This year’s qFLIX Philadelphia 2018 will close with the premiere of the critically-acclaimed Vincent Gagliostro’s “After Louie,” starring the multi-talented out entertainer and author Alan Cumming, who will be presented with the qFLIX Philadelphia 2018 Artistic Achievement Award in Acting at 8:00 PM, Sunday, March 25, on the stage of the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Red carpet call for photo opts runs from 7:00 to 7:45 PM.
qFLIX chose Cumming as an award recipient for his arresting performances on stage, screen, and television, from “Cabaret” to “The Good Wife” and his newly-launched “Instinct,” an engaging crime series in which Cumming is the first-ever lead gay character, in a network series, truly a “milestone” for CBS and LGBTQ+ community.
Of the 52-year-old Tony and Emmy Award actor, Indiewire called Cumming “one of the most versatile, provocative and charismatic actors working today,” while Huffington Post noted he “has never shied away from exploring sexuality on stage and screen,” and it’s generally agreed among critics that he “has the ability to flawlessly change his voice and appearance for each role.”
Audiences will see this Cumming trademark as well as his “charmer” quality become altered as he plays against type in “After Louie,” as Sam, a queer, fifty-something, chain-smoking artist situated on the Upper West Side, who perpetually pines for the years before the loss of his lover William (Patrick Breen) to AIDS related complications and has issues navigating through today’s gay culture.
But something is about to change upon Sam’s drunken one-night-stand with the baby-faced Braeden (Zackary Booth) that leads to both dynamic chemistry between the two and witty banter in what is clearly an intergenerational drama.
“That sort of discussion between an older gay man and a younger gay man, and the differences between their generations, is happening everywhere. It’s pandemic, and yet I’ve never really seen it represented in a film. I know so many older gay men who are like: ‘You don’t know what the AIDS crisis was like,’ but I also know a lot of young gay guys who are like: ‘Who cares?,’” the outspoken activist Cumming told The Guardian. He said that “we’re still paralyzed by the pandemic.”
That’s why the Los Angeles Blade said: “After Louie” may well be the most important gay movie you’ll see in your lifetime.”
Cumming’s resume is wide, long and varied. He wrote, directed, produced and acted in ‘The Anniversary Party” that premiered at Cannes 2002, with Jennifer Jason Leigh and an all-star cast; his acting range stretches from playing Nightcrawler in “X-Men 2” to “Hamlet” in Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, garnering critical acclaim and many nominations and awards throughout his career; his performance in “Cabaret” is legendary and Tony Award winning.
His versality has allowed him to work with everyone from Stanley Kubrick, Lisa Minelli, Julie Taymor, to the Spice Girls, and Jay Z. He has toured his one-man show, “Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs,” nationwide, exhibiting both his wicked sense of humor and as a “song-and-dance” man. A recent venture is as an owner of Club Cumming in New York City.
Married to illustrator Grant Shaffer, the dual-national Cumming has supported causes on both sides of the Atlantic, including GLAAD, HRC, Equality Network, AMFAR and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to NORM-UK, an English-registered charity concerned with foreskin health and matters related to circumcision; he has condemned the practice of routine infant circumcision, particularly in the United States where it is common.
Preceding the film and Cumming award presentation, the jury and audience awards will be announced. Following the conclusion of the film, there will be a talkback with Cumming and director/co-writer Vincent Gagliostro, co-writer Anthony Johnston and Art PA Jordan Geiger with the audience.
The closing night festivities will conclude with a qFLIX benefit after-party, a tribute celebration to Cumming, members of the cast and crew of “After Louie,” and staff and volunteers of qFLIX, from 10:00 PM to 1:00 PM, at the Sofitel Philadelphia, with the annual “qFLIX cocktail,” lite fare featuring French-inspired cuisine, prepared by chef Ed Hancock, music, and mixing and mingling with filmmakers and fellow festival goers.