Arts News: Big Season Ahead for LGBT Film Buffs

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Gloria Stein, the transgender subject of “Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride,” has an emotional moment during the filming of the upcoming documentary. Credit: Robyn Symon

The holidays may finally be over and the snowbirds returning north again, but for LGBTQ film buffs, the new season is just getting into full swing with festivals, special screenings and events. Here a few highlights:

Transgender Doc Producer Holding Fundraiser in Miami

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction—especially the darkly ironic story of Butch, a 67-year-old homophobic auto wrecker from Hollywood. During a nasty divorce more than a decade ago, he hid from the law by disguising himself in drag as a woman. But, in the process, he discovered his own transgender identity and made the transformation permanent, becoming transgender activist Gloria Stein.

Shot over 20 years, the amazing story, “Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride!” is being documented by former Miami television producer Robyn Symon, who initially got a call years ago to film Stein’s reassignment process. The film explores her sex change, life as a dominatrix and eventual attempts to reconcile with her family.

“Gloria is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met. She’s complex, but also very deeply caring with a wicked sense of humor,” said Symon of her subject.

Symon will be hosting a fundraising reception to complete the project on Sunday, April 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Vagabond Hotel, 7301 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. A tax-deductible donation of $65 is suggested at the door and will include an opportunity to meet the cast and a sneak peak at the working cut of the film.

For more information, go to

Audience, Critical Favorite Coming to Cinema Paradiso

“Eastern Boys,” a moving drama from Robin Campillo about Eastern European immigrants who are driven to hustle on the streets of Paris and form gangs, opens on April 10 at Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6th St., home of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

When the middle-aged, bourgeois Daniel approaches a boyishly handsome Ukrainian who calls himself Marek for a “date,” he learns the young man is willing to do anything for some cash. What Daniel intends only as sex-for-hire leads to a violent home invasion and then an unexpectedly profound relationship. The drastically different circumstances of the two men's lives reveal secrets hidden in the shadows of the city they both call home.

128 min., French and Ukrainian with English subtitles. For tickets and show times, go to

Tickets on Sale for Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Tickets are now on sale for the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (MGLFF), April 24 – May 3, one of the first major events of the LGBT film festival circuit. In its 17th year, the festival will cover venues across Miami Beach, including the Colony Theatre, Miami Beach Cinematheque and Regal Cinemas South Beach Stadium 18.

According to MGLFF president Mark Gilbert, programmers have selected more than 60 features, documentaries and shorts from the U.S. and around the world, including several world, national and regional premieres. The festival will again include the signature after parties, panel discussions and social events that have made it popular with LGBT film fans. The festival also welcomes first time presenting sponsor SHOWTIME Networks.

For a complete list of events, films and show times, go to

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