One of the hardest-working filmmakers in L.A., Jorge Ameer has been an actor, a director, a writer, a producer, a cinematographer, a productions designer, a distributor, and a film programmer. Yet his many contributions to the GLBT filmmaking community have gone largely unrecognized. Over the past decade he has written, directed, and produced such offbeat films as Strippers, My Straight Boyfriend, Straight Men & the Men Who Love Them, House of Adam, and Contadora Is for Lovers. He also came up with the Glitter Awards, the annual alternative to the Oscars to recognize GLBT films.
A native of Panama, at the age of thirteen Ameer was sent to the U.S. by his parents during the reign of dictator Manuel Noriega (1983–89). An ardent filmgoer as a child, Ameer’s professional career started when he was selected to participate in the Walt Disney College Program at the age of eighteen. After that, Ameer worked for New Line Cinema, Paramount, Columbia Pictures, and TriStar Pictures in the early 90’s. He founded the Continental Film Festival in 1997, held on the island of Contadora off the Gulf of Panama, and serves as a festival coordinator and programmer for numerous film festivals. As a distributor, Ameer started Hollywood Independents International, which primarily focuses on films with GLBT content. In addition he produced and arranged the publishing of The Guide to Gay & Lesbian Film.
This exclusive, face-to-face interview was conducted in early September.