago ...

Gay News

WORLD Laws and HIV/AIDS, Russia's crackdown, LGB Alliance, Olympians 2023-12-08
- A senior UN official said that anti-LGBTQ+ laws stop people from accessing life-saving health services and seriously impede progress on eliminating HIV/AIDS, The Guardian reported. Sixty-seven countries have laws that ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Former Disney star, women's sports, Latifah, Lenny Kravitz, 'Barbie' 2023-12-08
Videos below - In an essay about mental health that ran in Teen Vogue, former Disney star Karan Brar came out as bisexual, Out noted. In the essay, Brar talked about moving out of his parents' place —something that ...

Gay News

Brittney Griner strikes deal with ESPN, Disney 2023-12-07
- Two-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner will partner exclusively with ESPN and Disney Entertainment Television to share her story through various projects on their platforms, according to a press release. A documentary ...

Gay News

Trans actress, gay actors, 'Kokomo City' receive Spirit Award nominations 2023-12-06
- The nominations for the 39th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards have been announced—and LGBTQ+ actors, directors and productions definitely made their mark. Trans actress Trace Lysette was announced as one of the nominees for Best Lead ...

Gay News

MOVIES Rick Cosnett chats about 'Shoulder Dance,' Molly and Jason Momoa 2023-12-05
- In the new movie Shoulder Dance, which is out on streaming, friends Ira (played by out actor Matt Dallas, looking and sounding quite different than from his days on TV's Kyle XY) and Roger (played by ...

Gay News

New doc brings home that 'We Live Here' and everywhere 2023-12-05
- The new Hulu documentary We Live Here: The Midwest highlights the challenges faced in recent times by LGBTQ+ residents of the Midwest, giving voice to a wide representation of people struggling to simply live their lives ...

Gay News

MOVIES Director Daniel Peddle on the sequel to the classic doc 'The Aggressives' 2023-12-05
- In 2005, Daniel Peddle released The Aggressives—a groundbreaking documentary filmed during the late '90s and early '00s in New York City that profiled several masculine-presenting/transmasculine people of color. Fast-forward to ...

Gay News

May December film blossoms on Netflix 2023-12-01
- The Netflix feature film May December, directed by Todd Haynes, takes the craft of character study to a whole new level. The plot is inspired by the true story of Mary Kay Letourneau, an elementary school ...

Gay News

GLAAD marks World AIDS Day with launch of global resource hub, new HIV report 2023-12-01
--From a press release - New York, New York — Friday, Dec. 1 — GLAAD marked World AIDS Day this year by sharing the results of its fourth annual State of HIV Stigma Report, a national survey among U.S. adults measuring ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Bodyshop,' Beyonce, Ani DiFranco, Billie Jean King 2023-12-01
- The Breaking Glass Pictures film Bodyshop will be out on digital on Dec. 5, per a press release. The plot is described thusly: "The ghost of a young soldier sexually assaulted by his lieutenant says goodbye ...

Gay News

BOOKS Lucas Hilderbrand reflects on gay history in 'The Bars Are Ours' 2023-11-29
- In The Bars Are Ours (via Duke University Press), Lucas Hilderbrand, a professor of film and media studies at the University of California-Irvine, takes readers on a historical journey of gay bars, showing how the venues ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, queer novel, 'Tammy Faye,' queer DJ, Bella Ramsey 2023-11-24
- Billy Porter released his long-awaited new album, Black Mona Lisa, via Island Records UK/Republic Records, and it's executive-produced by Justin Tranter, a press release noted. Porter said, "So many of the songs on my album have ...

Gay News

Disney exhibition chronicles a century of entertainment history 2023-11-21
- Disney100, a large-scale traveling exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, has opened at the Exhibition Hub Art Center, 2367 W. Logan Blvd., in Bucktown. Hundreds of props and artifacts from the company's ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Music awards, military film, Tom of Finland, Yo-Yo Ma, 'Harley Quinn' 2023-11-17
Video below - Brothers Osborne—a duo that includes gay brother TJ Osborne—won Vocal Duo of the Year for the sixth time at the recent CMA Awards, per a media release. Backstage, TJ told reporters, "I did not expect us ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.