We are back again for the 2017 edition of the Hot Docs Film Festival reviewing films, and keeping an ear to the ground to see what has audiences buzzing. Last year’s festival screened two of the nominees for the 2017 Best Documentary Feature Oscar including the eventual winner OJ: Made in America, so there’s no doubt that once again the year’s best docs will be on full display.
As the gay liberation movement began to rise in America in the 1970s and 80s, so too did the world gay male pornography. Gay men were flocking to New York and San Francisco, demanding visibility and with that pornography came with it. One of the legendary pioneers of the industry was Chuck Holmes, founder and owner of Falcon Studios. Director Michael Stabile’s documentary Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story chronicles the story of how one of the most influential people in the gay world defied the odds and defined a generation of gay men’s sexuality.
Finding a community that understands you and that you can be a part of can save a young transgender person’s life. For them to know that there is a whole world waiting for them out there able to accept them for exactly who they are is empowering. This is the transformative experience 10-year-old Crystal goes through with her mother and queer roller derby league The Vagine Regime. In her documentary In The Turn, director Erica Tremblay has crafted a compelling, reaffirming film that has the potential to be a wonderful tool for education.
With professional athletes coming out being an important story right now in the LGBT community, several documentaries chronicling the lives of these people are beginning to emerge. One of the latest is Michiel Thomas’s Game Face. The film tells the story of transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox and gay basketball player Terrence Clemens, two athletes sharing parallel struggles in their quest to find respect in the sports world.
The 1950’s was the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema. It was a time of studio contracts, strict public images, and of legendary stars. One of the biggest celebrities in America was Tab Hunter, a beautiful blond hair, blue eyed boy next door. Every man wanted to be him and every girl wanted to date him. Behind his meteoric rise to fame lied a secret that if exposed, would lead to the downfall of his career. Tab Hunter was gay in time where being homosexual was still illegal and classified as a mental disease. Jeffrey Schwarz’s film Tab Hunter Confidential intimately chronicles the difficult double life of one of the biggest stars of the era.