Net coins Mitchell's controversial effort

NEW YORK — Q Television, the subscription cable net aimed at gay and lesbian viewers, has come aboard as a majority financier on John Cameron Mitchell’s controversial feature “Shortbus.”

Mitchell, creator of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” grabbed headlines when he announced last year that the film would feature graphic gay and straight sex scenes by amateur players.

Pic, described as “an exploration of sexuality, art and music,” follows seven characters as they navigate sex and love in modern-day Gotham. Howard Gertler and Tim Perell are producing.

“Shortbus” will head into production for 30 days starting May 9. Mitchell said he’s aiming to screen the film at next year’s Berlin Film Festival, with a possibly sneak peek at Sundance.

Headed by prexy-CEO Frank Olsen, Q will use “Shortbus” to brand itself as a cutting-edge, risk-taking entity.

Fortissimo is handling foreign sales on the pic, which does not yet have domestic theatrical distribution.

Mitchell said he found studio-based specialty arms supportive of the material at script stage but shy to back the project prior to shooting due to their corporate ties.

He added that the film will be a “perfect way of getting Q out there as the maverick (gay) station.”

“Most of the other (gay) channels couldn’t show the film,” he added.

Q gets basic cable rights as part of the deal. Senior exec veep Alexis Fish brought the project into the network.

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