NEW PORT RICHEY
The ninth annual Reel Pride 2014 LGBT Film Series kicks off today at the New Port Richey Library with an offering of thought-provoking films that will be shown each Friday over three weeks.
Being thought-provoking, is the point, of course, according to associate librarian and outreach director Ann Scott.
"Every year we try to mix it up in terms of our audience," said Scott, who selected this year's slate based on critic reviews, audience favorites at other LGBT film fests held in Tampa and New York, and along with the suggestions of various library patrons.
"One thing that's always impressed me about this community is that the audience that we get is very mixed," Scott said. "We get support from our straight community as well as the LGBT community. Husbands come with their wives and stay to discuss the films. It seems to me it's unique and inspiring — kind of unexpected in a way."
Scott expects a good crowd and hopes to build on the momentum of the Friday Films series the library has been hosting for two years.
"We've been building a real steady audience and I think those attendees are interested in this subject matter as well," Scott said adding that word about the LGBT film series has spread through the Facebook community and some local churches have been sharing the movie schedule at their services.
Those who go can expect a more serious thread running through this year's offerings than in years past.
"We always put in documentaries and films that have hard-hitting messages and we usually balance that with films that are campy and funny."
This year, not so much.
"That does not mean they are depressing or downers," Scott said.
Take the opening film, Reaching for the Moon, about Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Elizabeth Bishop.
"That film, for example, is a beautifully shot film. There's a beautiful music track and of course, Bishop's poetry," Scott said. "Another film, Concussion deals with the day-to-day realities of being in a committed relationship and what happens when one partner isn't as invested and challenges the relationship, and how things unfold."
Capping off the three-week series, and well worth the ticket, is God Loves Uganda, by Academy Award-winning film maker Roger Ross Williams.
The film focuses on the proposed death penalty for homosexuals in that country and how American Evangelicalism has fueled that movement.
"It's a touching and harrowing film with some redeeming qualities," Scott said. "A smile/cry type of film that is touching but upsetting at the same time."
Michele Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org