Film Festival Announces New Name, Wraps Up 19th Season

“Play the Devil,” a film from Trinidad and Tobago, is part of the international lineup at the OUTshine film festival this weekend. Credit: Splice Studios.

After two seasons as the MiFo (Miami/Fort Lauderdale) LGBT Film Festival, the 19-year-old festival adopted a new name, OUTShine, at its opening weekend in Miami.

According to organizers, “MiFo” made sense to consolidate the names of the Miami festival and its Fort Lauderdale counterpart, but further explanation always seemed necessary. Chair Mark Gilbert came up with the new title, which was embraced by the board and South Florida LGBT film community, and underscores its “brightness, broad appeal and dynamic multi-cultural location.”

The Miami festival concludes on Sunday, April 30. A Filmmakers Awards Brunch will be held at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables at 11 a.m. The Fort Lauderdale festival is scheduled for October.

Here are some of the highlights, along with capsule reviews, of films from OUTshine’s closing weekend:

“Play the Devil”

Southeast Premiere

Thursday, April 27, 9:15 p.m.

Maria Govan, dir.

Trinidad & Tobago, 92 min., 2016

Gregory, a gifted working-class teenager, stars in a play that brings him to the attention of James, an affluent businessman. The two men strike an uncanny friendship as James takes Greg under his wing, pushing him to discover himself professionally, creatively, and intimately.

SFGN: This guy belongs on a sexual offender registry! A fascinating look at the cultural taboos of homosexuality in Caribbean culture.

“Sensitivity Training”

Southeast Premiere

Friday, April 28, 6:45 p.m.

Melissa Finell, dir.

U.S.A., 87 min., 2016

Serena is a misanthropic microbiologist — great with bacteria, but horrible with people. After crossing a line with a colleague, Serena is forced into sensitivity training with Caroline, the bubbly lesbian assigned to be her coach. Caroline and her sunny disposition represent everything Serena hates, but Caroline is determined to make Serena an acceptable human. 

SFGN: Melissa Finell’s writing is simply brilliant! One of the best comedies of the festival.

“The Constitution (Ustav Republike Hrvatske)”

East Coast Premiere

Saturday, April 29, 7:30 p.m.

Rajko Grlić, dir.

Croatia/Czech Republic/Slovenia/U.K., 90 min., 2016

Croatian with English subtitles

Four very different people live in the same building, but avoid each other because of the differences in how they live, what they believe in, and where they come from. They would probably never exchange a word, but misfortune pushes them towards each other.

SFGN: One of the most beautifully shot films of the festival, at times evocative of the work of Fellini and the European masters.


East Coast Premiere

Sunday, April 30, 3 p.m.

Elia K. Schneider, dir.

Venezuela/Uruguay/Peru, 110 min., 2016

Spanish with English subtitles

This drama tells the remarkable, true story of Tamara Adrián, Venezuela’s first transgender politician. Tomás Adrián is determined to follow his heart, even though it will turn his whole world upside down and put his life at risk as he struggles to become the woman he truly is.

SFGN: While “Tamara” is not the best film in the festival, it offers a moving portrait in courage from a transgender pioneer. Somebody send Caitlyn Jenner a ticket!

“Like Foam (Como La Espuma)”

World Premiere

Sunday, April 30, 7 p.m.

Roberto Perez Toledo, dir.

Spain, 93 min., 2017

Spanish with English subtitles

An emotional journey of lost human beings trying to find themselves takes place in what could be considered a fairly strange place: an orgy in a Spanish mansion. A message circulates from mobile phone to mobile phone, attracting a diverse group of strangers searching for a connection.

SFGN: A screening copy was not available, but the trailer had us intrigued. Take a chance, especially if you enjoy European film.

For a complete schedule and tickets, go to

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