For Broward County LGBT film buffs, Fall is the best time of year. The season was ushered in this September with the Classic Film Festival at the Gateway Theatre, followed in October by the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. And now, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) is opening Oct. 19 and running through Nov. 11 with several prominent LGBT-themed films among the juried selections.
FLIFF President and CEO Greg von Hausch is particularly excited about the festival’s LGBT films, selected from more than 2,000 submissions.
“Our big gay film is Any Day Now, which is a neat film because you don’t usually see films with gay themes that are period pieces,” he said. “It won the Tribeca (Film Festival) Audience Award for Best Narrative.”
He also expects audiences to embrace The Parade, a film from Serbia that he describes as a “hysterically funny but a dark, dark comedy at the same time.
Even though South Florida already boasts strong LGBT festivals in both Fort Lauderdale and Miami, FLIFF is continuing to program for the region’s gay audiences.
“Fort Lauderdale has a little older demographic and so we play to those strengths,” said von Hausch.
Here’s a quick look at FLIFF’s LGBT-themed films:
Any Day Now, Southeast Premiere
American Indie, USA / 2012 / 97 min / English
Special Guests: Director Travis Fine and actor/Honoree, Garret Dillahunt
Saturday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m.
Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6 St., Fort Lauderdale
Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Isaac Leyva, Frances Fisher star in an urban tale set in Los Angeles in the 1970’s directed by Travis Fine. A gay couple wants to adopt a child. Rudy, an inspiring female impersonator lives with his partner, Paul, a district attorney. One day while Paul is at work, Rudy who has been up all night due to the noise and music emanating from the neighboring apartment, pounds on the door for the neighbor to please stop the racket. He discovers Marco, the young son, alone, deserted by his druggie mom. Thus begins a turn in the life of Rudy and Paul—and hopefully, Marco.
The Parade, U.S. Premiere
World Cinema / Slovenia, Serbia/Montenegro / 2011 / 115 min / Serbian w/English sub-titles
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 8 p.m. - Muvico Pompano 18, 2315 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach
Thursday, Oct. 25, 8:15 p.m. - Sunrise Civic Center Theater, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise
Sunday, Oct. 28, 8 p.m. - Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6 Street, Fort Lauderdale
A homophobic, middle-aged, Serbian gangster named Lemon ends up sacrificing himself to protect Gay freedom in his country in this tragicomic story by Srdjan Dragojevic. Radmilo and Mirko are a young and successful gay couple, and they would be a happy couple anywhere else except in Serbia. They try to live discreetly but still, every day they are abused by the homophobic majority. Mirko is a gay rights activist, and his dream is to organize the first successful Pride event in Belgrade.
Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful
Japan-USA / 2012 / 66 min / English + Japanese w/English sub-titles
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 6 p.m. - Muvico Pompano 18, 2315 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach
In a world dominated by men, a tiny 99-year-old named Keiko Fukuda is the highest ranking woman in judo history and a true living legend. In July 2011, Fukuda made world history when she was awarded the 10th degree black belt – judo’s highest honor. She now has the distinguished title of “Shihan” (grand master) and is the only woman in the world to hold this honor. Fukuda is also the last living disciple of Jigoro Kano, judo’s founder.
Saturday, Nov. 3, 6 p.m.
Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6 Street, Fort Lauderdale
The shorts program includes five short films, including one that spotlights a particularly dark chapter in Florida state history: The Committee by Logan Kriete. The 27-minute film documents Florida's little-known investigative committee of the State Legislature from 1956-1964. The aim of the committee was to root out homosexual teachers and students from state universities and it was successful in either firing or expelling more than 200 suspected gays and lesbians. The film features two victims and one interrogator who have never before spoken publicly about their experiences, and culminates in a 50-year reunion between victim and interrogator.
Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors and $6 for FLIFF members. A complete schedule of screenings can be found and advance tickets purchased at www.FLIFF.com.