Santa Barbara Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Celebrates 20 Years of ‘Queer Cinema’

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the OUTrageous Santa Barbara Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Film Festival will screen more films than ever before over the next few days at Metro 4 theaters on State Street. An amazing array of films, both national and international, have been chosen to entertain interested moviegoers – gay or straight.

The festival jumpstarted Thursday evening at UCSB’s MultiCultural Center with free screenings of six short films that, in one way or another, addressed the topic of homosexuality. In Revolution, we meet a young Iranian boy who staged a small revolution within his very traditional family in Los Angeles in the late 1980s. The documentary Breaking the Chains takes us to Uganda where homosexuals are prosecuted and frequently killed because of their sexual orientation. Brazilian director Alexander Siqueria’s Mais ou Menos portrays a bullied teen who late one night has an unexpected encounter with his tormentor. Gay for Pay investigates the increasing number of self-proclaimed straight people who play homosexuals in films and on television. UCSB graduate Melissa Perez’s Over & Out showed us how technology has affected the way we communicate with others but reminds us that some good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction still works.

Whether you want a good laugh (Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same), reminisce over The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, watch country singer Cheryl Wright make a life-changing decision in Wish Me Way, follow the drama when a married couple falls for the same guy (3 – Drei), listen to the stories of aging members of the LGBT community who oftentimes find themselves alone and estranged from their families in Gen Silent, or watch as an ex-con returns home to the Bronx after three years in prison only to discover that his wife is having an affair with another man and that his teenage son is going through a gender transition (Gun Hill Road), this year’s festival has you covered.

In honor of the festival’s 20th anniversary, every movie screening throughout the weekend starts at 20 minutes past the hour. On Saturday at 8:20 p.m. the Official Festival Reception & Party takes place at 21 W. Ortega Street. There will be delicious treats and Raquel Castaneda from The Real L Word will join the party.

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