The 11th Annual Fort Lauderdale Edition, of the Outshine Film Festival takes place from October 10-20. Putting on this type of film festival is extremely expensive and they rely on our community to help them keep the arts in the forefront. Membership has benefits, so please support the film festival by becoming a member for as low as $50
The first weekend of Outshine Fort Lauderdale features 19 films. The opening night film (and Southeast premiere) is “Adam,” which takes place at 7pm at the Autonation IMAX Museum of Discovery and Science (Runtime: 95 mins; Language: English; Director: Rhys Ernst; Country: USA; Genre: Bi, Comedy, Gay, Lesbian, LGBTQ, Romance, Slice of Life).
It’s rare for an LGBT Film festival to feature a movie, especially an opening night film, that features a straight main character, but I am certainly glad they picked this movie, as I truly enjoyed this story. Although the movie has too many characters and a couple times where it lagged a bit, there are some amazing performances especially from lead actor Nicholas Alexander, Bobbi Salvor Menuez (Gillian), who reminds me of a young Julianne Moore, and Trans Actor Leo Sheng (Ethan), who I, like Adam in the movie, did not know he was Transgender until he announced it. The film takes place in 2006 and awkward, self-conscious Adam Freeman has just finished his junior year of high school. His cool older sister Casey (Margaret Qualley) suggests he visit her in New York for the summer. Casey has enthusiastically embraced life amidst Brooklyn’s young LGBTQ+ community and invites Adam to tag along with her to queer bars, marriage equality rallies and other happenings. When Adam falls at first sight for Gillian, a smart, beautiful young woman in this new crowd, she mistakenly assumes he is trans. Flummoxed and enamored, he haplessly goes along with her assumption, resulting in an increasingly complex comedy – and tragedy – of errors he’s ill-equipped to navigate.
Here are some of the other movies playing, but for a full list go to: Outshinefilm.com.
Friday, October 11
9:15 pm at The Classic Gateway Theatre; Runtime: 90 mins; Language: Vietnamese w/ English Subtitles; Director: Leon Le; Genre: Crime, Drama, Gay, Romance, Suspense.
An unlikely bond develops between hunky, brooding and tough debt collector Dung and Linh Phung, a charismatic young opera singer from a struggling Cai-luong troupe (traditional Vietnamese opera). The two meet when Dung comes to forcefully collect a debt from the opera troupe, but when their paths cross again, a friendship – and then more – develops, awakening surprising, tender feelings in both men. Their story, too, soon scales operatic heights. Director Leon Le has delivered a rich drama, a smoldering relationship between two apparent opposites set against the backdrop of a gorgeous, fading art form. Set in 1980’s Saigon, Song Lang is a gritty underworld noir hiding a tender, romantic heart.
9:15 pm at Savor Cinema; Runtime: 83 mins; Language: English; Director: Mark Blaine & Ben Mankoff; Country: USA; Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Gay FLORIDA PREMIERE
In this coming-of-age dramedy shot on 16mm and based on the director’s life, a misanthropic gay artist packs up and moves out of his family’s garage in Indiana and heads to Brooklyn. Unable to sustain himself or any relationships in his new town, he turns to babysitting where he finds hope and self-discipline through his friendship with sensitive 6-year-old Milo. He also sparks a friendship with the adult superhero ‘Leather-Man’ who is conjured from a psychedelic cupcake. A little surreal and a whole lot of fun, Cubby is true indie gem.
Saturday October 12th
2:45 pm at The Classic Gateway Theatre; Runtime: 88 mins; Language: English; Director: Ian Watson; Country: USA; Genre: Drama, Gay, Romance, Slice of Life, Trans
Disillusioned musician Noah quits his band and returns to his mother’s home in Sydney seeking connection and rejuvenation. Noah finds solace in the vibrant, passionate life of a young, deaf, trans-man, Finn, who runs a center/nightclub for his deaf community. They move carefully, as this is Finn’s first relationship while on his trans journey. Finn struggles to spread his wings and come into his own, as he suffocates beneath his father’s over-protection and the financial strife facing his club. As the two become closer, and with no shared language, they only risk hurting each other, as they learn to be true to themselves.
Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America
5pm at The Classic Gateway Theatre; Runtime: 84 mins; Language: English; Director: Tom Shepard; Country: USA; Genre: Bi, Documentary, Gay, Historical, Lesbian, LGBTQ, Trans.
A remarkable look at the untold stories of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution from their home countries and who are resettling in the U.S. The film follows four new arrivals, each of whom have escaped potential peril in their native countries for being different. They’ve landed in the purported “gay mecca” of San Francisco, yet even there, building a new life in an adopted nation is a precarious undertaking. As new leadership in America continues to restrict immigrants and drastically cuts the flow of refugees and asylum seekers, Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America humanizes a group about which few people know.
