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Queer Film Festival ends without protests

Andrew Thagard | Monday, February 16, 2004

Notre Dame’s first Queer Film Festival concluded Saturday, after drawing large crowds but none of the protests that some had anticipated on the campus of a Catholic university.”It was very successful,” said Liam Dacey, a senior Film, Television and Theater major who organized the event. “It’s been the best weekend I’ve had at Notre Dame.”The four-day festival opened Wednesday evening to a sold out crowd in the Hesburgh Library auditorium. A showing of the film “Jim in Bold” was followed by a question and answer session with director Glenn Holsten. The remainder of the festival featured additional films and sessions with directors, producers and screenwriters, though these events did not sell out, Dacey said.Notre Dame students, faculty and alumni attended the festival, which featured a screenwriting workshop with alumnus Don Roos, a director and writer and two panel discussions titled “Gay Hollywood: Still in the Closet” and “Film and the Construction of Sexual Identity,” in addition to the films.The two most popular events, Dacey said, turned out to be on Thursday and Saturday nights. On Thursday, Director John Cameron Mitchell came to campus to showcase his film “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” The film and its director drew a busload of fans from Chicago and some of the attendees dressed up in costumes featured in the movie. Saturday’s event was also significant as it featured a screening of the film “The Opposite of Sex” Roos.Dacey said that the event marked one of few times that Roos had returned to campus since he was a student here several decades ago and that his visit left him more impressed with his alma mater.”After this weekend his whole viewpoint on Notre Dame changed,” Dacey said.Students who attended the festival also said they were pleased with the event.Junior Ryan Metheny said he enjoyed attending the film screening on Thursday night and thought that the festival was a step in the right direction for the University.”I think Notre Dame especially needs to see how people who aren’t part of the homogenous Notre Dame group live their lives because it’s very different,” he said.