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Milwaukee Film’s GenreQueer program highlights LGBTQ+ cinema to celebrate Pride Month

Milwaukee Film
Milwaukee Film’s GenreQueer program has put together a Pride Month 2024 program, which is filled with films that celebrate the past, present and future of LQBTQ+ cinema.

Earlier this month Milwaukee kicked off Pride Month with PrideFest at the Summerfest grounds, but that's not the only opportunity people have to participate and celebrate pride. Milwaukee Film’s GenreQueer program has put together a Pride Month 2024 program, which is one jam-packed weekend of films that celebrate the past, present and future of LQBTQ+ cinema.

For GenreQueer and Shorts programmer Jack Feria, this is a special opportunity.

"Pride programming is great. We have incredible queer films at the Oriental and now the Downer Theater year round. But something in particular is fun about hosting things in June. This is the time to celebrate! So, let's offer a way for folks to get in some air conditioning, break popcorn together and enjoy some great films," says Feria.

He notes that he took the opportunity to show films that haven't been available in Milwaukee for quite some time, ranging with films from the 1970s to recent releases. "The mission of GenreQueer is to celebrate the past of film, enjoy and indulge in the present and look towards the future. And I think that this program absolutely represents that," Feria adds.

Here's some of the highlights from the list:

Female Trouble (1974)

Feria says, "Divine is playing a high schooler, wonderfully for her age, who has had enough of her family and decides to run away and devotes herself to a life of crime and hijinks ensues... This is one of John Waters' classic wild, wacky films made on a shoestring budget and it's just one of the incredible films of queer cinema."

Tongues Untied (1989)

"This is one of Marlon Riggs' most important documentaries," notes Feria. "It is a seminal documentary on Black gay life, using poetry [and] personal testimony. There's rap and performances to describe the homophobia and racism that confront Black gay men."

Femme (2023)

The winner of MKE Film's 2024 Emerging Fiction Award, this thriller is back in the theater in case you missed it during the spring film festival.

"So, Aphrodite Banks, who's played by Nathan Stewart Jarrett, meets a character played by George Mackay. They have a confrontation at a convenience store. George Mackay's character is incredibly homophobic. And later on, Aphrodite, out of drag, meets this character at a gay sauna and decides to create a relationship with him in order to find her revenge," explains Feria.

The Watermelon Woman (1996)

Feria says, "Cheryl Dune plays a documentary filmmaker who's making a film about a Hollywood trope in the 30s and 40s, an incredibly racist trope called 'The Watermelon Woman.' She is doing research on who this person was and along the way, uncovers that there was an interracial relationship backstage in Hollywood. And around the same time she's having a relationship of her own. Incredibly meta. This movie is so, so funny and so important... It feels like a film that could be made today and would have the same impact."

Markie in Milwaukee (2020)

"This is a fantastic documentary that covers the life over the course of 10 years of Markie, who is going on a gender journey as she moves about the world as a seven foot tall pastor. She faces challenges all throughout her life, including not feeling feminine enough, not feeling that she's presenting feminine enough, and starts to wrestle with the complications of her identity and whether it's worth it or not to continue on as Markie," explains Feria.

The Pride program starts Friday, June 21 through Sunday, June 23. "Let's be a community together and watch these films. There's nothing like it," says Feria.

Show times are as follows:

Problemista - 6/21/24 at 4PM and 6:30 PM

Female Trouble — 6/21/24 at 9:00 PM

Tongues Untied — 6/22/24 at 2:30 PM

Black Is... Black Ain't - 6/22/24 at 4 PM

Femme — 6/22/24 at 9:15 PM

The Watermelon Woman — 6/23/24 at 3:00 PM

Markie in Milwaukee (with filmmaker in attendance) — 6/23/24 at 6:00 PM


Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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