Pasadena Film Festival

Level Ground Film Festival aims to bridge the gap between religion and the LGBT Community.

A film festival is proposing to try to bridge the enormous gap between religion and the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.  The four-day event is took place over the weekend in Old Town Pasadena, California after having been held in cities such as Portland, Oregon, New York, San Francisco, and Toronto, Canada.  The group holding the event is called Level Ground and endeavors to tackle the differences that separate religion and the LGBT community.

Samantha Curley, who is the co-executive director of the Level Ground initiative, says the focus this year was on an expansion of the dialogue surrounding homelessness, mental health and racial inequality.  “The festival,” says Curley, “is trying to help people form relationships,” despite any differences or disagreements.  The purpose, she says, is to help others “learn how to value people over ideology.”

The film festival is donation-based and features interactive experiences with films that will explored various relationship types, including family and friendship.  There were more than two dozen other events, as well.  These events spanned a range of activities, including yoga, poetry, workshops for building compassion and empathy and other events at five venues, which are all within walking distance of the main festival.  The locations included a local church, a dance studio and other local businesses.

Curley, who is heterosexual and from a non-religious background, says the Level Ground Film Festival offers something for everyone who has questions, without regard to their religious affiliation, sexuality, age or gender.  There was a variety show that included performances by a variety of artists, including live music, spoken-word poetry, dance and other artistic voices.  More information about the four-day event is available at the organization’s website at www.onlevelground.org.

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