October Affirmations

One in Ten scraps spring plan, returns annual film fest to fall

by Will O'Bryan
Published on March 8, 2011, 11:09am | Comments

Any great movie will have its share of twists and turns. In cinematic fashion, One in Ten, the local LGBT cultural organization that produces the annual Reel Affirmations film festival, is following that model.

While the festival, marking its 20th anniversary in 2011, has been an October staple, organizers announced a big change last July: Reel Affirmations was moving to spring for a number of reasons. A primary reason was to get ahead of other LGBT film festivals on the cultural calendar.

But as Willy Wonka says, ''Scratch that. Reverse it.''

With spring around the corner, One in Ten announced this morning that Reel Affirmations is moving back to its traditional October berth.

''The decision is based on finances,'' Larry Guillemette, volunteer chair of the festival and past One in Ten president, said just ahead of the announcement. ''We didn't want to do a half-assed job in the spring.''

Already trying to retire a debt that got into the tens of thousands of dollars, Guillemette points to several grants that didn't come through this year, as well as to a drop in donations and sponsorships, collectively quashing a spring festival. Guillemette seems energized by the move back to fall.

''One of the most important parts is reaching the milestone of hosting our 20th festival. That's an important milestone for any organization,'' he says, explaining that he'd left the group for a few years to concentrate on his career after his 2001-2003 term as board president. ''I'm back and involved with the festival because it's near and dear to my heart. It's a community event I refuse to let die. … We've gone back to key volunteers from years past to serve on the coordinating committee, to help us make they happen. They've all said, 'Yes, tell us what we can do to help.'

''We're alive and well and struggling to get back to where we were. I know what we can do in good times. I'm working very hard to get us back there.''

While venues for the festival are still being finalized, its dates have been set. Look for the Reel Affirmations 20 to run Oct. 13 to 22.

For more information about One in Ten/Reel Affirmations, call 202-315-1319 or visit oneinten.org.