PITTSBURGH, PA – October 10th, 2014. The Graduate‘s Mrs. Robinson with an unshaven, tattooed leg. A drag interpretation of Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction. The ads have been appearing all around Pittsburgh – in local papers, at T-stations, and in social media. The 29th Annual Reel Q Pittsburgh LGBT Film Festival opens this weekend, preceded by its clever marketing campaign, giving a nod to classic movie posters.
“We were inspired by the 75th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz and thought it would be fun to reenact it with people who go to our festival,” said Mitch Leib, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society. “We started expanding our idea and picturing other classic movies.”
The slogan for this year’s festival is “See Yourself in the Movies” – a statement that Leib says carries a double meaning. “First, it is seeing our LGBT stories in our films – stories that reflect our lives and our sensibilities. Second, it is quite literally seeing some members of the Pittsburgh LGBT community in our posters.”
According to Leib, the idea for the ad concept came from festival organizers T.J. Murphy, Jamie Tracktenberg, and Tama Bentley (all whom appear in the poster campaign), as well as several board members. Photographs for the posters were taken by Mara Rago, with poster design by Drue Miller.
Festival organizers cast several members of Pittsburgh’s LGBT community in a total of eight parodies of iconic film posters, ranging from The Breakfast Club to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and each with a unique twist reflecting LGBT culture. Among the models who “saw themselves in the movies” were ‘Burgh Vivant host and Executive Producer Brian Edward, and Contributor Mike Buzzelli.
“It was great fun,” commented Edward, who appears in a parody poster of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and as the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz spoof. “Classic films are a passion of mine, and I was thrilled to support the Reel Q Festival. Though if I’d have known further in advance that I’d be mimicking Audrey Hepburn, I might have dropped a few pounds.”
Bear-ing all in the Wizard of Oz poster, was Mike Buzzelli, who, for lack of a lion costume, went au naturel plus underwear. His appearance in The Godfather poster presents a more thoroughly clad composite, complete with cotton balls stuffed in the cheeks, a la Brando.
Poster models also included Roberta Hinde, Jamie Tracktenberg, Kevin Lovelace, Lish Danielle Hutchins, Sarah Fina, Todd Kinavey, Erica Pasquali, MaVe Sami, Betty Nikia, T.J. Murphy, Tama Bentley, and Janet Granite.
The Reel Q LGBT Film Festival opens Friday October 10th and runs through Saturday, October 18th, with a complete schedule available at www.plgfs.org. All screenings are at the Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Avenue, Downtown. Individual tickets and festival passes may be purchased at the theater or via the Festival website.