Queer Lounge At Sundance, Despite Boycott Threat

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.

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  • Erik

    Not all of Utah are haters, Park City and Salt Lake City are the progressive cities in Utah, they would be hurt the most by the boycott, the Mormon church would not be hurt by the boycott, plus our community came out two times and protested the passage of Prop 8. The folks who would like us to boycott would rather you go to Colorado, hello James Dobson is located there with his hate church, he has been in the forefront of discrimination against GLTB community. It wasn’t Utah’s fault the gay community leaders did not do more to help defeat that bill, if that is the game they want to play, why are we not boycotting California? Are they not the one who passed this bill? Why Not Florida, they past a bill against gay marriage, oh cannot forget Arkansas and Arizona they also passed anti gay measures. The surest way to make our impact know is to become visible, to not let these churches lie about our communities that’s the best route to take.

  • RyanInSacto

    @Erik: But we have been visible at Sundance for a long time. Did that stop the Utah-based Mormon church from spending millions to eliminate our right to marry?

    Yes, the leaders of the No On 8 campaign SUCKED. However, THEY did not put this proposition on the bill. They merely ran a flawed campaign to fight its passage.

  • RyanInSacto

    @Japhy: I thought Cinemark CEO Alan Stock donated nearly $10,000 not $5,000. Has the figure been adjusted?

  • blake

    Hasn’t the Sundance Film Festival been a consistent supporter of gay-themed films, promoting the careers of gay directors and writers? Think about all of the GLBT films that would never have seen the light of day were it not for Sundance.

    Taking revenge on Sundance or the entire state of Utah for the actions of a few residents of the Utah makes no sense.

  • Erik

    @RyanInSacto: But like i stated, California did this, and the boycott would only hurt the progrssive cities, that will show the mormons right no, both mayor we have had, have fought the mormon church on many issues including gay rights, and what about the 30 other states that have similar laws, why are they not being boycotted, why isnt NYC being boycotted now that they are taking back that they would fight for gay marrige, Utah is being targeted, when other states have similar inititives. You are making it sound like the mormons are the only church in this fight, remember the evngelicals, Catholics, and other helped, if that is the case other states where those churches are the dominating force should also be boycotted.

  • mark

    This isn’t about Sundance for me, it’s about harming Utah tourism, and making UT resident’s property taxes and sales taxes have to make up the loss of 6 BILLION of tourism. I held no animosity against Redford or Sundance Organization until the Cinemark theater was kept as a venue, then F*CK EM! We must have Utah residents curb the LDS elders, when LGBTs confront Mormons directly we are given the role of VILLIANS attacking the NICE church folks. I have LDS members as half my family, this isn’t ordinary Mormons ordering these hateful attacks, it’s JUST the elders.
    The one thing Sundance could do, to keep this year’s event from being a PR nightmare, would be announce their NEXT 25 years will be OUTSIDE Utah.
    GLAAD is becoming less and less relevent, as NEW young activists take their places in leadership, aging A-Party A-Queens are SO TIRED.

  • mark

    This ENDS, THIS election. What stops these LDS elders, who have UNLIMITED funds from 13 million members globally, from doing this initiative sh*t in a dozen more states NEXT election? There HAS to be a FEROCIOUS BLOWBACK to stop this NOW.

  • michael

    go be seen support all gay causes be conscience to try & spend money in gay business , research hotels gay travel agents etc….. boycott the theater affiliated with the donation

  • An Other Greek

    should have ALREADY been cut out of ALL Sundance events if Sundance even want us to consider them -truly- friendly to queer causes…

    Patronizing a business that makes donations to causes that take our civil rights away is self-hating and suicidal.

    Cinemark out of Sundance, NOW ! ! !

    Sundance, what do you say?


  • Erik

    @mark: So we should suffer for the gay community’s lack of interest? Where has the community been the last ten years when these laws have been in place…? Nowhere I can see, yes the Mormon church has no excuse for what they did, but at least they are fighting for their beliefs, we have not had any leadership in the past 30 years, I am not condoning what the Mormons did, but we have failed to protect our rights. Allot of the folks that protested in Utah, were those Mormon mom and dads standing up to their church, it amazes me that we blame our short comings on the church, if the gay leaders would have done more in the beginning we would not be having this conversation right now, they aloud the Right Wing nut jobs to spout lies and misinform the population, hell no one even really fought until it passed, so it is our own fault this happen we can blame the Mormon or the African Americans till we are blue in the face. Until we rise up and counter attack the religious right we are going to continue to lose our rights, plain and simple. It is high time we take responsibility for what happen, yes the Mormon’s put lots of money into this proposition, but where were are leaders during this time, it was made public the whole time what the Mormons where doing, and still the gay community sat by and did really nothing until the end.

