Lesbian Film Festival Returns
By Steve Irsay
Barbara Green just wanted some footage of particular concrete bricks
found in some downtown Los Angeles architecture.
she focused her fisheye lens camera on a building near the intersection
of Hope and Eighth streets, she spotted a woman approaching. She
was probably just going to ask for some money, Green thought.
literally walked into my frame and started talking to me,"
Green recalled. Captivated,
she kept filming.
started out as a mission for some B-roll of bricks turned into a
10-minute short about the scene stealer herself, Tina Paulina, a
37-year-old lesbian living on the streets of downtown Los Angeles.
Paulina: Living on Hope Street" is one of 10 films that will
be shown this weekend at the Out Loud Film Festival presented by
the Gay and Lesbian Center of Greater Long Beach.
festival, taking place at the Long Beach Museum of Art on Friday
and Sunday and at the Art Theatre on Saturday, is a fundraiser for
the nonprofit Center. It also marks the return of its annual film
festival, which the Center discontinued in 1999.
Irving Jr., director of programs for the Center, said the event
is part of the Center's effort to go beyond the counseling and health
services that have been staples for years.
a fun thing that has no connection to any health contract or things
of that nature," Irving said. "We get a sense that people
are wanting more events that are community-related."
feature films include "Adam & Steve," a comedic love
story with Parker Posey and Chris Kattan; "Unveiled,"
a German film about the an Iranian refugee who falls for a local
woman; "Freshman Orientation," a university life comedy
co-starring John Goodman; and "Loggerheads," based on
the true story of a gay male drifter and co-staring Bonnie Hunt
and Michael Learned.
shorts include same-sex marriage documentaries "One Wedding
and a Revolution" and "Marry Me: Stories from the San
Francisco Weddings" and "High Heels on Wheels," the
story of five women who played in roller derbys from 1940 to 1980.
of the subject, Tami Graham, the film festival chair, said the goal
was to screen primarily feel-good films.
just wanted them to be uplifting," she said. "We wanted
people to leave happy."
predicted that the thought-provoking "Tina Paulina" could
"steal the festival."
Tina's energy, her frankness and her honesty," she said. "It's
a powerful movie and something that could never have been planned."
a professional still photographer, has made a number of short films
with her partner, writer Michelle Boyaner, through their production
company, Greenie Films.
her chance 30-minute encounter with Paulina in early 2004, Green
said she was captivated by the Paulina's desire to connect, at one
point even hugging Green when the filmmaker confirmed on camera
that she too was a lesbian. After the conversation, the two went
their separate ways.
I came home, I knew I had a wonderful piece of film," Green
has been showing the movie at mostly gay and lesbian festivals,
with upcoming screenings in Tampa, Chicago and Atlanta.
it was a July showing at Outfest, the Los Angeles gay and lesbian
film festival, which led to a second meeting with Paulina. An audience
member recognized Paulina shortly after seeing the film and contacted
two met up again a few days later near Pershing Square. They talked,
on camera, for four hours. Green said she hopes to combine the footage
with portions of the first film to make a longer documentary about
people don't stop to talk to homeless people," she said. "This
is a chance to get a viewpoint they may never get to hear about.
It is very intense."