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Michael McQuiggan
San Diego programming director, FilmOut, filmoutsandiego.com

C.R.A.Z.Y. is one of the best French Canadian films ever! This epic film follows the relationships of five brothers and their parents, told specifically through the eyes of the son who is struggling with his identity. This cerebral and beautiful film won multiple deserved awards for its acting, screenplay, and direction.

Praised for its no-nonsense approach to intolerance and hostility, Hate Crime is a brutally honest independent film that deals with homophobia on all levels. The performances and screenplay elevate the tension in what surely is still a topical theme in the world today.

C.R.A.Z.Y. (Canada) 2005, TVA Films
Hate Crime (USA) 2005, Image Entertainment

Matt Habecker Executive director, FilmOut San Diego

Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother offers a story of a single mother (the amazing Cecilia Roth) in Madrid whose only son dies on his 17th birthday. When she goes to Barcelona to find her son’s father — a transvestite named Lola — the drama unfolds. The film plays more like a Spanish “telenovela” than your run-of-the-mill foreign drama.

Donnie Darko is a psychological thriller with a massive cult following. The film depicts the existential journey of Donnie as he seeks the meaning and significance of his troubling end-of-the-world visions. Great script and acting. It features an eclectic cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, and Drew Barrymore. I never get bored watching this film.

All About My Mother (Spain) 1999, Sony Pictures
Donnie Darko (USA) 2001, Twentieth Century Fox

Kaleb James Volunteer director, FilmOut

Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge is a visual feast and a 21st-century opera managing somehow to be particularly eccentric yet still deeply personal. Moulin Rouge has a genuine emotional core that is about being true to yourself (and your heart) despite oppression or opposition. Genuine performances by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor help the viewer get lost in this beautiful and timeless tale

The Fifth Element is a perfect mix of action, science fiction, comedy, suspense, and romance. Spot-on casting of Milla Jovovich, Ian Holm, Gary Oldman, and Chris Tucker help hold the creative elements of the plotline together. The eternal tale of good versus evil has never been displayed in a more pleasing, comical, or vibrant way.

Moulin Rouge! (Australia/USA) 2001, Twentieth Century Fox
The Fifth Element (France) 1997, Sony Pictures

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