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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 21, 2004

Films embrace spectrum of sexual persuasions

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

Kyle MacLachlan, left, and Jimi Mistry star in the old-fashioned romantic comedy "A Touch of Pink." The film by Ian Iqbal Rashid is part of the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival.

Posh Pictures

Ryan Carnes and Emily Stiles appear in "Eating Out," possibly the best film in the festival. In a ruse to get to meet Gwen (Stiles), Caleb, played by Scott Lunsford, pretends to be gay. The film is scheduled for May 29 at 8 p.m.

Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

May 27-30

Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Academy of Arts

381-1952, www.hglcf.org

A spectrum of gay and lesbian films will unreel in the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival starting Thursday (and continuing through May 30) at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Gay or straight, you'll find comfort and entertainment in some of the titles.

All persuasions — gay, lesbian, transvestite and more — will be part of the offerings, of course. Some are feature length, others are shorts. A few are documentaries.

What you need to know:

  • This alternative festival formerly was called the Adam Baran Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
  • It's still presented by the Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation.
  • It's in its 15th season.
  • It collates titles and themes not commonly explored in mainstream cinema. And yes, it's frank, honest, open, possibly eyebrow-raising.

That said, here some assorted notes on a handful of titles:

"Revolution," a film starring Margaret Cho. Opening-night film, 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It's fun and absurd and engagingly honest, but comic Cho plays better in the flesh. This show was taped at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles (a beaut of a theater, where Bette Midler filmed "The Rose"), and Cho chews out her observations about life here and there with uncensored abandon.

"Mango Kiss," a film by Sascha Rice, 6 p.m. on May 28. A romantic comedy with lesbian inclinations, examining the relationships of best friends who are also lovers. It's a new take on the spin-the-bottle trick with enough steam to suit the curious.

"Casting Couch," a film by J.T. O'Neal, 2 p.m. on May 29 (part of a Boyz Shorts bill). A first-time director holds auditions for a film, but neglects to turn on his rolling tape. Best thing about this: a guest appearance by Harvey Feinstein, the Tony Award-winning actor now in "Hairspray" on Broadway.

"The Visitor," a film by Dan Castle, 2 p.m. on May 29 (part of a Boyz Shorts bill). A well-filmed story about a young surfer (Nick Carpenter), who triggers memories of a love lost from an ogling beachfront resident (Barry Otto), whose reflections blend reality and fantasy with poignant impact. Great surf sequences, too, in the Sydney locations. A true postcard of grief, told with hope and genuine love.

"Breakfast?" a film by Alexander Pfeuffer, 2 p.m. on May 29 (part of a Boyz Shorts bill). A German entry about a lad in a quest for a soul mate. Problem is, they have different takes on what makes a relationship. Tobias Schenke and Nico Link are principal actors.

"Eating Out," a film by Q. Allan Brocka, 8 p.m. on May 29 (part of the Gala Night event). Possibly the best film in the festival, about pretenses and appearances, about all that's not what it appears to be. A hunk (Scott Lunsford) likes aggressive girls, and such a girl (Emily Stiles) preys on gays. In a ruse to get to meet Stiles, Lunsford pretends to be gay, but then there are complications — and a conclusion that is a bit of a surprise.

"One Night in Bangkok," a music video by Brent Anbe, 8 p.m. on May 29 (part of the Gala Night event). This is a fashionable video, with beautifully clad, made-up men, lip-syncing through a choreographed club-like charade that taps a variety of "types" — teacher, TV producer, waterfall goddess, motorcycle chick, motorcycle stud and a diva. An ambitious endeavor that is eye candy — sweet nourishment from a crew of inventive locals.

"Little Black Boot," a film by Colette Burson, 2 p.m. on May 30 (part of a Girlz Shorts bill). A retelling of the Cinderella story, about a high school misfit who is ignored by stepsisters and rudely treated by stepmom. There's a prom, a date, a wayward boot at midnight — and yes, all is not what it appears to be. Silly, cute, but charming.

"A Mi Amor Mi Dulce," a film by Alanna Ubach, 2 p.m. on May 30 (part of a Girlz Shorts bill). Well-executed, smartly enacted short story about denizens of opposing coffee shops — and complications of entanglements between both campus. And like all romances, this one has a happy wind-up.

Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com, 525-8067 or fax 525-8055.

• • •

Here's the schedule for the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival, beginning Thursday and continuing through May 30. All films will be shown at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Except where noted, admission to each screening is $8 general, $6 for members of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, which sponsors the festival. www.hglcf.org.


"Revolution," a world premiere

  • 7:30 p.m. (doors open 7 p.m.)
  • Director/producer/editor: Lorene Machado
  • USA, 2004, digital, 83 minutes

Standup comedy film stars Margaret Cho, who takes on topics such as the axis of evil, bartering sex for household chores, revolutionizing one's self-esteem, her loser ex-boyfriend, and of course, her mother, in her inimitable style.

May 28

"Mango Kiss"

  • 6 p.m.
  • Director/writer: Sascha Rice; writer: Sarah Brown
  • USA, 2003, digital, 80 minutes

Sass and Lou are best friends and lovers whose open relationship is severely tested as they experiment in the world of nonmonogamy, S/M and role playing.

"Gay Hollywood"

  • 8 p.m.
  • Director/writer: Jeremy Simmons
  • USA, 2003, digital, 120 minutes

Openly gay producers, writers and studio heads are attached to some of the most successful films and TV shows. What is it really like to be young and gay in Hollywood? Five attractive, ambitious gay men struggle to make it in Hollywood.

May 29

Boyz Shorts

  • 2 p.m. (doors open 1:30 p.m.)

"The Visitor"

  • Director/writer: Dan Castle (special guest)
  • USA/Australia, 2002, 35 mm, 29 minutes

Michael (Barry Otto) finally confronts his fear, lost, grief over the impending death of his former lover, Chris. Sydney's Tamarama Beach and great surfing footage provide a beautiful backdrop.

"Casting Couch"

  • Director: J.T. O'Neal; producers/writers: Ken Gildin, Travis Haines, J.T. O'Neal (special guests)
  • USA, 2003, digital, 9 minutes

A nervous first-time director gets confused and turns the camera off instead of on.

"Misguided P***"

  • Director: Jorge Ameer (special guest)
  • USA, 2003, digital, 4 minutes

A romance in the men's room.


  • Director/writer: Bryan Jackson
  • USA, 2004 world premiere, digital, 8 minutes

John gets more than he bargains for during a routine haircut.

"The Cucumber Chronicles"

  • Director: Bryan McHenry
  • USA, 2000, digital, 20 minutes

A collection of 10 short films each based on a word or phrase from a personal ad.

Audience choice award winner in the Planet Out International, Internet Film Festival and Out In Akron.


  • Director/writer/producer: Thomas Gustafson
  • USA, 2003, 16 mm, 21 minutes

A musical fantasy come true: Timothy is bullied by homophobic classmates at his all-boys high school, but while studying "A Midsummer Night's Dream" he creates a world where he fits in.

Best Boy Short Audience Choice Award at Out Far Phoenix Film Festival.

"Love & Deaf"

  • Director: Adam Baran
  • USA, 2004, digital, 8 minutes

Joe can't seem to master the art of communication in relationships. Will a trip to a Central Park men's room give him the answer to his problems?

"Breakfast?" ("Fruhstuck?")

  • Director: Alexander Pfeuffer
  • Germany, 2002, 35 mm, 14 minutes

The tale of young, shy Boris, and Till, a hungry-for-life charmer. In German with English subtitles.

"Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin"

  • 4 p.m. (free screening)
  • Directors: Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer
  • USA, 2002, digital, 84 minutes

Bayard Rustin, a leader of the American civil rights movement and chief organizer of the historic 1963 March on Washington, struggled against racism and homophobia. This film gives Rustin his due.

Nominated for 2004 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary; nominated for 2004 NAACP Image Award; Audience Award for Best Feature-Length Film, 2003 New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; Audience Award for Best Documentary, 2003 San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; Outfest-Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; Offical Selection, 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

Gala Night reception/fund-raiser

  • 6 p.m., courtyard of the Academy of Arts
  • $25 per person, includes the evening's films, beginning at 8 p.m. Chris Lee, chairman of the University of Hawai'i-Manoa's Academy for Creative Media, will be the keynote speaker; Miss Hawaii USA also will appear.

