Film lovers, rejoice! In most places in the U.S., you’d be lucky to have even one local LGBT film festival. But here in South Florida, we’ve got two.
A few years ago, the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival merged with the Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and last year the two fests were rechristened as OUTshine. But while the organizations merged, the events themselves did not. OUTshine Film Festival produces two major cinematic events every year: a Miami festival each spring, and one in Fort Lauderdale in the fall.
Perhaps at OUTshine’s Fort Lauderdale edition last October you caught the biopics Tom of Finland or Battle of the Sexes (with Emma Stone as Billie Jean King, and Steve Carell); or the critically acclaimed French paean to the ACT UP years, 120 Beats Per Minute; or one (or both) of the sexy coming-out-and-coming-of-age features Beach Rats and God’s Own Country. Then, no doubt, you focused your attention on the Oscar race from November until the Gay Super Bowl (the Academy Awards broadcast) last month.
Well, now it’s April, and Hollywood is taking its l-o-n-g, annual break from awards-caliber films, so your local cineplex is featuring The Rock battling giant mutant alligators with the help of giant mutant apes (or is it the other way around?), that bomb of a Tomb Raider re-boot (Don’t worry, we still love you, Alicia Vikander!), and Pacific Rim-jobs.
Well, OUTshine’s got your back, cinéastes! Its 20th Miami edition is here this week and next to entertain you, touch you, challenge you, give you a refresher course in LGBT history, and provide the perfect date-night activity for that new crush you want to impress.
The Miami festival boasts dozens of films: features, foreign flix, comedies, tearjerkers, documentaries, and several full slates of shorts — plus panels, an awards brunch, and, of course, parties, parties, parties!
You can bone up on all the important festival details below. Then check out our Hotspots Hot Picks to help you select a film — or two or three. For the full lineup of films, panels and parties, go to outshinefilm.com.
OUTShine Film Festival Miami
Festival dates April 20–29
Regular screening tix Advance ($11 members/$13 guests) and day-of tix ($12 members/$14 guests) are available at outshinefilm.com or 877-766-8156. (Prices shown do not include ticketing fee.)
Special-event tix Tickets for Opening Night, the Centerpiece Film, Closing Night, Ladies Night, Men’s Spotlight and the Award Brunch are also available at outshinefilm.com or 877-766-8156. Prices range from $30 to $70 (plus ticketing fee).
Rush tix 10 minutes before any sold-out show, a very limited number of unclaimed and unused tix may be made available ($15 regular screening/$25 special events; cash only). First come, first served!
Venues All screenings are held at the Regal South Beach (1120 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach) except for the Opening Night Film, which is at the Scottish Rite Temple (471 NW 3rd St, Miami). Panels and parties are held at various locations; for details: outshinefilm.com/events.
OUTshine Miami: Hotspots’ Hot Picks
THE GALA SCREENINGS
My Big Gay Italian Wedding (Puoi Baciare lo Sposo, Italy)
Opening Film Fri Apr 20, 8pm
Antonio and Paolo live happily together in Berlin and are finally getting married. They decide to celebrate in the small village in Italy where Antonio grew up. While his mother immediately supports his intentions, her husband Roberto, the town’s mayor, is not pleased. Paulo, whose conservative mother hasn’t spoken to him since he came out to her, must get her to the wedding as a condition of the marriage. Throw in a couple of wacky roommates and the aisle to the altar is paved with hilarity, hijinks and lots of love!
The Marriage (Martesa, Kosovo)
Centerpiece Film Wed Apr 25, 7pm
In a rare gay-themed film from Kosovo, Anita and Bekim are adding the final touches to their big wedding day which is only two weeks away. Despite expecting news about Anita’s parents, declared missing since the 1999 Kosovar War, and having to deal with Bekim’s controlling family, the couple seems to manage all the preparations. But when Nol, Bekim’s secret gay lover, returns unexpectedly from abroad, the situation becomes complicated, especially since Bekim realizes that a spark still exists.
Closing Film Sat Apr 28, 7:30pm
Shot in luscious black and white, 1985 follows Adrian (Cory Michael Smith, Gotham), a closeted young man returning to his Texas hometown for Christmas during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. Burdened with an unspeakable tragedy in New York, Adrian reconnects with his younger brother and estranged childhood friend as he struggles to divulge his dire circumstances to his religious parents (Virginia Madsen and Michael Chiklis).
