Teaneck International Film Festival includes LGBTQ themes

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Teaneck Film Festival 2020 poster
Teaneck Film Festival 2020 poster

LGBTQ films will be available to virtual viewers in late November

Scene from "TuMe Manques,"
Scene from “TuMe Manques,” a drama about a man who discovers his son’s homosexuality after his suicide

TIFF 15th Anniversary includes two films with LGBTQ themes. The first, TuMe Manques, a drama about a man who discovers his son’s homosexuality after his suicide, will be shown Wednesday, November 18, at 7:30 p.m., and  Mama Gloria, a documentary about Chicago’s Black transgender icon, Gloria Allen, will be shown on Saturday, November 21, at 7 p.m.

To purchace click Buy Tickets on the TIFF website at www.teaneckfilmfestival.org and purchase an all access pass ($35) or individual tickets ($5). The festival runs November 12-25, 2020.

Tu Me Manques, directed by Rodrigo Bellott, and sponsored by NJ Senator Loretta Weinberg, is in Spanish with subtitles and will only be available to patrons in New York and New Jersey. In the film, we meet Jorge Martinez, a traditional Bolivian father who receives news of the suicide of his son Gabriel. Weeks after the tragedy he finds his son’s laptop where he discovers he had a romantic relationship with Sebastian, another young countryman who lives in New York City, where his son was studying. After an initial angry confrontation with Sebastian on Skype, Jorge decides to go to New York to look for answers about his son’s death, but what he finds will change his life forever.

Scene from "Mama Gloria"
Scene from “Mama Gloria”

The film will be followed by a talkback with the director and moderator Daniel Calderon, founder of #Workfromhome and of Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow, and an independent brand and culture strategist.

Luchina Fisher is the director of Mama Gloria. It is the story of Ms. Allen, now in her 70s, who blazed a trail for trans people like few others before her. Emerging from Chicago’s South Side drag ball culture in the 1960s, Gloria overcame traumatic violence to become a proud leader in her community. She pioneered a charm school for young transgender people that served as inspiration for Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins’ hit play Charm.

Jeremy Lentz
TIFF executive director Jeremy Lentz

Fisher’s empathic and engaging documentary is not only a portrait of a groundbreaking legend, but also a celebration of the unconditional love Gloria received from her own mother and that she now gives to her chosen children. The director and the star will participate in the talkback moderated by Teaneck’s Sandi Klein, whose podcast, Conversations With Creative Women, is sponsoring the film.

The theme Activism: Making Change has earned the TIFF accolades as the “film festival with a social conscience.” The 2020 program will include movies and talkbacks about headline-making subjects. They include: racism, oppression, the environment, the LGBTQ community, women’s rights, immigration, and the underserved and forgotten whose stories have not been told.

According to TIFF executive director Jeremy Lentz, an LGBTQ activist and fundraiser for Dancers Responding to AIDS (a project of Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS), “Including gay and transgender issues has always been an important focus of the film festival.”

The virtual 15th annual TIFF is a project of the Puffin Foundation.

For more information visit the website:  www.teaneckfilmfestival.org.  Make your selections, pick up some popcorn, and get ready for a thought-provoking and engrossing two weeks of great movie nights.