By Brett Ashley Hawkins
Putting gay film classics back up on the big screen, several organizations have come together to present the Reel Queer Cinema, an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) film series that will open with the indie film But I’m a Cheerleader– in which a straight high-school girl’s friends and family, convinced she’s gay, force an outlandish intervention upon her.
The AMP Organization and Mondo Celluloid have collaborated for the series to get gay youth more involved in Long Beach community events. AMP Executive Director Annie Parkhurst said it’s an attempt to engage those young people all year. “We put on a variety of creative events, including concerts, art shows, craft workshops, and more to help get the younger LGBT generation involved in the community and help bring something new to the gay community, in hopes that we can celebrate all year long, and not just during Pride season,” she said.
At the commencement of the series, AMP will award its first annual Queer Youth Scholarship. Victor Galvan-Rico, Lenna Asaaf, and King Chan have earned scholarship prizes ranging from $100 to $300 to fund their educations. All three recipients have demonstrated their artistic abilities and dedication to the LGBT community.
The AMP Organization prides itself on supporting queer art and music events in southern California. Such events include Cut & Paste Rock & Roll, a semi-annual music and art festival. “We continue to partner with the Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Center, Mondo Celluloid, the Art Theatre, and the Long Beach Playhouse in hopes of bringing the community here together through fun events and exposure to new places and people in the area,” said Parkhurst.
Mondo Celluloid is a nonprofit organization that provides classic-film viewing opportunities by working with independent organizations and theatres. It supports Los Angeles’s independent repertory cinemas and their efforts, gives grants to student filmmakers, and sets up speaking engagements with filmmakers and film historians.
The Real Queer Cinema series will progress quarterly with films from openly gay directors, including John Cameron Mitchell, John Waters, and others. Out of the Closet thrift stores will be accepting donations before the film starts. Lastly, Lola’s Mexican Restaurant, 2030 E. 4th St., will donate 20 percent of their earnings from that evening to AMP and Mondo Celluloid.
But I’m a Cheerleader will kick off the Reel Queer Cinema film series Wednesday, June 30 at 9pm at the Long Beach Art Theatre, 2025 E. 4th St. Tickets are available for $10 online or at the door.