NCGLFF opens Friday with films about Takei, Streb

Aug. 14, 2014 @ 09:53 AM

"To Be Takei,” a documentary film about “Star Trek” actor George Takei, and “Born to Fly,” a documentary about choreographer Elizabeth Streb, are among the many films to be screened at the 2014 North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Documentaries, feature films and short films will be screened during the 10-day festival, which begins Friday and continues through Aug. 24 at the Carolina Theatre.
“To Be Takei” follows the actor best know for portraying Mr. Sulu in the “Star Trek” television series and films. Viewers get a biography of his screen credits, as well as Takei’s role as an advocate for marriage equality (see review in sidebar).
Elizabeth Streb, a choreographer and dance teacher in New York, calls her choreography method “extreme action.” She writes on her website, “My dancers and I see the rehearsal as a laboratory for testing scientific principles on the body. We invent action ideas which we think are archetypal, noticeable, understandable. The outcome is a mixture of slam dancing, exquisite and amazing human flight and a wild action sport which captures kids, older people and the general public’s hearts and minds and bodies.” “Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity” chronicles her high-impact, risk-taking philosophy of movement.
Other film highlights include “Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story,” about U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck, who embarks on a journey to live as transgender woman Kristin Beck. Michelle Tea’s novel “Valencia” has been adapted into a feature film. Tea and filmmaker Hilary Goldberg asked 21 filmmakers  — who vary in age, gender, size, ethnicity — to contribute a 5- to 7-minute short based on a chapter from Tea’s novel of the same name.
The festival also will have several blocks of short films, grouped under themes such as “All Over the Place,” “Bedside Manners,” and “Happy Endings.”
In addition to the new films scheduled for the festival, the theater's Retro Film Series will feature classic titles like “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Victor/Victoria,” “Mommie Dearest” and John Waters' “Polyester.”
Face-painting, crafts and other activities will highlight NCGLFF Family Fun Day Aug. 23 from 9 a.m. to noon. The animated classic “An American Tail” will screen at 9:30 a.m. in Cinema One.
Founded in 1995, the festival celebrates a worldwide glimpse of today's gay and lesbian life and helps bring the community together. The event is now the second largest gay, lesbian and transgender film festival in the Southeast.
For a complete schedule of film times and for ticket information, visit ncglff.org or www.carolinatheatre.org. The Carolina Theatre is at 309 W. Morgan St. For information, call 919-560-3030.