  • An Other Greek


    you can criticize the response of our organizations as being inadequate (and I agree!), but you cannot say they did nothing.

    The real blame is not with us, it is with THEM…

    THEY fought to take our rights away.

    If our organizations were inadequate and anachronistic and basically in need of a total change, that still does not change the fact that THEY came to harm us.



  • Phil

    I feel that “This is our agenda, fall in line or we will punish you,” does not help us, but it is exactly what I want to do.

  • Erik

    @An Other Greek: Yeah, i agree, but were has everyone been the last ten years, there have been many constitutional Admendments banning same sex marriage, were the hell has everyone to fight those injustice? What i am trying to get acrossed is this, we have sat by for many years doing nothing about the 29 other states that have laws against us. We have to take some responisbilty for the measure not being passed. Boycotting will hurt the gay community here in Utah, and again, we were almost 3,000 strong in our protest, it isnt like we just sat around and did nothing. Support your brothers and sisters in the Utah communty, by giving us the tools to take the control away from the church, your pretty much spitting in our face, by calling for a boycott, your pretty much saying you dont matter.

  • Jesus Mary

    Since most of the gay media companies that used to sponsor the queer lounge and similar are now bankrupt, does it really matter?

  • An Other Greek


    The Boycott should focus on Cinemark.

    This is beyond justified, it is essential.

    If Sundance does not recognize/respect/act on this issue, the boycott should perhaps get bigger and include all Sundance activities.

    Sundance’s hands are bloody, and if they continue having Cinemark as THE landmark theater of the festival, then action is imperative.

    As far as organizations and where have thay been, yes, I agree, they could/should do much more, and a sweeping change is due.

    But don’t forget the centuries of stigma against us, the churches, AIDS, and the essentially conservative habits of the masses. It is a STRUGGLE and failure is not only due to lack of “organization”.

    i am of the mind that our progress is real, if not as fast as we would like. And I am infinitelly more interested in attacking the bigots and haters than each other.


  • ggreen

    That giant sucking sound you hear is editor dearest re-setting his sphincter from clench mode. What next a (Chris Crocker) leave the Mormons alone video on you tube?

  • mark

    I feel EXTREMELY sold out by the gathering sponsors of Queer Lounge, and the guests they are attracting. These are old friends who have done super human efforts in the darkest times of the AIDS crisis, and I feel they are being put in an ugly awkward position by Queer Lounge.
    Maybe Queer Lounge can answer these questions.

    How does acting as if it’s BUSINESS AS USUAL, inspire the very young film makers they champion, or will this action make the film makers milque toast party queens?
    How does funding Utah, stop the LDS elders NEXT election?
    What influence does the LGBT community have at Sundance, that our MAJOR magazines, and networks who produce shows SPECIFICLY to our community, can’t MOVE SUNDANCE?
    What will Queer Lounge do when gay activists protests them publicly on the streets of Park City, you know it will happen?
    Fighting hateful churches is exhausting enough, trying to fight the biggest LGBT corporate interests too…is too much.
    I am beyond disgusted with the whole f*ckin mess.

  • mark

    Queer Lounge have launched at minimum half a dozen website to HARD SELL this fiasco, dress it in Dolce and Gabana, and drench with ABSOLUT, and it still STINKS.

  • Tom

    I’m not going to keep spending money in a place that turns around and uses it against me, and I can’t imagine going to Sundance and trying to figure out which hotels/theatres are going to do so. What am I? Some kind of abuse loving co-dependent? No, I’m changing my behaviour. There’s plenty of other places to ski or see a movie, for goodness sake.

  • An Other Greek

    “I’m not going to keep spending money in a place that turns around and uses it against me”

    I know, right?

    it’s as simple as that in the end…


  • mark

    In the end Sundance and Queer Lounge are forgetting the timing of their mega-events, it’s a week before and during Obama’s inaugeral. There won’t be a damn ounce of OXYGEN on any network to report on ANYTHING in Utah. Sashia’s dress and choice of a puppy will be ALL anyone talks about.
    Sundance = The BUZZ that wasn’t

  • Leland Frances

    GROW UP PEOPLE! Put down you S’mores, your Sunday School Camp blanky, step away from the campfire before someone suggests “Kumbaya! One more time!” and start kicking some ass!

