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What to See at This Year's OUTshine Film Festival

Thursday Oct 5, 2017
What to See at This Year's OUTshine Film Festival

Two years ago the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and the Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival joined together to become The MiFo LGBT Film Festival with a seasonal event serving each city. Critically and internationally acclaimed, it serves as a platform for numerous premiers and is the largest LGBT cultural arts event in South Florida.

Because of its increasing popularity and success, MiFo has been rechristened to the OUTSHINE Film Festival, underscoring its brightness, broad appeal and dynamic multi-cultural location. Outshine is everything you want in a film festival... inviting, glowing, and eclipsing all others before it. Our mission is to inspire, entertain, and educate; encouraging a sense of community through international and culturally diverse film, video, and other media that offer historical and contemporary perspectives on the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience.

Outrageous. Outspoken. And outstanding in what we deliver. Join us from October 6-15 for our Fort Lauderdale Edition.

For more on the festival visit the festival's website.

Here are eight films to see at this year's festival, which begins on Friday.


Close Knit. Opening Night. Friday, October 6

Close Knit. Opening Night. Friday, October 6

Director Naoko Ogigami's acclaimed drama won the prestigious Teddy Award (for Best gay film) at this year's Berlin Film Festival. The film concerns an 11-year old that moves in with her gay uncle and his transgender girlfriend and how they bond to become a family. In reviewing the film for Variety, critic Guy Lodge praised the "quiet candor with which Ogigama explores alternative sexual and gender identities -- particularly as viewed through the inquisitive eyes of 11-year-old Tomo, who's of the age where a man choosing to become a woman can seem intriguingly novel and, at the same time, no big deal."


God's Own Country. Saturday, October 7

God's Own Country. Saturday, October 7

One of the most anticipated LGBTQ films of this year is Francis Lee's tender drama about the relationship between a sheep farmer and a migrant worker in rural England. Buoyed by two exceptional performances by Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu, the film has been favorably compared to "Brokeback Mountain." Lee won the World Cinema Directing Award for a Dramatic Film at this year's Sundance Film Festival. "Graced by its refreshingly frank treatment of gay sexuality, its casually expressive use of nudity and its eloquent depiction of animal husbandry as a contrasting metaphor for the absence of human tenderness, this is a rigorously naturalistic drama that yields stirring performances from the collision between taciturn demeanors and roiling emotional undercurrents," writes David Rooney in his review in the Hollywood Reporter. ... "'God's Own Country' announces Lee as an assured new voice, his own personal ties to the setting reinforced in gorgeous colorized vintage farm footage over the end credits."


The Untold Tales Of Armistead Maupin. Sunday, October 8

The Untold Tales Of Armistead Maupin. Sunday, October 8

Jennifer Kroot's documentary examines the life and work of one of the world's most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South, into a gay rights pioneer whose novels ("Tales of the City") have inspired millions to claim their own truth. This documentary moves nimbly between playful and poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. Maupin offers a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bath houses of 1970's San Francisco to the front line of the American culture war. "This fond documentary portrait... makes it clear that Mr. Maupin's mastery of assorted perspectives is his gift, evident in his masterpiece, 'Tales of the City,' a love letter to San Francisco comprising multiple characters," writes Andy Webster in reviewing the film in the New York Times. "And yet the film offers an enlightening glimpse into how the gay experience informed Mr. Maupin's art."


After Louie. Sunday, October 8

After Louie. Sunday, October 8

Alan Cumming shines as an aging activist bewildered by a younger generation of carefree gay men with their uninhibited use of social media, sexting, and seeming political indifference. But when he meets the seductive young Braeden (Zachary Booth) their pants quickly come down and, eventually, so does Sam's guard. As the pair become increasingly intimate, an intergenerational relationship blossoms between them -- one capable of reawakening Sam's artistic soul and reviving his wilted heart. "This debut feature from longtime gay-rights activist Vincent Gagliostro, about a middle-aged New York artist making a film about the ACT UP generation and a close friend who died of AIDS, is a valuable meditation on generational differences, particularly between gay men who lived through the worst years of the AIDS crisis and those who came of age afterward," writes Leah Pickett in the Chicago Reader.


Tom of Finland. Centerpiece Film. Thursday, October 12

Tom of Finland. Centerpiece Film. Thursday, October 12

Tom of Finland created some of the most iconic (and sexually graphic) LGBTQ art in the 20th century. But who was he? Dome Karukoski's biopic offers the answers, following the life of Touko Laaksonen who returns to Helsinki after the Second World War and carves a life as an artist with a singular style during the homophobic 1950s. "The story of Touko Laaksonen, the artist who helped shape the tastes of a generation of gay men, 'Tom of Finland' is almost as handsome and glossy as the drawings of luxuriantly leather-clad fantasy figures with which he made his name," critic Wendy Ide writes in reviewing the film for British newspaper The Observer.


B&B. Friday, October 13

B&B. Friday, October 13

Handsome gay Londoners Marc and Fred plan a weekend of mischief, returning to bait the owner of a remote B&B who they successfully sued a year prior for not allowing them to share a bed. Events take a deadly turn when another guest, with far more sinister intentions, arrives. Marc and Fred's weekend of fun turns into a suspenseful battle for survival in this smart, comedic dark thriller. "'B&B' isn't your typical horror-comedy thriller-drama that's filled with screaming drag queens and gag humor," writes MGDSQUAN in reviewing the film on the website Horror Society. "The film and its creator, Joe Ahearne, are extremely intelligent with the portrayal of the gay couple because they aren't valiant and true. They aren't downtrodden men grasping to their morals and sanity after years of abuse. One of them is actually quite an asshole. Going back to my point of a double-sided coin, 'B&B' is wildly different from other LGBT films because the characters are getting what they deserve after being vindictive and resentful -- even in the face of bigotry. We need more gay films like this, where gay men are showcased as flawed, equal individuals and not just political chess pieces."


120 Beats Per Minute (120 Battements Par Minute). Saturday, October 14

120 Beats Per Minute (120 Battements Par Minute). Saturday, October 14

The official French entry to this year's Academy Awards is Robin Campillo's historical drama won the François Chalais Award and Grand Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. In the early 1990s, with AIDS having already claimed countless lives for nearly ten years, ACT UP-PARIS activists multiply actions to fight general indifference. Nathan, a newcomer to the group, has his world shaken up by Sean, a radical militant who throws his last bits of strength to the struggle for rights, access to treatment, and to be more than a statistic. "120 Beats Per Minute" is more than a historical epic of the ACT UP movement in Paris; it is a beautiful story of deep love that is rarely seen on screen. "Campillo has mounted a methodical tribute to this era of activism which successfully balances everything on its plate: what's brought to the table is a filling meal from a good chef, only lacking the genius of inspired presentation..." critic Tim Robey writes in the British newspaper The Telegraph. "The subject could hardly be more fascinating, and the devotion of these characters to living full lives, even with T-cells falling away and a dire clock ticking over all their futures, is exactly as moving as you would hope."


For more on the festival visit the festival's website.

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