The OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival returns to Miami, April 22 – May 1, with a full schedule of more than 45 feature, documentary and shorts screenings, talkback sessions with filmmakers and actors, and glitzy parties.
“This year’s OUTshine Film Festival theme is ‘Find Yourself Here.’ Audiences of all ages and backgrounds can find themselves represented and reflected in our films and can enjoy this experience with friends and family to spark meaningful conversations,” said Mark Gilbert, board chair and interim executive director. “Additionally, for the first time, in partnership with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, we’re reaching out to Latin American visitors with special travel packages to connect them via culture and film to our already diverse Hispanic community and word-class attractions and hospitality.”
The festival opens on April 22 at the Black Archives – Historic Lyric Theater with “B-Boy Blues” (2021), a feature based on the groundbreaking 1994 novel by James Earl Hardy. Class and culture clash when a college-educated journalist from Brooklyn and a homeboy bike messenger from Harlem fall in love. According to Gilbert, the film can best be described as “Moonlight” meets “Queer as Folk,” an unapologetic celebration of African-American gay men.
An opening night party will follow the screening with guest of honor and festival Vanguard Award-winner Patricia Velásquez. The Venezuelan actress is best known for her portrayal of Anck-su-namun in “The Mummy” (1990) and “The Mummy Returns” (2001). She has also appeared on television, including “Arrested Development” and “The L Word.” A philanthropist, Velásquez is the founder of the Wayuu Taya Foundation, dedicated to aiding Venezuelans struggling along the Colombian border. She was appointed the UNESCO Artist for Peace and is a Goodwill Ambassador at the Organization of the American States.
On April 23 at Regal Cinemas South Beach, the festival will present its Ladies Spotlight film, “Anaïs in Love” (2021), a French comedy about a young woman who becomes entangled in a complicated love triangle.
The festival Centerpiece film, “Girl Picture” (“Työt Työt Työt”) (2022), will be presented on April 28 at Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. This Sundance Film Festival Audience Award-winner offers the heart-warming story of three girls coming of age in Finland while redefining relationships and sexuality along the way.
The Australian feature “Lonesome” (2021), the Men’s Spotlight film on April 30 at Regal Cinemas South Beach, promises to take audiences on the thrilling, hedonistic, erotic journey of two men who not only seek sexual fulfillment, but also acceptance and a meaningful bond.
The festival schedule includes the North American premieres of “All Our Fears” (2021), a Polish drama directed by Lukasz Ronduda, and “Swing Ride” (“Calcinculo”) (2022), an Italian-Swiss drama from Chiara Bellosi, along with the U.S. premiere of “What We Know” (“Lo Que Sabemos”) (2021), a Catalan romance from director Jordi Nunez.
Other notable OUTshine entries include “The Divide” (“La Fracture”) (2021), a French comedy-drama directed by Catherine Corisini and winner of the Queer Palm (Best LGBT Film) – Cannes Film Festival; “Finlandia” (2021), a Spanish romance from Horacio Alcala; “Framing Agnes” (2021), a Sundance Next Innovator Award-winning trans documentary from director Chase Joynt; and “Private Desert” (“Deserto Particular) (2021) by Aly Muritaba, a Brazilian submission to the 94th Academy Awards.
OUTshine concludes on May 1 at the Sandrell Rivers Theater with “Cop Secret” (2021), an Icelandic action comedy, and the festival’s annual audience film awards soiree.
Gilbert emphasized, “As part of our inclusive mission, we’ve lowered admission packages and we’re offering special pricing and at-home viewing options to reduce the financial burden for all. It’s important to us to foster a sense of belonging through these shared creative endeavors.”
The OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Miami runs April 22 – May 1 at venues in Miami and Miami Beach. For a complete schedule and tickets, go to OUTshineFilm.com.
Article originally appeared in South Florida Gay News on April 15. Republished with permission from SFGN