Film News: Reeling Film Festival Opens with 'The Shiny Shrimps'

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CHICAGO - Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is not only one of the longest-running film festivals of its kind, but also one of the longest-running film festival in Chicago. The quality of films here shouldn’t be missed. Every year, Reeling is brimming with diverse stories from a variety of cultures around the world, alongside more than a few projects from Chicago locals like Lilly Wachowski.


There is always something for everyone here, whether you like a feature-length film, prefer your queer content delivered to you in a series of shorts, or feel the need to have your pragmatic side fed by hard-hitting and timely documentaries. Check out the full Reeling schedule and buy your tickets online since many features will sell out. From past experience, the best option is to get a festival pass so that you can catch as many films as you want!

The film festival opens tonight with French comedy, “The Shiny Shrimps”. Currently, the film is currently rated “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes if that sort of thing matters to you. Here’s a quick synopsis:

When Matthias, a hunky Olympic champion at the end of his career, makes a homophobic statement on TV his punishment is to coach the Shiny Shrimps, a flamboyant, amateur gay water polo team. The surly Matthias, hoping to qualify for a coveted spot at a meet that will ensure his return to glory, agrees to take on the assignment. But the team – filled with an assorted group of gay men and a sassy trans woman – are as hopeless in the water as they are assured, funny and sharply opinioned out of it. Last in the league, they dream of winning at least one match in order to qualify for the Gay Games in Croatia where the hottest international LGBTQ athletes compete. Will their impatient, homophobic coach rise to the occasion and help his cockeyed optimists realize their dream? And perhaps find his mind (and heart) expanded in the process?


Think of the campy queer films of old, like “Birdcage” and “The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert”. It is light-hearted, but not without some heavy societal topics. This crowd-pleaser will make sure you leave with a smile on your face, and probably an odd urge to go swimming.

The festival is over a week-long extravaganza with filmmakers from all around there world coming to Chicago to talk about their films, so there is plenty to see. Since Halloween is right around the corner, pay extra close attention to this year’s closing night film, “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street”, which tells a truly terrifying story about Hollywood, homophobia, and horror icon Freddy Krueger. Just like Freddy Krueger himself, Reeling always proves to be a festival you shouldn’t sleep on.

Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival is over a week-long and will run from September 19th to September 29th. Locations vary, from The Music Box Theater to Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema to Chicago Filmmakers. You can buy your tickets online or day of at the venue’s box office, beginning 30 mins before the first show of the day.

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