Dir: Scott Gracheff, USA, 2013, 79 mins

Gay rugby player Mark Bingham was one of the passengers who stormed the cockpit of United Flight 93 during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This powerful documentary is an emotional, stirring portrait of both Mark and his mother, Alice Hoagland, who was propelled to become a staunch advocate of gay rights and godmother to the gay rugby community worldwide. Mark’s own home videos and candid interviews with friends, family, and team mates illustrate how his life and deeds inspired a nation. 

Dir: Lya Guerra, USA, 2012, 82 mins

Grace Schrafft and Grace Moceri became lovers in the 1970s. Leaving their respective husbands, with their infant children in tow they embarked on a life journey together. A beautifully crafted documentary which explores the ebb and flow of a loveship which spans almost forty years, The Love Part Of This is a heartbreaking, funny and extremely moving portrait of life and love in our times, and the stories and struggles of the two Graces will resonate with many.

Best Documentary Feature – Torino GLBT Film Festival 2013 

Dir: Heather Winters, USA, 2013, 71 mins

An award-winning documentary that asks: what is a family? Together 22 years, Nashville songwriter Desmond Child and partner Curtis Shaw approach their best friend Angela to be a surrogate mum. Twin boys are born, with Jon Bon Jovi as their not-so-ordinary godfather. There are many forces to overcome, including fighting for government recognition, and their surrogate mum’s parents not quite understanding their relationship to the boys. However, in the end they make being dads and being gay normal. 

Dir: Charlie David, Canada, 2013, 80 mins

Some viewers may be aware that the internet contains several sites that offer content of an explicit nature. Actually, there are an estimated 370 million pornographic websites and porn is now a 13 billion dollar business. Beginning with a lively history of gay porn over the centuries, I’m A Porn Star profiles the lives and careers of four online porn stars – Brent Everett, Johnny Rapid, Rocco Reed and Colby Jansen. Eye-opening, informative and very sexy. 

Zwei Mütter Dir: Anne Zohra Berrache, Germany, 2013, 75 mins, German with English subtitles

Mixing fiction and documentary, Two Mothers follows Katja and Isabella, happily married, who decide to have a child. However, like many lesbian couples, they soon discover how difficult this is as many of the sperm banks and fertility clinics in Germany don’t offer treatment to homosexual couples, citing ‘legal problems’. The toll on their finances and relationship is telling. Refusing to give up, they take matters into their own hands and start casting for potential sperm donors online... 

Dir: Chelsea McMullan, Canada, 2013, 76 mins

Canadian transgender performer Rae Spoon is a kind of indie troubadour, travelling long distances across the wild open spaces of Canada to perform. Spoon revisits the stretches of rural Alberta that once constituted ‘home’ and confronts memories of growing up queer in an abusive, evangelical household. This genre- defying blend of documentary, musical and road movie segues into fantastical performance sequences in which Spoon sings of childhood, the prairie, death, dinosaurs, the Rapture, gender exploration, and high school romance. An utterly unforgettable experience – and discovering Rae Spoon is this film’s biggest reward. 

Dirs: Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson, USA, 2013, 76 mins

Out Takes is thrilled to present the story of Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a Native Hawaiian māhū (transgender) schoolteacher, who inspires a tomboyish young girl to claim her place as leader of a boy’s hula troupe. Proud and confident, Hina passes on ancient Hawaiian culture and traditions to her students, including respect for māhū, those who embrace both the feminine and the masculine traits. An inspiring story that offers a rare glimpse of island life that tourists seldom see, culminating in the school’s rousing year-end hula performance. 

Dir: Kate Logan, USA, 2013, 92 mins

A challenging documentary that tells the shocking stories of American teenagers sent to Escuela Caribe, a Christian behaviour modification programme in the Dominican Republic. 17-yr-old David Wernsman was literally dragged from his bedroom to the airport by strangers without warning – because his parents found out he was gay. Once in this so-called ‘school’, myriad punishments and cruelties are inflicted on the kids in an effort to produce obedient Christian conformists. Made by a young evangelical filmmaker granted unprecedented access to film in this controversial place, she discovers shocking secrets that changed her life. 

Dir: Jim Tushinski, USA, 2013, 93 mins

Dancer and choreographer Wakefield Poole worked on Broadway with theatre legends Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, Noel Coward, and Ethel Merman among others. In 1971, after seeing a typical example of gay porn, he asked himself why someone couldn’t make one that wasn’t sleazy and depressing. He set out to do just that, called the result Boys in the Sand, and became an overnight sensation. Queer erotica would never be the same. Packed with archival footage, entertaining interviews, and excerpts from his films, this is the story of an outspoken artist in turbulent times. 

Dir: Shaun Kadlec & Deb Tullmann, USA, 2012, 85 mins (some French with English subtitles)

More people are imprisoned each year for homosexuality in Cameroon than in any other country. Homosexuality is viewed as a contagious Western import, a form of demon possession. Here, activists Cédric and Gertrude dream of coming out to their families. When two young women in a remote village are arrested for ‘lesbianism and witchcraft’, brilliant human rights lawyer Alice Nkom steps in to defend them. Cédric and Gertrude’s activism becomes bolder as they work with Alice to help the women. Lyrical and sobering – a vivid portrait of life in modern Africa.

Winner – Best Documentary, Los Angeles OutFest G&L FF 2013