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Gay And Lesbian Film Festivals Are Better Than Ever



“Howl” with James Franco, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.

“I don’t think we’re in Cannes anymore, Toto.” I said to my little black terrier who is actually named Molly. Indeed, I don’t think we will ever go back to just a handful of world renowned film festivals attended only by elite film people, dictating what the rest of the people all over the world might get a chance to watch.

While Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca and others remain very influential, they are not the only shows in town anymore. Mainstream film festivals have burgeoned into the hundreds worldwide, with thousands of films submitted for acceptance. The development of GLBTQ Film Festivals have kept pace, expanding to over 100 festivals in 2010. And, in the US and Canada, many were held to coincide with Pride celebrations in June.

One of the oldest and largest GLBTQ Film Festivals is the San Francisco “Frameline 34″ which listed over 260 film titles for this year’s event held June 17-27. Their 2009 attendance was over 60,000 people. The 2010 Nashville GLBTQ Festival (started as The Sinking Creek Film Festival in 1969) was held for 8 days in April this year and had 2000 submissions from 86 countries.

The Inside Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, held in Toronto in May, and one of the most prestigious and best attended in the world, listed screenings for 177 GLBTQ films. They counted attendance this year at over 35,000. The growth has been huge, with attendees both elite and ordinary and not only from the gay community but also many from the straight world who are interested and supportive. I will not be tapping my feet together in red shiny shoes with any desire to go backwards.

In looking through the lists of award winners, two in particular caught my attention. The first, “Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride” directed by Robert Christie, has won awards in Montreal, in Toronto, at the Q Cinema in Fort Worth, and also at Fairy Tales in Calgary. While it is not the top winner, those who watch it will not forget it and may even be motivated to take further action. Human Rights issues are at stake, there are links to resources on the film’s website.

The trailer (below) alone is powerful in reminding us that Pride is to be celebrated not only between participants and spectators, but for those people who cannot stand up for themselves. Director of the Vancouver Pride Festival , Ken Coolen, made the film because he had an emotional response to another human rights film which made him want to take action.

The film begins in Vancouver, Canada and goes to Sao Paulo, Brazil; Moscow, Russia; Zurich, Switzerland; NY City, United States, and Colombo, Sri Lanka. There is a clear message presented through images of beauty, joy, humor and also a terrifying sense of danger in the different political atmospheres. There is also a Facebook page: Beyond Gay The Politics of Pride.

The second film is one that I hope will become an American favorite. “The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls.” Directed by Leanne Pooley, it has won awards at over 16 festivals including Best Documentary in Toronto. It is about two talented and funny women who think of themselves as performers, but unwittingly become crusaders and political activists leading the GLBTQ movement in New Zealand.

Part of the way they accomplish this, is that everyone falls in love with them, and they manage to completely love themselves and everyone back. During an interview, one of them says that their parents are in the film talking about how it was difficult, but afterall OK to have lesbian daughters.

These two show that being lesbian is part of what makes them more than OK, both lovable and amazing. There are also several videos of the pair performing on Youtube.

Other notable films on my list so far include: “Howl” (above) directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (with James Franco); “Eyes Wide Open” directed by Haim Tabakman; “The Secret Diary of Miss Anne Lister” directed by James Kent; and finally the Peruvian film: “Undertow” (below) written and directed by Javier Fuentes-Leon. Some are being shown at both GLBTQ and mainstream International Festivals.


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No TX Congressional Republican Will Say If They’re Attending Trump’s Rally in Waco – Will He Have Trouble Filling Seats?



Donald Trump‘s Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.

Experts have been warning for a week that Trump’s choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of “potential death & destruction” should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.

NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts’ concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.

Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town’s GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.

“None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going,” Insider reveals.

“Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump’s inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words,” Insider reports.

“Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle,” Insider adds. “Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump’s 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend.”

READ MORE: ‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses

Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.

Mary Trump, the ex-president’s niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to “sign up” for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.

“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday,” she also said via Twitter. “It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice.”

“But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage,” she said. “We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country.”

Image via Shutterstock

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‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses



Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.

NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.

“Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post,” Kapur said via Twitter. “When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses.”

“He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter,” Kapur added.

READ MORE: ‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes

Jordan, who didn’t need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.

VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.

“The stages of ignoring incitement,” he tweeted. “2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet.”

“Utter cowardice,” declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. “Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is.”

“The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people,” lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.

Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the “extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous.”

RELATED: Ninth Wrestler Comes Forward to Say Jordan ‘Snickered’ When He Complained of Sexual Abuse: Report

Some tied Jordan’s inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.

“Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts,” attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.

“Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out,” tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.

But Jordan’s Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: “Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?”

READ MORE: ‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’




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‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes



Judge Nixes Trump’s ‘Executive Privilege’ Claim, Orders Mark Meadows, Stephen Miller, Other Top Aides to Testify as Corcoran Completes Grand Jury Appearance

It’s a bad day behind the scenes for Donald Trump.

First, his own attorney, Evan Corcoran, just past noon on Friday walked out of a federal court building after completing more than three hours of testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of sensitive, classified, and top secret documents.

His testimony, compelled by a subpoena, is seen by a former top DOJ official as “the most critical evidence in the case,” and should “allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”

READ MORE: ‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’

Prosecutors, citing the crime-fraud exception, were able to convince a federal judge that Trump likely committed a crime via his attorneys, enabling them to bypass attorney-client privilege.

Trump had strived to block Corcoran from testifying, but a federal judge and an appeals court, in an extraordinarily quick turnaround – some legal experts saying for reasons likely related to national security – ordered him to testify.

Also Friday, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege and ordered testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating Trump’s actions related to the January 6 insurrection from eight former top Trump White House aides.

Among them, Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, and former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Also, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien and former deputy chief of staff and social media director Dan Scavino, ABC News reports.

READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter

Meadows is a former GOP congressman seen by many as integral to the events of January 6.

“Former Trump aides Nick Luna and John McEntee, along with former top DHS official Ken Cuccinelli, were also included in the order, the sources said,” according to ABC News.

Former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman weighed in, saying: “Another really big shoe drops: [Judge] Howell rejects Trump’s executive privilege claim and orders Mark Meadows and others to testify before Jan 6 [grand jury]. Meadows has really been able to stay on the sidelines. No more–even if he takes the 5th, which [would] then force [question] of immunity.”


Image of Donald Trump via Shutterstock


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