Outfest, the Los Angeles GLBT film festival which kicked off last Thursday, has a schedule so crammed with enticing offerings that even the best planners can become dizzy trying to choose what to see. But if the ten-day festival has one essential event, it’s tonight's gala, Choosing Children, the third film restoration from the Outfest Legacy Project, a partnership with UCLA dedicated to preserving gay films that are on the brink of extinction because studios have left their negatives and prints to rot.
In the case of Choosing Children, the negative was trashed when the lab that housed it went out of business. Legacy has painstakingly restored the film to its original release quality and added it to its archive of over 10,000 titles. Tonight’s gala is a vital fundraiser for The Legacy Project, the resuscitator that is saving our history and bringing these movies back to life. And while posterity and archive are important, as is evidenced with tonight’s film, rediscovery on the big screen is also surprisingly relevant.
1984’s Choosing Children was one of the first film’s to document the two-Mommy family dynamic and the evolving definition of what family means. In the wake of our last election where Arkansas voted to prohibit families like those depicted here, the film’s currency is clear. And thanks to Legacy, it will be around even once it represents ancient history. But it’s only one of thousands of films that need Legacy’s help. Go to tonight’s gala, drink the free Absolut and support our heritage.
To learn more about the Legacy Project and to buy tickets visit Outfest.org.
-- EDDIE SHAPIRO
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