Previewing Reeling 2016 – The 34th Chicago LGBTQ+ Film Festival

Fall programming in Chicago is tough business, where the cacophony of film coverage on a global (Venice, Toronto) and national (Telluride, New York City) level dominate local coverage. Yet the efforts of Reeling’s Brenda Webb, Richard Knight Jr., and Sarah M. Rubin display a clear-headed economy and consistency that makes their programming stick out even among the larger festivals. As the business of film festival programming becomes increasingly commercialized, Reeling’s expansions and adjustments over the decades feel less like a compromise and more like an organic statement on their growth. From increasing the number of venues highlighting the festival, to an earlier start date, these logistical alterations are complemented by the festival’s persistently keen eye for diverse programming. My small sampling of their programming yields this important result: Reeling remains adventurous. 

Reeling 2016 runs from September 22 through the 29, beginning with opening night celebrations at The Music Box Theatre with subsequent screenings at Landmark Century Cinema and Chicago Filmmakers. For a full schedule and ticketing information, click here.

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Previewing Reeling 2015 – The 33rd LGBT+ International Film Festival

This Thursday marks the beginning of Reeling 33, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ film festival. Originally programmed to open in late October (just as the Chicago International Film Festival concludes), Reeling’s move to September is a smart one. It positions the festival as a venue for awards contenders (with the major inclusion of Peter Sollett’s Freeheld), large Hollywood productions (Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall), significant auteur imports (François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend), all while maintaining the integrity of its specialty programming. With nearly 40 features and 60 shorts scheduled to screen – many making their world premieres – Reeling has emerged as one of Chicago’s great autumnal festivals, developing with each iteration as increasingly vital. 

The following is a selection of films previewed for the festival. For showtimes and additional ticketing information, visit Reeling’s site here.

Previewing Reeling32 - The Chicago LGBT International Film Festival

This is my first year covering Chicago’s Reeling Film Festival. Previous years have unfortunately followed in the footsteps of Chicago’s International Film Festival and after two solid weeks of cinema, the task of embarking upon a new festival more often than not leads to fatigue. Thankfully, this year’s iteration serves as the commodious appetizer to the proverbial entrée, effectively positioning the festival as an integral fixture to the city’s diverse slate of autumn screenings. 

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