Check back often for announcements on which filmmakers will be attending the Festival!
Please note that guest appearances are subject to change.
Program 01: Princess Cyd
Stephen Cone | Writer/Director
Stephen Cone is a Chicago–based filmmaker whose feature Princess Cyd is currently playing the festival circuit, having recently screened at the BFI London Film Festival, BAMcinemaFest, Frameline, Maryland Film Festival and more. Previously, his film Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party was featured in The New York Times “Anatomy of a Scene” series, screened within BAMcinemaFest, and was the winner of the Silver Q Hugo Award at the 2015 Chicago International Film Festival, while a prior film, The Wise Kids, won the Outfest Grand Jury Awards for US Feature and Screenwriting and was a New York Times Critics Pick. All three films are currently being distributed on VOD and DVD by Wolfe Releasing. Stephen also teaches acting and filmmaking at Northwestern University and Acting Studio Chicago.
Program 5: Anatomy Of A Male Ballet Dancer
David Barba and James Pellerito | Directors
David Barba was born in Monterrey, Mexico and raised in Mexico City. James Pellerito was born and raised in Vicenza, Italy, near Venice. Barba and Pellerito met in New York where they received their MFAs in Film at the Columbia University School of the Arts. They directed, produced, filmed and edited their first feature documentary Pop Star On Ice, which screened at festivals worldwide, had a theatrical release at IFC Center in New York and aired on Sundance Channel and LOGO. Barba and Pellerito created, directed and executive produced two seasons of their television series Be Good Johnny Weir which aired on Sundance Channel and LOGO. Their second feature documentary American Cheerleader had its national theatrical release through Fathom Events. Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer is their third feature documentary. The film featuring Brazilian ballet star Marcelo Gomes won the Audience Award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
Program 14: Speak Your Truth
Kris Erickson | Director
Kris Erickson makes her directorial debut with the documentary, Speak Your Truth. Kris has previously co-written three comedy screenplays and has produced a comedy pilot. Kris is an advocate for LGBTQ rights, supporting organizations like Human Rights Campaign, the LGBT Center in NYC, and the Family Equality Council. She lives in Brooklyn with her three wonderful children.
Program 15: Sunset (Screening in the shorts program Hello And Goodbye)
Gary Jaffe | Writer/C0-Director
A native of Austin TX, Gary is a Brooklyn-based writer/director of film and theatre. A recent newcomer to film, Gary has penned the scripts for two produced short films, Desert Walk and Sunset (which he also co-directed). Sunset made its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Shortfest in June 2017. His theatre work has appeared on stages around NYC, including a 2016 workshop production of his play Song to the Moon and numerous short plays. His full-length play Diaspora was a finalist in the Jewish Plays Project 2015 national playwriting contest. In Austin, Gary served as Artistic Director of Tutto Theatre Company, for which he directed the award-winning premieres The Dudleys!: A Family Game and Zeus in Therapy. Gary forms one-third of the production company BAND OF OTHERS along with his Sunset collaborators Katie Ennis and Skylar Landsee.
Program 21: A Very Sordid Wedding
Del Shores | Writer/Director/Producer
Del Shores has written, directed and produced successfully across studio and independent film, network and cable television and regional and national touring theatres. Shores’ career began with the play Daddy’s Dyin’ (Who’s Got The Will?) in 1987. Sordid Lives the play opened in 1996, and in 1999 Shores wrote and directed the film version starring Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan and Beth Grant. His play Southern Baptist Sissies followed, with a ten-month, sold-out run in 2000 and 2002. In 2003, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife opened to critical acclaim. In 2006, Shores revived all three plays in Los Angeles before a successful six city national tour, starring Delta Burke and Leslie Jordan. Sordid Lives: The Series premiered on LOGO in 2008 where Shores created, wrote, directed, and executive produced all twelve episodes. Shores has written and produced in television including Dharma and Greg and Queer as Folk. In 2013, Shores directed and produced the film adaptation of his play Southern Baptist Sissies. Shores has played over 150 cities with his three one-man shows Del Shores: My Sordid Life, Del Shores: Sordid Confessions, and Del Shores: Naked.Sordid.Reality.
Program 21: A Very Sordid Wedding
Emerson Collins | Actor/Producer
Emerson Collins is an actor, producer and TV personality. Emerson starred for four seasons on BRAVO’s The People’s Couch. He produced and starred in Southern Baptist Sissies and won Best Actor in a Feature Film from the Red Dirt International Film Festival. With Del Shores, Emerson co-hosted “The Del & Emerson Show,” UBN Radio’s number one podcast for two years. He also co-produced Sordid Lives: The Series for LOGO. Emerson joined Del Shores Productions as Vice-President of Development and began as a producer on the revivals of three plays running in repertory as A Season of Shores. At the end of the successful eight-month run, he produced the national tour of Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies. Emerson also directed and produced the DVD live tapings of Del Shores’ one man shows Del Shores: My Sordid Life, Del Shores: Sordid Confessions and Del Shores: Naked. Sordid. Reality.
Program 21: A Very Sordid Wedding
Kirk Geiger | Actor
Kirk Geiger began his career by failing. At an early age, he was cast as a schoolchild in a hometown production of The King and I, along with his brother and sister, in Rochester, New York. A week into rehearsals, he quit the show and spent the rest of the run observing the fun from the audience’s perspective. He vowed to himself to make up for that loss someday. He has since been seen in sitcoms, soaps, and big budget movies, along with portraying multiple original characters in world premiere plays. He hopes to one day play the lead in The King and I and bring his journey full circle.
Program 22: A Million Happy Nows
Marisa Calin | Writer/Producer
Marisa is an actress, screenwriter and novelist. Currently living in New York City, she grew up in Bath, England, and trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Her debut novel for Young Adults, Between You & Me, was a recipient of a Kirkus star for books of exceptional merit and was also selected for the American Library Associations’ 2013 Rainbow Book List and as a Kobo dazzling debut. She is an Audiofile Earphones Award winning narrator of numerous audiobooks, including Publishers Weekly Starred review recordings of Frogkisser! by Garth Nix and Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie. She is the writer and producer of her first feature, A Million Happy Nows, with her company, Perfect Features.
Program 26: Nocturnal (short preceding After Louie)
Joe Ziolkowski | Documentary Subject
Joe Ziolkowski (Jacksonville, FL, United States) received a Masters of Science in Education, Concentration: Art Education from Nazareth College of Rochester. A Master of Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is currently Assistant Professor of Photography and Art at SUNY Genesee Community College, Batavia, NY, where he is also SUNY COIL Nodal Network Coordinator. He has also taught at several institutions including Rochester Institute of Technology, Center for Creative Studies (Detroit), Museum of Contemporary Art, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College. He has been awarded artist residencies at Paul ArtSpace, Jentel Foundation, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, English Harbour Arts Centre and Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. His work has been widely exhibited, nationally and internationally and he is the author of two monographs, Walking the Line (1992) and Pressure (1997).
Program 28: Sugar Daddy! (screening in the shorts program Laughing With You)
Tom Crane | Director
Tom Crane, a native of Rochester, has embarked on making gay films and “Sugar, Daddy!” (which is premiering at ImageOut) is his fifth short film. Enjoy!