    Did you learn NOTHING from the film “Milk”? As pointed out: the SELF-DEFEATINGLY named “Queer Lounge” and its hipper-than-thou D-listers like Reichen and Alec Mapa stampeding for the gift bags and it more-awful-than-the-last-hundred “queer” films [read trash] have done NOTHING to educate the Mecca for MORmONS.

    In fact, Neil Giuliano and his disOrgnization SAAD have done very little for the past 20 years. Yes, he inherited the beast that was already politically castrated but he’s done NOTHING to get its balls back.

    VISIBILITY isn’t our problem. Hell, if we were any more visible in California we’d leave a phosphor imprint on the Straightnics’ eyeballs. But they still voted us out of the state constitution. Their brainwashed, psychologically damaged offspring are still blasting the brains out of our 15-yr. old versions. Anyone remember Lawrence King? He’ll NEVER get married. ANYWHERE!

    The Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott in 1955 worked for one reason and one reason alone and it was NOT because ***racists had a religious revelation one morning and stopped hating blacks. It was ECONOMICS. They finally found that they could live with blacks sitting in any damn seat they wanted to as long as ***their livelihoods were stable.

    Stop thinking that you discovered/invented civil rights activism. Read up on what worked before and what was a waste of time. And the bottomline [pun intended] is that only when blacks for their own rights and early gay “zappers” and, later, ACT UP turned their anger OUTward and started DISRUPTING the lives of oppressors did things CHANGE.

    Y’all remember “Change,” don’t you?

  • horus

    i lived for one year in SLC. my partner is from there, he is not a mormon, thank god. SLC is very liberal, their mayor rocky anderson is so cool, he is always going toe to toe with LDS. i would put him on par with gavin newsome. in any case i cannot in good conscience spend money in the state of utah. the way the state is set up it is impossible to avoid having money spent there from getting into the hands of the abominable LDS. and that unfortunately is not acceptable for me. i do not want to negatively impact our friends in SLC, but this is non negotiable.

  • Jere

    the funniest part of this debate, IMO, is that Sundance is essentially run by gay and very queer-friendly people. Robert Redford is basically a figurehead, and the actual managing staff (based out of LA) is heavily influenced by gay men.

  • Chris


    OK — so how is Sundance going to give voice to equal rights for people since they continue to support Utah — what specifically are they going to do for gay people who have suffered this injustice? How are we going to make/cajole them into doing it?

  • An Other Greek


    you must mean the saddest part…


  • John

    @Jere: @An Other Greek:
    Why is that funny?? Should they not be embarrassed??

  • mark

    I will make one last request of Queer Lounge sponsors and guests and organizers. Read the last two pages of Paul Monette’s essays Last Watch of the Night, it concerns collaboration vs. resistance, and even though it’s written just after the 1993 March on Washington, it’s still relevant.

  • hardmannyc

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to boycott California? That state voted for Prop. 8.

  • Stenar

    The Cinemark theatre in Park City is not THE landmark theatre of Sundance. It’s a very small theatre that shows mostly documentary films. There is no “Landmark” theatre at Sundance, but if there was it would be the Eccles theatre, NOT Holiday Village. DUH.

  • NateinSLC

    So guys, as a gay man living in Utah, it is super-frustrating to come on here and read everyone’s comments. Salt Lake and Park City are two bastions of liberalism in a neo-conservative heartland.

    Boycotting Utah may sound like a good idea, but becoming involved in the movement and becoming informed about how to help people in the LGBT community across the country will be more beneficial than striking out in anger against a whole state. You can’t change the system by wishing it out of existence and ignoring it. Do any of you have Mormon friends, family, or neighbors? Have you talked to them about how they feel, and if they’ve talked to their local clergy about it?

    There are steps being taken to make things better for the LGBT folks here in Utah, and we’re hoping that things can get better. I’m stuck here for the moment due to college, but I think there is hope for this place.

    Also, do any of you have any suggestions as to when this supposed boycott should end? There is a group of bills sponsored by Equality Utah called the Common Ground Initiative. They are trying to get a few protections in place for those of us who are still in Utah.

    And did any of you know that there are more openly gay state legislators in Utah(3) than in California(2)?

    You all seem to think that this will help you, but are your efforts coordinated enough to make a difference?

