OUTtv announced today that it has acquired the Canadian broadcast rights to an extensive library of the world’s best gay and lesbian films, to begin airing on the network this spring. These major film acquisitions come from Alliance Films, Water Bearer Films, Mongrel Media, BBC Worldwide, and Ariztical Entertainment.
“Movies have consistently been the most requested and popular programs on the network”, says OUTtv chief operating officer Brad Danks, “Our audience spoke and we have listened.” The network will now feature a movie six nights a week on its new schedule, which launches May 1st.
OUTtv has acquired rights to more than 60 feature films, including the Canadian cable premieres of titles such as BBC’s Daphne (the story of English author and playwright Daphne du Maurier), Girl’s Will Be Girls, Boat Trip, and Just One Time. OUTtv’s acquisition includes popular and classic gay and lesbian films including Far Side of the Moon, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, Strawberry and Chocolate, Relative Values, My Private Idaho, and Love! Valour! Compassion!, as well as award winning titles such as The Journey, and Trembling before G-d.
“We are really pleased to be able to offer such a large number of compelling films,” says Wendy Donnan, OUTtv head of acquisitions and programming, “We can now ensure that every Thursday and Saturday night has new and classic titles that I know our audience will love! We have also added a comedy movie to our popular Sunday, Funny Sunday lineup, as well as a lesbian-themed film to Women on Wednesdays, a supernatural feature to the Friday night lineup, and a male-oriented movie to Mancandy Mondays. There’s something for our entire audience.”
The Thursday night movie features the best gay and lesbian indie films from around the world, as well as leading gay and lesbian actors and directors. OUTtv plans to work with Canadian and international film festivals to bring the most cutting edge and culturally significant movies to the small screen.
Saturday night will continue to showcase some of the best Hollywood and A-list gay and lesbian movies from around the world. Many of these new movies will be Canadian broadcast premieres and a few are returning audience favorites. This Saturday night double-bill is consistently among OUTtv’s highest weekly ratings in contrast to most digital services when this evening is often among their lowest.
All titles and show times will be listed on the OUTtv website at www.outtv.ca. If you miss watching one of the films, all of the new films will be rebroadcast on the last weekend of every month in the afternoons starting at 12 noon et/9 am pt.
Synopses and airdates for broadcast premiere films
“Son Frere” by award-winning director Patrice Chéreau – premieres Saturday, 11th April – 9 pm et/pt
Thomas and Luc are brothers. Thomas is straight; Luc is gay. Unable to accept his brother’s homosexuality, Thomas distances himself. When Thomas contracts a terminal illness, he intrudes into Luc’s contented life and asks him to be his caretaker. Luc begrudgingly sacrifices his lover, his job and his comfortable life to care for his dying brother. Through the rounds of doctors and the demanding challenges of catastrophic illness, the brothers are forced to examine the meaning of their existence, and their powerlessness in the face of impending doom. They return to their childhood home on the beach, reconnect with their past, and ultimately forge a new and vital relationship. (French with English subtitles)
“Mango Souffle” premieres Saturday, 18th April – 9 pm et/pt
“Mango Souffle” is the first openly gay film from India and is an eye-opening exploration of gay sexuality and relationships in a culture that is far from accepting. This heartfelt drama begins when gay fashion designer Kamlesh, reeling from a recently ended relationship, invites a group of friends for dinner where he will make a special announcement. The situation reaches a boiling point when Kamlesh’s sister arrives with her new Fiance, a man with an explosive secret. From there, the action whips into a frenzy, as sexual tensions build and skeletons fly out of the closet.
“The Journey” premieres Saturday, 25th April – 9 pm et/pt
2004 Award Winner, Chicago International Film Festival
Two Indian girls in a traditional Indian village, Kiran and Delilah, form a close friendship which blossoms into love, turning their lives upside down. When their romance is discovered, the scandal is explosive. Kiran and Delilah come to learn that it is their life’s journey, both enchanting and heartrending, that will forge the women they ultimately become. “Touching…” – Variety
“Twisted” starring Oscar nominee William Hickey – premieres Thursday, 7th May – 10 pm et/pt
Best Feature – Ottawa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Audience Prize – Turin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
William Hickey in one of his last screen performances stars in Seth Michael Donsky’s “Twisted”, a contemporary riff on Charles Dickens’ classic “Oliver Twist” re-imagined in a New York City subculture brimming with male hustlers, homeless denizens, drug addicts and drag queens. “A great Oliver Twist update, a genuinely daring attempt at something deeply felt.” – Armond White, New York Press, “A stylized, operatic fable of innocence and corruption, its world and that of Dickens’ is one and the same.” – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
“Girl King” premieres Saturday, 9th May – 9 pm et/pt
Cross the uncharted oceans of dyke desire in this sexy, swashbuckling, gender-bending adventure on the high seas about a naïve baby Butch taken prisoner by Captain Candy to hunt for the pirate Queen’s stolen “treasure” from the bottom to the top of this fantasy island.
