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The Board of Directors for the Miami and Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals announced today that Mark “Marky G” Gilbert has been named Interim Board Chair…

fillm banThe Board of Directors for the Miami and Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals announced that Mark “Marky G” Gilbert has been named Interim Board Chair, Executive Director Franc Castro has resigned and Carol Coombes has been contracted by the organization to be Interim Programming Director for the upcoming Fort Lauderdale festival.

Gilbert has been a board member for 11 years and temporarily assumes chairman duties from Wood Kinnard who has stepped back for personal reasons. At the 2012 Miami festival, Gilbert received the Angel Award for his numerous years of outstanding service to not only the film festival but also to the LGBT community in South Florida. In addition to the film festivals, Gilbert is heavily involved with the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and has served as emcee of the Miami Beach Gay Pride parade. He is perhaps best known as the radio host for “South Beach Dance Party” on Y-100 and “Issues Over the Rainbow” on 93.1.

“We have just come off an amazing 15th anniversary festival in Miami,” Gilbert said. “There are so many good things happening with both festivals that I’m honored to serve the community as board chair and help steer the festivals toward even greater accomplishments.”

Executive Director Franc Castro has stepped down to pursue master’s degrees in Radio/TV/Film and Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin.

“It’s been a personal and professional honor to be a part of the film festival family for the past eight years, the last four of which as executive director,” Castro said. “After developing Fort Lauderdale as a stand-alone festival, creating the monthly GLOW screenings and bringing HBO Latin America on board as a presenting sponsor, I’m now excited to start the next adventure in my life by going back to school to earn my master’s degrees.”

To complete the programming schedule for the upcoming Fort Lauderdale film festival that Castro and the staff were developing, the board of directors has contracted film festival veteran Carol Coombes as interim program director for the October 10–13 event. Gilbert and Coombes have worked together before producing previous film festivals in Miami where she served on the staff of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival from 2001 to 2008.

In addition to her previous MGLFF film festival experience, Coombes has been Managing Director for Philadelphia QFEST and Program and Industry Initiative Associate Manager for the Miami International Film Festival.

“I am thrilled to return to the South Florida gay film festival scene and help grow the festival in Fort Lauderdale,” Coombes said. “While there has been a history between me and the organization, time is a great healer. I have a special place in my heart for South Florida and I am passionate about creating an extraordinary roster of films to make the upcoming event an amazing experience for our audiences, the filmmakers and the community.”

The 5th Annual Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival will run October 10-13, 2013. To become a member of the FLGLFF and receive advance ticket purchasing rights, as well as discounted and complimentary tickets to screenings, visit Members receive priority entry, seating benefits, invitations to special events and much more.