A&E: OUTshine Festival Offers Most Diverse Films Yet

“The Shiny Shrimps,” a comedy about a misfit French LGBT water polo team, closes the 2019 OUTshine Film Festival on Sunday. Credit: Les Improductibles

The OUTshine LGBT Film Festival, celebrating its 21stanniversary in Miami with screenings of more than 85 features, documentaries and shorts from around the world, concludes this weekend with equally jarring  and uplifting representations of contemporary LGBT lives.

 SFGN got a sneak peak at some of the films being screened during the festival’s final weekend: 

“Mom + Mom”

Karole di Tommaso, director

Italy/81 mins./Italian (with English subtitles)

Thursday, April 25, 7 p.m.

Regal Cinemas South Beach

This is the story of two women who desire to have a child together. Karole and Ali still don’t know that the enthusiasm of this first attempt will be followed by many hardships, but when the desire becomes stronger than the pain and fatigue, miracles can happen. 

SFGN: As more and more same-sex couples contemplate becoming parents, this film offers a nicely filmed, but sobering reminder that getting pregnant (or adopting) is really the easiest part of building a family. Be careful what you wish for.

“Canary” (“Kanarie”)

Christiaan Olwagen, director

South Africa/120 mins./English and Afrikaans (with English subtitles)

Friday, April 26, 6:45 p.m.

Regal Cinemas South Beach

Set in 1985 South Africa against a backdrop of apartheid, religion, and war, Canary is a charming musical drama chronicling one teen’s struggle to find his voice. After being drafted, Johan joins the Canaries (the South African Defense Force Church Choir) in an effort to avoid fighting a war he can’t support, but recognizes its role in the oppression and injustice.

SFGN: The South African entries are especially strong this year. “Canary” has a lot of heart and demonstrates that music is truly a universal language that transcends race, culture and, yes, sexual orientation.

“Leonard Soloway’s Broadway”

Jeff Wolk, director

U.S.A./98 mins./English

Saturday, April 26, 12:15 p.m.

Regal Cinemas South Beach

This documentary captures a Broadway few have ever seen, as told through the eyes of a legendary Broadway producer you've probably never heard of. Leonard Soloway lived an unconventional life on his own terms and, over a 70-year span, staged over 100 shows, winning over 40 Tony Awards, 62 Tony nominations, 21 Drama Desk Awards, 29 Drama Desk nominations and three Pulitzer Prizes.

SFGN: “He was gay and Jewish before anybody was gay and Jewish.” “Leonard is the person in our business who always tells the truth.” No self-respecting “theater queen” can pass on this engaging and informative documentary. Enough said.

“My Father, the Bride” (“Oishi Kazoku”)

International Premiere

Japan/Japanese (with English subtitles)

Saturday, April 26, 5:15 p.m.

Regal Cinemas South Beach 

Tohka returns to the island where she grew up to attend the second memorial service for her late mother. She is greeted by her father, Seiji, who is wearing her mother’s clothes and announces that he is getting married again...to a local handyman, Kazuo.

SFGN: While powerful transgender “coming out” stories are commonplace in American and European films, it’s refreshing to experience this lifechanging event through the lens of Japan’s strict cultural stereotypes. Despite the serious subject, it’s still a lighthearted and cheeky film.

“The Shiny Shrimps” (“Les Crevettes Pailletées”)

Maxime Govare and Cédric Le Gallo, directors

France/90 mins./French (with English subtitles)

Sunday, April 28, 6 p.m.

Regal Cinemas South Beach

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 goal, to qualify for the Gay Games in Croatia.

SFGN: Hands down, “The Tiny Shrimps” is the funniest film of the festival. Directors Govare and Le Gallo never allow the humor to get raunchy or ridiculous, yet the film is always peppered with the right amount of camp.

The OUTshine Film Festival runs through Sunday, April 28. Screenings are at the Regal Cinemas South Beach, 1120 Lincoln Rd. in Miami Beach. For a complete schedule and tickets, go to OUTshineFilm.com.