Queer Lounge, Sundance’s hotspot for LGBT cinephiles, will be a go next January at the Utah film festival, despite calls for a boycott. John Aravosis of Americablog has been leading the call for gays and lesbians to refuse to attend the Park City festival, saying:
“It’s time to stop funding those businesses and individuals who promote hate. And let’s start with the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. It’s high time Sundance found a better state to party in than the seat of the Mormon Church. Sundance is THE gathering of liberal Hollywood. The last place it should be is in Utah. Robert Redford, are you out there?”
But Queer Lounge founder and program director Ellen Huang disagrees, telling the Park Record:
“It’s more important for us to be in Utah. It’s more important for us because of the passage of Prop 8 in California. There were actually a number of organizations looking to us to take the lead.”
GLAAD President Neil Giuliano, whose organization presents and sponsors the event wrote in a prepared statement that a boycott on Sundance would be a bad idea:
“To not do so would render the LGBT community invisible at this critical entertainment industry gathering, and nothing would make our adversaries happier than if we were to render ourselves invisible.”
With the idea of a widespread boycott of Sundance gaining little support, the question of whether the Cinemark Holiday Village 4 cinema will be boycotted. Cinemark CEO Alan Stock donated nearly $10,000 to the Yes on 8 Campaign.
The idea of boycotting Sundance seems silly to us. Why would we pass up an opportunity to make our community highly visible in the homeland of the Mormon Church? Rather than avoiding Sundance, marriage equality advocates should look for clever, insightful, daring and inspiring ways to make their presence known– after all, that’s what the festival is all about.