I Love My Gay SunDance

The film festival hopes to be as well-known as Spoleto. The only difference? It’ll be gay.

The Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA), a local nonprofit that represents the LGBT community in the tri-state area, has a call out for entries to its inaugural film festival, Real Grits: A Southern Gaze, a S.C. LGBT Film Festival.

Sharen Mitchell, AFFA director, says the infrastructure is in place to raise the necessary money and that she hopes the festival will grow into an annual showcase similar to other events in the United States.

“We’re trying to highlight diversity and equality in Southern culture with emphasis on gay and lesbian themes,” Mitchell says. “We hope to have something that’s compared to Sundance down the road.”

The event will be held the first weekend after Spoleto and will last for three days, giving visitors a reason to stay in town for another weekend, Mitchell says. The nonprofit also wants to tap into the wealth of filmmakers in Charleston, giving unknown and emerging auteurs a chance to prove their mettle.

“There are so many films being made down here,” Mitchell says. “We’ll give them a venue and we’ll get a chance to educate audiences.”

The deadline for entries is Feb. 28, 2008. Entries must address issues faced in the LGBT community. All genres considered. For more information, go to www.affa-sc.org.

Nader’s nadir

Whether you love or hate (or are indifferent to) Ralph Nader, there’s no question that he has been an influential figure in American politics. Henriette Mantel worked briefly for the ever hopeful presidential candidate.

That was in the ’70s. Now, her documentary, An Unreasonable Man, takes a look at Nader’s life and career. And she doesn’t pull punches.

In looking at whether the body politic has room from a third party, Mantel examines Nader’s descent from consumer-activist hero of the common man to political pariah who never knew when to quit.

An Unreasonable Man will air on public television on Dec. 18, but you don’t have to wait. Mantel is bringing her film to the Charleston County Public Library for a free screening on Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m.

Afterward, Mantel will be on hand to discuss her work and Nader’s legacy. To see a preview of the film, read blog information, and more, go to www.anunreasonableman.com.