PFLAG’s MoFest! film festival returns after three-year break

09/12/2013 12:00 AM

09/12/2013 10:41 AM

The Modesto chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays’ annual film festival is back after a three-year hiatus.

This year’s festival will feature nine short films at the Gallo Center for the Arts. The total running time should be just over two hours.

Bill Dotinga, the PFLAG Modesto chapter president, said the group had to cancel the festival for a while because of the economic downturn and the resulting loss of financial sponsorships. The poor economy seemed to hurt gay and lesbian filmmakers, too, and there weren’t as many films being made.

The group decided it was important to reinstate the film festival because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban, Dotinga said.

“There’s a turning of the tide of public opinion,” he said. “I think that (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered) rights are on the upswing. It seems important to us to include in that upswing, cultural events – events of culture that represent the community we serve.”

Dotinga said the films he is most excited about in the festival are two that focus about members of the World War II generation – “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Finding Franklin.” He said they are both important tributes to people who pursued gay relationships when it was illegal to do so.

Read on for a description of each film in the festival:

•  “Finding Franklin” – Violet discovers after her grandfather’s death that he had a secret.
•  “Genderfreak” – Rachel, the token straight friend in her group, meets queer teen Sammy.
•  “Love is All You Need” – A world where gay is normal and heterosexuality is seen as gross and abnormal.
•  “Non-Love Song” – Two high school friends enjoy the last days of summer before going their separate ways to college.
•  “Only Always You” – A young man spends time in a park sketching and dreaming of a life he wishes he had.
•  “She Said She Said” – A lesbian couple considers divorce.
•  “Somewhere Only We Know” – Two women fall in love in 1940s New Zealand.
•  “Teens Like Phil” – A gay high school student is bullied.
•  “Warpaint” – Two girls fall in love during a summer stay by a lake.

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