The MiFo LGBT Film Festivals in Miami and Fort Lauderdale have grown into two of the premiere gay and lesbian festivals in the country, largely due to the vision and leadership of Victor Gimenez. Two years ago, Gimenez, then the board chair, moved into the executive director’s chair, tasked with managing the rebranding of the twin festivals and growing the long-neglected Fort Lauderdale festival to match the success of its Miami counterpart.
“We view ourselves as not only the largest cultural event each year in South Florida, but as an important festival that introduces films and artists to the LGBT film community,” Gimenez said. “We’re really at the vanguard.”
Gimenez’s many years of experience as a project manager in the construction industry and business management would prove valuable as he coordinates the year-long planning and logistics of the two-week long festivals, corrals hundreds of volunteers and oversees fundraising and corporate sponsorships.
“I’m used to a lot of moving parts,” Gimenez admitted, but it’s the people that really make his job so fulfilling, “the people that I meet both within our community within South Florida, as well as the filmmakers and talent that come to the festival.”
He’s also looking forward to the festival’s 20th anniversary in 2018, a milestone that is highly anticipated in both communities, as organizers seek to continue to promote excellence in LGBT film and Miami/Fort Lauderdale as important audiences to the industry.