By Hans Pedersen, June 2016 Issue.
Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party
Available in theaters, On Demand DVD
Gay filmmaker Stephen Cone is reportedly the son of a Southern Baptist minister and, in this coming-of-age indie film, he clearly taps into the challenges of coming out in a religious community. Henry (Cole Doman) is the son of a pastor who’s celebrating his 17th birthday with friends and family, including his dad, mom and sister – each of whom is struggling with a secret. Also attending the party is Henry’s closeted friend, Logan, who has a massive crush on him. Despite a slow first act and some stereotypical portrayals, the movie has earned acclaim and awards from several film festivals.
Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson
Available in theaters, On Demand and DVD
This intriguing documentary plays out like a crime story, dramatizing the search for the truth about what happened to lesbian artist Edith Lake Wilkinson, who vanished in the 1920s. Created by Emmy-winning director Jane Anderson, the painter’s great niece, the film shows how the artist was thriving in the small burgeoning art world in Provincetown – until she was sent to an asylum, that is. Wilkinson was never seen again, just like her paintings, which were packed up and shipped off to relatives. It’s up to Anderson to pull away the layers and share this deeply personal tale of her talented relative.
Children of God
Available on DVD June 14
Winner of several awards at LGBTQ film festivals, this steamy cross-cultural love story is set in a remote island in the Bahamas. A cute art student (Johnny Ferro) finds inspiration in paradise when he falls for a handsome musician named Romeo (Stephen T. Williams), who identifies as straight. A subplot about a pastor’s wife who gets a venereal disease, apparently from her husband, helps round out this story about religious intolerance and homophobia in the tropics. Written and directed by Kareem Moritmer, the movie has been praised for its strong acting and lush cinematography.
In theaters June 17
Best known as the person who really put “being out” on the map, comedian/TV show host Ellen DeGeneres voices the lead role in this 3-D computer-animated sequel to the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo. As we revisit the popular characters, Dory the forgetful blue tang fish wakes up from a dream. She suddenly remembers details about her family, and with a little help from her friends, she ventures out to find them. The big question: will the Finding Nemo submarine ride at Disneyland be updated with an overlay called Finding Dory? Eugene Levy, Diane Keaton & Albert Brooks lend their vocal talents as well.