QDoc 9 is just around the corner. Every year, Portland’s own queer documentary film fest sets the bar high with a selection of films that do justice to the scope of LGBTQ experiences. Here are nine reasons to celebrate QDoc’s ninth year, beginning this Thursday, May 14th.
1. Almost every good-sized city boasts a queer film fest or two, but to attend another festival focused on LGBTQ documentaries, you’d need airfare to Bucharest (that’s right, Portland’s got the only one in the Western hemisphere).
2.Now that it’s at the Hollywood Theatre instead of Kennedy School, you no longer have to navigate around sluggish clumps of meandering hotel guests to get to your movie. The adventurous programming style of the Hollywood is a perfect match for QDoc, and I hope it’s the beginning of a long partnership.
3. Like a great episode of 30 for 30, the opening night doc Game Face pries out the kernel of humanity that animates professional sports. It brings a swell to the hearts of even those of us who can’t be persuaded to care about athletics. (For those of you who do, former NBA star Jason Collins will be at the opening night.)
4. Co-Programmer David Weissman happens to be a talented documentarian himself with two great films under his belt: We Were Here and The Cockettes. He and festival collaborator Russ Gage have an eye for the offbeat and strike a nice balance between the serious and the entertaining.
7. QDoc cares about the kids: anyone age 23 or younger can get into films free of charge. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve free tickets.
8. Directors are in attendance for almost every film, so all burning questions can and will be answered. (Let’s all remember to be on our best Q&A behavior.)
9. It’s a special thing to watch films about secret histories in a public space. You find yourself watching a story unfold surrounded by people who lived through it. My fondest memory of a QDoc past: watching Lesbiana, a film about ’70s-era lesbian separatists, with a delighted audience of grandmotherly older women and getting a hint of their radical pasts.