CineFest Kicks Off Today

Check out these gay-friendly flicks

It’s that time of year again when diehard cinemaphiles dash from theater to theater to catch a string of indie flicks during Philadelphia’s own CineFest (April 7-14). This year’s selection of international films runs the gamut between humor and horror and thrillers and adventure – with no shortage of love stories and gay cameos.

Since the roster can be a bit daunting, we did the dirty work for you and selected a few choices that are sure to ring your queer bell. While they don’t all feature gay characters and themes, at least three of them were filmed in Philly. Check them out:

Queer flick The One is described as a Philadelphia Story meets Latter Day when an almost-married man falls in love with another man. Daniel couldn’t have it better. He’s successful, sexy and engaged to be married to Jen. But when Daniel meets Tommy in this film written and directed by Caytha Jentis, everything gets turned on its…head. The film has been compared to the groundbreaking flick Making Love from 1982 – but with modern humor, pathos and a coming-of-age tale about what it means to come out.

It’s like Glee for the hockey set. Score: A Hockey Musical is a playful romp through the world of ice hockey. Michael McGowan writes and directs this flick that delves into the popular Canadian pastime, with surprising cameos by Olivia Newton-John and Nelly Furtado.

Another musical – Endhiran – comes from India in lavish Bollywood style. The special-effects-filled blockbuster (the title means “The Robot”) is directed by Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman and features technical wonders by Stan Winston Studio with a melodramatic musical score.

Catherine Deneuve (Sue Sylvester tracksuit and all) in Potiche

Two words: Catherine Deneuve. The French bombshell stars in Potiche, a campy comedy about a “trophy wife” who takes over for her husband at work after he suffers a heart attack. Filmed in French with subtitles by Francois Ozon (8 Women), the movie also stars Gerard Depardieu as an unlikely ally in this spirited battle of the sexes set in the swinging 70s.

Hamill tells the story of deaf UFC fighter Matt “The Hammer” Hamill as he scraps his way toward victory. Directed by Oren Kaplan (who will attend the Philly screening), the movie chronicles Hamill’s boyhood through adulthood in the spirit of films like Rocky and Rudy. Since he can’t sign well, Hamill often feels lost in his own world – and alienated from the deaf community – until he takes up wrestling to build confidence. While this isn’t about being gay, it is about overcoming the odds. You can also expect lots of man-on-man action scenes in the ring, fellas.

Kelly McGillis is tongue tied in horror flick Stake Land

Catch lesbian actress Kelly McGillis (she lives in Collingswood) as a nun in gory zombie horror flick Stake Land. The film‘s set in an apocalyptic world inundated with the undead. McGillis is one of several “good guys” hoping to save the world from savage vampire violence.

Cost of a Soul was filmed on the means streets of North Philadelphia. It tells the story of brothers who return home after the war to find another kind of war zone – and a tragic tale of family, crime and violence.

The pretty people are dropping like flies in Philly's Calendar Girl

Another film shot on location here – The Legend of Sofa Kingdom – goes behind the scenes of Philly’s Quizzo world featuring the “Bob Barker of Quizzo hosts” Johnny Goodtimes. The film follows the winning teams and the superstars that make up this smartypants world of trivia whizzes.

Calendar Girl is also set in Philly. The Derek Lindeman-directed film features a killer terrorizing the City of Brotherly Love and a woman who risks falling in love with the maniac. It’s a very dark comedy.

For a full list of films, special events, opening night and closing parties, show times and tickets, please visit CineFest online.