38th Annual Reel Q Film Festival to Screen World Premier and Iconic Line-up of LGBTQ+ Features and Shorts

Film festival to span 10 days and 26 programs.

Carla. Photo courtesy of Reel Q.

Reel Q, Pittsburgh’s annual LGBTQ+ film festival and sixth-oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world, just released an iconic line-up of films and special events for the 2023 season, which runs from October 6 to 15. The 38th annual festival opens with “Our Son,” starring Pittsburgh icon Billy Porter as a gay father fighting his husband in a custody battle, and will be followed by an opening-night party at Row House Cinema and Bierport in Lawrenceville.

“The Reel Q team is thrilled to offer another unforgettable collection of queer stories at home on Pittsburgh’s big screens,” said T. J. Murphy, Reel Q’s executive director. “With over 50 queer shorts and 17 in-person features, there’s something for every body, age, gender, and beyond.”

Feature film highlights include: “Mutt,” a thoughtful drama about being trans and Latinx; “Lie With Me,” likened to a “French Brokeback Mountain” with a generational twist; “The Judgment,” an Egyptian horror film set against the Pyramids of Giza. On October 8, “Blue Jean” an award-winning festival favorite about a closeted female gym teacher living a double life in Margaret Thatcher’s England; “Glitter and Doom,” a surreal, glittery musical romance set to the hits of the iconic, Grammy Award-winning Indigo Girls.

This year’s program also presents an assortment of family-friendly features including “Egghead and Twinkie,” a colorful teen road movie on October 8; “Big Boys,” a teenage boy’s unexpected crush turns a camping trip into a weekend of self-discovery on October 14; “Before I Change My Mind,” all the students wonder if new kid Robin is a boy or a girl on October 14; and “Golden Delicious,” a feel-good, coming-of-age film starring a confused Asian American high school senior opposite an out, gay basketball player also on October 14.

Image courtesy of Reel Q.

In addition to the impressive selection of features, Reel Q will present the world premiere screening of “Carla” at the Andy Warhol Museum on October 13. The film follows the journey of Pittsburgh singer Carla who found love and happiness after transitioning late in life, which inspired local photographer and QBurgh’s own Mara Rago to make this heartfelt documentary. Afterward, stay for a talkback with director Mara Rago, guests, and a performance by local vocalist Phat Man Dee.

For a special edition closing day program, October 15 begins with a drag queen brunch hosted by S&S Productions, featuring Luna Skye, Indi Skies, Alexandra Star and Andi Whorehol at Trace Brewing in Bloomfield at 11:00 am. Following brunch, Reel Q’s special drag shuttle will take guests to Row House Cinema for the afternoon showing of “Queen Tut,” which follows an Egyptian teenager from Cairo to Toronto, parachuted into the underground queer and drag nightlife.

That’s just part of Reel Q’s 2023 festival. There’s also a diverse virtual line-up of LGBTQ+ short films: “His Shorts,” “Her Shorts,” “Queer Friendship,” “Gender Fluid,” and “Teen Dreams,” compilations of shorts will be available on-demand throughout the festival’s full festival schedule.

Queen Tut. Photo courtesy of Reel Q.

Individual tickets and passes can be bought online at reelq.org or at the venue for in-person screenings. General Admission tickets: $10; discount rate: $7 with student ID or Access cardholders. Diva Pass for all films: $150. Shorts Only includes all shorts: $50. Opening and kick-off party: $15. Closing Brunch and film: $30. “Carla” screening: $13, includes admission to the Warhol museum.

Please check out the Reel Q website for more information on Reel Q’s 38th season, movie listings and showtimes, trailers, panel discussions, and special events.

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