"One Night in Bangkok"

  • 8 p.m.
  • Director: Brent Anbe (cast and crew will appear at gala)
  • USA, 2003, digital

A campy, glamorous take on a classic dance song, "One Night in Bangkok" with the Divas of Viva Tropicana.

"Eating Out"

  • Director/writer: Q. Allan Brocka; producer: Michael J. Shoel
  • USA, 2004, digital, 90 minutes

He's a hunky poli-sci major with an affection for aggressive girls. She's an aggressive girl who falls for gay-acting boys. Misdirection and misunderstandings ensue as they and their pals look for love.

Phoenix Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2004-Audience Award for Best Gay Film and Festival Award for Best Film of the Festival

May 30

Girlz Shorts

  • 2 p.m.

"A Woman Reported"

  • Director: Chris J. Russo; writer: Kelly Hankin; producer: Lee Friedlander
  • USA, 2004, 35 mm, 5 minutes

A woman's imaginary journey from the violent hands of her hate-crime attackers into the safety of her girlfriend's arms.

Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2004

"The Nearly Unadventurous Life of Zoe Cadwaulder"

  • Director: Buboo Kakati; writer: Kelly Atkins; producer: Alexis Fish
  • USA, 2003, digital, 12 minutes

A romantic dark comedy in which Zoe must overcome her phobias in order to discover love.

London Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2004; Melbourne Queer Film Festival 2004


  • Director: Mary Ann Marino; writer: Ryan Langdon; producers: Alexis Fish, Mary Ann Marino
  • USA, 2003, digital, 14 minutes

Detective Jessica is on the trail of a serial killer whose next victim might be the assistant district attorney.

Out in South Africa 2004; Turin Gay & Lesbian 2004

"Little Black Boot"

  • Director: Colette Burson; writer: Cherien Dabis; producers: Honey Labrador, Christopher Racster
  • USA, 2003, digital, 16 minutes

A contemporary retelling of Cinderella.

Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2004; and Planet Out Film Festival 2004 Grand Prize Winner.


  • Director/writer: Guinevere Turner
  • USA, 2004, digital, 10 minutes

Casey's new girlfriend seems just perfect, except she hums.

Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2004

"A Mi Amor Mi Dulce"

  • Director: Alanna Ubach
  • USA, 2003, digital, 22 minutes

A love story set in two rival coffee shops in Echo Park, Los Angeles..

Two films, in tandem, beginning at 4 p.m.

"Laughing Matters"

  • Director/producer: Andrea Meyerson
  • USA, 2003, digital, 60 minutes

See comics Kate Clinton, Marga Gomez, Suzanne Westenhoefer and Karen Williams, in performance and behind the scenes, revealing childhood stories and how they came out and rose to fame.

Winner of the Audience Award for Outstanding Documentary Feature at Outfest-LA Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2003. San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2003.

"Where the Girls Are"

  • Directors: Tricia Cooke, Jennifer Arnold
  • USA, 2003, digital, 32 minutes

A light-hearted look at the Dinah Shore golf tournament, which draws thousands of partying lesbians to conservative Palm Springs.

Audience Award Winner for Outstanding Documentary Short Film Outfest, 2003

"My Mother Likes Women" ("A mi madre le gustan las mujeres")

  • 6 p.m.
  • Directors: Daniels Fejerman, Ines Paris
  • Spain, 2002, 35mm, 96 minutes

Uptight aspiring novelist Elvira and her sisters conspire to break up the relationship between their mother and her lover, a woman who's closer to the siblings' age.

In Spanish with English subtitles.

Awards ceremony

Two films, in tandem, beginning at 8 p.m.

"A Touch of Pink"

  • Director/writer: Ian Iqbal Rashid
  • England, 35 mm, 92 minutes

An old-fashioned romantic comedy: Alim (Jimi Mistry) is caught up in the romance, style and dreams of old Hollywood and thinks he's living with the spirit of Cary Grant (Kyle MacLachlan). Actually, he lives with a handsome, charming intelligent English boyfriend, Giles (Kristen Holden-Ried).

"Gay Boyfriend"

  • Director: Ryan McFaul
  • USA, 2003, digital, 2 minutes

In the "Ukes of Hazzard" debut music video, the ladies want a man who can shop all day and cuddle all night.