Portraits

Greetings, film fanciers and fanatics. March is finally here and this year it brings not one but two incredible film festivals to our fair city: qFLIX Philadelphia, our beloved LGBT film festival, and The Women’s Film Festival of Philadelphia. And since both festivals are playing the exact same weekend, in the spirit of our City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, organizers have collaborated on many of the films being presented. I in turn decided to share this column and interview directors from both festivals.

“Just like saying ‘That’s so gay’ or calling someone ‘queer’ — when used in a derogatory manner — the word ‘sissy’ is often used to demean someone by linking them to femininity. In our culture, the definition of ‘feminine’ is ‘has sex with men’: Straight women and gay men are considered feminine. The definition of ‘masculinity’ is ‘has sex with women’: Straight men and lesbians are considered masculine.”—

Cyd Ziegler

This week’s subject, J. Nathan Bazzel, has had it with stereotypes and the shame that comes with them. His long journey brought him to a point where he has proudly embraced his identity as a receptive male in a society that often shames people into silence. He’s looking to change all that.

Knock on wood, Philadelphia has escaped the threat of a storm-filled winter, but that doesn’t mean we’re not still jonesing for a taste of spring. Enter the Philadelphia Flower Show, our annual gift to the world,where Philly gets to show off its softer side. This week’s Portrait is expat Carrie Preston, landscape designer extraordinaire who will be exhibiting at this year’s show. She spoke to me from her current home in Holland — also the theme for the show.

Last month I had the opportunity to go to the Sundance Film Festival. Très cool. The festival takes place in Park City, Utah, surrounded by beautiful snow-covered mountains. Over the four days that I was there with the crew from The Women’s Film Festival, we got to see some great films, attend workshops, jam in the music café and try our hand at virtual reality. It was also a chance to get up close and personal with actors and accomplished filmmakers like this week’s profile, Nadia Hallgren.

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