Pride PEI Chair John Kimmel (left) and Pride PEI Director Dave Stewart review some classic queer films at City Cinema in preparation for the organization’s upcoming film series. [Photo: Dave Morrow]

Queer film classics

First public Island screening for many titles at City Cinema

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Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen is a new initiative of Pride PEI that brings six queer film classics to City Cinema in Charlottetown for their first public screening on PEI.

Pride PEI Director Dave Stewart and Pride PEI Chair John Kimmel put the series together with the assistance of their fellow Pride PEI board member Hal Atwood.

“Pride has been looking for new initiatives to serve the community beyond the annual Pride Festival that we present,” says Stewart. “John, Hal and I are all film fanatics, so this seemed a natural outlet for us.”

The series kicks off on March 9 at 6:30 pm, with each subsequent screening taking place on Sunday afternoons every two weeks starting March 14.

“Pride PEI’s ‘must-screen’ list of Queer Cinema includes more than 260 entries, and everyone has their classic favourites—and their blind spots,” explains Pride PEI Chair John Kimmel, “which is why we’ve adopted a ‘secret-cinema’-style approach to this first set of films. We want to surprise and delight attendees with a great film they’ve either seen and love, or they’ve never heard of or had the chance to [see] before, so we’re keeping mum on the film titles until attendees show up. We’ve got six can’t-lose films, most of which you won’t be able to find on a streaming service!”

Accompanying each feature film is one of six short episodes of “Before Grindr: The Secret Social History of PEI.” This series, produced by Dave Stewart and Laura Chapin with support from Pride PEI, PEERS Alliance and the Government of PEI via the PEI Arts Grants, features queer Islanders relating the social history of the queer community here in PEI.

“It’s important for the queer community to see ourselves on the screen, to see stories that reflect us, no matter how over the top that might be sometimes,” say Stewart. “We’ve chosen movies ranging from camp disco classics to contemporary dramas. We try to represent the range of our community with this series.”

Admission to each screening is pay what you can with a suggested donation of $10. Full series passes are also available at a discounted rate. Each admission includes popcorn.

There are only 30 seats available per show. Tickets are available at bit.ly/ppei-secretcinema and at the door 30 minutes before each screening.

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