To my admittedly biased mind, the overlooked movie news story of last year was the return of queer films to some semblance of public (read: crossover) consciousness. Andrew Haigh’s Weekend led the charge, but was equally well-matched by Dee Rees’ Pariah (in theaters now!), Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Gun Hill Road, Maryam Keshavarz’s Circumstance, and Céline Sciamma’s Tomboy. All of these films made a critical and popular splash upon their arrival in theaters this year to the thrill of queer film enthusiasts and filmmakers. Though one might be quick to connect these films’ success to the frequent news stories about gay prejudice, bullying, and human rights, one can’t overlook the fact that each of these films are also well made, stylistically consistent, and created by filmmakers unafraid to tell honest stories that reflect the real lives LGBT people live every day. With Keep the Lights On premiering in just over 2 weeks at Sundance, we’re hoping that this trend continues. Above, KTLO director Ira Sachs discusses the state of queer film today and the link between capitalism and telling queer stories. We’d love to hear your take on the state of queer film today in the comments below!
Adam Baran is a NYC-based writer/director with a passion for making films that tell queer stories in unique, risk-taking ways. After graduating in 2003 from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Film and TV Production, Adam wrote and directed two short films, Love and Deaf (2004) and Jinx! (2007), which aired in regular rotation on Here! TV and the IFC Channel in the US, respectively. Love and Deaf was released in popular gay shorts collections on DVD in the U.S., Germany and France. In 2009, Adam wrote the daily web comedy MTV Detox for MTV.com. That same year, he finished the feature script Jackpot, which was selected for the 2010 Outfest Screenwriting Lab and performed as a staged reading during the festival. That script led to his being asked to write the webseries The Great Cock Hunt, which is being produced and directed by Jon Marcus (Party Monster) and executive produced by Rose Troche (The L Word) and will premiere in late 2011. Adam’s work as a writer and editor began in 2004 with contributions to the groundbreaking gay journal BUTT Magazine. He became a contributing editor in 2007, had several articles featured in the BUTT Book, and was the online editor of ButtMagazine.com from 2008-2011. He has also written for V Magazine, Pin-Up, Foam and the “T Blog” for the New York Times Style Section. Adam also co-curates the monthly film series Queer/Art/Film with Keep The Lights On director Ira Sachs at the IFC Center in New York. An “essential” series according to the New Yorker, Queer/Art/Film invites queer artists to screen films that have influenced their development. Past guests include Justin Bond, Antony Hegarty, John Kelly, John Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Hammer, Kate Bornstein and Genesis P-Orridge. Adam currently lives in Brooklyn and is working on making a short film based on his feature script Jackpot and writing several new features and shorts.