“The Lawyer,” a film that has taken the film festival circuit by storm, is coming to South Florida for a special screening.

When can we turn on the TV and witness seas of refugees looking to escape violence, persecution, and genocide. It’s easy to forget that among them are members of the LGBT community. Often, their sexuality puts them among the most endangered of those fleeing for their lives.

“The Lawyer” is one of few films looking at the LGBT refugee experience in Europe, and the first Lithuanian feature film looking at a male, same-sex romantic relationship.

Filmmaker Romas Zabarauskas will show his film before the Sixth Annual Diversity Honors Ceremony. The screening is at 5 p.m., Oct. 9, at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

“I feel like this film talks a lot about the things we experienced during the pandemic,” Zabarauskas told SFGN. “Isolation, personal loss, and then finding an adventure and new hope for life. Finding a new beginning in his life.”

Zabarauskas completed the film before the COVID crisis, but has since had his film accepted at film festivals around the world. The screening before the Diversity Honors will be its U.S. premiere.

For more than a decade, he has made attention-grabbing, genre-bending films featuring queer characters. Zabarauskas has been raising awareness and acceptance in his home country of Lithuania even longer, and says this film reflects his personal privilege.

“For me this film is about privilege. That is a perspective I can identify with. I consider myself very privileged.” His projects include “LGBT Vilnius,” which worked to help a reluctant business community embrace the gay population. “Even though I am openly gay in Lithuania, which still doesn’t have [protective] laws and society isn’t as open-minded as one would wish. At the same time I live a middle-class life and have a supportive family.”

In “The Lawyer,” Zabarauskas wanted to put, side-by-side, the struggles of a privileged lawyer and a refugee. “I wanted to have the character of this privileged lawyer and the refugee, and contrast the lifestyle.”

Everyone attending the screening must pass a rapid COVID test.


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