From documentaries to comedies and dramas, the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (FLGLFF) prides itself on bringing to South Florida some of the most relevant and important recently-released LGBT films. The festival returns for a sixth year and will feature films across two fun-filled weekends: the first half of the festival will start on Friday, October 10 and continue through Sunday, October 12, and the second half will start Thursday, October 16 and end on Sunday, October 19. Presenting sponsors of the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival are HBO, Merrill Lynch, the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, and the Broward Office of Film, Music and Entertainment.
“This year’s FLGLFF promises to be the most spectacular one ever,” said Mark Gilbert, Interim Director. “The Fort Lauderdale community has embraced FLGLFF, and we have responded by expanding to seven days, with 32 feature films and 18 shorts, along with special events and parties throughout the city.”
The Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale (1 E. Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale) serves as the opening venue on Friday, October 10, featuring a filmmakers’ soirée at 6 p.m. At the soirée, members of the public will be able to meet many of the filmmakers presenting their films at the festival this year, and they can ask them questions about their work. At 8 p.m., the U.S. premiere of the film Four Moons will be screened in the Horvitz Auditorium. At 10 p.m., the opening night “Grand Event” will begin, featuring champagne, hors d’oeuvres, a live band featuring a harpist and percussion, and a “Marie Antoinette Living Red Carpet.” This “Grand Event” reception is sponsored by the Broward Office of Film, Music & Entertainment.
“Fort Lauderdale is home to a dynamic, diverse community, voted as a favorite destination for the LGBT market worldwide,” said Noelle Stevenson, Film & Entertainment Commissioner, Broward Office of Film, Music & Entertainment at the CVB. “We are thrilled to play an integral role in the growth of FLGLFF, showcasing our city to film aficionados, visitors and staycationers and helping to make this a world-class event.”
Two of the films featured this year are on their way to being nominated for Academy Awards. The film The Way He Looks and the film The Circle, from Brazil and Switzerland, respectively, have been presented for consideration by the Academy under the category “Best Foreign Film.” Those films can be seen on Saturday, October 11 at noon (The Circle) and Friday, October 17 at 6 p.m. (The Way He Looks). These films, along with nearly all other Film Festival offerings, can be seen at the Classic Gateway Theatre (1820 E. Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale).
There are a few selections premiering for the very first time in Florida at the Film Festival. All of these options are shown at the Classic Gateway Theatre unless otherwise specified. These premieres include:
Stand – A Russian couple witness a hate crime and decide to do their own amateur sleuthing when they realize the police won’t do anything about it. Saturday, October 11, at 9:45 p.m.
Honeymoon – From the Czech Republic. A couple on their wedding day is haunted by the past when an unwanted visitor comes bearing a gift they do not want. Sunday, October 12, at 9:45 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale)
Beyond Love – From Italy. Two couples, one lesbian and one gay, wish to have a baby, but they cannot agree on how this will happen. Their friendship will soon be in danger. Thursday, October 16, at 7:30 p.m.
- Fear of Water – From the United Kingdom. Based on true events, this story brings together two girls from different backgrounds for a summer of love and sexual awakening. Friday, October 17, at 6:45 p.m.
Xenia – From Greece. Two brothers, one gay and one straight, are forced to search for their birth father to prove citizenship in their own country after their mother dies. Friday, October 17, at 8:15 p.m.
I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole – A documentary focusing on the life of filmmaker Wakefield Poole, contrasting the images of “erotic art maker” that he preferred over “smut peddler” that society forced on him. Saturday, October 18, at 2:30 p.m.
F(l)ag Football – Directed by South Florida native Seth Greenleaf, this film follows four different flag football teams as they hope to reach the National Gay Bowl, the “gay Super Bowl.” Saturday, October 18, at 5 p.m.
Drown – From Australia. The lifeguards of Bondi Beach save lives during the day and party hard at night. Combine booze, one man with homophobic tendencies and another man with unrequited lust and you have a gravely dangerous situation. Saturday, October 18, at 9:45 p.m.
Queen of Amsterdam – A group of bar regulars, insistent on saving their favorite hole in the wall establishment, tries to pull off an Ocean’s Eleven-level heist from the Royal Museum so they can have desperately-needed collateral. Sunday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m.
The Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival will be playing host to a number of special events during its two-weekend run. On Saturday, October 11, there will be an after-film “gaythering” at Rumors (2426 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors), starting at 8:30 p.m. The film Beyond Love (mentioned as one of our premiere films) is selected as the “Centerpiece Film” on Thursday, October 16, and afterwards there will be a “Centerpiece After Party” at Stache Bar (109 SW 2nd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale), starting at 10 p.m. Cinema Paradiso presents “Cocktails in the Courtyard” on Saturday, October 18, from 10 p.m. to midnight. Finally, on the last day of film screenings, there will be a closing night finale from 9:30 p.m. to midnight at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel (801 Seabreeze Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale).
Tickets are available for purchase online before the Film Festival and from the box office during the Festival weekends. Prices range from $10 (advance) and $11 (box office) for matinee screenings, $12.50 (advance) and $13.50 (box office) for regular screenings, $16 for centerpiece, closing and spotlight films, and $21 for the opening film. Tickets are $42 (advance) and $45 (box office) for the opening film and party, and $33 (advance) and $35 (box office) for the closing film and party. Tickets can be purchased in advance by going to flglff.com or by calling (305) 751-6305.
According to their website, the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival’s mission is “to enrich, entertain and educate the public and to encourage a sense of community through the presentation of international and culturally diverse film, video and other media that offer meaningful perspectives on the historic and/or contemporary gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.”
For more information on the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, visit flglff.com. Follow FLGLFF on Facebook at facebook.com/FLGLFilmFest, on Twitter @FLGLFF, and on Instagram at instagram.com/FLGLFF.