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Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival Announces Filmmaker and Guest Appearances

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

Historic Cultural Institution Celebrates 39th Year With More Than a Dozen Guest Filmmakers and Stars, September 23 - October 7, 2021

CHICAGO, Illinois -- Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival today announced a number of filmmaker and celebrity guests descending on the city for its 39th edition, running September 23 - 30 in theatres and September 27 - October 7, 2021 virtually. This year’s Festival showcases 42 programs, including 33 feature films and 9 short film programs, including comedies, romances, dramas, thrillers, and documentaries from more than 15 countries including Israel, Turkey, Iran, Australia, Romania, Italy, and Chile.

Director Peeter Rebane will be on hand at the Opening Night presentation of FIREBIRD, Thursday September 23 at the Music Box Theatre. The epic story of forbidden queer love is set against the backdrop of 1970s Cold War Estonia, when two military men in the Soviet Air Force find their clandestine, illegal affair threatens their careers and their lives.

Audience favorite BOY CULTURE: THE SERIES comes to the big screen with series creator Matthew Rettenmund in attendance, along with Chicago actor and country star Steve Grand; and former Chicagoan Angelo Madsen Minax will present the Festival’s Documentary Centerpiece NORTH BY CURRENT, which follows his return to his family home in rural Michigan following the death of his young niece.

Reeling39 hosts the World Premiere of BAJA COME DOWN, following two women as they travel from Los Angeles to Mexico in a last-ditch effort to save their relationship. Writer and director Anderson Matthew and star Caitlin Michael Riley (Netflix’s TRINKETS) will participate in an audience conversation following the screening of the film, which also stars Michelle Ortiz (MADtv).

Director Rebecca Heidenberg will join Reeling39 to present QUEENS OF THE REVOLUTION, introducing audiences to a vibrant community of drag queens in Santa Clara who perform at Mejunje, the cultural center that paved the way for LGBTQ+ rights in Cuba; while Nicole Costa and film subject Iván Monalisa bring THE JOURNEY OF MONALISA to Chicago, telling the story of the Chilean director and playwright who now lives as an undocumented immigrant two-spirit sex worker in New York City. Director T.J. Parsell joins Reeling39 audiences at a screening of his INVISIBLE: GAY WOMEN IN COUNTRY MUSIC, spotlighting the unsung heroes of country music; and director Michiel Thomas and activist Jerome Kitchen will be on hand at the screening of GEMMEL & TIM, which traces the parallel walks of two men lead to their deaths at the now-infamous Laurel Street apartment of businessman, and formerly influential political donor and LGBTQ activist, Ed Buck.

Tickets may be purchased to in-person screenings online in advance at at the theater’s box office on the day of the screening. Ticket prices are $13 for regular screenings at the Landmark Century Centre Cinemas. Special admission programs include the Opening Night film, FIREBIRD, $18 for the film only and $40 for the film and pre-party at the Music Box Theatre. For virtual screenings, Single Streaming Tickets are available at $12 and an All-Access Streaming Pass is available for $125. For more information, visit the Festival website at www.reeling film

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