  • mark

    I was raised by a Mormon mother who converted when I was 4 yo to my father’s faith, half my extended family are LDS members in SLC and some moved to Vegas.
    LGBTs can’t financially hurt the LDS elders or church, so boycotting Utah is our means to curbing these elders. NOTHING happens in Utah politics, or Utah Courts, or Utah businesses without the consent of the LDS Church…and you KNOW it.

  • An Other Greek

    By Kyle Buchanan, 9:48 AM on Thu Nov 13 2008, 5,617 views

    Though many “No on 8” protesters have been talking about a Utah-penalizing boycott of the Sundance Film Festival, we initially wrote the idea off as unrealistic (though it provides a great face-saving maneuver for rejected indie filmmakers!). Now, though, David Poland has brought to light a direct impact that one “Yes on Prop 8” donor — the CEO of the Cinemark theater chain — could potentially have on the festival:

    And with that, Sundance (and the media, in particular) will face its first real and direct challenge… as Cinemark owns the Holiday Village Cinemas, where many of the press screenings are during Sundance. In fact, it is the only real theater – the rest are built in ballrooms for the purpose – used for press screenings during the festival.

    So now we have something real on the table. Are those of us in the media who are supportive of the constitutional rights of gays in Americsa [sic] obliged to pass on any screening in the Holiday Village Cinemas (where, ironically, I once saw liberals enraged because the great neo-Nazi doc, Blood in the Face, was not clear enough about being anti-Nazi). What about the indie publicists, most of the male species of which are gay? Do they work that cinema? Do their cliients [sic] just say “no?”

    Yes, those poor gay publicists — whatever will they do?! The idea of boycotting the Holiday Village gives protesters (and the festival itself) a tangible objective, even if the HV is typically seen as the “afterthought theatre” where movies not big enough to play at the Yarrow 1 and 2 typically end up. Still, think of the plush stadium seating that will be lost! Can the Sundance press corps afford that sacrifice?

  • NateinSLC

    Mark, there are very few things that happen on a statewide level without the Elders of the LDS Church making a statement. However, at the beginning of Ralph Backer’s term as mayor of Salt Lake, he put together a Mutual Commitment Registry (watered-down version of a domestic partner registry) through to the Salt Lake City Council. It passed unanimously and every member of that council is Mormon.

    I’m guessing that most gay people don’t venture to Utah or buy products from here anyways, and a total boycott of the state won’t do much good, especially since the effort is very coordinated and a boycott will only hinder the progress of Utah in this particular arena. Isn’t there a better way to do something like this?


  • The Gay Numbers

    This was as predictable as night and day. Sundance is a business. There’s nothing wrong with that. but that’s what it is.

  • mark

    poetic justice?
    Looking through a list of gay and gay friendly? films listed on Queer Lounge site. for next years January event.
    The one I noticed being played at CINEMARK is Edward ll,
    for those who didn;t see it, the queer king of England is executed by having a white hot poker shoved up his ass.
    Think Cinemark is acting out sideways with this OLD queer flick going for less than 5 bucks on DVD on Amazon, and made in 1992…ya think?
    I know how Edward felt, btw. in a strange twist of fate, because of my Mormon Great Grandmother, and my Grandmother’s interest in genealogy, I know I am decended from Edward…funny huh?

    Nate do you know another way to make sure the LDS elders don’t attack other LGBTs in another state next election?
    My plan may be imperfect, but it’ll at least cause some pain to the elders, even if it’s ONLY a few areas of Utah telling them to go f*ck themselves.

  • mark

    one other thing, ONLY 35% of Utahans VOTED, how about doubling that number and see what strength the LDS has THEN?

  • NateinSLC

    That figure comes form the 2006 midterm elections.

    I would say that the best way to avoid the attack of the Elders is to weaken them at the base. Boycott a few LDS-owned businesses where the member is documented to have donated. Also, reach out and talk to individual members that can be persuaded and let them know why you think their churches stance was wrong. That includes all of your family members that are still active.

    There is a lot of work that could be done, and I’m not sure how best to go about it, but focused boycotts, such as the one on Cinemark, are much easier to coordinate and more effective at producing results.

    I recognize that the solutions to this issue don’t seem entirely clear right now, but I think that there are possibilities out there that aren’t quite visible yet.

  • michael

    There are those who only buy free range meats because they do not want there money to go to those who mistreat animals.

