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L.A. Film Festival: Coming out for the cameras

June 20, 2011 | 10:53 am

Floor

Stories of coming out –- acknowledging one’s sexuality and identity to family, friends, the world, and often most crucially oneself –- can be specific and deeply personal. This year’s L.A. Film Festival features three films that tell distinct tales of coming out and personal acceptance.

The L.A.-set musical “Leave It on the Floor” uses the subculture of music and dance balls –- known to many from the groundbreaking 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning” -- to explore the difficulties of coming out while also finding a place in a new community. The documentary “Renée” looks at Renée Richards, born Richard Raskin, who gained notoriety in the 1970s for seeking and succeeding in her quest to play professional women’s tennis. In “Wish Me Away,” country singer Chely Wright allows an intimate and behind-the-scenes account of the process by which she publicly came out in May 2010.

The L.A. Times is a presenting sponsor of the festival, and Monday at 12:30 p.m. at the festival’s downtown Filmmaker Lounge, we continue our series of free lunchtime talks. (You can watch the chat live here at latimes.com.) Sheldon Larry, director of “Leave It on the Floor,” Eric Drath, director of “Renée,” and “Wish Me Away” filmmakers Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf will be there to talk about their films in a conversation moderated by Mark Olsen.

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-- Mark Olsen

Photo: A scene from "Leave It on the Floor." Credit: L.A. Film Festival

 
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