SW Gay & Lesbian Film Festival


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Albuquerque is a city obsessed with film. We love making them, we love seeing them. We love sexy films, we love foreign films, and we love films that make you think. So it’s no surprise we love the annual Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

For almost a decade, this festival, organized by Closet Cinema, has been gracing the indie screens of Albuquerque (all two of them) with movies that run the gamut from the tame and inoffensive (as long as you don’t think God hates gays, anyway) to the extremely controversial, and that come in a veritable rainbow of lengths and languages.

Unlike many film fests in our beloved Duke City, this one spans much more than a mere weekend. The fest is seven days long and chock full of films about, for, and by lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people, as well as their friends and loved ones. You may even find a film or two about people who don’t like the LGBT community, but don’t expect it to be the highlight of the event. This is a celebration of the people who make up the community and the people who offer this community their support, and not a criticism of the people who can’t support it or preach against it.

Celebration is definitely the word to describe this fest. Just standing in line to get into one of the showings is a festival unto itself. And let’s not forget the actual parties. There’s opening night, there’s brunch, there’s giveaways, there’s discussion panels, there’s everything.

It’s $10 each per film, $9 if you’re a member of Closet Cinema, or you can drop a couple of tenners on punch cards for four, six, or eight films (whichever ones you want to see). If you’re feeling full out supportive, spend $100 and get the Full Film Festival Pass. It doesn’t guarantee you a seat if you show up too late to one of the showings, nor does it get you to the front of the line, but if you see 10 films, it pays for itself. And even if you don’t see 10 films, you’re supporting an excellent film fest.

Films are shown at the Guild and the Southwest Film Center (in the UNM Student Union Building basement). Get there early, and get there often. Ever since Self Serve’s Pornotopia film fest got kicked off the scene, the SW Gay & Lesbian Film Fest has been the next best thing we get to free speech about sexuality (and love, and identity). So relish it now, to make sure you can continue to do so  in the future.

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