29th REELING Festival runs until Nov. 13

THE 29th REELING: Chicago International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival opened Nov. 4 with “Children of God,” an interracial romance between two men in the Bahamas against the backdrop of religious furor over the 2004 launch of Rosie O’Donnell’s gay family cruise ship.

The juried festival runs now through Nov. 13 and screens 54 films from among 550 global entries.

This year, submissions came in from 24 different countries including one from a Hong Kong filmmaker ? a festival first, said Angelique Smith, festival spokesperson. She notes that Reeling is the oldest existing such event in the U.S. The first gay/lesbian film festival, long defunct, started in San Francisco.

Serving on this year’s judging panel were filmmakers Ky Dickens (“Fish Out of Water”), Wendy Jo Carleton (“Hannah Free”), Madsen Manaz (“Riot Act”), documentarian and Columbia College instructor Ron Pajak and Chicago Tribune writer Achy Obejas.

Local filmmakers at Reeling: Charissa King-O’Brien’s documentary “Over the Moon” follows the prolonged efforts of the Chicago director and her partner Kelly to have a baby.

Clive Barker is executive producer of “JoJo Baby,” a documentary about the Wicker Park doll maker and performance artist.

Daniel and Erika Randall Beahm’s Champaign-shot ballroom dance comedy “Leading Ladies” screens Thursday, Nov. 11 at Landmark.

Local shorts in the festival included Monte Patterson’s “Caught” in the “Men in the Mirror” program, and Aaron Greer’s “Hers. Theirs. Ours.” in the “Young & Sapphic” program.

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