Sun Apr 22, 3pm
From self-proclaimed white-trash kid to decorated U.S. Marine to bodybuilder to world record powerlifter, Matt Kroczaleski now faces his most daunting challenge: becoming a woman. In the summer of 2015, Matt was publicly outed as being transgender. She was abandoned by sponsors and her parents and banned from competition. Now as Janae, she must find her place in society, unable to lose the muscle she once so desperately gained and living between an alpha male and a gentle woman. Will Janae’s transformation bring her the peace she’s looking for?
Beyond the Opposite Sex
Sat Apr 28, 12:45pm Free Community Screening
In this follow-up to Showtime’s 2004 documentaries The Opposite Sex: Jaime’s Story and The Opposite Sex: Rene’s Story, we learn how the lives of Jaime (male-to-female) and Rene (female-to-male) have changed over the past thirteen years.
PLUS Matt Bomer stars as transsexual neighbor Freda in the unlikely L.A. love story Anything. (Sat Apr 21, 5:15pm)
COMING OF AGE AND COMING OUT
My Best Friend (Mi Mejor Amigo, Argentina)
Sat Apr 21, 7pm
Lorenzo lives in rural Patagonia. He’s a quiet teenager, a good student, curious, and more skilled in music and literature than sports. When Lorenzo’s father decides the family will temporarily take in his best friend’s son, Caito, Lorenzo is intrigued by this tough guy from Buenos Aires. As the boys’ friendship evolves toward something deeper, Caito reveals a secret that changes everything.
A Moment in the Reeds (Finland/UK)
Mon Apr 23, 6:45pm
Having moved to Paris for university, Leevi returns to his native Finland for the summer to help his estranged father renovate the family lake house. Tareq, a recent asylum seeker from Syria, has been hired to help. When Leevi’s father must return to town, the two young men establish a connection… and spend a few days discovering one another.
Sat Apr 21, 9:15pm North American Premiere
Star soccer player Mario has fallen in love for the first time. The object of his affection is Leon, the team’s new striker. When their teammates discover the budding relationship, rumors begin to spread beyond the locker room. Mario fears the professional soccer career he’s dreamed of is in jeopardy. Will he risk it all for the only man he has truly loved?
Postcards from London
Fri Apr 27, 6:45pm
Buff and beautiful teenager Jim (Harris Dickinson, Beach Rats) moves from the London suburbs to Soho where he falls in with a gang of unusual high-class male escorts — The Raconteurs — who specialize in intelligent post-coital conversation. From shy novice to sought-after escort and eventually artist’s muse, Jim would be the toast of the town if it wasn’t for his annoying affliction — Stendhal Syndrome — a rare condition that causes him to hallucinate and faint.
Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion & Disco
Thu Apr 26, 6:45pm
Mentored by Karl Lagerfeld, friends with Grace Jones, roommate to model Jerry Hall, fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez was the toast of the NYC and Paris fashion scenes in the 1970s. His colorful work, inspired by street life, people of color, and a particular take on transgressive sexuality, took the then-sedate world of fashion illustration by storm. This revealing documentary by Douglas Crump is a heady cocktail of fashion, glamour, and disco that’s impossible to resist.
Sat Apr 28, 3pm
Alexander McQueen’s rags-to-riches story is a modern-day fairy tale. An unremarkable working-class boy, he harnessed his demons to become a global fashion brand and one of the most iconic artists of the century. How did this punk rebel conquer the silver-spoon world of Paris haute couture, and why, at the height of acclaim, did he shockingly put an end to it all? McQueen is an intimate revelation of a radical and mesmerizing genius.
Cherry Grove Stories
Wed Apr 25, 9pm North American Premiere
In an era when it was illegal for two men to hold hands in public, the pristine beachfront hamlet of Cherry Grove on Fire Island, NY was a safe haven for gays who were often targeted for arrest and prosecution. Michael Fisher’s oral history of the enclave uncovers long-hidden secrets and exposes little known stories that are more relevant than ever today.
To a More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor
Sun Apr 22, 2:30pm
A story of love, marriage and the fight for equality, this inspiring doc chronicles two unlikely heroes — octogenarian widow Edie Windsor and her attorney, Roberta Kaplan — on a quest for justice that would lead all the way to the Supreme Court.
