February film festival fever forges forward. So, am I ready for Variety?
This week it's the fifth annual Out Far! Phoenix International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, running Thursday, February 15, through Sunday, February 18, at AMC Arizona Center, 565 North Third Street. Here's a day-by-day rundown:
Friday, February 16: The festival's "Opening Night Gay-La" pre-film party is slated from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the top of the escalator at the southwest corner of the Arizona Center. Carmela Ramirez and the Diva Band are scheduled to perform. The acclaimed film Big Eden, a love story set in a small town in Montana, follows at 7:45 in the theater. Filmmaker Tom Bezucha is scheduled to introduce it and hold a Q&A session afterward. (This is the only scheduled screening of this film.)
Saturday, February 17: Screenings all day -- Nico and Dani at 1 p.m.; Water Drops on Burning Rocks at 3:10; the Indian lesbian comedy Chutney Popcorn at 5:10; Gypsy Boys at 7:25 (with director Brian Shepp scheduled to be present); and the police drama Hard at 10:15.
Sunday, February 18: A busy day of screenings featuring many of the selections above, as well as programs of women's and men's shorts, each at noon; Paragraph 175, a documentary about the Nazi persecution of gay men and lesbians during World War II at 5:15 and 7:40 p.m.; episodes 5 through 8 of Queer as Folkat 4:40 p.m.; and the rarely-shown-stateside series finale of Queer as Folk at 7:30.
Tickets for individual screenings are $7 in advance, $9 day of the event for shows before 4 p.m.; $10 in advance and $12 day of event for shows later than 4, available online at www.outfar.org or at the door. Single-day passes, available at Movies On Central at 4700 North Central, are $40 (advance) and $50 (day of); full-festival passes are $85 and $95, respectively. Tickets to the "Gay-La" are $20 and $25. The schedule is subject to change.