Reeling: The Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival has thrilled Chicago audiences for nearly three decades, and has a new home in Logan Square this year.
New Home in Logan Square
The second-longest running LGBT film festival in the world, scheduled this year Nov. 7-14, has moved south to Logan Square after calling Lakeview home for ages.
“The big surprise for us has been that the renewal and regeneration that we had been looking for for Reeling seems to have come, at least in part, from an unexpected source: a geographic area where we feel we have found an exciting sense of community energy and connectedness,” says festival founder Brenda Webb regarding the festival’s move to Logan Square.
Its new base will be the historic Logan Theatre (@TheLoganTheatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave.). Shaylah Paul, events director for the venue, told LoganSquarist that the theater and the Logan Square community were the ideal setting for the event.
“It’s our goal to be the home for a diverse variety of arts, and to reflect and represent the community of Logan Square,” she says. “The LGBT community voice is one that needs to be recognized in the arts, more so than it already is, so we’re thrilled to take part in helping make that happen.”
Paul added that the Logan Theatre is prime territory for hosting a film festival, thanks to the welcoming atmosphere of the lounge area. Patrons can enjoy one of the festival selections, then congregate to discuss the film they’ve just seen over a round of drinks.
Ald. Rey Colon, who says he thrilled to be welcoming Reeling 2013 to the 35th ward, agreed that the recently restored Logan Theatre is a classy, inviting place to host such an event.
“In the age of Netflix and Redbox, the Logan Theatre holds its own as one of Chicago’s last remaining neighborhood theaters in an emerging arts, business and entertainment district,” he says.
Highlights of the Festival
The eight-day Reeling 2013 festival will be a star-studded affair. The opening night gala presentation will screen “G.B.F.,” a comedy featuring popular girls battling over who gets to claim a young lad as their hot new accessory: a gay best friend. The cast includes “Will and Grace” star Megan Mullally, Natasha Lyonne from “Orange is the New Black” and Evanna Lynch of the “Harry Potter” series.
“Leather Bar,” a documentary collaboration between Oscar-nominated actor/renaissance man James Franco and Travis Mathews examines missing footage from William Friedkin’s gay film gem “Cruising,” and it makes its world debut at Reeling. Another documentary highlight: Whoopi Goldberg’s documentary debut, “I Got Somethin’ to Tell You,” about the comic legend Moms Mabley. Reeling’s presentation will include a specially taped message from Goldberg herself.
The remainder of the schedule is a whirlwind of romantic films, historical epics, comedies, dramas and other dynamic genres.
A closing night reception will be held at the Stan Mansion (2408 N. Kedzie Ave.); details on the reception are forthcoming.
For more information about the festival and special Reeling 2013 events, visit the website at www.reelingfilmfestival.org.
Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to include “Moms Mabley,” which was missing from an earlier version.