Since Browardites refuse to venture into 305 territory, Miami-Dade decided to pick itself up and come north. Film is about illusion, so maybe it's not so strange for the marquee at Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6th St., Fort Lauderdale, to read "Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival."
With more than 800 Broward addresses on his mailing list and no gay and lesbian film festival in Broward County, Executive Director Phillip Matthews knew it was time to cross the county line. The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival organization agreed. Why reinvent the wheel? Instead, collaborate. "They had the audience," Matthews explains, "and we had the films."
A couple of frames later and we have films for men, women, and everyone in between. Matthews claims this year's festival will challenge stereotypes of what it means to be gay or lesbian, though the lineup seems to suggest that gay people won't cross gender lines, even for a night at the movies. Men get to enjoy celluloid and popcorn on Saturday night, while women, if they don't mind staying up late on a school night, get Sunday. Films on both nights screen at 7 and 9 p.m., with 11 p.m. afterparties for the men at the Copa, the women at Kicks.
Saturday, April 26, offers Lusters, a tale of unrequited love among L.A. alternative rockers, preceded by Family and Friends, a film Matthews calls a cross between The Sopranos and La Cage aux Folles: "The hit men just happen to be gay." Maybe the gays just happen to be hit men? Maybe they'll be as funny as the gay Mafia son in Robby Kendall's recent soap-opera theatrical series, Victoria Place.
The Sunday program opens with a series of shorts, followed by a discussion with several of the filmmakers, but the day's favorite is Girl King, billed as a strap-on, drag-king pirate adventure. Who said lesbians are boring?
Individual films are $12, $10 for members. One film plus the afterparty costs $25. Call 305-534-9924, or visit www.mglff.com. -- Karen Dale Wolman
Clueless on Las Olas
For the eighth year in a row, Las Olas Boulevard plays host to "Clueless on Las Olas." The fund-raising institution benefits Partners in Education, perhaps the primary business-to-school partnership program in Broward County. While helping out charity always counts for something, the real fun for the hundreds of participants unleashed on Las Olas Boulevard is in finding the clues hidden along the street and catching the culprit. Whoever pulls it off first gets two airline tickets to anywhere in the U.S., courtesy of Southwest Airlines. Couple that with goodie bags and T-shirts for all participants and a silent auction. Tickets cost $30 in advance, $35 the night of the event. Call 954-288-7201. -- Dan Sweeney
Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) in Swahili means creativity, and Hollywood's annual Kuumba on the Beach Festival celebrates it Florida style. From noon until 9 p.m., the Broadwalk comes alive with cultural arts and crafts reflecting African-American diversity and traditional influences, live music and dance at the Beach Theater, and a car and motorcycle show. New to the festival this year is the Best Conch Dish on Hollywood Beach contest. Artists scheduled to appear include Dance Academy, Eloquence Bank, Alessa Jade, Erica Lee, Paola Fernandez, and headliners the Oldy Goldy Show with Billy Raven. Free admission. Call 954-921-3404. -- Laura Madonna-Pilch
Delray Takes to the Street
Delray Beach, "The All-American City," embodies the warm and fuzzy family atmosphere that so many people have come to, well, loathe. But Delray doesn't care what people say. In fact, it's gonna flaunt its title with pride! Nothing says "All-American" more than a good, old-fashioned, outdoor street festival. The Delray Affair stretches along Atlantic Avenue, offering original art, home-cooked food, crafts, jewelry, live entertainment, and more than 600 vendors. You can even purchase a commemorative Delray Affair tote bag. Hooray for America! The Delray Affair happens Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. Call 561-279-0424. -- Audra Schroeder