Celebrating its 27th anniversary, BENT-Sacramento International LGBTQ Film Festival is a spectacular community and cultural event consisting of three days of LGBTQ film, local food, beer, wine and live entertainment. BENT Film Fest will take place the weekend of October 12-14, at the Crest Theatre (1013 K Street) in downtown Sacramento. Each year, BENT Film Fest coincides with the national LGBTQ History Month in October, an observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of gay rights.
“Why the name change? Sacramento is growing and evolving; so is the festival,” said Michael Dennis, BENT Board President. “We have updated our festival name from SIGLFF (Sacramento International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival) as the name was a bit cumbersome and the acronym was tricky to pronounce. Plus, gay and lesbian no longer encompass who we are as a community the way LGBTQ does. Why BENT? We love the various meanings of the word. BENT is not straight; BENT is queer. BENT is an inclination or natural talent. BENT is determined to do something big and bold; so are we.”
What hasn’t changed, however, is the mission of the festival to provide the community some of the best LGBTQ films each year. Six feature-length films and 18 short films will be showcased. Numerous filmmakers and special guests are expected to attend the Festival.
BENT Film Fest opens this year on Friday, October 12 with two feature presentations:
- Freelancers Anonymous – a madcap romp which blends romantic comedy and workplace politics. Writer/Actor Lisa Cordileone and actor Jennifer Bartels will be in attendance to introduce the film and do a post-screening Q&A session;
- 1985 – Yen Tan’s (Pit Stop) nostalgic and gorgeously realized new ensemble drama with standout performances by Corey Michael Smith, (The Riddler on Gotham, Carol), Michael Chiklis (Emmy/Golden Globe winner, The Shield), and Virginia Madsen (Academy Award Nominee, Sideways).
A sampling of other BENT Film Fest highlights include the following:
- The amazing Molly Shannon slyly shines as Emily Dickinson in the humorous drama Wild Nights with Emily, the centerpiece narrative film on Saturday afternoon;
- BENT has three unique feature documentaries: one of extra special interest to dog lovers, Life in the Doghouse, which looks at Danny & Ron’s Rescue, based out of their home in South Carolina that beautifully underscores the role of the community in making wise dog adoption choices. There will be a pet adoption event in front of the Crest Theatre from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. to accompany the Saturday matinee screening thanks to co-presenters, the Front Street Animal Shelter;
- Two other documentaries are cause for celebrating October as LGBTQ History Month: Dykes, Camera, Action! which investigates the history of queer women filmmakers; and 50 Years of Fabulous, which looks at the life of Jose Sarria and the half-century of activism of the Imperial Court. Director Jethro Patalinghug, Producer Marc Smolowitz, David Lassman, Executive Producer as well as members of the Imperial Council will be in attendance for the Closing documentary on Sunday.
Ticket and Pass prices to attend the 2018 BENT Film Fest include the following: $15 for General admission, $10 for Matinee; $70 VIP Festival Pass (includes all films, reception with complimentary pre-screening appetizers, beer, wine and bubbly plus free early entry at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday); $50 Film Only Festival Pass (includes all films but no pre-screening receptions); $35 One-Day Film+Reception Pass (includes all films and evening reception for one single day) and $15 Student Film Only Festival Pass (includes all films but no pre-screening receptions and students must bring current/active student ID with photo, with the same name as the pass to each screening).
For the second year, BENT Audience Awards carry cash prizes for the winning filmmakers ($750 for best feature-length film and $500 for best short film). Community attendance and votes help to support LGBTQ films and filmmakers. BENT Film Fest is funded in part by Visit Sacramento through funds generated by the Sacramento Tourism Marketing District.
For more detailed information and updates about BENT Film Fest, please check Facebook and the event website at BentFilmFest.org.