Outwrite multiplies Thursday by ‘Butch Factor’

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imageWhile former Atlantan Christopher Hines is in town putting the finishing touches on his new film, he stops at Outwrite Thursday to sign DVD copies of “The Butch Factor,” his 2009 feature on gay male masculinity.

A look at gay male ideas and stereotypes associated with being “butch” or “femme,” the film is a project that Hines got the idea for three years ago.

“I wanted to explore the idea of masculinity,” he says. “It’s a heated topic. I hadn’t seen much like this around.”

In the film, he interviews an assortment of men – including a cop, rugby players, softball players, bears and rodeo riders (photos from film). He picked interviewees he felt ran the gamut from traditional masculine types to non-traditional types about issues such as homophobia and their own definition of how they fit into the gay spectrum.

imageOne of the men featured in “The Butch Factor” is Steven Daigle, from the reality show “Big Brother.” The film also features interviews with several Atlantans, including a mention of Woofs sports bar and Woofs owner Aaron Born.

Hines was a little surprised at how divisive the issue was to some men. He says there is a lot of judgment in the gay community, more so than among men in the straight community.

“There is a lack of understanding from both sides, not knowing how the other side feels,” he says.

The director admits he never envisioned “The Butch Factor” playing at festivals across the world and being seen by so many people. After debuting at Frameline, San Francisco’s international LGBT film festival, last summer, he had requests to bring the film to other festivals, including Atlanta’s Out on Film, last fall.

Hines lived in Atlanta for four years – from 1997 to 2001 – before moving to Los Angeles. While here, he worked for CNN before moving on to MTV and now E!

He is filming parts of his next movie “The Adonis Factor,” which deals with body image among gay men, in Atlanta. He is also editing it here.

“I think it’s a little more controversial,” he says of the new project. “Looks are personal to everyone. Men have become objectified. We are bombarded by images everywhere.”

In addition to interviews with two trainers from Urban Body Fitness, two of the subjects are Titan models Christopher Saint and Dakota Rivers.

“I contacted Titan about it, and they agreed,” he says. “They had seen ‘The Butch Factor’ and liked it.”

“The Adonis Factor” debuts at Frameline later this month, and Hines is hopeful to show it in Atlanta too.

An edited version of “The Butch Factor” debuted on Logo in April. The DVD has special features and contains an interview with Dave Kopay, the former NFL San Francisco 49er who came out five years after retiring.

After he finishes “The Adonis Factor,” Hines plans to make film about the way men relate to each other sexually and emotionally.

Christopher Hines signs copies of his DVD “The Butch Factor” at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

imageJim Farmer is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and public relations professional specializing in film promotions. He is the director of the annual Out On Film, Atlanta’s gay and lesbian film festival, and has been a theater and pop-culture critic for more than a dozen years.

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