“Daphne” premieres Wednesday 27th May – 10 pm et/pt
Based on the biography by Margaret Forster, Daphne du Maurier is one of the most well loved women writers of all time who, in Rebecca, created one of the most beguiling characters in English Literature. In celebration of the centenary of Daphne du Maurier’s birth, a new fact-based drama explores the secret love life of this renowned writer. Based on personal letters and biographies, the film charts the story of Daphne’s unrequited passion for the beautiful and glamorous American heiress, Ellen Doubleday, and how the play she wrote about this forbidden desire led her to a life-changing love affair with the irreverent, fun-loving actress Gertrude Lawrence. Daphne called herself ‘a boy in a box’ and this revealing drama shows how Daphne’s incendiary love life informed the writing of her compelling stories.
“Vacationland” by multi award-winning director Todd Verow – premieres Saturday, 30th May – 9 pm et/pt
This latest unflinching work from New York City based film maker Todd Verow (Frisk, Anonymous) is a deeply personal, semi-autobiographical story of growing up gay in picturesque Maine. Gay high school senior Joe is not quite out to his family and has for years been in love with his best friend Andrew. Unhappy at home, Joe moves in with an older artist as a caretaker and occasional nude model. The boys’ girlfriends finally figure out the guys are more interested in each other than in them, and convince the lads to get it on. As Joe and Andrew explore the gay world around them (as well as exploring each other) a strange figure from Joe’s distant past comes forward forcing Joe and Andrew to face their fears and begin a new, happier chapter in their lives.
“Boat Trip” by director Mort Nathan, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. – premieres Saturday, 6th June – 9 pm et/pt
Jerry (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is a guy who thinks he’s found the love of his life in Felicia (Vivica A. Fox), his beautiful longtime girlfriend. Jerry decides to propose to Felica, and arranges for a hot-air balloon ride in order to create the ideal setting to pop the question. However, Felicia not only turns him down, she announces that she’s leaving him for another man. Jerry sinks into a deep depression until his best friend Nick, who has been having his own romantic problems, suggests they take a vacation cruise on an ocean liner filled with bikini-clad babes. Jerry is game, but after an angry misunderstanding with a travel agent, Nick and Jerry discover they’ve been booked on a tour specifically for gay men. The laughs are non-stop.
“Girls Will Be Girls” by director Richard Day – premieres Saturday, 13th June – 9 pm et/pt
The confessional, behind-the-scenes showbiz melodrama goes under the knife — so to speak — in this drag comedy. Girls Will Be Girls casts three male performers in the roles of Evie Harris (Jack Plotnick), a has-been starlet of the ’70s who has since gone to seed in her decaying Hollywood home; her best friend and domestic servant, Coco (Clinton Leupp); and Varla (Jeffrey Roberson), the daughter of a deceased peer and rival of Evie’s who shows up to rent out a room in her home. The tension among the trio of women escalates as Evie prepares for a pull-out-all-the-stops television special commemorating her past career glories, which include sundry disaster movies and TV variety shows. What Evie doesn’t know is that the naïve-seeming Varla has a debt to settle for her deceased mom, and will stop at nothing to seek vengeance.
“Just One Time” by director Lane Janger – premieres Saturday, 20th June – 9 pm et/pt
Anthony is a firefighter engaged to the woman of his dreams, straight-laced lawyer Amy. There’s just one problem: he can’t help fantasizing about his beloved Amy with another woman. Seeking to satisfy Anthony’s overriding preoccupation prior to their Catholic wedding, Amy fashions a deal devised to douse his burning desire. When Amy innocently asks if Anthony would reciprocate the fantasy for her, an eager Anthony accepts the deal in hopes that she will live out his fantasy just one time. Enter Victor, the gay neighbour who makes no secret of his crush on Anthony. As the wedding date looms near, things spin out of control with the two men.