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FilmOut Kicks Off Thursday In-Person With 'Firebird'

Tom Prior is Segey and Oleg Zagorodnii is Roman in the British-Estonian co-production "Firebird," which opens FilmOut San Diego on Thursday.
The Dream Factory
Tom Prior is Segey and Oleg Zagorodnii is Roman in the British-Estonian co-production "Firebird," which opens FilmOut San Diego on Thursday.

Actor Tom Prior will host post film Q&A

FilmOut San Diego’s LGBTQ Film Festival returns to an in-person event Thursday night with the British-Estonian co-production "Firebird."

FilmOut San Diego’s LGBTQ Film Festival returns to an in person event Thursday night with the British-Estonian co-production "Firebird."

Actor, writer and producer Tom Prior is excited to be coming to the festival for opening night and actually seeing the film with a live audience.

"It's amazing to experience a live in-person event with people actually responding to the film and finding these kind of moments where the film really holds people's attention, surprises them or kind of makes them gasp," Prior said. "I'm very grateful that we've been asked to come and open the festival. It's a real joy and an honor and a privilege to be able to also be coming in person."

FilmOut Kicks Off Thursday In-Person With ‘Firebird’
Listen to this story by Beth Accomando.

The film begins in 1977 at a Soviet air force base where a young soldier, played by Prior, falls in love with a dashing fighter pilot. Prior was drawn to the role of Sergey Fetisov, who is based on a real person.

"It really appealed to me in the kind of fascination of where friendship becomes something more," the actor said. "And that's always been a line that's really fascinated me between two people, regardless of their kind of orientation or background, but really about kind of going like, how does this becomes something else other than what it appears to be? And then really this sort of like opening up on a really kind of like soulful basis. The story is for me so curious in how two kind of souls really kind of come together and are in this sort of like, intertwined love and this very unusual circumstance."

Although the film is set in the past, director Peeter Rabane said it’s very much about current issues.

"I think it's really heartbreaking and in a way scary to see what's going on around the world, really in the last ten years," Rebane said. "I mean, look at Iran or Afghanistan, you can get killed for who you love and execute it officially by the state. And Russia has been worryingly, actually going also back towards much more discrimination and really hate speech and hate crime over the last eight years since the introduction of this new laws against, quote, unquote homosexual propaganda."

FilmOut kicks off Thursday night with "Firebird" at the San Diego Natural History Museum and then continues through Sunday at the Museum of Photographic Arts with shorts, documentaries and features from around the globe.

’Firebird’ Opens FilmOut San Diego