LGBT Film Fest Moves to Logan Square After Decades in Lakeview

By Victoria Johnson on September 1, 2013 8:52am 

 A still from a film shown at a previous Reeling Film Festival.
A still from a film shown at a previous Reeling Film Festival.
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Facebook/Reeling Film Festival

LOGAN SQUARE — The Reeling Film Festival, Chicago's LGBT-focused independent film festival, is coming to Logan Square this year.

The film fest took a year off last year and is coming back with new leadership and new ideas, including branching out of Lakeview.

Founded in 1981, Reeling is the second oldest LGBT film fest in the world, according to Brenda Webb, executive director at Chicago Filmmakers, which puts on the festival.

The oldest is San Francisco's Frameline.

"We wanted to try out a new theater," said Webb. "We had been in Lakeview at the Landmark for many years and we thought it would be interesting to try a new theater."

The festival will still open Nov. 7 at the Music Box Theatre in Lakeview, which has a larger capacity to accommodate the first night's turnout.

But the rest of the week, Nov. 8-14, the majority of the festival's events, —  some 40 film screenings, meet-and-greets, Q-and-As with the filmmakers and more —will be held at the Logan Theatre.

"It was really recognition that Logan Square is a community where a lot of people are interested in culture," Webb said. "It just seems like a really great neighborhood to be involved in and support."

Webb said they were also attracted to the fact the Logan Theatre is independent, and if this year's events goes well they may make it a permanent change.

"We hope it will be more permanent," she said. "Whenever you try something new you know you have to assess how it goes."

Ald. Rey Colon (35th) said he is excited to see the film festival come to Logan Square and sees it as another side the neighborhood is growing in a positive.

"I feel that Logan Square has always had a pretty strong LGBT neighborhood, but I think it really legitimizes what's going on in the neighborhood," he said. "To me it's just another sign of an area that's progressive and welcoming to all different kinds of people."

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