ITS NAME MIGHT be limited, but the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival brings together a spectrum of sexual orientations, gender identities, and personal experiences under one nonbinary umbrella.
Of particular note among the varied lineup is the Portland-made drama The Falls: Testament of Love (screens Oct 5 at Cinema 21), the sequel to The Falls, which opened at last year's festival. The Falls was about two handsome young Mormon missionaries who fell in love on their mission; the sequel fast forwards five years to find one of the pair out and living in Seattle, while the other's gotten married and squished his homosexual impulses. To his credit—if also my own slight dissatisfaction as a prurient audience member—filmmaker Jon Garcia focuses as much on the struggle between religion and obligation as it does on the men's steamy reunion. Here's hoping for a third film.
Other festival standouts include the uplifting documentary Before You Know It (Oct 6, Clinton Street Theater), which explores how elderly gay men find community after retirement, including a Portlander in his 70s who only came out after the death of his wife.
The festival opener, Bridegroom (Oct 4, Cinema 21) is about Shane Bitney Crone, whose fiancé died before they could get legally married. Crone's video about his fiancé's death drew more than four million views on YouTube; Crone will be in attendance to talk about his experiences. Other promising films include a documentary about transgender comedian Ian Harvie (Ian Harvie: Superhero, Oct 10, Cinema 21), a look at the gay rights movement in African American communities (The New Black, Oct 12, Cinema 21), and plenty of love stories about people finding happiness, regardless of how stacked against them the deck might seem.