Slam it to ‘em: intimate, gay film fest experience at sea with Pride of the Ocean

Amazing LGBT filmmakers are presenting on this cruise ship–check out the links below for some seriously awesome clips.

Becky Lane discusses her lesbian-focused pulp fiction film project with other filmmakers and audience members during a CineSLAM in a cruise ship conference room. Photo: ©Pride of the Ocean/Richard Davis

Becky Lane discusses her lesbian-focused pulp fiction film project with other filmmakers and audience members during a CineSLAM in a cruise ship conference room. Photo: ©Pride of the Ocean/Richard Davis

While my last post talked about the “big event” film of the Pride of the Ocean LGBT film festival, currently taking place onboard the Norwegian Pearl cruising around Alaska’s panhandle towns and Glacier Bay, it’s the CineSLAM activities that have really caught Denni and my interest.**

Filmmakers and audience members enjoy a CineSLAM discussion. ©Pride of the Ocean/Richard Davis

Filmmakers and audience members enjoy a CineSLAM discussion. ©Pride of the Ocean/Richard Davis

Festival organizers have reserved one of the Pearl’s convention spaces (were you aware cruise ships have meeting rooms?), and use this space for filmmakers to show their work—some of it essentially finished, other work still in progress or exploratory stages.

After each film(s) is shown, there is plenty of time for discussion and questions, which we are loving! Since Denni and I aren’t filmmakers, we feel sort of like flies on the wall observing some very interesting and intense work. But we also are welcome to chime in, make suggestions, and be involved. In fact, some of the most interesting comments have been from the “general audience” members.

As an audience member, my three highlights from the CineSLAM events, thus far, have been:

  • Ryan Steel, a new filmmaker from Vancouver, BC, showed a series of hilarious clips, anchored by his “Woof,” and a lesbian film-noire comedy. He’s an emerging talent I’m sure we’ll be seeing on the gay film fest circuit soon—if not on Jay Leno. The crowd had loads of encouragement and suggestions for him. Check out woof below, and click here for more of Ryan’s hilarious work.

  • Bryan Horch, a Massachusetts filmmaker, showed a short film called Spooners, also very funny, which he’s considering as a web series. It was fascinating to hear the encouragement and people’s many ideas of how he could move the project forward and monetize it. Matt Bucy, the film’s director of photography (that’s “DP” in filmmaker lingo, which we’re learning), is also on board which allows for additional perspective. See more here.
  • Becky Lane, a filmmaker from New York*( state, showed two segments from a lesbian pulp fiction project she’s working on, titled The Chanticleer, and wondered where to take it next—the encouragement for her to take it to a full-length film was very strong. Denni and I are hardly lesbian film fans, but we were both chomping for more of this woman’s amazing work. Let her tease you by clicking here.
Jason Plourd (left) of Seattle's LGBT film festival and Sam Berliner (right) who's involved with two trans film festivals discuss the importance of "short" films during a CineSLAM.  ©Pride of the Ocean/Richard Davis

Jason Plourde (left) of Seattle’s LGBT film festival and Sam Berliner (right) who’s involved with two trans film festivals discuss the importance of “short” films during a CineSLAM. ©Pride of the Ocean/Richard Davis

As far as the cruise ship venue, it is really a perfect setting. Today is a full port day in gorgeous Skagway, and there are no film showings. But we found ourselves hanging out with other film festival participants—a filmmaker, a DP (director of photography), and a TV distribution representative—for a long and lingering brunch in the Norwegian Pearl’s buffet (where the Indian food is the decided hit).

Most of the festival-goers went in two private cars on the White Route & Yukon Railway, which I’ve written about as a great Alaska shore excursion. Denni and I bummed around town and ended up buying a gorgeous, made-in-Alaska rug.

In short—we’re getting all the benefits of a solid cruise, fabulous Alaska ports, a gay group travel experience, and a very unique film festival, all in one!

Note: the author cruised as a guest of Pride of the Ocean. The views are the author’s own opinions and are not reviewed in advance by travel providers.

What gay man doesn't love a pearl neckalce! Editor Randall Shirley (right) and his husband Denni with the Norwegian Pearl, home to the 2013 Pride of the Ocean LGBT film festival.

What gay man doesn’t love a pearl neckalce! Editor Randall Shirley (right) and his husband Denni with the Norwegian Pearl, home to the 2013 Pride of the Ocean LGBT film festival.

 

*Note: an earlier version of this post incorrectly stated Becky Lane’s location as Washington state.

**Note: the author cruised as a guest of Pride of the Ocean. The views are the author’s own opinions and are not reviewed in advance by travel providers.