Annual LGBT festival highlight includes actor Carrie Preston’s ‘That’s What She Said’
By Anthony King | Downtown News
The closing weekend of the FilmOut LGBT Film Festival includes some short films and full-length features with strong ties to San Diego. Co-presented by businesses and nonprofit organizations, this is the 14th annual festival highlighting movies for, by and about the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
Festival Programmer Michael McQuiggan said FilmOut presents the entire community with “a great five-day festival, with over 40 films … that generally will not play theatrically in San Diego.”
Calling the films important, relevant and entertaining, he said, “We are proud to continue to provide this film festival to our communities and hope that, as a collective, it is appreciated, embraced and supported.”
After opening Wednesday, May 30 with the Olympia Dukakis film “Cloudburst,” FilmOut features another festival spotlight with the Saturday, June 2 screening of “That’s What She Said,” directed by Carrie Preston and starring Anne Heche and Marcia DeBonis. McQuiggan said they were proud to include Preston’s comedy, which recently screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
“Sundance was amazing,” Preston said. “It’s such a gift to have [a film’s] world premiere at such a prestigious festival.”
“That’s What She Said” was the first film Preston and her production company partners, local residents Mark Holmes and James Vasquez, have submitted for consideration to the Utah festival. The company, called Daisy 3 Pictures, was founded in 2004 and has produced three previous films.
“We both realized at the same time that we wanted to enhance our acting careers with producing and directing,” Preston said. The actress, who first began film in a supporting role as one of the Southern bridesmaid sisters in “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” is a current regular on the television series “True Blood.” Preston has had acting stints on stage, as well, rounding out her acting-producing-directing career.
“I kind of want to do it all. I’m greedy that way, because I like the work. I’m one of those people who really loves to be busy,” she said. “In the last couple of years, certainly since ‘True Blood,’ I’ve been able to really focus on producing and directing in my off-time.”
Preston said “That’s What She Said” was her and writer Kelly Overbey’s answer to the “ubiquitous bro-mance” takeover in comedies. “I wasn’t seeing much of anything that really catered to females,” she said, including in front of and behind the camera.
“This [movie] is something you don’t see — women being messy and slobs and culpable and not always likeable … and yet, still funny,” she said. “That was my mission, then, to make a film that would give that type of a woman a platform and a voice.”
The film comes on the heels of last year’s “Bridesmaids,” written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. Wiig and Mumolo were nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay, as was Melissa McCarthy for her supporting actress role. Preston said she was excited about the critical reception of “Bridesmaids,” and likened “That’s What She Said” to the film.
“If anything, it’s the older, rock ‘n’ roll, heroin-addicted sister to ‘Bridesmaids.’ It still has similarities, in that it pushes the envelope,” she said. “The thing about the film that I am most proud about is that it is in no way male bashing or male hating. It just happens to be that we’re focusing on these women, today.”
On Thursday, May 31 FilmOut honored “Sordid Lives” creator Del Shores with a tribute and a Career Achievement Award. In addition to writing and directing “Sordid Lives,” Shores has produced, directed and acted in several stage and television productions. The Shores tribute was presented in part by the South Park Business Group.
Saying he is looking forward to meeting all the filmmakers and actors who will be attending this year’s festival, McQuiggan added he expects the Sunday, June 3 closing night party at West Coast Tavern, located at 2895 University Ave., to be a success.
All festival films are being screened at the Birch North Park Theatre, 2891 University Ave. Tickets for individual films are $10, with special prices for the closing night events. A festival pass, which allows attendees into each film as well as parties and tributes, is $125. For ticket information visit filmoutsandiego.com.
Anthony King is the Editor of San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN)’s Gay San Diego. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.