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6 Films You Need to See at the Chicago International Film Festival

outlook

Today marks the kick-off of the 51st Chicago International Film Festival. Running until October 29, an assortment of LGBTQ themed films from all voer the world will be screened for audiences as part of the international OUT-Look program. These films, which chronicle a variety of LGBTQ experiences, will compete for the prestigious Q Hugo Award.

In addition to Carol (starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara) and I am Michael (starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto), we’ve picked out a handful of films that may not be on your radar, but certainly should be at the top of your must-see lists.

Carmin Tropical: A modern noir set within a community of people who identity as mixed gender (muxe) in a southern Mexican town. The muxe Mabel returns to this town after being away for years to investigate the death of a friend, only to be drawn into a future that is just as unclear as the past.  

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Front Cover: Ryan, a gay magazine stylist, has chosen to suppress his Chinese heritage so that he isn't sterotyped. When his newest client, a Chinese movie star, wants Ryan to create a photo shoot that perfectly captures the spirit of China, both men are forced to come to terms with their cultural and sexual identities.

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Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party: The famy and friends of Henry, who may or may not be gay, gather at his house for a pool party to celebrate his 17th birthday. Once everyone is assembled, his home, church, and school lives collide in an examination of devout faith and burgeoning sexuality. At times hilarious and heartbreakingly honest, these characters seek solace and understanding during one long, humid summer day.

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Girls Lost: Imagine a world where a magical object has the power to change your sex. When a group of children stumble upon a mysterious flower, they realize they can do just that. This causes tomboy Kim to recognize her own need to be boy. This energetic film sheds light on children’s gender and sexual identities in a vividly realized experience.

Absence: When a father abandons his family, Serginho must work in the local market, help care for his little brother, and manage to be an empathetic companion to his alcoholic mother. As Serginho grapples with his sexuality and all the drama of being a teenager, he finds himself clashing with his own preconceived notions of what a role model should be. 

Call Me Marianna: This award-winning documentary follows around Marianna as she transitions from male to female. While embracing her new identity, Marianna finds herself abandoned by her loved ones and alone in a world unwilling to accept who she is. In the face of such hardship, Marianna’s struggle for acceptance is both sympathetic and powerful.

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