Making gay and lesbian film fests more inclusive at Gender Reel

"A Condition of the Soul: Venus Demars" will be screened at Gender Reel.  Credit: Venus Demars
“A Condition of the Soul: Venus Demars” will be screened at Gender Reel.
Credit: Venus Demars

Joe Ippolito, who identifies himself as a trans-man, didn’t like what he was seeing at gay and lesbian film festivals. For him, there weren’t enough films about the gender non-conforming, the gender variant and the transgender community.

“There has been a lack of inclusion in gay and lesbian film festivals traditionally over the years around the country,” Ippolito says. “Most of them are getting better and they’re starting to recognize the importance of more inclusion of transgender people.”

That’s happening in part because of Ippolito. He founded the Gender Reel film festival in 2011 in Philadelphia and this year it’s going national with Gender Reel festival events in Minneapolis, Portland and Oakland and here, too.

The Philly Gender Reel takes place Thursday, Sept. 19, through Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Rotunda in University City.

“The gay and lesbian film festivals were not getting submissions of films from the transgender experience and the reason for that are larger issues, such as the funding sources,” Ippolito says. “They were mostly films about gay men [at the festivals] and they’re being funded by people who are privileged and white.”

The Gender Reel fest is a DIY affair of 22 films interspersed with live music performances over the three days. The Friday night program is free.

“It’s a fair amount of leg work,” Ippolito says of making the festival national. “All the films are sent to me on DVD and I download them to hard drives and I send the hard drives, which have all of the 22 films, to the festivals and they pull it up and show it.”

Film subjects in this year’s Gender Reel include gender non-conforming children, transgender women, a look at the Riot Grrrl punk movement of the ’90s with the trailer for “Riot Grrl: The Self Told Narrative” and a tribute to the late porn filmmaker and trans-man Christopher Lee. Two Lee films, “Ally of the Tranny Boy” and “Trans Grrls: Revolution Trans Porn Style Now,” will be shown 2 p.m. Satuday at Passionale on South Street, to an 18-and-over audience.

Ippolito, a city guy who’s currently living in Minneapolis, is working on his own film. “Growing Old Gracefully: The Transgender Experience” will explore the challenges the transgender community face while growing old.

He’ll focus on his film after this year’s fest.

“It’s about getting our work out and showing or highlighting our community and reaching people from other communities,” Ippolito says. “That’s what we need to do.”

Gender Reel
Sept. 19-21
The Rotunda
4014 Walnut St.
$10 for single day,$20 for festival pass
www.genderreelfest.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…