How meaningful and innovative happenings come together typically arrive with interesting stories and personalities and moments, and the Level Ground Film Festival -- billed as "the world's first faith-based LGBT film festival" -- has such the inspiring origin story.
The 2nd annual festival, which'll bring panels, screenings, talks, and more to various Pasadena venues through Sunday, March 2, got its start at Fuller Theological Seminary, "the largest Evangelical seminary in the world and the first to sanction an official LGBT student group." Chelsea McInturff and Samantha Curley were student leaders in that group, a group that brought the documentary "Love Free or Die" in for screening and discussion.
And the festival? It flowered from there.
Now Ms. McInturff -- "a gay Christian from a socially and politically conservative family" -- and Ms. Curley -- "a straight Christian from a liberal and non-religious family" -- are at the executive director helm of the dynamically programmed, multi-venue fest, an event that'll provide a "safe space" for conversation and a variety of viewpoints.
Level Ground draws its name from the Bible --- Isaiah 40:3-5, to be exact -- and much of its mission comes from a strong faith base and the belief that inclusion, dialogue, and understanding are key when it comes to the matters of "faith, gender and sexuality," and how differences in viewpoint and heart might be bridged.
Over 11-days, festival organizers will explore those timely topics through a program of films at the Laemmle Playhouse, lunchtime galas at the Lineage Dance Studio, dinner galas at Jones Coffee, and theater. And much talking, socializing, laughter, and community spirit.
Want tickets, more information, or to find out about Level Ground's discussion-oriented happenings? Click.