Gay Film Weekend Schedule Announced

Screenplay Finalists 2015 (3)

This fall, Pride Films and Plays’ developmental work with writers from around the country continues with Gay Film Weekend for new screenplay development. Five finalists and five semi-finalists have been named in PFP’s Great Gay Screenplay Contest, an international contest for screenplays with LGBT characters and themes.

The finalists include a wide range of subject matter ranging from a thrilling drama about the secrets revealed when a man returns home to care for his mother, an action-packed TV pilot about gay club owners taking on the Italian mafia, an exciting crime story about a detective investigating a serial killer, a fun road trip comedy involving an unlikely pair of friends, and a touching coming-of-age tale about a friendship put to the test.

The five screenplays will be performed as enhanced staged readings from November 13 to 15, 2015 during Gay Film Weekend at Center on Halsted’s Hoover-Leppen Theatre. Tickets for the readings are pay-what-you-can, and each reading is followed by a discussion with the director and the actors in the reading, and the screenwriter.

Gay Film Weekend kicks off with Queer Bits Fall Film Festival on Monday, November 9 at Public House Theater.

Tickets for Gay Film Weekend at Center on Halsted are Pay-What-You-Can ($10 suggeted) and can be purchased at the door 3o minutes prior to the performance. 

The schedule for the weekend is:

  • Friday, November 13, 7:00 PM ‘A Place In the Woods’ by Erik Gernard, Directed by Kevin Hanna
  • Saturday, November 14, 1:00 PM ‘The Gay Shoe Clerks’ by Brad Cryan, directed by Alex Thompson
  • Saturday, November 14, 7:00 PM ‘Somebody to Love’ by Jay Cipriani, directed by Dan Pal
  • Sunday, November 15, 1:00 ‘Finndale’ by Llohd Ohls, directed by Kayla Ginsburg
  • Sunday, November 15, 5:00 PM ‘Drowning City’ by Chuck Griffith, directed by Keith Dukavicius

Below are synopses of the screenplays and bios of the screenwriters and directors.

“A Place in the Woods” by Erik Gernard, directed by Kevin Hanna, Directed by Kevin Hanna

A dark family secret is pushed to the surface when a gay man returns to his rural hometown to care for his ailing mother.

Erik Gernand is a playwright and filmmaker whose work has been seen on stages and screens around the country. He teaches film at Northwestern University.

Kevin Hanna splits his time between theater and film.  He co-wrote/produced/directed the award-winning mockumentary short film The Exorsister, as well as the multi-festival award winning television pilot Public Access.

“The Gay Shoe Clerks” by Brad Cryan, directed by Alex Thompson

In 1969 San Francisco, a group of gay men run a modest crime syndicate, with ambitions of displacing the powerful (and violently homophobic) Lazarri crime family.
Brad Cryan is an LA-based screenwriter and a recent graduate of Emerson College. His first feature, Bathtub, will be produced in June.

Alex Thompson is a director/producer in post on the features “King Rat” and “Our Father” for Runaway Train, which he started with Zoe Lubeck this summer. His shorts have screened across-country and (selectively) across-world.

“Somebody To Love” by Jay Cipriani, directed by Dan Pal

“Somebody to Love” follows two polar opposite gay men who are forced to share a rental car cross country and form an unlikely friendship as a wedding looms for one of them.

Jay Cipriani currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children and teaches screenwriting when he isn’t writing screenplays himself.

Dan Pal studied Film at the University of Chicago. He teaches in the School of Cinematic Arts at DePaul University in Chicago and at Moraine Valley Community College. is trilogy of shorts,Scotty Works OUT, Scotty & Josh Get Enlightened, and Another Party With Scotty have been festival favorites across the US.

“Finndale” by Lloyd Ohls, directed by Spenser Davis

The relationship between two goth teenagers is put through the test when one of them falls hard for their rural high school’s hot new German teacher.

A native of western Pennsylvania, Lloyd Ohls is a nurse practitioner and aspiring screenwriter from Texas.  “Finndale” is his second feature-length script.
“Drowning City” by Chuck Griffith, directed by Keith Dukavicious

In “Drowning City”, a Los Angeles detective is relocated to New Orleans, working with a rough-and-tumble police force, to solve a serial killer case involving gay victims.

Chuck Griffith’s feature film debut was “Thank You, Good Night” starring Mark Hamill , Christian Campbell, Sally Kirkland., and John Paul Pitoc. His producing credits include “Barista” , “After Death” , “Give Baby a Kiss”, and “A Heart Felt” and he was recently nominated for Best Director for the Short Film “No Woman’s Face Remember” at the International Filmmaker Festival in Milan, Italy.

Keith Dukavicius was voted 2010’s “Best Underground Filmmaker” by Chicago Reader. First film retrospective screened at Gene Siskel Film Center. He is currently in pre-production for third feature film, “Breakfast At Marley’s”.
About Pride Films and Plays

The mission of Pride Films and Plays is to change lives through the generation of diverse new work (or work that is new to Chicago) with LGBTQ+ characters or themes that is essential viewing for all audiences. We accomplish this mission through fully-staged productions, writing contests and staged readings, film screenings, and special events. We foster long term relationships with artists to create programming that is as diverse, unique, and complex as the community we represent. In 2015, Huffington Post called PFP “A powerful and empowering entity.”

PFP’s current season began with the Jeff Recommended productions of Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown at the Apollo Studio Theater and The Boy From Oz at Stage 773.

Upcoming events include Noel Coward’s Design for Living which runs Oct 22 to November 22 at Rivendell Theater and Ten Dollar House by Rick Kinnebrew and Martha Meyer January 7 to 31 at Piccolo Theatre in Evanston, and the world premiere of Raggedy And by David Valdes Greenwood March 10 to April 12 at Rivendell. In addition, our script and screenplay development programs continue throughout the year at Center on Halsted, including Gay Play Weekend (May 2016), LezPlay (September 2016) featuring plays and screenplays written by women with lesbian characters or themes, and Gay Film Weekend (November 13 to 15, 2015) featuring LGBT screenplays and screenings.

PFP’s Queer Bits Fall Film Festival II is November 9. Other special events include the Simply Sensational Benefit featuring Alexandra Billings on November 2 at Stage 773, and Winter Memories at Twisted Vine on December 7.

Pride Films and Plays is supported by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard Driehaus Foundation, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago’s City Arts Fund, the Elliott Fredland Charitable Trust, Proud to Run, and the AmazonSmile Foundation. PFP is a member of the Smart Growth Program of the Chicago Community Trust. Pride Films and Plays is a member of the Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, The League of Chicago Theaters, and the Central Lakeview Merchants Association.
For more information, visit or call 1 800 737 0984.