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DURHAM, NC — (May 14, 2020) — In light of the public health emergency created by COVID-19, Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. has postponed the inaugural OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival from August 13-16 to September 11 and 12. The festival was formerly known as the North Carolina Gay + Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF) and takes place each August at the historic Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham.
As a result of conditions created by the pandemic, the OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival will be shortened in length, but the festival will still pack an exciting line-up of features, documentaries, and shorts that fully represent the queer community into its programming. The festival will accept feature submissions via filmfreeway.com through May 29. The festival will announce its full lineup by August 3.
Mindful that social distancing rules and regulations will likely still be in place in September, audience sizes and the number of cinemas may be limited. All operations will be kept in line with guidelines offered by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).
“We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic mandates that whatever we plan, we must place the health and safety of our filmgoing community, staff, and volunteers as our number one priority in going forward,” festival director Chuck Wheeler said. “We believe that moving the festival date will allow additional time to evaluate conditions surrounding reopening North Carolina safely and successfully. We are proceeding cautiously to host an on-site festival, and we currently remain optimistic that it will take place this year.”
Many of the invitation-only events normally occurring during the festival, including parties, luncheons and workshops have been canceled for 2020. The four-day Apres Fest re-screening of selected films was also canceled.
The OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival is made possible through the support of individual donors and sponsors like The Forest at Duke, BlueCross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Duke Health, Carol Woods Retirement Community, Replacements Ltd. and the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill.
“We want to thank the donors and sponsors who have already provided financial support to this year’s re-scheduled event,” Wheeler said. “Their continued support is remarkable in this difficult time, so we salute them for all they do.”
The OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival is proud to make its debut in the year of the 50th anniversary of the first New York City Pride March (June 28, 1970). The festival aims to deliver an event that will entertain, enlighten, and engage attendees as our progress together continues
Please refer to the festival Facebook page and to the Carolina Theatre website (carolinatheatre.org) for further updates.
Stay safe, everyone. We’ll see you in September!