The 8th Annual Reel Pride LGBT Film Series at New Port Richey Library includes more than just movies this year. Folk singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick will perform in the first-ever concert to accompany the film series, capping off the festivities on June 8.
"I have considered a concert or comic in the past, but it just never made it out of the planning stages," associate director and outreach librarian Ann Scott said.
Ferrick is inspirational because she is true to herself and her sexuality, Scott said.
"Melissa is — to quote her latest single Still Right Here — brave, relevant, talented and honest, and performing with a passion that is sure to have our audience in the palm of her hand," Scott said.
Reel Pride, which opens Saturday, features a diverse line-up, including three foreign-language films, a documentary and a movie that's based on a true story.
"I like to blend films that I know our audience will enjoy with those that challenge and inform," Scott said. "I also try to represent the diversity of the LGBT community itself."
Kicking off the festivities is the Swedish romantic drama Kiss Me, which tells the story of a woman who discovers her sexuality when she begins a lesbian relationship in the midst of her engagement to a man. Later that night is the Sundance award-winning Love Free or Die, a documentary about gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson who struggles for equality.
On Sunday, the audience sees a familiar face with actor Alan Cumming starring in the film Any Day Now, based on the true story of a gay couple who took in a teenager with Down Syndrome in the 1970s and had to battle the legal system for custody.
On the last day of the series, June 7, the library will screen two coming-of-age tales, the Belgian film North Sea Texas and the Spanish-language Mosquita y Mari.
"Both North Sea Texas and Mosquita y Mari offer glimpses into the uncertainty, awkwardness and joy of first love for gay youth," Scott said.
Last year's series showcased 15 films and drew a crowd of 300. Admission to all events is free.
"People respond very positively to the films and for the opportunity to socialize as a group," Scott said. "We have some very loyal followers and they express their gratitude every night of the fest."
Samantha Fuchs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6235.