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The 6th annual Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival soothes the soul


What we have this weekend is nothing less than an international film festival with content that is mostly sexual, frequently gay and rarely boring.

With four of its feature films hailing from Europe (Germany, Spain, France) and one addressing the difficulty of being an Iranian woman in a foreign country, the variety of films at the 6th annual Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival is noteworthy.

Here's a brief rundown of highlights from the Springs' very own lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival -- features that aren't likely to get projected onto local multiplex screens. (Visit for showtimes and more info.

Opening night, Friday, Sept. 16


Showing at 8 p.m.; 7:30 welcome by City Councilman Richard Skorman; 6 p.m. gala reception. Opening Night Pass, $25.

This turn-of-the-century sex comedy features charming actors, gorgeous period costumes and sets, and some good jokes about our sexual hang-ups, framed around the rising cultural influence of Sigmund Freud. Alma (Leonor Watling), a nine-month pregnant feminist, enlists the help of her uptight brother-in-law Salvatore (Luis Tosar) to locate her missing husband Leon, a disciple of Freud.

Saturday, Sept. 17


An Iranian woman, Fariba (Jasmin Tabatabai), sheds her veil mid-flight from Tehran to Germany, then meets a fellow refugee in the airport restroom. He's fleeing persecution for his politics; she for her lesbian affair. Through a twist of fate, she takes on her new friend's identity, dressing as a man, and tries to navigate the world. Will a new lover still love her when she discovers he's really a girl? You'll see.


With one of the best-known casts in the festival, including Bonnie Hunt, Michael Learned and Tess Harper, this is one of the more mild-mannered entries. Set in three North Carolina locations, one subplot involves a woman seeking the child she gave up for adoption years ago; another peeks at the hypocritical faade of a married couple and their empty nest; yet another involves an HIV-positive young man and a gay hotel owner with an unresolved past.

Girl Play
This is the story of how Robin Greenspan and Lacie Harmon, the stars of the film, fell in love while making the play Real Girls. Yes, some navel-gazing. We get to hear about their former failures at love through many monologues on the subject, some very funny and clever, if a bit too long.

Summer Storm
Tobi (Robert Stadlober) and Achim (Kostja Ullmann) are mates on a high-school rowing team and have some suppressed homoeroticism going on. While on retreat, the team dissolves into sparring sides -- you're either straight or you're gay, and if you're gay, you suck -- and Tobi faces the difficulties and rewards of coming out.


Sunday, Sept. 18

Gay Republicans and Gay Sex in the '70s

Gay Republicans explores the rift among gays, Republicans and gay Republicans over gay marriage. Will the Log Cabin Republicans endorse George W. Bush or break with him over the issue? That's the dramatic trajectory of the film.
Gay Sex in the '70s, directed by ABC's "20/20" producer Joseph Lovett, looks at the cultural revolution of the '70s, drugs, sexual obsession and the emergence of AIDS, as well as the political ties forged during the period.

Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing
Director Linda Thornburg and cast member Antonia Krueger will be at the screening and will be available for Q&A afterward.


This dramatization of a semi-autobiographical May Sarton story, about a 70-year-old poet who finds fame with a younger generation of readers, is gentle, literate and genteel. The film flashes from the 1960s, when poet Hilary Stevens is being interviewed about her writing career, to her past and her many attempts to follow the muse. It marches through decades and her evolution into a soul model for a generation of women. The revelation of her lesbian relationships is artfully treated.

My Summer of Love
Probably the best commercial film of the festival, this is the story of two girls, Mona and Tamsin, and the summer they became inseparable and obsessively dependent on one another. Lingering in the background is Mona's evangelical brother Phil, who is building a huge cross from scrap metal and trying to rid their Yorkshire village of evil. Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, it was heralded by critics for the breakthrough performances of the two young leads, Natalie Press and Emily Blunt.

Cote d'Azur
This sophisticated French sex comedy has all the right ingredients: an intriguing ensemble cast, a scenic summer vacation destination and plenty of sexual send-ups and plot twists.

-- Kathryn Eastburn


Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival

Fri., Sept. 16 Sun., Sept. 18

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St.

Individual tickets $10, Opening Night Pass $25, Four Film Pass $35, Half Pass $50, Full Festival Pass, $75; visit or call 386-6843 (38-MOVIE).

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