Arts & Culture
3:19 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

LGBT Film Festival Opens in a 'Divine' Way

"I am Divine" opens the Milwaukee LGBT Film and Video Festival on Thursday night.
"I am Divine" opens the Milwaukee LGBT Film and Video Festival on Thursday night.
Credit Milwaukee LGBT Film and Video Festival

The 28th annual Milwaukee LGBT Film and Video Festival opens this evening at the Oriental Theater. 

The opening night celebration includes a showing of the documentary, I Am Divine, about the life and career of the actor and performer, Divine.

The festival, sponsored by UW-Milwaukee, features domestic, foreign, documentaries, comedies, and dramas over its four-day run.

Festival director Carl Bogner says the films run the gamut.

One that sticks out is what Bogner calls the "most beautiful film we're showing," a documentary about what could be called the first generation of transgender women called I am Woman Now.

"Each of these women had gone to the same doctor in Casablanca for surgery to transition from men to women, and the movie interviews these women now in their 70s about how their lives were for the last five decades," he says.

But there are also fun and light-hearted films, like one from Taiwan that Bogner calls "sweet" yet not dismissive of issues of the heart. It follows a married father's romance with an airline steward - with some flair added.

"Characters may suddenly levitate, a karaoke scene may turn into a full-blown musical number, soap opera characters on TV emerge into people's living rooms to offer romantic counsel," he says.

The festival runs tonight through Sunday at the Oriental and UWM Union Theaters.