QFest Organizers Launch LGBT New Media Festival qFLIX Philadelphia

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 11.13.38 AMIn April word got around that QFest—Philly’s only LGBT film festival—would be cancelled this year, but organizers hinted that something new may be coming our way in the fall. Today I’m getting word on just what that something new will be.

In a video released today, QFest head Thom Cardwell announced that he is launching qFLIX Philadelphia, a weeklong festival that will focus not on traditional film, but on new media. More from the group’s mission statement:

Our vision is to preserve the tradition of the exhibition of American and international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer independent film in the Philadelphia region. qFLIX Philadelphia presents this film festival for, by, and about our community. We produce this festival for the education, entertainment, and enjoyment of past, present and future generations. …

Film as an international language allows qFLIX Philadelphia to foster, support, and give access to independent filmmakers and to encourage and nurture younger ones in the art of filmmaking. Queer film inspires the imagination and encourages the journey of discovery and acceptance by both the ever-growing region’s LGBTQ and the mainstream communities.

Cardwell is getting help from Michael Busza, writer and producer of the Emmy-winning local gay web series One of the Guys. In the video, Busza explains the kinds of things you can expect to see at the festival. “New media is a new form of entertainment that is web-based. We’re talking about webisodes, web cam series. things posted directly to YouTube, things that are posted on Facebook. Anything that isn’t traditional television or traditional film.”

The complete schedule hasn’t launched yet, but Busza says they will be premiering new episodes of One of the Guys (finally!), and a brand new show called Tainted Dreams—“things that haven’t been accessible online yet.” True to QFest form, there will also be panels with new media filmmakers.

The festival is scheduled to take place at the Kimmel Center September 18-22. To get folks interested, organizers have released the below video starring drag queen Brittany Lynn, who will also serve as qFLIX’s events coordinator. It features the leggy queen strolling around the Gayborhood, dancing with locals in bars and on the streets. (She even runs into G Philly at U Bar!) The video also serves as a means to crowdsource extra funding for the festival. To donate, you can go here. And for more information on the festival: here.

7 Clues Netflix Doesn’t Know a Comedy From a Hole in the Ground

"I swear Netflix said this was supposed to be funny."

“I swear Netflix said this was supposed to be funny.”

Recently I was looking for a way to pass a rainy day and turned, as I often do, to Netflix. It then came to my attention that its “Comedy” section includes some questionable choices. You won’t laugh if you select any of these movies, but the fact that Netflix dubs them all comedies is kind of a joke in itself.

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Movie Meter: The Giver Disappoints, Go for Land Ho! Instead

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Land Ho!: (One of two exclamation-point films this week! Go figure!) Former brothers-in-law (Earl Lynn Nelson and Paul Eenhoorn), now well-aged, travel to Iceland together in order to call-back their wild and freewheeling youth in everything from Reykjavik nightclubs to the alien terrain of the raw Icelandic outback. This American indie film, an unmitigated hit at this year’s Sundance, promises poignant laughs in the appropriately throwback style of the classic road-trip comedies of an earlier era. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

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THIS WEEKEND: The Giver‘s Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush at Cherry Hill Mall

Fans of all ages were invited to immerse themselves in the world of new book-to-film sci-fi flick The Giver, at a special event at the Cherry Hill Mall Friday. Guests took part in various activity stations, like spin art, hair-chalking, nail-painting, a candy bar, photo booth and contests by Wired 96.5.

After about an hour the film’s young stars Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush showed up to participate in a Q&A and meet-and-greet, where fans were able to get photos with the actors. During the Q&A, Thwaites and Rush admitted they hadn’t read the book before being cast, which brought groans from the fans—some of whom told me they read it twice.



The Giver opens nationwide on Friday, August 15, and is based on Lois Lowry’s beloved young-adult novel of the same name, which was the winner the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. The film also stars, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift. Check out the trailer below.

Movie Meter: Into the Storm Won’t Blow You Away, But It’s a Damn Fun Ride

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Into the Storm: Okay, so it’s another cataclysmic twister flick, but the CGI is impressively disconcerting, the cast is, er, amiable enough, and for those of us who like seeing a charcoal sky with thick, ominous clouds churning like whipping cream, there’s plenty of spectacle hear to admire. Don’t go expecting anything deeply moving, or essential, but for what it is, it gets the job done reasonably well. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%

More trailers and reviews after the jump

5 New Films You Should Stream Right Now on Netflix: Entire “Rocky” Catalog Available in August

So it has come to this, would-be blockbuster summer: You’ve spent all your big shells, the heavy casings. X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sex Tape, Godzilla, 22 Jump Street all lie spent and useless at your feet. With one last gasp (Guardians of the Galaxy, which is actually a whole bunch of fun) or two, we’ll be done with you at last and can look forward to movies actually intended for adults. But for now, here’s some good stuff you can go ahead and watch at home to tide you over.

