The Ft. Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (FLGLFF) wrapped up its four-day schedule a week ago Sunday with a glamorous closing night finale party at Alexan Solmar and the presentation of three awards to the films voted favorites by audience members. Festival Board Chair Mark Gilbert announced the winners in front of more than 200 guests who attended the closing event, including special guests actor/producer Emerson Collins and director Del Shores from Southern Baptist Sissies and Scott Gracheff, director of the documentary The Rugby Player.
“Absolutely, this was the best Ft. Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival ever,” said Gilbert. “Moviegoers truly embraced our line-up of films, our parties and the special guests who came to town for the festival. We exceeded our goal of ticket sales by several hundred, which will help set the stage for an even bigger festival in 2014.”
Winners of the 2013 FLGLFF Audience Awards were:
Favorite Feature Film – Reaching for the Moon – Director: Bruno Barreto
Playing to a sold-out audience, Reaching for the Moon touched moviegoers with its epic and sweet tale of a true-life love story. Grappling with writer’s block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) travels to Rio de Janeiro in 1951 to visit her college friend Mary Morse. Hoping to find inspiration on her friend’s sprawling estate, Elizabeth winds up with much more when she is introduced to Mary’s bohemian partner, the wealthy, charismatic and assertive architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Brazilian telenovela star Glória Pires). Anchored by magnificent lead performances and dramatically set in vibrant design-conscious mid-century Brazil, this romantic story of two gifted artists from different cultural backgrounds is epic in scope and compelling to watch.
Favorite Documentary Film – Bridegroom (South Florida Premiere) –Director: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after the screening of Bridegroom. Also the winner of the 2013 Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival, director/producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason sheds light on Shane and Tom’s struggle to achieve same-sex marriage equality through their video diaries, home movies, photos and personal interviews. Six years into their partnership, Tom accidentally missteps off the side of a roof and Shane’s life is flipped upside down. Compelling, urgent and timely, Bridegroom is an emotional story of love and perseverance through loss that will enrage and galvanize all people who yearn to be who they are and love who they love.
Favorite Short Film – Dirty Talk – Director: Jeff Sumner
A dinnertime discussion that features off-color names for various parts of the male anatomy had audience members rolling in the aisles during Dirty Talk. The 12-minute short film is about a gay, conservative English teacher named Nathan who is having dinner with his friend Zach. At dinner Zach accuses Nathan of being prudish when it comes to sex. So Nathan tells Zach about a wild sexual encounter that pushed him way out of his comfort zone with a sexy Latin man. As a nosy waiter tries to listen in, the story culminates in a hilarious awkward night with a surprise twist at the end. Dirty Talk has been a festival circuit favorite this year garnering numerous awards across the country.
The mission of the Ft. Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is to produce events and programs that bring the LGBT community together through film. Having just finished its fifth year as a stand-alone festival, the 2013 FLGLFF is dedicated to featuring films by, about, and for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Dates for the 2014 Ft. Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival are October 9 -12, 2014. For more information, or to become a member of the festival, visit www.flglff.com, or call 305-751-6305.