Indiana University of Pennsylvania will open the 10th annual Indiana Cares Campaign (ICC) to End Homophobia LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Film Festival Sunday with a keynote presentation by author Leslea Newman.
Newman’s presentation is at 4:30 p.m. in Beard Auditorium, Stouffer Hall. It will precede three short films starting at 6 p.m. — “Dawn,” “First Date” and “Genderfreak” — and the feature film “G.B.F.”
Newman is the author of 60 books for adults and children, including the groundbreaking children’s book “Heather Has Two Mommies” and the award-winning short story collection “A Letter to Harvey Milk.”
A gay activist for more than 20 years, she has received the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, the Continuing the Legacy of Stonewall Award and the Hachamat Lev Award for “enduring commitment to justice and full inclusion for LGBT people in the Jewish community and beyond.”
A past poet laureate of Northampton, Mass., she has received poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artist Fellowship Foundation.
Her 2012 book, “October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard” tells the story of Shepard’s 1998 murder. Shepard, then 21, was an openly gay student attending the University of Wyoming who was kidnapped, beaten and tied to a fence and left to die. Newman was an invited speaker at the University of Wyoming shortly after Shepard’s death. Newman will also be the presenter for Monday’s Six O’Clock Series at 6 p.m. in the Hadley Union Building Ohio Room. Her program is “He Continues to Make a Difference: The Story of Matthew Shepard.”
“G.B.F” is a comedy about a high school boy who is “outed” by his classmates and becomes the focus of a struggle among three popular high school girls who want him as their “Gay Best Friend.”
The festival continues Oct. 13 with two feature films: “Ian Harvie Superhero,” featuring comedian Harvie, who is comedienne Margaret Cho’s opening act, and “The New Black,” a documentary about how the African-American community is reacting to gay rights issues.
Films on Oct. 20 are the short films “American’s Most Unwanted” and “Maiden and the Princess” and the feature film “Out in the Dark,” directed by Michael Mayer.
Two feature films will be shown on Oct. 27: “Geography Club,” based on Brent Hartinger’s best-selling novel, and “The Perfect Wedding.”
All films will be shown at 6 p.m. in Beard Auditorium in Stouffer Hall. Parking on campus is free on weekends. Admission to the films is free, but donations are accepted.
In addition to the ICC, the festival is sponsored by the IUP LGBT Commission, Pride Alliance, The Lively Arts at IUP, College of Health and Human Services, Women’s Studies, Robert E. Cook Honors College, the Departments of English, Political Science and Sociology, and PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).