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(WM) The Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (TIGLFF) will kick off its 30th annual celebration with its launch party at the Rialto Theatre Sept. 12 from 7-9:30 p.m.

The festival’s launch party is an annual tradition first organized 12 years ago. TIGLFF Co-President Ed Lally, who has chaired the event since its inception, calls it the organization’s largest fundraiser.

“The event is a low cost upbeat kickoff celebration with food, drink, music, movie trailers and more,” he explains. “Festival fans will be able to pick up our freshly printed program guide, pre-ordered passes and/or purchase passes and tickets.”

The evening will feature an extensive silent auction, catering by SaltBlock Hospitality, decor by ZaZoo’d and music by DJ Hural Knight from The Castle in Ybor:

“This year’s launch party is a milestone for TIGLFF as we kick-off the 30th anniversary of the festival,” TIGLFF Vice President Rob Akins says. “It has always been a fun event to spend with friends and start the festival.” You can check out Watermark’s photo gallery from last year’s launch party here.

Tickets for this year’s celebration are currently available for $45 in advance. They will increase to $55 at the door and include a complimentary drink and light bites. Other drinks will be available for purchase. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit