The 2013 Sundance Film Festival starts this week, and with it come a slew of LGBT-related movies that will pop up at other fests, cineplexes and awards shows in the year to come.
One film on everybody’s lips (okay, ours) is Kill Your Darlings, the true-crime drama about a murder involving young Beat writers Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston).
Kyle Patrick Alvarez adapts the work of out satirist David Sedaris in C.O.G., whichsees out Glee actor Jonathan Groff playing a young Sedaris type stuck in rural Oregon.
In Yen Tan’s Pit Stop, the lives of two working-class gay men in a small Texas town run parallel, before they finally converge.
James Franco and I Want Your Love director Travis Mathews bring “Interior. Leather Bar,” their avant-garde redux of the gay erotic thriller Cruising, to the famed festival. The experimental project imagines what was in the 40 minutes director William Friedkin allegedly cut from the original to avoid an X rating.
Out filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Freidman—collaborators on iconic docs like Paragraph 175, The Celluloid Closet, and The Times of Harvey Milk—team up for Lovelace, a bio-pic about Linda Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried) and the breakthrough porn movie Deep Throat.
In Stacie Passon’s Concussion, a frustrated lesbian housewife leads a double life in the city after suffering a nasty blow to the head.
Among the short films screening at Sundance is “The Battle of amfAR,” which explores how Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor and research scientist Dr. Mathilde Krim came together to create America’s first AIDS research foundation. “Fall to Grace,” from Alexandra Pelosi (The Trials of Ted Haggard), revistis former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, who entered the seminary after coming out of the closet. Other LGBT-inclusive shorts include “Seraph,” “Social Butterfly,” and Israeli filmmakers Sharon Maymon’s and Tal Ganit’s “Summer Vacation.”
In the field of documentaries comes director Marta Cunningham’s haunting Valentine Road, which explores the causes and aftermath of the murder of gay student Lawrence King by classmate Brandon McInerney in 2008.
Russia’s queer feminist icons come under the microscope in Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, which look at the band’s message and art—even as they face seven years in prison. The very-timely God Loves Uganda investigates the role of Christian fundamentalists—both native preachers and American missionaries—in waging a war there against “sexual immorality.”
In the late 1990s, a group of activists worked tirelessly to get antiretroviral drugs to AIDS-stricken Africa, despite interference from Western governments and pharmaceutical companies. Their efforts are recounted in Fire in the Blood.
Then there’s kink, James Franco’s documentary about fetish-porn site Kink.com and its massive headquarters in San Francisco. Franco has obviously been getting into some dark stuff lately.
Check back for more LGBT coverage at Sundance. For a full list of features, docs, shorts and more, visit the Sundance Film Festival website.