Culture » Film

Off the Beaten Path

Downtown documentary screenings address homeless youth, the environment


Far from the brightly colored, prefabricated multiplexes surrounding the city, notable film screenings in the upcoming two weeks will take place in two of downtown's older, warmer and fuzzier spaces -- All Souls Unitarian Church and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

Out in the Cold, a documentary exploring the difficult lives of gay, homeless youth will be screened Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m. at All Souls, 730 North Tejon St. Filmmaker and Denverite Eric Criswell will be on hand to introduce the film. Criswell, producer and director of Out in the Cold, previously collaborated with Los Angeles co-director Martin Begodne on the award-winning documentary Journey to a Hate Free Millennium.

"Rejected by family, condemned by society and facing verbal and physical abuse, many [gay youth] turn to the streets," says the narrative voiceover. "Once there, they're forced to survive any way that they can." Some estimates claim that up to 40 percent of homeless youth are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Out in the Cold follows homeless youth in Denver, Los Angeles and Indianapolis, casting a cold eye on the realities of life on the streets for kids who have already been marginalized by the society in which they live.

Funded in large part by the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Out in the Cold is the first documentary to address this subject. A companion Educational Resource and Action package, including a 25-minute version of the film, is available from the CIRE Foundation. E-mail for details. Admission to Out in the Cold is free. The screening is sponsored by local nonprofits Colorado Springs PFLAG and Inside/Out Youth Group.

The following Saturday, April 19, will see the MountainFilm Festival on Tour at the Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale St. Sponsored by the Pikes Peak Group of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Sierra Club, this evening-long festival will feature films on nature and environmental issues culled from the Telluride MountainFilm Festival 2002. Of particular interest is Oscar-winning director Frederic Back's film The Mighty River which explores the life of a river, entreating the audience to undo the damage that has been done to many of our great waterways.

Tickets to the MountainFilm Festival are $20 in advance, $22 at the door, and are available at Mountain Chalet (226 North Tejon), REI (1376 E. Woodmen Road) and Eastern Mountain Sports in the Citadel Mall.

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