As it opens the 13th annual Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, director Tom Gustafson's spellbinding gay musical fantasy Were The World Mine finally gets the respect it so richly deserves.

The gay film festival opens this year with the enchanted story on Friday, October 17th.

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, is obsessed with Johnathan. 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?

Were the World Mine is writer/director Gustafson's feature-length follow up to his award-winning short film Fairies.

The movie's over-the-top musical numbers and top-rate production values swayed Outfest – the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival – judges to award it the Heineken Red Star Award for Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature Film in July.

The Advocate said of the film, “'Hedwig And The Angry Inch' had better move over.”

Also featured at the festival is director Robert Cary's ex-gay drama Save Me.

Save Me is a sobering look at the culture war that continues to brew between evangelical Christians in the ex-gay movement and the gay men and women they seek to “cure”.

Mark, played by Chad Allen (St. Elsewhere, Donald Strachey Mysteries), is addicted to drugs and sex. The sex Mark is addicted to happens to be gay. After a violent overdose, he finds himself at the mercy of his disapproving family, who blame homosexuality for his problems. Mark is sent to Genesis, a Christian run ministry overseen by Gayle, played by Judith Light (Who's The Boss?, Ugly Betty), and her loving husband Ted, where he is to be “cured” of his “gay affliction.”

But as Mark begins to respond to Genesis, he also happens to meet Scott, Robert Gant (Queer As Folk). Their unexpected romance threatens more than only Mark's salvation.

The film rejects standard pro-gay fare of stereotyped bigots. Gayle is portrayed as a compassionate Christian motivated not by hate, but more likely guilt.

Time Out London said the film “is up there with Brokeback Mountain as one of the most powerful gay dramas in recent years.”

Since its 1996 debut, the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival has grown into the premiere gay film event of the Pacific Northwest.

On the Net: The Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival website is at