SAN FRANCISCO, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- PlanetOut.com, a leading Internet destination for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community, announced today the 25 finalists for the second annual PlanetOut.com Short Movie Awards, a landmark annual event showcasing the hottest talents in lesbian and gay short filmmaking. The event includes $15,000 in cash prizes, to be awarded by a celebrity jury, as well as an online Audience Awards section (open for voting from June 1 to 30, 2001). Geoffrey Nauffts' poignant gay adoption drama, "Baby Steps," starring Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates, is among the stellar pack of finalists. Other highlights include "The Rape of Ganymede," a hilarious new short from "South Park" animator Dustin Woehrman and MTV Networks producer Tom Whitman; the gorgeously shot "Lullaby" from USC Film School graduate Antonia Kao; the lyrical "Casualty" by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson; and a powerful new documentary, "XXXY," about two intersex individuals born with ambiguous genitalia who confront the medical establishment. "It's like the Oscars of gay and lesbian cinema -- only shorter!" quipped Village Voice gossip columnist Michael Musto. "The PlanetOut.com Short Movie Awards presents the best GLBT short films anywhere," said PlanetOut.com senior entertainment producer Jenni Olson. "We're looking forward to lots of folks watching and voting in our online audience awards." The 25 finalists will reach a worldwide audience via online exhibition of their work on www.planetout.com and through exposure on the AtomShockwave film site, at www.atomfilms.com. The PlanetOut.com Short Movie Awards are sponsored by AtomFilms, Miller Brewing Company and Paper Magazine. A DVD release of selected shorts from last year's PlanetOut.com Short Movie Awards is slated for August 2001 from L.A.-based Picture This! Entertainment. Celebrity Jury and Viewing Audience to Select Winners The distinguished jury includes such gay and lesbian film industry notables as openly gay actor Wilson Cruz (Supernova, All Over Me, "My So Called Life"), Sundance Film Festival and Outfest programmer Shannon Kelley, and acclaimed indie director Jamie Babbit (But I'm a Cheerleader, the WB's "Popular"). The jury will select a $10,000 Grand Prize winner, as well as $1,000 First Prize winners in each of five categories (drama, comedy, animation, experimental, documentary). Finalists will be showcased on the PlanetOut.com site throughout the month of June in competition for Audience Awards in each category. Viewers from around the world will vote for their favorites. Winners will be announced and prizes presented at a special "PlanetOut.com Short Movie Awards" ceremony and program at Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (July 12-22, 2001). The prizewinning filmmakers will be flown to Outfest for the Awards ceremony, where they will participate in the largest film festival of any kind in Southern California, attended by leading figures in the entertainment industry. AtomFilms will give consideration to all finalists for possible international distribution deals, and Picture This! Entertainment will be screening finalists for potential inclusion on a 2001 PlanetOut.com Short Movie Awards DVD release. PlanetOut.com's PopcornQ movie channel is the definitive source for GLBT movie news, reviews, interviews and professional resources. PlanetOut.com's Online Cinema has been showcasing gay and lesbian films since 1997 and boasts hundreds of short films and movie trailers, including such acclaimed Sundance selections as Tina Gharavi's Closer, Lourdes Portillo's Sometimes My Feet Go Numb, and Tom's Flesh by Tom di Maria and Jane Wagner. All films are presented in RealVideo, QuickTime and Windows Media Player formats. The Complete List of Finalists Animation: Civil Enough by Marilyn Freeman; Numb by Dino Alberto and Dave Hughes; Piki and Poko by Mark Ewert and David Cutler; Tumbleweed Town by Samara Halperin; Via Wire by Clif Mok; The Rape of Ganymede by Dustin Woehrmann and Tom Whitman. Comedy: 50 Ways by Angela Robinson; Color Me Gay by Eric Waddell and Jeffrey Wylie; Hi I'm Steve by Robert Kennedy; Trigger Happy by Laurie Schmidt; Watching Lesbian Porn by Dayna Mcleod. Documentary: Destiny's Children by Kevin O'Keefe; Family Values by Eva Saks; No Backup by Efrat Tal; XXXY by Laleh Soomekh and Porter Gale; Youth Outloud! by Becky Burklee and Kathy Hines. Drama: Baby Steps by Geoffrey Nauffts; Broken Warning by Tadeo Garcia; Lives of the Pharaohs by Jonathan Wald; Lost Cause by Glenn Gaylord; Summer Light by Aaron Walker. Experimental: Borderline by Lisset Barcellos; Casualty by Andy Abrahams Wilson; Crimson by Gino T. and Byung K.; Girl Under The Table by Dominique Zeltman; Lullaby by Antonia Kao. About PlanetOut Partners, Inc. Based in San Francisco, PlanetOut Partners is the premier online community services and media company serving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their families and friends. The company's two largest online portals, Gay.com and PlanetOut.com, leverage the distribution power and reach of the Internet to provide products and services to more than 4.3 million consumers each month (DoubleClick DART) and more than 2.6 million registered members. The Gay.com portal offers an extensive global network that provides interactive services including chat, message boards, personals, e-mail, Kleptomaniac.com e-commerce services and original content channels. The Gay.com network includes sites in the U.S., France, the United Kingdom, Latin America and Italy. The PlanetOut.com portal offers premium services such as the popular PersonalsPlus matchmaking service, as well as news, entertainment, travel, Kleptomaniac e-commerce services, Internet radio, online cinema and advice columns. PlanetOut.com has key distribution partnerships with America Online, Netscape, ICQ, Yahoo, CompuServe, Microsoft's MSN and other major Web companies. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X89833976
SOURCE PlanetOut Partners, Inc.