On Heels of Toronto Debut, Queer Lounge Returns to Park City with Panels, Mixers, Events Championing Queer Film

Nearly 40 Queer-Interest Films Slated to Screen in Park City; Presenting Sponsor is OurChart.com, New Social Networking Site from Executive Producers and Cast Members of "The L Word"

Los Angeles (January 5) — Building on the success of its international debut at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, Queer Lounge will return to Park City this January with its trademark mix of networking, panel discussions, and professional mixers dedicated to championing queer films and filmmakers.

Hailed as "ground zero for activity surrounding the [gay] films" in Park City during Sundance by the Hollywood Reporter, Queer Lounge was founded in 2004 to build mainstream audiences for LGBT films and filmmakers. A non-profit organization, Queer Lounge creates a hub at film festivals where LGBT filmmakers and artists connect with industry leaders, audiences, and each other.

According to Queer Lounge founder and executive director Ellen Huang, nearly 40 queer-interest films will be screened at Sundance and other Park City festivals this year.

Two of the most anticipated films, "For the Bible Tells Me So" and "Save Me," both of which tackle the issue of religion and homosexuality, will be the centerpiece of several Queer Lounge events, including a panel discussion on Monday, January 22nd at 3pm with the cast and crew of both films and a party on Tuesday, January 23rd with Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop elected by the Episcopal Church, who appears in "For The Bible Tells Me So."

"Religion is one of the final frontiers in the debate over gay and lesbian equality," said Huang. "It's not surprising that many of today's most exciting independent filmmakers are exploring the topic with fairness, courage, and humor. We’re thrilled to support films like this that engage audiences in this important issue."

Noting that last year’s top Jury prize went to "Quinceanera," which was directed by openly gay directors Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer, Huang said that the industry will be watching for breakout films among this year's selection of queer-interest movies.

In addition to "For The Bible Tells Me So," a documentary exploring religion and gay rights through the eyes of five conservative Christian families, and "Save Me," a film starring Chad Allen, Judith Light and Robert Gant about a gay recovering drug addict forced into a Christian rehab clinic, Huang said other anticipated films include: "Life Support," starring Queen Latifah as a former drug addict who becomes an AIDS activist; "Smiley Face," the latest film from out-director Gregg Araki; and "Tuli," a film about a young woman who falls in love with her female best friend. A full list of queer-interest films, including descriptions and screening times, can be found at http://www.queerlounge.org/films/alphabetical.php.

Another centerpiece of this year's Queer Lounge will be OurChart.com, the new online social networking community aimed at lesbians and their friends, being launched this month by Ilene Chaiken, Creator and Executive Producer of "The L Word," CBS/Showtime Networks, and Chaiken's partners entertainment executive Hilary Rosen and technology executive Beth Callaghan.

Queer Lounge will be creating a special OurChart.com Room where filmmakers and visitors will be able to pitch original content ideas to the site's creators and participate in a large-scale OurChart.com photo exhibit inspired by the site's online "chart." Leisha Hailey and Katherine Moennig—cast members of "The L Word" and OurChart.com founding partners—plan to be in attendance for activities and press interviews on behalf of OurChart.com. (To arrange interviews with Chaiken, Hailey, Moennig and the OurChart.com team, contact Jennifer Turner at Kasteler & Associates/PR at 212.997.8363.)

Queer Lounge will also be hosting a panel discussion on Sunday, January 21st at 3pm on how the web is reshaping the future of queer film and entertainment. The panel will feature Chaiken, LOGO founder Matt Farber, director Fenton Bailey (The Eyes of Tammy Faye.), Jenny Stewart of PlanetOut.com, and Angela Robinson (Herbie Fully Loaded, D.E.B.S.).

This year, Queer Lounge will be located at The Silver King Hotel (1485 Empire Avenue, 4th floor with panels in the lower level conference room). Queer Lounge had formerly made its home at The Gateway Center, which is now occupied by year-round tenants. A highlight of Queer Lounge's move will be the launch of its Poolhouse Networking Mixer taking place at the hotel's pool. The mixers, which will take place from January 20th and January 23rd from 5-7 pm, will feature cocktails, entertainment, and Queer Lounge pool boys and girls. As in the past, Queer Lounge will host a hospitality suite during the day featuring refreshments and free Wi-Fi access for Sundance attendees.

Queer Lounge sponsors include: Presenting Sponsor OurChart.com, Major Media Sponsor Instinct; Official Sponsors Bud Light, Southwest Airlines, Silver King Hotel, and Vox Entertainment.

Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@mkpr.com
Scott Piro, scott@mkpr.com
MKPR, 212.627.8098 (U.S.)

To obtain celebrity photos from Queer Lounge events, contact scott@mkpr.com.

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