As Outfest, Los Angeles' Gay &
Lesbian Film Festival, came to a close, many of the films we've been
following all year walked away with major accolades.
Director Daryl Wein shocked audiences –
and probably himself – by documenting the invention, and initial
rejection, of safe sex in Sex Positive.
Wein's film focuses in on early safe
sex pioneer Richard Berkowitz. His life of hustling on the streets
of New York came to a crushing end when AIDS started its infectious
assault in the 1980s. Berkowitz was one of the first gay men who
demanded answers about the disease from the government. His safe sex
message, however, was met with resistance from men who were not
ready to leave the party.
Sex Positive won in the
Outstanding Documentary Feature category.
A daring film about an intersex teenage
girl asked to decide on her sex won in the Outstanding International
Dramatic Feature category.
Lucia Puenzo's XXY is the story of Alex. Raised a girl
her entire life she possesses both male and female sets of
reproductive organs. Now at puberty she is being asked to “choose”
her sex by her parents who have invited a plastic surgeon to discuss
the issue with her. Complications arise when Alex develops a crush
on Alvaro, the surgeon's teenage son. He also is suffering gender
identity issues. Alex's search for her true identity forces both
families to face their worst fears.
The film's powerful message of love
transcending sexuality is only heightened by its beautiful
backgrounds and dramatic visual style.
Finally, director Tom Gustafson's
spellbinding gay musical fantasy Were The World Mine – a
feature length follow-up to his award-winning short film
Fairies – won the Heineken Red
Star Award for Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature.
Timothy is elated when his eccentric
teacher casts him as mischievous Puck in a school production of A
Midsummer Night's Dream. Timothy, a social outcast in a
homophobic community, loves Jonathon. Soon he discovers a potion
that allows him to turn his town gay and make Jonathon love him.
What happens when he reluctantly gives up his control over the town?
Audiences roared to their feet at the
conclusion of Were The World Mine. And that, from a small
budget movie, is worth an award.
Gay Entertainment Report is a feature of On Top Magazine and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.