If we couldn't have Julie Newmar (and we apparently couldn't) for the 1966 Batman film that spun out of the spoofy TV series, Lee Meriwether was a solid stand-in. That figure, eyes and especially eyebrows--meeeeow!
But that's not the film that brings the veteran actress to Long Beach next month for the QFilm Festival.
Miss America of 1955 actually appears in two films screening Saturday, Sept. 7, at the LGBTQ-themed cinematic event that debuted in 1993, making it Long Beach's longest-running film festival.
Meriwether is part of the cast in the feature-length Birthday Cake, writer-director Chad Darnell's sequel to the multi award-winning short film Groom's Cake. A mockumentary following the three days leading up to the first birthday party of a child with two gay parents (a television actor and his screenwriter husband), Birthday Cake is to be shown at 12:30 p.m. at the Art Theatre on Fourth Street.
Then at 2:30 p.m., one of the Women in Shorts films is Marc Saltarelli's Remember to Breathe, which stars Meriwether as a former musical headliner named Alice who lives alone and forgotten in a house hidden away just below the Hollywood sign. Mentoring a young aspiring singer (Leigh Ann Larkin) brings memories flooding back to Alice of a past love (Susan Blakely).
Meriwether is scheduled to join the filmmakers and other cast and crew members at audience Q&A's that follow the screenings, according to QFilm organizers, who also released this 2013 schedule on the next page (and after that there are links to vital sites) ...
FRIDAY, SEPT. 6
7 p.m. REACHING FOR THE MOON (Long Beach premiere) at the Art Theatre
8-10:30 p.m. Opening Night Party at the Center
9:30 p.m. G.B.F. (Long Beach premiere) at the Art Theatre followed by Q&A with director Darren Stein and cast.
11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. After Party at the Center
SATURDAY, SEPT. 7
12:30 p.m. BIRTHDAY CAKE (West Coast premiere) at the Art Theatre followed by Q&A with filmmakers and cast
1:30 p.m. DRAGTASTIC! Short Films Program at the Center, featuring Get Down Glenda, Alaska is a Drag, Jollie B. Fierce, Heklina and Silver Stiletto. Followed by Q&A with filmmakers and cast members.
2:30 p.m. WOMEN IN SHORTS Short Films Program at the Art Theatre, featuring Darkness, Bunny Girl, Bombshell, Lez Be Honest, La Santa, Dos Almas, Vecinas and Remember to Breathe. Followed by a special appearance by Lee Meriwether and Q&A with other cast members and filmmakers.
3:30 p.m. CORPUS CHRISTI: PLAYING WITH REDEMPTION (Advance Sneak Preview) at the Center followed by audience discussion.
4:45 p.m. MEN IN BRIEFS Short Films Program at the Art Theatre, featuring Barry's Bespoke Bakery (which I recommend for fans of marriage equality and visually stunning baked goods), The Commitment, Straight With You, Barbie Boy, 24 Hitchhikers, Grotto, P.D.A. and Silver Stiletto. Followed by Q&A with filmmakers and cast members.
5:30 p.m. FIRST PERIOD (Long Beach premiere) at the Center followed by Q&A with filmmakers and cast
7 p.m. THE PUNK SINGER (California premiere) at the Art Theatre
8-10:30 p.m. Saturday Night Party at the Center
9 p.m. I AM DIVINE (Long Beach premiere) at the Art Theatre
11 p.m.-1 a.m. After Party at the Center
SUNDAY, SEPT. 8
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Brunch at the Center
1 p.m. HOMEBOY (Long Beach premiere) at the Art Theatre preceded by short film Kiss Me and followed by Q&A with filmmakers and participants
1:30 p.m. HETEROSEXUAL JILL (Long Beach premiere) at the Center followed by Q&A with filmmakers
3 p.m. VALENTINE ROAD (Southern California premiere) at the Art Theatre
3:30 p.m. PEOPLE OF COLOR Short Films Program at the Center, featuring Darkness, A World for Raul, O Pacote, Kiss Me, Dos Almas, La Santa and Jollie B. Fierce, followed by Q&A with filmmakers and cast
5 p.m. INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR. (Long Beach premiere) at the Art Theatre preceded by short film Adults Only and followed by Q&A with filmmakers and cast members. (Due to explicit content, no one under 18 years of age will be admitted.)
5:30 p.m. QUEERNESS SHORTS Short Films Program at the Center, featuring Happy, What I Love About Being Queer, Claudio, Maura y Yo, Rough Trade, A Night in the Woods, Who Am I Happy and Deflated, followed by Q&A with filmmakers and cast members
7 p.m. WHO'S AFRAID OF VAGINA WOLF? (Long Beach premiere) at the Art Theatre followed by Q&A with filmmakers and cast members
8-10:30 p.m. Closing Night Party at the Center
9 p.m. GETTING GO: the go doc project (Long Beach premiere) at the Art Theatre
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Jury awards "will be given to worthy films in several categories," according to organizers, who also note all net proceeds from the festival benefit The Center Long Beach and its community outreach programs. Passes and tickets are available for purchase through www.qfilmslongbeach.com.
Contact Christina D. Rios Bennett at 562.889.2826 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information about sponsorship opportunities.
For more information on the Art Theatre, visit www.arttheatrelongbeach.com.
While submissions for this year's fest are now closed, they will be accepted beginning in October for the 2014 festival via www.withoutabox.com.