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The Reel Queens: Love Story

Cinemarosa’s 2010 slate will include movies about the transgender experience and others about immigration but the program, described by its founder as the borough’s sole “queer film series,” will kick off the New Year with a lighthearted romantic comedy at the Queens Museum of Art this week.

The series, founded in 2004 by Hector Canonge, is a Queens-based independent film and video program that covers a range of LGBT issues and screens free movies every third Sunday of the month at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

“One of the reasons I started this series was because there was nothing like it in Queens for the LGBT community,” said Canonge. “We have bars and clubs as well as a very active scene in Jackson Heights. But we’ve managed to create a great cultural hub for LGBT in Queens.”

On Sunday, Cinemarosa will present “Between Love and Goodbye,” a feature film from Manhattan director Casper Andreas, at 3 p.m. The picture follows the love story of Kyle, a New Yorker, and Marcel, a European man attempting to get a visa, as they attempt to work through their relationship.

“The film is light, funny and tender,” Canonge said. “It deals with immigration, but it doesn’t get too serious. It’s a very colorful and vivid film and the characters are very real.”

The movie is primarily set in Manhattan, but includes a few scenes in Long Island City and Brooklyn.

Canonge said one of the film’s cast members will likely have a discussion with the audience following the screening and light refreshments will be served.

Cinemarosa’s roster for the year will include a wide variety of issues and cinematic formats. In March, the program collaborates with Woodside’s Hispanic AIDS Federation and shows films about being transgender, while April’s films will cover immigration issues as part of national Immigrant Awareness Month.

In May, the film series will celebrate its sixth anniversary by screening short movies by local filmmakers and hosting dance and multimedia performances. The following month, Cinemarosa will work with the Queens Museum and several borough LGBT organizations to present Queer ’N Queens. All programs will begin at 3 p.m. at the museum.

The series originally focused primarily on screening short films at a community house in Woodside before expanding its repertoire and moving to the museum in 2005. Most films in the program are accompanied by a question-and-answer session between audience members and filmmakers.

Cinemarosa often partners with borough programs that serve the LGBT community, such as Generation Q or the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays for its events.

Canonge said he intends for his film series to return to past topics, such as African-American queer cinema, local and international movies about LGBT parenting and others about coming out, in the future.

Many of Cinemarosa’s screenings are of films by directors from the five boroughs who have submitted their work to the program’s Web site at cinemarosa.org.

“We have open submissions,” Canonge said. “We receive films from local filmmakers and others who are just out of school. They are invited to attend screenings and submit their work. One of our priorities is to pair a feature film with a short by a local filmmaker for our screenings.”

Cinemarosa also publishes P!NK, an online monthly electronic newsletter on LGBT events and topics.

Read film reviews by Nathan Duke at criticalconditions.net.

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