“If there has been a silver lining to come out of the COVID pandemic, it has made us more resourceful and creative,” promised Gregory von Hausch, president and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF), opening Nov. 5.

“This year, FLIFF has come up with some clever ways to bring the community together while maintaining safety precautions and social distancing. The diverse selection of films and viewing options will be a welcome diversion for everyone,” he added.   

In partnership with Coral Ridge Yacht Club in Fort Lauderdale, FLIFF will showcase several screenings, including a Nov. 14 James “Bond-a-thon” movie marathon, via a “Boat-In Movie on the Bay,” along with drive-in options for landlubbers. FLIFF will also be hosting six additional drive-in movie events at other locations during the festival, which runs through Nov. 22. 

Another feature this year are “Dinner and a Movie” events at area restaurants, including Tipsy Boar, Jimmy's Sand Bar, GG's Waterfront in Hollywood and the Westin Ft. Lauderdale Beach, and the festival’s two arthouse theaters, Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale and Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood, will present films with limited seating to ensure safe social distancing.  

For cinephiles who prefer to stay at home, “FLIFF on Demand” will make most films available to view via Eventive Virtual Cinema. Post-screening filmmaker and celebrity Q&A sessions will be live-streamed on social media from local venues. 

Once again, FLIFF will feature several LGBT-interest films, including:

“Francesco” 

Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14 

Savor Cinema, Fort Lauderdale, and Cinema Paradiso, Hollywood 

USA, Czech Republic / 118 min. / English subtitles 

Evgeny Afineevsky, dir. 

In the revealing documentary at the 21st-century issues pressing the Roman Catholic church, Pope Francis meets with and apologizes to Juan Carlos Cruz, one of the lead plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against the Church for sexual abuse.

“La Dea Fortuna” 

Watch at home via Virtual Festival 

Italy / 114 min. / Italian with English subtitles 

Ferzan Ozpetak, dir. 

Just as their 15-year relationship appears to have hit a lull, gay partners Arturo and Alessandro find their lives thrown for a loop when their friend (and Alessandro’s ex-girlfriend) asks them to look after her two adolescent children.

“Open Dialogues: Stories from the LGBTQ Community” 

Watch at home via Virtual Festival 

USA / 20 min. / English 

Freddy Rodriguez, dir. 

Through a series of candid testimonials, “Open Dialogues” reveals the diverse coming-out narratives of seven Broward County residents who share their insights about love and family, threats and safe havens, being intimate in public, and the role of religion in the LGBT experience.

“Couples: An LGBTQ Short Film Program” 

Watch at home via Virtual Festival 

USA, Germany / 91 min. / English, German with English subtitles 

This collection of short films from the U.S. and Austria explores diverse stories of love drawn from the LGBT experience from the searing passion of a fleeting romantic encounter to the emptiness experienced by seniors following the loss of a long-term partner.


The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival runs Nov. 5 – 22 at venues in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, as well as virtual presentations. For a full schedule and tickets, go to FLIFF.com.


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