When most people in the United States think of Cincinnati, Ohio, they do not generally think of it as a hotbed of independent cinema. They would be wrong. Cincinnati has a vibrant Film Society and the state of Ohio maintains a very strong film office that attracts twenty or more major US motion picture projects per year. These are some of the things I learned while attending OutReels.
The film lineup for OutReels attracted a wide variety of films in the short and feature length categories. I will say the feature length films were all of fantastic quality, since The Actor and the Model was not in this category, I have to say this was a strong and well balanced lineup ranging from 78 to 98 minutes in length. They ranged from historical documentary (Accidental Activists, Major!) , local history (Kings, Queens, & In-Betweens), to quality gay themed fiction (Suicide Kale; Kiss Me, Kill Me; Retake). A respectable number of all of the films were produced under SAG-AFTRA Independent contracts.
The audiences ranged from 75 to 150 people and they were all quite enthusiastic about the line-up. You will be happy to know that The Actor and the Model was viewed by about 100 people and received excited applause after it was over. After the Saturday night film block many of the viewers thanked me for a film that was both entertaining and educational. I fielded a number of questions on the Japanese LGBT community and experience in addition to my impression as an American who has visited Japan, how LGBT folks were treated. I also was asked about the overall culture of Japan in relation to LGBT marriage rights, couplehood, and society's demands on LGBT folks in general. One question I found very germane to the experience revolved around the industry demand that gay Japanese actors marry and have children. I pointed out that this was also something that was common in Hollywood.
The short film category was very strong and ranged from 5 to 21 minutes in length. I can say that all of the short films I viewed were strong, so the audience reaction we received was heartening to say the least. The audience voting was by secret ballot at the end of each block and all films were rated on a scale of 1-5 (5 being best). There were a number of film makers and actors who were present representing their films, it was a great pleasure to talk with them about their process. As of this writing, I do not know which films received Audience Favorite awards.
In conclusion, OutReels is a high quality film festival that supports it's film makers and provides a quality experience for their viewers. It was fun to attend and a great venue for Tokyo Cowboys.
オハイオ州の Outreels 映画祭に行ってきました。
"The Actor and the Model" を100人ぐらいと一緒に見ました。上映の後、評判は良かったです。ちょっと泣きそうになりました。日本のLGBTにたいして質問たくさんされました。そして日本がいつか同性結婚を許すかどうかが話題になりました。日本のゲイの俳優はまだにせ結婚してるの？！ みたいなコメントを多く去れましたが、アメリカの Hollywood と変わらないじゃないかと説明しました。ゲイのことを隠したい俳優はやっぱりまだまだいますね。
Tokyo Cowboys の代表としてこの映画祭に行かせてもらって、本当によかったです。ありがとうございました。