LGBT Film Festival Opens in Fort Lauderdale

Actor Tommy Dorfman from Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” will be honored on the opening night of the OUTshine Fort Laudedale film festival on Friday, Oct. 6. Submitted photo.

The OUTshine Film Festival returns to Fort Lauderdale this weekend for the ninth year.

The festival, previously known as the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and more recently MiFo LGBT Film Festival, was rebranded earlier this year and shares its new name with a spring festival in Miami.

More than 30 LGBTQ-themed features, documentaries and short films from the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Latin America will be screened during the festival, Oct. 6 – 15.

Most screenings will be held at Savor Cinema, formerly the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival’s Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6th St., and the Classic Gateway Theatre, 1820 E. Sunrise Blvd.

Opening night festivities will be held at NSU Art Museum, 1 Las Olas Blvd., at 8 p.m. with a red carpet runway, reception and screening of “A Close Knit,” a Japanese film that won the "Teddy Jury Award" and the "Panorama Audience Award" at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year.

At the opening night party, actor Tommy Dorfman, one of the young stars of Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” will be presented with the festival’s Lavender Award for an up-and-coming actor. In addition to portraying gay teenager Ryan Shaver in the hit series, Dorfman has been an outspoken LGBT advocate and ally, spotlighting the issues of bullying in the age of social media.

In a statement, Dorfman said, “LGBTQIA inclusion in media, especially TV and film, is not just important, it's essential. It would be reductive and unrealistic to exclude us from the narrative. We exist, and our truthful portrayals in TV and film bring life to the stories being told, as well as educate, inspire, and validate viewers.”

He added, “So many shows and movies that are being made today are all about coming out, which is an important story to tell and has been told, so to have the opportunity to play a character that is just comfortable with himself and advocates for gay people...we owe that to Bryan [Yorkey, the show’s developer] and the rest of the writers."

Highlights of the festival also include men’s shorts at Savor Cinema and “The Feels,” the ladies spotlight film at the Classic Gateway Theatre, both on Saturday, Oct. 7. Ladies shorts will be screened on Sunday, Oct. 8, also at the Gateway.

The centerpiece film, a dramatization of the iconic homoerotic artist, “Tom of Finland,” will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 12 at Savor Cinema and “Saturday Church,” will be the festival’s official closing film, Sunday, Oct 15 at Savor Cinema.

Highlights from the documentary line-up include “The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin,” chronicling the life of the creator of “Tales of the City,” on Sunday, Oct. 8; “Rebels on Pointe,” about the male ballerinas of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, on Saturday, Oct. 14; and “The Lavender Scare,” the story of early LGBTQ activists fighting discrimination in government employment on Sunday, Oct. 15.

Tickets for most screenings are $11 – 14. Tickets for the opening night event at NSU Art

Museum, centerpiece and closing night events are $25 – 60. A complete schedule and tickets are available at


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