Nymphomaniac: Volume 1: A young woman retells her story of a lifetime of intense sexual gratification to a man who rescues her from the street. Lars von Trier is the kind of director you either enjoy being challenged by or dismiss as a pretentious, sadistic boor. This film, which stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, and Stellan Skarsgard, features some of his signature agent provocateur material — a young woman with a serious daddy fetish having indiscriminate sex with a great deal of men in a variety of ways—but cuts it with many intellectual discourses on subjects ranging from fly-casting to obscure religious orders.

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Best Student Discounts at Philadelphia Arts Venues

We’ve done some research to put together this nifty, one-stop-shop of the best ways you can get the most out of that student i.d. card at local arts venues in Philly—everywhere from movie theaters to museums to games at Citizens Bank Park. (Just remember to take said i.d. card.)

Ritz Five in Old City

Ritz Five in Old City

Movie Theaters

Rave Cinemas
Student price: $8.25 weekdays and Sundays, $8.75 Fridays and Saturdays
If this price is still too steep, consider going on $5.50 Tuesdays and use the extra cash to get drinks at the Rave’s bar.

Landmark Theaters (Ritz at the Bourse, Ritz East, and Ritz Five)
Student price: $7.75 except Saturdays and holidays. $7 on “Bargain Wednesdays”
Go for the newest hipster films, stay for the intimate theater experience.

International House
Student Price: $7
Although most screenings are free, take advantage of the cheap ticketed films to watch independent movies from around the world.

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WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Boys of Summer, The Story of Love and Equality, BlackStar Film Festival and More

Marriage Equality remains a controversial topic for folks on both sides of the issue. Because the battle is so heated, people rarely take time to actually hear arguments from the other side. Filmmaker Becca Roth set out, along with her girlfriend, to open a dialogue between both parties in this political and social war. The result? One: A Story of Love and Equality.

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Movie Meter: Guardians of the Galaxy Will Obliterate the Weekend Box Office—And Rightfully So

SEE IT NOW!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Consider the summer movie season saved. What sounds like an unlikely sort of superhero action flick—seriously, two of the heroes in question are a giant, walking plant, and a feisty, weapons-expert raccoon (voiced by Philly’s Bradley Cooper)—in the hands of director James Gunn becomes more fun than you might believe. It’s equal parts funny, touching, and exhilarating in a most unexpected way. Scoff if you must, but you’ll be hearing a great deal about this one in the next couple weeks. A summer blockbuster triumph. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Get On Up: The Godfather of Soul gets the full bio-pic treatment at last, but can you imagine the number of auditions they had to go through to find a suitable James Brown? In the end, director Tate Taylor went with Chadwick Boseman (fresh off his turn as Jackie Robinson in 42), who has the unenviable task of trying to bring the energy and fearsome showmanship of the hardest-working man in show business. From the sound of things, the producers have gotten a lot of things right. Expect great things from Boseman amidst an absolutely devastating soundtrack. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Code Black: You want a breathlessly interesting way to access the health care debate in this country? Ryan McGarry’s enthralling documentary about L.A. County’s fabled emergency room—one of the first in the country to utilize what would now be considered standard emergency care—follows the trials and tribulations of the dedicated doctors and interns of the hospital’s trauma bay, having to make life-saving decisions on the fly on a regular basis, even as their badly injured patients, by nature of their immediate need, bypass the existing health-care system in order to get care. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

WAIT FOR DVD

Alive Inside: A documentary about the power of music to overcome mental deterioration, this Sundance audience winner from director Michael Rossato-Bennett sounds like it crams a good deal of uplift in its short-running time (the film clocks in at 75 minutes.) It follows Dan Cohen, a social worker, as he criss-crosses the country speaking the gospel of music as a healing restorer of identity, memory and self to those afflicted souls in need of some kind of cognitive therapy. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

SKIP IT

Magic in the Moonlight: A colossal misfire from Woody Allen, and a crashing bore to boot. Allen has assembled yet another top-notch cast—including Colin Firth and Emma Stone—and shoots in yet another picturesque part of Western Europe (this being the South of France.) But his script is so half-finished and shoddy, the whole enterprise collapses. The story involves a magician (Firth), who loves debunking self-described soothsayers and oracles as frauds, until he meets a fetching young woman (Stone), whom, to his shock, actually seems legit. I actually feel sorry for Firth, who is given the impossible task of trying to make his boorish character seem believable; and Stone, for having to fall in love as a result. Rotten Tomatoes Score:

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