Movie Review: A PLACE IN THE CITY, USA, LGBT/Documentary

Full to bursting with bright color and dazzling city scapes, A PLACE IN THE CITY follows three stories of three people living with HIV in New York. Taking a dive into the personal and intimate lives of three brave individuals, we see many of the compelling issues the surround HIV- from how healthcare can innocently act to isolate the person living with HIV from their community, to how housing itself is a type of healthcare, to how the world of art and culture accepts artist living with HIV.


What sets A PLACE IN THE CITY apart from films of a similar nature is the tone- this is a not a heavy, stark or ominous work. It is bright, it is light, it is brimming with hope and it is nevertheless meaningful and informative. A PLACE IN THE CITY, has been excellently composed by directors Nate Lavey and Stephen Vider, and thoughtfully put together to consider the wide variety of people that can be touched by HIV. Now considered a chronic condition, HIV still holds massive stigma is society. Films like A PLACE IN THE CITY shed much needed light on the condition- and most importantly, the humanity, support and social movement behind it. A wonderful film to see.


Review by Kierston Drier

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

A PLACE IN THE CITY, 18min., USA, LGBT/Documentary
Directed by Nate Lavey, Stephen Vider

A personal and intimate look at how caretaking, housing, and family intersect with experiences of HIV/AIDS today. CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


Movie Review: THE LOVE INDUSTRY, USA, LGBT/Documentary

This twenty minute documentary is a fascinating look into the world of professional online-dating profile writers. Following two different professionals who two drastically different methods, we see the ins and outs of a growing profession that targets people who want to find love online. Lisa Hoehn, takes a “gut” approach to profile ghost writing, reviewing people and tweaking what naturally feels best. She’s seen everything under the sun when it comes to online dating, from cheating lovers to terrible break ups. When she meets another online profile writer, who uses a more mathematical, data-based approach to his work, they completely clash- showing the love isn’t always easy to find- even when finding it is part of your job.


Our heroes are fascinating, engaging and loveable. The film paints an often humorous, honest and occasionally painfully familiar portrait for a vast numbers of people who have gone online to find their next partner. THE LOVE INDUSTRY is about a lot of things- our modern world, social media, niche business opportunities- but ultimately it’s about one incredible part of existence- the hurdles and rewards of meaningful human connection.


Review by Kierston Drier

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

THE LOVE INDUSTRY, 20min., USA, LGBT/Documentary
Directed by Matt Cusimano 

Lisa Hoehn has an unusual job: she makes a living ghostwriting online dating profiles for a large and diverse set of clients, eager to put their best foot forward in the labyrinthine world of social media. CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Film Review: MASQUERADING: TO HELL AND BACK, South Africa, LGBT/Documentary

This bright film, equal parts charming and heart breaking, follows two well known South African Drag Queens. Growing up in the South Africa during Apartheid, when “cross dressing” was punishable by imprisonment, Samantha Fox and Sandra Dee faced intolerable conditions, horrendous persecution and heartbreaking treatment for living their lives in adherence to the way they felt they needed to.


Framed beautifully by letters being written to each other, the two recount their lives, their trails and hurdles- through poverty, homelessness, severe abuse and trauma, all to come through it on the other end, bigger, brighter and more beautiful.


Samantha Fox and Sandra Dee are now iconic in their communities, and known their strength and for their generous spirits. We follow them through an LGTB drag pageant show where performers battle for the title of Miss District 6 and Miss Gay Legend , where they are assisting in crowning the winners.

What is truly inspirational about this film, despite it’s excellent music and beautiful photography, is the exceptional performances of Samantha Fox and Sandra Dee. With unfailing grace, elegance and beauty, with unmatched charm and wit, they tell their stories, their histories and their journeys with compassion, composure and admirable positivity. They embody an inner strength that can only be found when one has tested the limited of all strength can endure. They are role models for women everywhere, for it is clear that they have risen above adversity to shine brighter in the face of it.


A touching film and a joy to watch. Heart wrenching, engaging and beautiful, many glasses are raised to these two beautiful ladies, and a bravo to director Sofia De Fay.

by Kierston Drier

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video: 

MASQUERADING: TO HELL AND BACK, 13min., South Africa, LGBT/Documentary
Directed by Sofia De FayTwo hilarious and eccentric old drag queens living in Cape Town, South Africa remember their lives and how they survived years of brutal and terrifying discrimination. The fifty year old drag queens remember the apartheid years, where up till 1994 in South Africa it was illegal to “masquerade” as the opposite sex.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!