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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

First Timer's Guide to PRIDE Film Festival

Categories: Arts & Culture, B-town's Rainbow Flavor

June is LGBTQ pride month around the world, but in Bloomington, the original pride month was January with the inaugural PRIDE Film Festival in 2004. Now in its 16th year, the festival is stronger than ever. Attendees new and old come for the hand-picked new LGBTQ films from around the world, as well as discussions with friends, celebrating the queer community, and of course delicious local beer and wine.

But if you've never been to PRIDE, you might not know what to expect or whether you'll love it. We created this list of FAQs here to help prepare you for your first experience at one of Bloomington's oldest film festivals and a staple of this city's culture.

Q: Can I come to the festival if I'm not LGBTQ?

Absolutely! Just like all movies about people who are different from you, we as humans all experience stories that run along common themes with topics we can all relate to. I know plenty of allies who walk away from the festival with a better understanding of their LGBTQ friends, or even a better understanding of their own lives.

Q: Is the event family-friendly?

All ages are welcome at PRIDE and IDs are not needed to buy tickets (just for alcohol purchases). But like all film festivals, some films deal with heavy content. There is a teen screening on the afternoon of Saturday, January 27 at 2 pm featuring several short films and the feature documentary Transitioning: Transgender Kids. This documentary is a candid collection of stories about transgender children that describe not only their transition process but also the process their parents have faced in accepting it.  

pride film
Transitioning: Transgender Kids

Q: Will I enjoy it even if I'm not a film buff?

Absolutely. This festival is for the average movie-goer as much as well as the seasoned film buff. These movies are for all audiences and run the spectrum from documentaries to romantic comedies to dramas and much more. If you like movies, you'll like PRIDE. Plus, the quality of independent queer film keeps getting better every year. Many movies that you love on Netflix were likely screened at PRIDE over the years. 

Q:  Are there any other activities at the festival besides screenings?

The film screenings are the main part of the festival, but within them, you'll see short and feature films, live performances at some screenings, and discussions with filmmakers at others. Don't forget to check out the dance party on Saturday night (21+).

pride film fest

Q: I like to eat and drink when I watch movies.

There are plenty of snacks (fresh popcorn, sweets, sodas, and more) at the concessions stand at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, plus they sell craft beer from Upland Brewing Co and local wine from Oliver Winery. Blu Boy Cafe usually stays open late for PRIDE fans, so you can get a vast array of delicious housemade chocolates and hot drinks. They also make incredible pies, brownies, and cookies.

lgbtq bloomington

Q: Do I need to buy a full-price ticket if I only want to go one night?

You can buy a festival pass, which gives you access to every screening at the festival, or you can buy an individual ticket for each screening. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Buskirk-Chumley box office downtown.