    There are those who purchase hybrid automobiles because they
    do not want to aid in the harming of the planet.

    There are those who buy fair trade coffee because they want to support the farmers who grow it and see they get a fair wage.

    These are just a few of hundreds of ways some people choose to spend their money because they believe its right for themselves and others. Even though they do this the companies who are not socially and environmentally conscious still go on.

    It is the same with Sundance. It does not matter if refusing to spend your money with them hurts them or not. Its about doing the right thing for yourself and others. Yes there will be plenty of Hollywood whores and wannabes that will sell their souls for a
    gift bag from some venue. Yes, we can argue that it does not directly hurt the ones we wish it would. But I believe everything we do that is right for ourselves will have an effect, even if we do not see it right away. We have a choice, no matter how small, that we can make that tells the universe how serious we are about what we want. Why do you think that individuals and small groups of people have been able to move mountains. Why do you think that civil rights movement was successful? Not because there were power in their numbers, they were far out numbered, they won because of their persevered, because they made choices that were in line with what they believed they deserved and in the end they won. Even Madonna once said that
    the universe will move heaven and earth if you want something bad enough. I believe it will for us as well. So follow your heart and do what is right for yourself. No matter how small you may think its effect will be. Because in the end, your actions may be the ones that tip the iceberg in our favor.

  • mark

    LDS elders don’t need profits from US businesses owned by their members, they are GLOBAL, and unless you expect us to launch international boycotts against them, the tithes coming in worldwide will STILL fund these Hateful Bishops political attacks on US.

    btw. in case some wealthy international queers read here, you could buy out some of the Cinemark theaters in your countries.

  • mark

    I know Civil Rights leaders hate comparrisons to them, but Rosa Parks didn’t employ a think tank and have a community consensus when she refused to sit in the back of the bus…she just said NO.
    People in Stonewall bar didn’t have a plan of action to work by…they just said F*CK NO!

  • sloane

    i am in complete agreement with ellen huang, i wouldn’t let some boycott happy fool fuck with MY money, job, and contacts either. this is absurd. how is establishing a queer foothold at sundance counteractive to fomenting more tolerance and acceptance of the gay community? and what exactly would boycotting sundance accomplish other than losing visibility and maybe engendering ire from some of the lgbt community’s most avid supporters?

  • mark


    you don’t quite get the concept of a boycott, it’s VOLUNTARY, no one puts a gun to anyone’s head to do it or not.

  • lilmoore

    mark – i hope you understand the word backlash – you’re going to boycott all Utah business, including those struggling LGBT and LGBT-friendly businesses and Sundance, the most liberal gay-friendly mainstream festival in the country – do you think taking the most progressive elements in Utah down is going to help? The LDS Church would like nothing more…it means, they get to spread their influence more in a culture war, gain more money and fund more anti-gay marriage ballot-initiatives around the country. Good job. Way to go, Mark. Way to be using your head.

    Did you know that after the passage of 8 in CA, the gay orgs in Utah held the Mormon Church’s feet to the fire, saying if the church stated they were for Civil Union in CA then, they should be consistent in their views in Utah. This is the kind of pressure we need on the Church to change, to publicly be held to the standards they stated. The Utah gay orgs are our first line of defense against the Church…you want to abandon them? deplete them of funds? good job, Mark. Way to go, way to use your head…

  • lilmoore

    saw this on another blog comment, this huge list of films, but without Sundance, many of these films wouldn’t have seen the light of day let alone world-wide audiences. I hope those wanting boycott understand the battle for equality started a long time ago before Nov 5, 2008, and that Sundance has affected so many people in the way of creating tolerance. some lgbt films launched at Sundance:

    The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008 Dramatic

    · For the Bible Tells Me So (2007 Documentary, Grand Jury Prize Nominee)

    · The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveras (2006 World Cinema, Dramatic Competition)

    · Small Town Gay Bar (2006 Documentary, Grand Jury Prize Nominee)

    · The Dying Gaul (2005 Dramatic Competition, Grand Jury Prize Nominee)

    · The Joy of Life (2005)

    · Brother To Brother (2004 Dramatic Competition)

    · Saving Face (2004)

    · A Thousand Clouds of Peace (2004)

    · Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (2003 Documentary Competition)

    · Party Monster (2003 Dramatic Competition)

    · D.E.B.S. (2003 Short)

    · No Dumb Questions (2002 Honorable Mention, Short Filmmaking Award)

