Queering Sundance: What’s Gay At This Year’s Sundance Film Festival?

Over the next week, Evan Mulvihill will be reporting on the best gay-interest screenings, parties and panels at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (PS: Check in on our sister site, GayCities, if you’re going!) 

This year, there are more than 200 feature films screening at the Sundance Film Festival—and that’s not even counting the shorts! Many address LGBT themes, are helmed by gay directors or feature out actors and actresses.

One film getting a lot of advance notice, Ira Sachs’ Keep The Lights On (above) is drawing comparisons to last year’s critical hit Weekend: It also details a drug-fueled, sex-filled gay love story—though over the course of ten years, not 48 hours.

In the documentary corner, David France’s How to Survive a Plague details the emergence of groundbreaking AIDS activism, while Love Free Or Die (left) follows the story of gay bishop Gene Robinson, whose ordination is still causing shockwaves through the Episcopal church.

There’s a bunch of films with gay co-stars or queer undertones, from Young and Wild—lesbian director Marialy Rivas‘s look at a repressed young woman’s sexual evolution—to The Thing, an unconventional road-trip flick involving a transgender man’s journey to a strange roadside attraction.

If there’s any justice, these and many other Sundance films will appear at your local moviehouse—or at least in your NetFlix queue.

Are you eagerly awaiting one of these flicks or another Sundance selection? Unleash your inner Ebert in the comments.


Click through for a preview of some of the top gay-interest films coming to the Sundance Film Festival this year.


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  • Interesting

    The gay content seems disconnected from our times versus what is being described as looking at America in decline for the rest of the movies in screening.

  • Lefty

    @Interesting: Or the Sundance programmers think representations of gay themes are intrinsically tied up with the decline of (American) society?

    That’s an interesting thing: maybe the direction of gay rights/representation runs counter to most people’s perception of the direction of society as a whole? We’re making progress bit by bit, while society is declining bit by bit – and that’s why some people see a correlation between the two? I was joking about Sundance buying into this and clearly only idiots/bigots would see such a correlation – but it is an interesting difference. Maybe straight society is burning out and we’re the optimists/catalysts of the bright future/ :D

  • Interesting

    @Lefty: No, I think its a representation of the limited amount (a) movies made about gays (b) the fact that the people making them have a limited range of subject matter they want to cover (that’s why I was stunned to see low income gays in a movie like Brokeback Mountain- I mean in gayville low income gays don’t exist), (c) The straights aren’t going to cover if we don’t and (d) gay rights is in vogue so “edgy” and “hip” remains including something gay even if its out of step.

    The reality of course is that we are just as burnt out as the rest of society. Ever try having a discussion about non-gay issues with a bunch of gays? Ask them about economic issues? If anything, they are worst than the heterosexual majority.

    Its just a disappointment that no one has made grade movies about a wide range of gay experiences. Its like when i see movies about African-Americans, and they are all in an urban setting. Its like black people don’t live anywhere else.

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