Prizm News / October 3, 2017 / By Bob Vitale

The 12th annual event will feature 17 shorts, documentaries and features at the Neon theater.

By Bob Vitale

Over the course of one October weekend in Dayton, movie-goers can see almost as many LGBTQ stories and characters as the major studios sent to the nation’s multiplexes in all of 2016.

The 12th annual Dayton LGBT Film Festival will feature 17 shorts, features and documentaries between Friday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 15. The characters run the full spectrum, from a fabulous queer teen to a pair of foul-mouthed, septuagenarian boyfriends.

Kurt Fleagle, part of a group that screens more than 100 films between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July to help select the annual festival lineup, says a growing number of films featuring transgender characters and LGBTQ people of color means a more diverse festival that draws ever-increasing numbers of viewers.

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“It’s really heartening to see,” he says.

But if LGBTQ cinema is becoming more inclusive, the same can’t be said for mainstream American movies. According to GLAAD, which takes an annual inventory of inclusiveness on the big screen, just 23 of 125 major-studio releases last year included LGBTQ-identified characters.

The number of trans-inclusive films in 2016? Just one.

All screenings for the Dayton LGBT Film Festival will be at the Neon, an independent movie theater Downtown. For more information and tickets visit

Friday, October 13

7:30 p.m.

Walk for Me

Hanna Kendricks is set to make her Femme Queen debut under the shimmering lights of New York’s ballroom scene. Her mother faces a choice: deny the child she knows as Hassan or accept her child for who she really is. (12 minutes, USA)

Freak Show

Photo courtesy of Dayton LGBT Film Festival

When others call Billy Bloom theatrical, he takes it as a compliment. When his classmates feel provoked by his drive to be different, it only motivates him. “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down,” his father warns him. But that doesn’t deter Billy from running for homecoming queen. The film’s stellar cast includes Bette Midler and Laverne Cox. (95 minutes, USA)

There’s an opening-night party following the night’s films at Mudlick Tap House, 135 E. 2nd St., Dayton, 45402.

Saturday, October 14

12:30 p.m

Something New

After a breakup, Jonah struggles to open up to a new relationship with awkwardly hilarious results. (15 minutes, USA)

Haygood Eats

A bickering husband-and-wife catering team (or is it husband-and-beard?) is shooting a cheesy TV ad, and we get to see the hilarious outtakes. (5 minutes, USA)


A potty-mouthed octogenarian in an assisted living facility (Danny DeVito, who also directs this short) gets a big-time surprise engineered by his daughter. (16 minutes, USA)

The Devil Is in the Details

Set in mid-19th-century France, a trainee school teacher in a young girl’s convent suffers unbearable pains. (20 minutes, France)


A 15-year-old makes the life-altering decision to never again let anyone bully them; not even their own father. (8 minutes, USA)


A heart-warming, intimate and endearing portrait of the queering of a traditional art form. (11 minutes, UK)

Picking Up

Nathan is being ignored at the local gay club, but when he is taken under the wing of a drag fairy godmother, he finds that his self-image gets a much-needed makeover. (13 minutes, Australia)

Saturday, October 14

2:30 p.m.

Bayard & Me

Bayard Rustin was the organizer of the March on Washington and one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. In the 1980s, he adopted his younger lover to obtain the legal protections of marriage; it was a little-known phenomenon with connections to the Civil Rights Movement. (17 minutes, USA)

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Photo courtesy of Dayton LGBT Film Festival

This documentary about the creator of “Tales of the City” moves nimbly between playful and poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. With help from his friends—including Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen and Amy Tan—Maupin offers a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bathhouses of 1970s San Francisco to the frontline of the American culture wars. (91 minutes, USA)

Saturday, October 14

7:30 p.m.

Etage X

An accidental meeting in an elevator at a department store leads two older women to their limits and forces them to improvise. (14 minutes, Germany)

Sensitivity Training

Photo courtesy of Dayton LGBT Film Festival

Serena is a misanthropic microbiologist, great with bacteria but horrible with people. After crossing the line with a colleague, she’s forced into sensitivity training with Caroline, the bubbly woman assigned to be her coach. Caroline and her sunny disposition represent everything Serena hates, but she’s determined to make Serena an acceptable human. Serena does her best to get rid of Caroline, but she finally might have met her match. (87 minutes, USA)

9:45 p.m.

Alaska Is a Drag

Tough-but-diva-fabulous Leo, an aspiring drag superstar, is stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska, where he and his twin sister are trapped in the monotony of fist fights and fish guts. Out of necessity, Leo learned to fight back, which catches the attention of the local boxing coach. When a new boy moves to town and wants to be his sparring partner, Leo has to face the real reason he’s stuck in Alaska. (83 minutes, USA)

Sunday, October 15

1 p.m.

Pushing Dead

Photo courtesy of Dayton LGBT Film Festival

When a struggling young man who has been HIV-positive for 20+ years absent-mindedly deposits a $100 birthday check from his mother, he loses his government assistance. His only options are both long shots: take on an impossible bureaucracy, or somehow come up with $3,000 a month to buy his medication. It’s a comedy about the serious world we live in. (110 minutes, USA)

3:30 pm

Rebels on Pointe

Photo courtesy of Dayton LGBT Film Festival

Exploring universal themes of identity, dreams, family, loss and love, this is the first-ever feature documentary celebrating the world-famous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. The all-male   comic ballet company was founded more than 40 years ago on the heels of New York’s Stonewall Uprising and has a diverse worldwide cult following. (90 minutes, international)

5:30 p.m.

God’s Own Country

Photo courtesy of Dayton LGBT Film Festival

Johnny Saxby works long hours in brutal isolation on his family’s remote farm in northern England. He numbs his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking and casual sex. When a handsome Romanian migrant worker arrives to work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself dealing with emotions he has never felt before. (104 minutes, UK)

Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.