Primed to illuminate local screens with an international array of the best new LGBT film and video work, the 2002 Milwaukee Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Film/ Video Festival is set for October 3-6 and October 10-13. The opening night film, The Cockettes, a documentary on the legendary Gay Hippie Drag Troupe, starts the festival in flamboyant fashion at the Oriental Theatre on October 3. The Cockettes celebrates the anarchic idealism of these early 1970s stars. Described as “the Little Rascals, in drag, on acid, doing Busby Berkeley,” the Cockettes intoxicated late night audiences with such glittery, gender-bending midnight revues as “Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma” and “Pearls over Shanghai.” With interviews with, and appearances by, all the surviving Cockettes, John Waters, Divine, Sylvester, Holly Woodlawn, and Sylvia Miles, the film is both lively and wistful as it charts the rise and demise of these singular showstoppers. Audience members are encouraged to don hippie drag of their own for the Milwaukee premiere of this acclaimed film. A reception at Beans and Barley will follow the gala opening. Opening Night Tickets are $10. For nearly fifteen years, the Milwaukee LGBT Festival has presented an array of film and videos, offering an international assortment of work of different genres, nationalities, and storytelling styles. While lesbian and gay imagery has entered the mainstream, particularly on television, the range of available representations remains limited. The Festival therefore works to offer a more diverse range of representations of and for the LGBT community as this year’s once-again eclectic program testifies. There are many LGBT films and videos that would go unscreened locally were it not for the Festival’s programming. Now running over 8 nights with more than 20 programs with more than 40 films and videos — features, documentaries, shorts, and experimental work — from over a dozen countries, the Festival remains — for now — Milwaukee’s largest and most diverse film festival. The Festival is presented by the UWM Department of Film of the Peck School of the Arts. The Festival is co-presented by the UWM LGBT Resource Center and the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center. The Festival is co-sponsored by UWM Union Programming, the UWM Union Theatre, the LGBT Certificate Studies Center at UWM, the UWM Women’s Resource Center, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Community Media Project, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, Cultures and Communities, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at UWM, Wisconsin InStep, and the Lesbian Community Health Project. Other co-presenters of the Festival include Juana C. Vega Resource Center for LGBT Latinas/Latinos, the Two Spirit Society, the Lesbian Alliance of Metro Milwaukee, and Rainbow Families Wisconsin.
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