Lawrence Toppman

GayCharlotte Film Festival rolls out some big titles

Major Griffin-Gracy (center), a crusader for the rights of transgender women of color, is the focus of the documentary “Major!”
Major Griffin-Gracy (center), a crusader for the rights of transgender women of color, is the focus of the documentary “Major!” Courtesy of GayCharlotte Film Festival

With HB2 still the heavyweight news issue for local media, the GayCharlotte Film Festival couldn’t have happened on a better time to show heavyweight movies.

The eighth annual fest, which runs Thursday through Sunday, will screen two Hollywood pictures nominated for multiple Oscars: “The Danish Girl,” about a man (Eddie Redmayne) who decides to live as a woman, and “Carol,” in which sales clerk Rooney Mara falls for wealthy matron Cate Blanchett.

Perhaps more significantly, the festival offers the southeastern premieres of two movies: “Loev,” in which an Indian Wall Street dealmaker and an Indian music producer bond on a trip outside Mumbai, and “Major!,” a documentary about Major Griffin-Gracy, a 73-year-old veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion who has fought for the rights of transgender women of color for more than 40 years.

The event, which runs at Theatre Charlotte at 501 Queens Road, starts Thursday with a free evening of short narratives and documentaries with LGBTQ themes. (Seating is limited, so advance registration is requested at

The features begin Friday. In “Fourth Man Out,” a gay mechanic in a small working-class town stumbles out of the closet to his three straight, unsuspecting, blue-collar best friends. In “Those People,” a young Manhattan painter must choose between an older pianist from another country and a close friend involved in a financial scandal.

Other screenings include “While You Weren’t Looking,” a South African drama exploring the intersecting experiences of LGBTQ people in Cape Town; “The Same Difference,” a documentary about homophobia and gender roles inside the black lesbian/bisexual community; “Jenny’s Wedding,” with Katherine Heigl as a younger sister who shocks her family by announcing her engagement to a woman; and “In the Grayscale,” a Spanish-language drama following a bisexual man’s life journey.

Film tickets are now on sale at You can get 10-ticket passes for $50 and see everything – eating free popcorn as you go – or buy individual tickets for $8. Get details about the GayCharlotte Film Festival at or details about the presenting organization, Charlotte Pride, at

Toppman: 704-358-5232