    · Daddy & Papa (2002 Documentary Competition)

    · By Hook or By Crook (2002)

    · Scout’s Honor (2001 Freedom of Expression Award & Audience Award, Documentary Competition)

    · Hedwig & The Angry Inch (2001 Directing Award & Audience Award Dramatic Competition)

    · Confusion of Genders (2000)

    · Johnny Greyeyes (2000)

    · Edge of Seventeen (1998)

    · Beefcake (1998)

    · Hide & Seek (1997 Documentary Competition)

    · Paul Monette: The Brink of Summer’s End (1997 Audience Award, Documentary Competition)

    · Late Bloomers (1996 Dramatic Competition)

    · Celluloid Closet (1996 Freedom of Expression Award, Documentary Competition)

    · Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter (1995 Documentary Competition)

    · Postcards from America (1995 Dramatic Competition)

    · Go Fish (1994 Dramatic Competition)

    · Coming Out Under Fire (1994 Special Jury Recognition, Documentary Competition)

    · Nitrate Kisses (1993 Documentary Competition)

    · The Living End (1992)

    · Edward II (1992)

    · Swoon (1992, Cinematography Award, Dramatic Competition)

    · Poison (1991 Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic Competition)

    · Chuck Solomon: Coming of Age (1988 Documentary Competition)

    · Parting Glances (1986)

    · Desert Hearts (1986 Honorable Mention, Dramatic Competition)

    · Before Stonewall (1985 Documentary Competition)

    · The Times of Harvey Milk (1985 Special Jury Prize, Documentary Competition)

  • mark

    During Colorado boycott LGBT businesses in their state, got some assistance from Nationally raised funds, there is no reason we would treat those Utah businesses with less generosity.
    The bills Utah equality proposed, the LDS church has IGNORED…boy wasn’t THAT a G*D DAMN suprise?

  • mark

    Sundance does have a history of helping LGBT films, and they could continue to help Indie films OUTSIDE Utah too.
    Sundance once held the position of THE film festival for smaller films, they still are prestigious, but they aren’t the ONLY major film festival…EVERY major city has one.
    Instead of bankrolling Sundance and Utah why doesn’t GLAAD and all our advertisers, (Advocate, HERE channel, Showtime, Budweiser, Absolut) put some major events around THOSE film festivals.

  • mark

    the listing of Monette’s film above brought to mind this quote I mentioned yesterday
    Here’s a portion of Paul Monette’s final essay of Last Watch of the Night concerning Conservative Gays, and gays who don’t define themselves as gay.
    “But which of us is the stereotype here? The meek and proper clerks and choirboys, undercooked, and undisclosed, assimilationists at all costs? “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” so deeply ingrained, they can sport it as a serial tattoo when the camps are ready.
    Time alone will tell whether resistance or collaboration is more in our best interests as a people. For the present, by all means let them be not gay, not gender-varient, not ghettoized, with nary a sequin to betray them. Prim and smug and Puritan by choice, far removed from any culture that smacks of sub.
    But I give them fair warning that I for one am taking it all personally… too personally, in fact. Keeping a file of mealiness, of pandering to creeps, of accomadation with the enemy. I don’t really have the choice to ignore it, because it’s happening on my watch.”
    ~paul monette 1993

  • mark

    One other facet of the Queer Lounge circumventing the Utah Boycott. The boycott retaliation against the LDS elders (who funded 4 of every 5 dollars of prop 8), is a pressure valve for an entire country of ANGRY LGBTs. If you gum up that pressure valve, that anger is going to be channeled in other means, which aren’t purely financial. The folks at Queer Lounge KNOW how angry many of us are STILL, and where would they direct that anger? Don’t shut one avenue and not open something else, that would lead to chaos…and you don’t want THAT!

  • blake

    You’re conflating the actions of a church with the entire state of Utah. You are also asking for a boycott of a film festival run by liberals with a LONG history of pro-gay endeavors. Picking a fight and trying to hurt a festival that has fought for LGBT people for decades is wrong-headed.

    The Sundance Film Festival cannot pack up and appear some place else. Where should it go? California? Arizona? Florida? Michigan? Oh, that’s right, those are all states with anti-gay marriage rights legislation on the books along with 20+ other states.

    How many of you demanding a boycott have ever been to Sundance or any where else in Utah?

    Thank God the Civil Rights movement was led by more shrewder individuals than many of you. Where would California be if Harvey Milk had as little understanding of power and politics as some of you?

