The Indiana Cares Campaign (ICC) held a fundraiser at The Coney Island Saturday to kick off its 12th annual LGBT film festival, which starts Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.
The entry fee to the event was a $5 donation at the door. Community members enjoyed live music from local Indiana band Grist for the Mill, raffle prizes, appetizers and beer on the upstairs level of the restaurant.
The mission of ICC is to bring awareness and understanding of all sexualities in the Indiana community, explained Lynne Alvine, emerita of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania English department.
“People are killing themselves because they’re afraid to be who they are,” Alvine said.
“The suicide rate is very high among young people that come out as gay or lesbian, and we try to provide a venue for people who need to talk about their problems,” said Patti Holmes, the secretary of ICC.
ICC was founded 15 years ago, with film festival being formed three years after.
The films originally premiered at the Indiana Theater for several years but have since been relocated to the Beard Auditorium in Stouffer Hall.
Linda Cline, head chair of ICC, spent months and many hours contacting, searching and networking with filmmakers, trying to find LGBT films to premiere.
Entry to the film festival is free. However, donations are welcome to help pay for the films that are being shown.
“The films that we choose to show is their first screening, so they could be as much as $500,” Alvine said.
Upon arrival to the film festival, attendees will receive a pamphlet with the movie descriptions and a raffle ticket to win some of the donations provided by local business and organizations.
Along with the feature films that will be premiering every Saturday, short films will also be shown afterward.
On Oct. 3, Stouffer Hall will be playing “Out To Win,” a documentary examining the lives and careers of aspiring and professional gay and lesbian athletes.
On Oct. 10, “The Mask You Live” will premiere.
It focuses on boys and young men struggling to stay true to themselves while dealing with the narrow definition that the media and pop culture have defined as masculinity.
On Oct. 17, “Liz In September” will be featured, a movie based on the lesbian-focused play, “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove.”
Liz makes a bet that she can seduce the straight newcomer, Eva, and the two very different woman end up discovering new perspectives from one another.
On Oct. 24, “Girl King” will be shown.
Set in the 1600s, it tells the story of Queen Kristina, who chooses to make one of the most controversial decisions in history and is torn between her political duties and personal aspirations for another woman.
“Kiss Me, Kill Me” will be featured Oct. 31.
It is about a successful TV producer, Dusty Young, who discovers his partner was involved with an affair.
After his partner has been shot and killed, Dusty must clear his name as the suspect and find the killer.
Alvine explained that the film festival is a great opportunity for the Indiana community and university to get together.
“When people come together to enjoy alternative content films, it promotes awareness and understanding to gender and sexual minorities,” Alvine said.
Additionally, some classes in the theater and English departments will provide extra credit for students that attend the film festival.
The ICC holds meetings on the second Monday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the Commonplace Coffee House on Grant Street.
It had informational tables at the Northern Appalachian Folk Festival in downtown Indiana from Sept. 11-12 and at the Indiana County Fair from from Aug. 31 to Sept. 5.
The ICC’s annual fall picnic took place Sept. 13.