Two Film Festivals Offer Diverse Titles


If you’re looking for an indoor escape from the dreary weather, two film festivals are being held in different parts of the state this weekend.


The Appalachian Queer Film Festival begins Thursday, Oct. 1, in Lewisburg and runs through Sunday. 


The festival’s co-founder and director, Tim Ward, said all of the films are being shown in West Virginia for the first time this weekend.


He says the goal of the festival is break down stereotypes about the gay and transgender community and broaden minds across Appalachia.


One of the films Ward is most excited about is called “Tangerine.” It was shot using only a smartphone and an eight-dollar app.


“You wouldn’t know it to look at the film itself, you would have no idea that it was shot on an iPhone, which is really, really cool,” he said. “The film is about transgender sex workers in L.A. and kind of follows their story.”


Ward said one of the film’s actresses and a producer will hold a Q&A session after the screening, which begins at 8 p.m. on Friday.


FILMmakers Festival

Another option for movie-goers is the West Virginia FILMmakers Festival. Hosted at the Elk Theatre in Sutton, the festival begins Friday and ends Sunday.


One of this year’s highlights is the film “Huntington’s Dance.” West Virginia native Chris Furbee shot and directed the film over a span of 18 years as he documented his mother’s struggle with Huntington’s disease.


“Huntington’s disease is a hereditary neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system,” Furbee said.


Chris was diagnosed with the disease himself and has since become active in raising awareness about Huntington’s. He says he hopes his film sheds some light on some of the misconceptions surrounding the disease, both nationally and in West Virginia.


He says police often mistake Huntington’s symptoms as a sign someone in inebriated.


“They have a lot of involuntary movements, so you’re walking down the street and police see you and if they don’t know about Huntington’s disease or they don’t know you then they pull over people and arrest them for being drunk,” Furbee said. “And the reality is, they’re not.”


“Huntington’s Dance” will be screened at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4, at the Elk Theatre.