    Read a history book!

  • Chrissypoo

    Sundance has made some concessions here. They have stated that any film that is shown at the Cinemark theaters will be shown at least once at one of the non-cinemark venues.

    Park City is extremely gay friendly. Queer Lounge is practically given the key to the city. If you go, you’ll bump into the mayor of Park City and many residents both gay and straight who support the lounge.

    If you look at the Park City Record newspaper, there have been plenty of supportive stories and letters to the editor.

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. For any boycott to work, it must be at a specific target. The California Musical Theaters and El Coyote are two examples of a good specific target that boycotting worked. A general — everyone in this state is tough to pull off to make it effective.

    We don’t want to hurt those that are supporting us by making them collateral damage because they live in Park City.

    “Instead of bankrolling Sundance and Utah why doesn’t GLAAD and all our advertisers, (Advocate, HERE channel, Showtime, Budweiser, Absolut) put some major events around THOSE film festivals.”

    Just some quick history — GLAAD only recently acquired the Queer Lounge. The Queer Lounge started at Sundance because there was no central meeting point for gays and lesbians at the festival (other than a Sunday Brunch). It has gone to one other festival — Toronto International Film Festival where is was a success, but not financially. In order for the QL concept to work, the mainstream film festival must have a history of GLBT films and a gay audience. It works best at film festivals that don’t already have major gay meeting spaces (Park City has no gay bars).

  • mark

    So for Queer Lounge to be sucessful they have to be located in a city with NO OTHER queer community, which would have it’s own meeting places.
    Being the gayest area of Utah, is so low a f*cking bar you could stub your toe on it. that’s like being the wealthiest area of an Arkansas trailor park.
    move sundance website recommends New Mexico, as does several websites for ski packages and hotels and B abd B’s…a niche market made specificly for people boycotting Utah.

  • mark

    I said before, the BEST announcement Sundance and Queer Lounge could make is “after 2009, the NEXT 25 years won’t be in Utah”…otherwise the PR fiasco they get this season, is on THEIR HANDS.

  • Travis

    @Erik: I hear what you are saying and do agree its a tough one. But I know if I go to Park City a lot of my gay money will end up in Mormon hands for the next vote. I say move Sundance to gay friendly state – Massachusetts and Connecticut come to mind. Even Santa Fe would be a better choice. We have got to stop giving money to people who rather us be dead.

  • sloane

    mark- i understand the concept of a boycott completely, it seems that you’re the one who’s having a hard time comprehending what it is and what the reprecussions could be for one as silly as this one. and if a boycott is voluntary why are you and john aravosis trying to coerce ellen huang into doing it? she already said she didn’t want to participate, so why are you are you harping on it?

  • libhomo

    GLAAD’s decision to betray the LGBT civil rights movement is disturbing, but hardly surprising. It is now run by an infamous gay Republican, Neil Giuliano. Under his “leadership,” GLAAD has done next to nothing to fight the rampant heterosexism in the entertainment industry.

  • Chrissypoo

    @libhomo: Please — they aren’t betraying LGBT civil rights. Let go your pearls!

  • Melanie

    As a film student in Salt Lake City, I would have to be crazy not to go to Sundance.
    As a lesbian, I am happy that the Queer Lounge will be at Sundance again this year. It’s presence means that I will have somewhere in Park City to go and meet like-minded, film-loving queers that support and love my community.
    As an activist, I will attend the Queer Lounge’s panel discussions that undoubtedly will address civil rights and motivate their audiences into action.
    Withdrawal of the Queer Lounge would not be a slap in the face to any Mormons in Utah; it would be that much less visibility in a place that truly needs it.

  • Jenni Olson

    There are so many other productive ways to direct our energy and make progress toward achieving our full civil rights. Everyone is welcome to express their viewpoints. But Sundance is one of the gayest festivals on the planet and continues to advance LGBT visibility as it always has. I stand by them 100%.

    My short film, 575 CASTRO ST. (a portrait of the Castro Camera Store set of Gus Van Sant’s MILK set to the original audio-cassette recorded by Harvey Milk in November 1977 to be played, ‘in the event of my death by assassination’) will be playing at the Holiday Village Cinema on Tuesday January 20th at 2:30pm (in front of the documentary, SHOUTING FIRE: STORIES FROM THE EDGE OF FREE SPEECH). Hope to see you all there!

    Jenni Olson
    Director, 575 CASTRO ST.

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