The Shiny Shrimps (Les crevettes pailletées)
7:15 pm at Savor Cinema; Runtime: 104 mins; Language: French w/ English Subtitles
Director: Maxime Govare and Cédric Le Gallo; Country: France; Genre: Comedy, Gay
Matthias, an Olympic swimming champion at the end of his career, makes a homophobic statement on TV. His punishment: coach the Shiny Shrimps, a VERY flamboyant, VERY bad and VERY LGBT water polo team. They have only one thing in mind: to qualify for the Gay Games in Croatia where the hottest international LGBT athletes will compete. It’s the start of a bumpy and joyful ride. If the Bad News Bears were a water polo team, and LGBT, they would be The Shiny Shrimps. Faster, Higher, Stronger… and fabulous.
An Almost Ordinary Summer (Croce e Delizia)
9:30pm at The Classic Gateway Theatre; Runtime: 100 mins; Language: Italian w/ English Subtitles; Director: Simone Godano; Country: Italy; Genre: Comedy, Drama, Gay, Romance.
Two very different families spend their holidays in the same seaside house: the aristocratic Castelvecchio’s – open-minded, eccentric, but quite selfish – and the working-class Petagna’s – very tight-knit and united around solid conservative values. What brought such distant worlds together? Only Tony and Carlo, the two middle-aged heads of the families, know! The unexpected announcement of their engagement will disrupt an apparently ordinary summer and turn the lives of everyone around them upside down. With the wedding already set for three weeks, even more chaos will ensue.
9:30pm at Savor Cinema; Runtime: 94 mins; Language: English; Director: Mike Doyle
Country: USA; Genre: Comedy, Gay, Romance
Does every relationship have an expiration date? Adam and Marklin are about to find out. Their 5-year relationship has gone from a passionate flame to a medium burn, forcing them to reconcile with each other’s shortcomings all while watching their support network crumble around them. But in this mess, hope springs eternal as they all muddle their way through to try and make life work. Featuring Scott Evans, Augustus Prew, Kate Walsh, and Academy Award Nominee Patricia Clarkson, Sell By asks the timeless questions… how do you know who’s right for you and how do you know when to let go?
Sunday October 13th
Leonard Soloway’s Broadway
12:30 pm at The Classic Gateway Theatre; Runtime: 82 mins; Language: English
Director: Jeff Wolk; Country: USA; Genre: Documentary, Gay, Historical, Musical
Through verité documentary footage, humorous storytelling, interviews and archival film material, Leonard Soloway’s Broadway captures a Broadway few ever see as told through the eyes of a legendary Broadway producer you’ve probably never heard of. He lives an unconventional life on his own terms and, over a 70-year span, staged over 100 shows (and counting) which generated history making headlines, over 40 Tony Awards, 62 Tony Nominations, 21 Drama Desk Awards, 29 Drama Desk nominations and 3 Pulitzer Prizes in addition to launching the careers of famous stars known the world over.
Little Miss Westie
5pm at The Classic Gateway Theatre; Runtime: 75 mins; Language: English; Director: Dan Hunt and Joy E. Reed; Country: USA; Genre: Documentary, Historical, LGBTQ, Trans
If Ren could go back in time to before she was four, she would tell her parents that she wasn’t happy living as a boy. Now, Ren is about to take part in a rite of passage for their community in West Haven, Connecticut, as the first out transgirl to compete in the Little Miss Westie Pageant. Coaching her through the competition: her older brother Luca, who previously took part in the pageant when he lived as a girl. Gender dynamics evolve in front of the viewer’s eyes while two transgender siblings explore who they are in this intimate portrait.
HAM: A Musical Memoir
5pm at Savor Cinema; Runtime: 113 mins; Language: English; Director: Andrew Putschoegl
Country: USA; Genre: Comedy, Drama, Gay, Musical
In this dazzlingly filmed live performance of Sam Harris’ award-winning one-man musical, Harris belts out original songs and beloved ballads while playing 11 different roles to tell his own life story – from growing up gay in Oklahoma’s Bible Belt to his escape for Los Angeles, where his rendition of “Over the Rainbow” on Star Search led to fame, Broadway, television, platinum records, and Carnegie Hall. But after the highs and lows of a life in show business, Sam ultimately learns to ask: when is enough finally enough?
The Prince (El Principe)
7:15pm at Savor Cinema; Runtime: 96 mins; Language: Spanish w/ English Subtitles; Director: Sebastián Muñoz; Country: Chile / Argentina / Belgium; Genre: Bi, Drama, Gay, Suspense
Chile, 1970. During a night of heavy drinking, Jaime, a lonely 20-year-old young man, stabs his best friend in what seems a crime of passion. Sentenced to prison, he meets The Stallion, an older and respected man in whom he finds protection and from whom he learns about love and loyalty. Behind bars, Jaime becomes known as The Prince. But as their relationship grows stronger, The Stallion faces the violent power struggles within the prison. The Prince is brutal, raw and cold yet also beautiful, sincere and honest.