OutReels Cincinnati returns to downtown in 2019 with a robust lineup of LGBTQ+-themed films

Prizm News / September 3, 2019 / By Megan Hagemen

The art of storytelling embedded in movies helps us to share our unique story when no other avenue would quite do it justice. Since 2012, OutReels Cincinnati has used feature films and compelling narratives to paint a picture and share the stories of the LGBTQ+ community in a way that evokes new thoughts and emotions. 

This year, the event is slated for November 21st-23rd and will around 15 short and full-length films submitted from all over the world. Time blocks of films will be interspersed with partnered events with neighboring bars and businesses, and enlightening talkback sessions led by distinguished producers, directors, and actors.

For a sneak peek of films to anticipate in 2019 and information on the event’s desired intent, Prizm turned to David Wolff, the festival’s director responsible for programming.

What will be new or different at this year’s OutReels Cincinnati?

This is the eighth year the festival has been held in Cincinnati and we’re excited to be back downtown this year at the Cincinnati World Cinema. The Warsaw Theater is great but the excitement is downtown. The Cinema is also right by gay-friendly bars and we partner with bars and restaurants for events. This year we are also holding events from Thursday to Saturday instead of Friday to Sunday, since the younger crowd is more active on Thursday nights.

What trends in the films or new story lines have emerged over the years?

Right now submissions are still open and we are still evaluating films for 2019. I think our country now is more political, and from what I’ve seen, some of the films talk about that hate and how people are feeling in the country. It’s interesting to see those feelings pulled through fiction. 

How are featured films chosen and how do you keep the lineup intersectional?

Keeping the festival diverse is the hardest thing to do because it’s really all about the community, and we want to incorporate films that appeal to everyone. We receive submissions and past festival filmmakers will reach out. But sometimes we have to reach out to people if we don’t have a good representation for trans people or people of color for example. It’s really important for us to reach all facets.

How do movies contribute to sharing the LBGTQ+ story as compared to other vehicles of expression?

Movies really help stories come to life. Also, here at the event, as opposed to sitting at home watching the movie yourself, people will come out into the lobby and will discuss the films. It sparks a conversation. You’ll see people laughing and even crying over the film they just watched.

People reach out to us after as well. One boy sent us an email after the festival one year saying he had brought his mom, and they talked about gay marriage for the first time when they got home. Another older African American man told us it was the first time he every truly saw himself reflected on the screen.

More information about OutReels Cincinnati can be found on their website.

Megan Hageman is a Columbus, Ohio-based freelance writer working within the field of social media and content marketing. Her writing ranges from articles on non-profits to advice for working women and California weddings and she can be reached at meghagey08@gmail.com.