GLAAD film report spotlights zero trans representation in major studio films

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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There were no transgender characters in the 110 major studio films released in 2018, according to a film report from GLAAD.

GLAAD’s annual Studio Responsibility Index observed that when it comes to transgender representation television is putting in the work while film is lagging far behind.

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FiveFilms4Freedom US Tour – Orlando

By : KathleenHarper
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To mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK, join the British Council and partners on November 9 in Orlando for a film screening and panel discussion showcasing #FiveFilms4Freedom, the world’s first and largest digital LGBT film festival. This event is supported by the Love GREAT Britain campaign.

Keynote speaker: Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith
Guest speaker: Vicki Nantz, Orlando filmmaker

Panellists:
The event will feature a panel discussion on LGBT issues, featuring:
– Moderator: Sherri Absher – The One Orlando Alliance
– Heather Wilkie – Executive Director, Zebra Coalition
– Joe Saunders – Senior Political Director, Equality Florida
– Terry DeCarlo – Development and Chief Comms Director, GLBT Community Center of Central Florida
– Rosie Westhoff – filmmaker, director of Crush
– Jonny Ruff – filmmaker, director of Heavy Weight

Films:
The five short films selected for #FiveFilms4Freedom 2017 include both drama and documentaries and tell stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experiences. They range from the tentative steps of first love, through an intimate portrait of an extraordinary family, to an exuberant picture of underground cultural expression. This year, for one year only, all five films are from the UK.
– Crush (directed by Rosie Westhoff) – An almost wordless story of the flash of first love as a young girl waits for her train in Britain.
– Where We Are Now (directed by Lucie Rachel) – An intimate documentary potrait of the relationship between a transgender parent and her bisexual daughter in Scotland.
– Heavy Weight (directed by Jonny Ruff) – A boxer finds his world turned upside down by the arrival of a new fighter at the club.
– Still Burning (directed by Nick Rowley) – Era, a young migrant from Guadeloupe living in Paris, introduces his brother to leotards, heels and the ‘fierce’ attitude of the dance movement ‘voguing’.
– Jamie (directed by Christopher Manning) – After chatting to a guy online, shy Jamie makes the bold step to meet up with him in person.

As the UK’s principal cultural relations organisation the British Council is strongly committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. Our work is centred on building meaningful, enduring and respectful relationships across different cultures. We cannot do this if we do not have a commitment to equality, inclusion and valuing diversity.

 

Screened Out – Ice Age Collision Course

By : Stephen Miller
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Voices of Ray Romano, Dennis O’Leary, John Leguizamo, Simon Pegg, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, Adam DeVine, Neil deGrasse Tyson

It feels as if the makers of Ice Age listened to the early criticism of the franchise: “None of this is realistic!” and “This is scientifically implausible!”

Then they decided that talking animals, friendly saber-tooth tigers, and the lot were all really ridiculous. They went the route of the Looney Tunes shows – making it all ridiculous and funny. They realized they had a comic goldmine in the world-changing rat-thing Scrat, and they ran with it. For five films, now, they have eschewed any logic whatsoever.

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Screened Out – The Secret Life of Pets

By : Stephen Miller
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Voices of Louis CK, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jennie Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks

Pet lovers are often animation lovers, too, I know, looking to our animals for wildly, colorful entertainment – like living cartoons. We search online for videos of puppies who act like goofballs or kittens who don’t quite make the jump. The Secret Life of Pets taps into that great slapstick so many of us love.

It is a good thing the characters – as shallow as they are – and the shtick liven things up. The story in Pets is really a retelling of the first Toy Story, where the established dog/toy gets displaced by the new dog/toy. A rivalry ensues that takes both of these enemies far outside, far from their comfort zones, and then they must band together to survive the cruel out-of-doors and find their ways back home.

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Number of LGBT characters in films stays steady, racial diversity drops

By : Jamie Hyman
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Los Angeles (AP) – Hollywood films remained static in their inclusiveness of LGBT characters in 2015, but the racial diversity of those characters fell dramatically, according to the findings of GLAAD’s annual study.

