“One of the greatest strengths of the festival being virtual is that it allows us to show the films for longer periods of time and to a broader audience,” Victor Gimenez executive director of OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival says in a statement to the press about this year’s festival, which will be mostly digital, but several in-person events.
OUTshine premieres Friday, April 23, 2021 with a screening at the Dezerland Drive-In of director Wes Hurley's semi-autobiographical comedy Potato Dreams of America, about growing up in Russia before coming to the United States with his mail-order bride mother.
From Germany comes Boy Meets Boy (opening image) about two men who meet on the dance floor of a Berlin club. One is a tourist flying home in just 15 hours, and an offer to print a board pass propels them to spend the day together wandering the city. The contrasts in their lives force them to each confront their own truths.
Another film about a life-changing, if brief encounter is See You Then (above), about Kris, a transgender computer programmer, and Naomi, an Asian-American performance artist, who used to date in college but haven't seen each other for 15 years. Over the course of a single-night encounter, they have increasingly intimate conversations until a revelation sends everything spiraling out of control.
Additional highlights for the week include The Obituary of Tunde Johnson (above), the documentaies Wojnarowicz: F*ck You F*ggot F**ker and Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story about a Black queer musician who goes on an international tour at age 74, and the closing night historical drama Charlatan, which was filmed in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, and Slovakia.
“No matter who you are or what your coming out journey has been, we have a film for you,” says Gimenez.
Launched in 2008 as The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, a decade a later the festival merged with the Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Both were brought together as OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, with a Miami edition held in April and a Fort Lauderdale edition held in October.
This year’s Miami edition will air conversations with filmmakers and talent to on their Facebook and YouTube channels. “These will be great because we can we can really go in depth with talent located across the globe,” Gimenez says.
This year the festival is also unveiling OUTshine At Home, a subscription-based program that will offer members 8-10 films every month; a mixture of brand-new films and older festival titles that are not available on any streaming services. “It will enable our audience to discover incredible new content and remain engaged in LGBTQ+ film throughout the year,” Giminez says.
For more information or tickets to 23rd Annual Miami edition of the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival, visit www.outshinefilm.com.