PLUS: Queerama weaves together fantastic archival images and a soundtrack by John Grant and Hercules & Love Affair to lyrically portray a century of persecution, liberation and pride. (Sat Apr 21, 9:45pm)
Alaska Is a Drag
Sun Apr 22, 7pm
Tough, but diva fabulous, Leo is an aspiring drag superstar stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska. He and his twin sister are trapped in the monotony of fist fights and fish guts and spend their days figuring out how to escape to a better place. Out of necessity, Leo learns to fight back, which catches the attention of the local boxing coach. When a new boy moves to town and wants to be his sparring partner, Leo must face the real reason he’s stuck in Alaska.
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
Sun Apr 22, 4:45pm
This cinema-vérité feature, an alternate pre-Stonewall history of Hollywood from director Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor), reveals the deliciously scandalous story of Scotty Bowers, a handsome WWII marine who landed in Hollywood after the war and became confidante, aide de camp and lover to many of Hollywood’s greatest stars. An unsung Hollywood legend, Bowers would cater to the sexual appetites of celebrities, straight and gay, for decades.
Still Waiting in the Wings
Sat Apr 28, 5pm
Follow the trials and triumphs of actors waiting tables in Times Square as their dreams of Broadway stardom meet the harsh reality of slinging hash under fluorescent lights. With cameos from: Nick Adams, Ed Asner, Carole Cook, Lee Meriwether, Patricia Richardson, Chita Rivera, Seth Rudetsky, Sally Struthers, Bruce Vilanch, and Cindy Williams.
PLUS: Every Act of Life tells the story of Terrence McNally, one of the world’s most renowned and risk-taking playwrights. (Sun Apr 29, 5:15pm)
Nobleman (in Hindi)
Wed Apr 25, 9:15pm World Premiere
Struggling with adolescence and sexuality, 15-year-old Shay is terrorized by a gang of bullies in his posh boarding school. Shay and best friend Pia are the studious theater kids. Arjun and Baadal are the jocks and bullies. Events take a sinister turn when Shay walks in on Arjun, Baadal, and their cronies on a debauched night, unleashing a chain of events that leads to tragic consequences. Based on The Merchant of Venice!
Last Days in Havana (Cuba)
Fri Apr 27, 9:15pm
Two mid-forties friends are neighbors: Miguel, a dishwasher who dreams of settling in New York waits for a visa that never seems to arrive, and Diego, a gay man with AIDS who is determined to enjoy every single day of his life from his bed. This odd couple is surrounded by an oddball set of characters from all walks of life.
Tue Apr 24, 7pm
Maya, a talented, queer artist, is desperate to attend art school in Italy but lacks the funds to do so. Instead, she spends her days escaping into her drawings and social media, where she pines for the enigmatic Jasmine, an aspiring designer in an emotionally charged, co-dependent relationship with her neurotic sugar daddy. All three become implicitly connected, though none of them realize it, and their respective relationships blossom. Daddy Issues is for the misfits, the dreamers, the lovers, and the loners in all of us.
Fri Apr 27, 7pm
Sebastián Lelio’s (A Fantastic Woman) mesmerizing film follows Ronit (Rachel Weisz), a New York photographer who returns home to mourn her father’s death in the community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a female childhood friend (Rachel McAdams). Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.
Kiss Me (Embrasse Moi, France)
Sat Apr 21, 7:30pm
Océanerosemarie’s life is full of energy and friends, but mainly of ex-girlfriends: 76, to be exact — but who’s counting! Things change when she meets Cécile. Can Océanerosemarie grow up enough to win the heart of this very special woman?
Anchor & Hope (Spain)
Sat Apr 28, 5:15pm
Eva and Kat enjoy a carefree existence on their houseboat on a London canal. After the death of their beloved pet, Eva’s dream of becoming a mother is reignited. Kat just wants to get a new cat, but when her best friend Roger visits from Barcelona, they decide in a moment of drunkenness that he can be Eva’s sperm donor. Anchor and Hope is a fresh and funny rom-com with a twist.
Sun Apr 22, 7:15pm
After years of being a neglectful father, a womanizing TV star unknowingly crashes his estranged daughter’s same-sex destination wedding. This delightfully dark comedy takes us on a California coastal road trip full of dreams, love, disillusionment, and tequila-fueled karaoke.
In Between Seasons (South Korea)
Mon Apr 23, 9pm North American Premiere
Though a mother has a close bond with the high-school-age son she is raising alone, she doesn’t realize he is gay, and only finds out after he is critically injured in a car accident. When Mom takes out her confusion and anger on her son’s close friend, the young man deals with the situation more calmly and with greater wisdom than she does. Brought to vivid emotional life by an excellent cast, the film confronts Korean homophobia and depicts a mother-son relationship with searing clarity.