In a survey released May 2 by the advocacy group, 17.5 percent of last year’s films from the seven major studios contained characters who were lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

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Watermark’s March Madness 2016 Ultimate LGBT Icon: And the winner is…

By : Jeremy Williams
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After a knockdown, drag out fight between 32 of the biggest, most well-known LGBT icons in America, you – the reader – have finally selected a winner.

After voting through the best in four categories – DIVAS, MOVIES, TELEVISION and SPORTS & POLITICS – you brought the Recruiter from Castro Street, Harvey Milk, against the Bathhouse Beach Betty, Bette Midler, and brought it so close at the end that the winner pulled out a victory by one vote!

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Sarasota Film Festival celebrates the LGBT community

By : Krista DiTucci
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jason benjamin

director/producer Jason Benjamin

SARASOTA – Come out and support the 2016 Sarasota Film Festival as it features seven LGBT feature films, five short films and the free panel “Making LGBTQ Films.” Sarasota Film Festival is partnering with the 2016 Harvey Milk Festival and is receiving grant funding for LGBT series from Our Sarasota Fund.

To celebrate the festival’s LGBT presence, Sarasota’s monthly “Gay Guy Happy Hour” (G2H2) will feature special guest director/producer Jason Benjamin. Benjamin made his directorial debut with Suited, a documentary about the Brooklyn-based tailoring company Bindle and Keep which serves the LGBTQ community. G2H2 will take place on April 7 from 5:30 to 8:30 at Aloft Sarasota, a new festival sponsor.

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Oscar Predictions and Watermark’s 2016 Oscars Pool!

By : Stephen Miller
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It’s our annual Oscar column – and it’s a doozy! In the comments, you can submit you predictions. We’ll draw a prizewinner from the correct or most correct. You will win SOMETHING!

The 88th Oscar season is all about diversity…or lack thereof. This year, scads of people are viably upset that there was not a single nomination of a minority in actor or director categories.

Is Hollywood the new Great White Way?

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Spooky Empire brings out scares and stars for thirteenth year of Ultimate Halloween Weekend

By : Jeremy Williams
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It’s that time of year again when the Cineplexes will be filled with scary movies, the Burger King’s will be overrun by black bun Whoppers and, for Central Florida, Spooky Empire will roll in with a fright-filled weekend of all things horror, sci-fi and fantasy with the Ultimate Halloween Weekend.

Spooky’s Ultimate Halloween Weekend will be at the Hyatt Regency on I-Drive Oct. 30- Nov. 1 and in proper scary fashion, is celebrating its 13th year of horror conventioning with the biggest stars yet.

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GLAAD: Hollywood needs to do better

By : Staff Report
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GLAAD has a new online campaign to battle what it says is Hollywood’s “lack of relevant representation of LGBT people in film.”

The organization criticized such films as Ted 2, Project X and Pain & Gain for their use of homophobic language and violence against LGBT characters, and pointed to a recent report that shows more than 80 percent of the major studio films released in 2014 had no LGBT characters whatsoever.

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“Milk” screenwriter directs you to a Coke

By : Staff Report
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Dustin_Lance_Black_at_the_81st_Academy_AwardsDustin Lance Black (pictured), the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, has teamed up with Coca-Cola to create a series of short films about anti-bullying.

The campaign starts with the film, available to see on Coca Cola’s YouTube channel, entitled “El SMS (The Text).” The film, which is roughly eight minutes long, tells the story of two best friends and how one accepts the other when he finds out his friend is gay.

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Space Coast Pride chooses grand marshals

By : Jamie Hyman
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The 9th annual Space Coast Pride will have grand marshals representing the L, the G and the T, but not the B.

“We were unable to locate a bisexual grand marshal,” Lexi Wright, president of Space Coast Pride, says when running down the list of the chosen individuals. “Our original intent was to select one grand marshal to represent each letter of LGBT who has contributed to the community.”

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