Five films you need to see at your LGBT film fest this summer

Hit So Hard

The life and near death story of Patty Schemel, the out drummer of Hole (from 1992-1997), premiered at SxSW and screened at Cannes before coming home to Washington to be highlighted at the Seattle International Film Festival last month. The documentary, which is less about music and more about drugs and addiction, tracks Patty’s life from her childhood in rural Marysville, Wash. to her years in Seattle drumming in punk bands such as Sybil and Doll Squad and her tenure as Hole’s second drummer.

Hit So Hard features interviews from Hole bandmates Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson and Melissa Auf De Maur as well as Roddy Bottum from Faith No More and Kate Schellenbach from Luscious Jackson. Yet what is most intriguing about the film is director P. David Ebersole’s use of never before seen Hi-8 footage of video taken by Schemel herself during various tours and while she was living with Love and Cobain just prior to his death.

So far, Hit So Hard is slated to screen at Provincetown International Film Festival, Frameline (San Francisco), and Outfest (Los Angeles).

Find out where it’s playing near you.

Jamie and Jessie are Not Together

Premiering at Frameline Festival in San Franscisco on June 18, Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together is the newest film from Hannah Free director Wendy Jo Carlton. Shot on location in Chicago, the film is a “romantic comedy with musical numbers” that centers around two friends caught in that age-old purgatory between “just friends” and “lovers.” When Jamie (Jacqui Jackson) decides to move to New York to pursue a career as a Broadway actress, smitten Jessie tries to make her jealous by dating other women. But Jessie’s plan backfires in a way she could never imagine.

Jamie and Jessie Are Not Together is the first ever feature-length lesbian musical. After premiering at Frameline (San Francisco) in June and screening at Outfest (Los Angeles) and Q-fest (Philadelphia) in July, other likely but not locked screenings include LGBTQ festival appearances in Durham, Atlanta and Tampa Bay.

Find out where it’s playing near you.

Wish Me Away

The feature-length documentary Wish Me Away is a personal and intimate look at Chely Wright, the first country music star to come out as openly gay. The film chronicles her pursuit of and rise to fame in Nashville, a hidden network of secret and lies, her emotional unraveling, a suicide attempt and her eventual rebirth.

Over a three-year period, award-winning filmmakers Bobbie Berleffi and Beverly Kopf were given unlimited access to both Chely’s public and private moments and documented her struggle with personal acceptance in a commercial music industry known for its associations with conservative values and patriotism. The film follows Chely as she develops a team and strategy for coming out to family members, the media and music industry and the general public.

Although there was a sneak peek of the film Wish Me Away at the Nashville Film Festival, it officially premieres at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 20 with an unplugged performance by Chely after the screening. It will also be the centerpiece film at Frameline (San Francisco) on June 22. Other opportunities to see Wish Me Away include screenings at the Kansas City Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in June and Outfest (Los Angeles) in July.

Find out where it’s playing near you.