Montclair Film Festival 2016 is pleased to present a diverse listing of LGBTQ-themed screenings.
In 1985, filmmaker Will Allen joined The Buddha Field, a spiritual group in California that promised love, acceptance, and enlightenment to its members. As the group’s official documentarian, Allen recorded over 20 years worth of footage, including never-before-seen meditations led by the flamboyant and charismatic guru, Michel. Years later, former members finally come forward and share their experiences, from the blissful to the bizarre. With unprecedented access into the cult, HOLY HELL offers a unique perspective into the blinding power of devotion and idealism despite obvious signs that things are not what they seem.
Revisiting the community featured in PARIS IS BURNING twenty-five years earlier, KIKI presents an intimate look at the ballroom and voguing culture of transgender communities of color in New York City. Director Sara Jordanö turns her lens on marginalized black and latino LGBTQ youth whose ballroom community serves as a surrogate family, and profiles several different teams of dancers—or “Houses”—as they prepare for their annual ballroom competition, featuring theatrical costumes and intricate dance routines. Kiki house leaders as young as 16 years old guide their teammate “children” to team pride, personal excellence, and most poignantly, self-acceptance.
THE PEARL, an immersive documentary from the filmmakers Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca, explores the lives of four transgender women as they find the courage to express their true identities. Set in the postindustrial logging towns of the Pacific Northwest, THE PEARL delivers a gentle and honest story of transition, as told through the lives of Nina, Amy, and sisters Krystal and Jodie. Over a span of three years, their lives are transformed as secrets are revealed, marriages are shaken, and a new home is assembled in this intimate portrait of love and fear, rejection, and acceptance.
In person: director Jessica Dimmock
A young rural farm girl and a feminist activist embark on an epic love story in Catherine Corsini’s sensual new film, SUMMERTIME. Delphine (Izïa Higelin), under pressure from her family to marry a local boy, escapes to Paris and quickly finds herself swept up in the 1970s women’s liberation movement. There, she bumps into Carole (Cécile De France), an older and enchanting woman, with whom she feels an instant attraction. As the love affair blossoms over the hazy summer days, family obligations pull Delphine back to the farm, forcing her to choose between her new life and her family.
In French with English subtitles
Television journalist David Farrier is known in his native New Zealand for his passion for stories of the wild and weird. One day, David receives his most interesting tip yet and finds himself stumbling upon a mysterious online tickling competition. Deciding to dig deeper, he suddenly comes up against fierce resistance, and his refusal to stop his investigation leads him directly into an unbelievable mystery that must be seen to be believed. At once hilarious and troubling, TICKLED explores a little-known world where nothing is as it seems.
A gay country singer recalls his early years.
Director Dan Taberski
Editor David Mehlman
Two alienated souls make an unlikely pair in this debut from Venezuelan writer/director, Lorenzo Vigas. Armando is a solitary, upper-class dentist who pays young men to come to his apartment in a lower-class neighborhood. Avoiding all intimacy, Armando doesn’t touch his escorts; instead he sits across the room and orders them to undress as he watches. Left unsatisfied by his usual practice, Armando pursues a new escort, and a tentative connection develops between them. Both are profoundly alone in the world, but even as it seems they have found a bond in each other, an imbalance between them persists.
In Spanish with English subtitles
Queer and trans Asian Americans explore their relationships with family and culture.
Director Vicky Du