Cinema Diverse Returns to Palm Springs

If Paris is the City of Light, and Buenos Aires, the city of my birth, is the Paris of the Americas, then I propose that one of Palm Springs’ nicknames could arguably be the City of Film Festivals. If there’s one thing our valley knows how to host, it’s a film fest. And one of the celebrations of celluloid—shindigs of digital?—that Diana and I never, ever miss is Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, which this year will be held from September 18 to 21 at the Camelot Theatres on East Baristo Road.

Just one glance at the news these days and it’s clear to see that this is a very interesting time to be part of the human rights movement spearheaded by LGBT folks and the straight allies who love and support them. This exciting zeitgeist trickles down through each queer filmmaker’s unique lens and is reflected back to us in the flickering images (and sound) to which we’re treated on screen. The stories are compelling, and the fact that newly available technology has amped up both the quality and number of films available adds to the breadth of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender works exhibited.

This year, Cinema Diverse—which, as always, is presented by the non-profit Palm Springs Cultural Center and curated by managing director Michael C. Green—will show 28 features (the largest number ever) and some 30 shorts. Opening night will toast producer-director Matthew Ladensack’s “Saugatuck Cures,” whose themes revolve around same-sex marriage and religious freedom. Its cast features Palm Springs resident Judith Chapman of “The Young & the Restless” fame. But comedy is just one of the genres included on this bill. With drama, horror, thriller, musical, and mystery titles in the mix, there’s undoubtedly something to please everyone seated in the dark over the weekend at the Camelot.

If you’re interested in attending, tickets are on sale now at www.cinemadiverse.org. A six-pack is $69, a pass for all films and parties is $149, and individual programs are $13 each.

Diana and I will see you there! We’ll be the ones sharing a large bucket of (friends &) family-size popcorn with extra butter!

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