Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Miami celebrates 25th anniversary

Milestone year featuring over 65 films opens with Fairyland on April 20 at its New Home at Silverspot Cinema Miami; Olympic champion turned actor Danell Leyva to be honored on April 26 at Clocked screening.

OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Miami, internationally acclaimed as one of the largest LGBTQ+ cultural festivals in the world, will celebrate its 25th anniversary with the opening screening of the drama “Fairyland” (2023) at its new home at Silverspot Cinema Miami (300 Southeast 3rd Street) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 20. Attendees will enjoy a dinner-at-your-seats luxury experience followed by a dessert celebration after-party. The Festival continues for a full 11 days with over 65 features, shorts, and documentaries from all around the world that inspire, entertain, and educate along with a variety of parties and special events.

“During this commemorative year, OUTshine is thrilled to partner with the luxurious and sophisticated state-of-the-art Silverspot Cinema in Downtown Miami. This central location for all films makes the Festival more exciting, more magical and more accessible to a greater cross-section of the community,” said Mark Gilbert, board chair and interim executive director of OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival. “Also, new this year are free community Cocktails & Cinema Happy Hours after the films on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and exclusive films not seen anywhere else.”

Written and directed by Andrew Durham, produced by Sofia Coppola, Durham, Megan Carlson, Greg Lauritano, Siena Oberman, and Laure Sudreau and starring Emilia Jones, Scoot McNairy, and Geena Davis, “Fairyland” captures the complexities, embarrassment, and pride that are part of any father-daughter relationship, especially in San Francisco during the 1970s and ‘80s, with its indelible legacy of loss and love. Following the sudden death of her mother, young Alysia is uprooted by her father Steve, in hopes of restarting his life. They move to San Francisco, where Steve develops his poetic and personal writing and begins to openly date men. Steve’s bohemian lifestyle clashes with the expectations of parenthood from the outside world and from Alysia herself. As Alysia grows into a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, their bonds and duty to each other are tested in painful and sudden ways.

“As a leading LGBTQ+ voice in the community, we are committed to bringing people together to champion diversity, inclusiveness and awareness in the arts and beyond. This year promises an unforgettable line-up of dramas, comedies, shorts, and thought-provoking documentaries, many of which you will only see at the Festival,” added Gilbert.

On Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m., OUTshine will present its Men’s Spotlight film, Drifter (2023), a North American premiere fresh from its screenings at Berlinale, Germany where it competed for the Teddy Award for Best LGBTQIA+ film in the festival. An after-party at the OUTshine Lounge at Silverspot will follow.

Miami’s own Olympic athlete champion Danell Leyva will be honored on Wednesday, April 26, at 7:15 p.m., prior to the screening of “Clocked” (2023), in which he stars. Leyva is a two-time Team USA Olympian and three-time Olympic Medalist as well as a World Champion on Parallel Bars. He was the first Cuban American on the United States Olympic men’s gymnastics team. After his second Olympics, Leyva tied to be the most decorated male gymnast for Team USA. Leyva retired from gymnastics and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion for performing. Since then, he has been featured in multiple nationwide commercials, a recurring role on Paradise Run, series regular on the scripted podcast Southbridge, multiple short films, web series, and roles on Hialeah and LoveVictor. He also performs live in Cirque du Soleil’s KA in Las Vegas. Leyva actively participates and donates to various charitable organizations and is an advocate for mental health, LGBTQIA+, and civil rights. He has also been a competitor on Univision’s Mira Quien Baila and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, both for charities.

Continuing the fun on Thursday, April 27, at 7 p.m., will be the Festival’s Centerpiece film, L’Immensita” (2022).  This Italian film, with an amazing performance by Penelope Cruz, is set in 1970s Rome. While the film tells the story of the breakdown of a marital relationship, it also tells the story of the oldest daughter who longs to live life as his true self and proclaims he wants to be called Andrew. With musical numbers and a fantastic soundtrack, the film packs an emotional wallop while maintaining an entertaining tone.

Next, it’s time for the ladies to shine with the Women’s Spotlight film, Love Proof (Karleeksbevis) (2022), a Swedish feature screening on Saturday, April 29, at 7:15 p.m. Thomas and Marie are getting divorced and must meet one last weekend to empty and sell their summer house when a mysterious woman enters their lives and shakes up the scene.

OUTshine wraps it all up on Sunday, April 30,  beginning at 6 p.m. with the Closing Night film, Three Nights A Week” (2023), a French film that utilizes the art and culture of drag to tell a poignant, yet entertaining story that will bring out the true diva in all of us.

Post-festival, the “OUTshine At Home” viewing begins on May 1 with many of the films that screened in theaters as well as several exclusive to the on-demand streaming platform.

OUTrageous, OUTspoken, and OUTstanding, this year’s OUTshine Film Festival Miami is presented by Gilead and Miami-Dade County.

Tickets to the opening night film “Fairyland,” dinner-at-your-seat, and after-party are $95 each. This is an in-person screening, only. Tickets start at just $8 for other individual films with group discounts and additional offers available. All films and events take place at Silverspot Cinema Miami unless otherwise noted.

For more information, films line-up and tickets for the 25th annual OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival Miami, call (877) 766-8156 or visit outshinefilm.com. A full schedule of parties and special events is available at outshinefilm.com/films/program.

About OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival

The OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary, is a bi-annual film festival with a mission to inspire, entertain, and educate; encouraging a sense of community through international and culturally diverse film, video and other media that offer historical, contemporary and entertaining perspectives on the LGBTQ+ experience. Launched separately – in 1998, as The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and in 2008, as the Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival – both were brought together under one brand to become OUTshine Film Festival, underscoring its brightness, broad appeal and dynamic multicultural locations, the nonprofit festival is critically and internationally acclaimed as one of the largest LGBTQ+ cultural arts happenings in the world. OUTrageous. OUTspoken. And OUTstanding in what we deliver. For more information and tickets, visit outshinefilm.com and follow us on Facebook @OUTshineFilmFestival, on Twitter @OUTshineFilm and on Instagram @OUTshineFilm.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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