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COVID Can’t Dim Miami’s OUTshine Film Festival

By Ben Nelson

The 23rd annual OUTshine Film Festival Miami edition will take place April 23rd to May 2nd. It will feature 80+ LGBTQ films from around the world beginning with the opening night presentation of Potato Dreams of America, a semi-autobiographical comedy film that follows director Wes Hurley growing up gay in Russia and coming to the United States with his mail-order bride mother.

Additional highlights for the week include A Good Man, a story about Benjamin, a transgender man who decides he will carry a pregnancy and Keyboard Fantasies, an intimate coming of age story that spins pain and the suffering of prejudice into rhythm, hope and joy.

Triple Threat – Margarita Zhitnikova, Stacey Maltin, Jay DeYonker, Courtesy of Besties Make Movies
Saint Narcisse Directed by Bruce LaBruce – 2
Saint Narcisse Directed by Bruce LaBruce

Due to the pandemic, this year’s festival will be mostly digital. “No matter who you are or what your coming out journey has been, we have a film for you,” says Victor Gimenez, Executive Director of OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival. “One of the greatest strengths of the festival being virtual is that it allows us to show the films for longer periods of time and to a broader audience across the USA,” Gimenez continues.

OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival launched in 2008 as The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. It expanded ten years later to include the Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Both were brought together as OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, with the Miami edition held every April and the Fort Lauderdale edition held in October.

This year, the festival will host virtual Q&As with filmmakers and talent and stream them on their Facebook and YouTube channels. “These will be great because we can we can really go in depth with talent located across the globe,” Gimenez continues.

POTATO DREAMS OF AMERICA – Hersh Powers and Sera Barbieri
Keyboard Fantasies
A Good Man – Courtesy Willow Films

Also, they are introducing OUTshine At Home. After the festival’s conclusion, OUTshine will offer members 8-10 films every month; a mixture of brand-new films and older festival titles that are not available on any streaming services. “It will enable our audience to discover incredible new content and remain engaged in LGBTQ+ film throughout the year,” Giminez explains. He also hopes it will encourage new members to consider experiencing OUTshine LGBTQ+Film Festival Miami in-person when it becomes a physical event again in April 2022.

For more information about the 23rd Annual Miami Edition of the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, visit www.outshinefilm.com.

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