Outshine Returns With New Crop of Queer Films for Fort Lauderdale Edition

Outshine Film Festival's Fort Lauderdale edition returns October 19-29 with the aim to "inspire, entertain, and educate."
Andrew Haigh's All of Us Strangers will close out the Outshine Film Festival.
Andrew Haigh's All of Us Strangers will close out the Outshine Film Festival. Outshine Film Festival photo
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Outshine Film Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary of bringing LGBTQ films to Fort Lauderdale from October 19 to 29. Over 11 days, the festival will screen 38 features and 26 shorts and host several parties and special events at various venues across Broward County. While Outshine has yet to hire a permanent executive director since Victor Gimenez's departure in 2021, interim director Mark Gilbert and his team continue to champion the festival's aim to "inspire, entertain, and educate."

The Mattachine Family opens the festival at the NSU Art Museum on Thursday, October 19. Directed by Andy Vallentine, the film combines heart and humor with a story about the true meaning of "family" and how it defines us, starring Nico Tortorella, Juan Pablo Di Pace, and Emily Hampshire. Following the screening, an afterparty at the Rooftop @1WLO will kick off the festival in style. Meanwhile, the closing night centers on one of the year's most anticipated queer titles: Andrew Haigh's All of Us Strangers, starring Emmy winner Andrew Scott and Oscar nominee Paul Mescal. Described as an "emotionally overwhelming love story suspended in a metaphysical realm," the film is earning comparisons to his landmark debut Weekend.
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Still from Femme
Outshine Film Festival photo
Between those two screenings, the festival is punctuated with a litany of queer films, including centerpiece and spotlight screenings. Glitter & Doom, a summer romance set to the songs of the Grammy-winning queer pioneers the Indigo Girls, adapts the jukebox musical to the screen. The spotlight screenings are divided between a Men's Spotlight, Ladies' Spotlight, and Transcendent Spotlight, whose labeling feels slightly out of touch with the current landscape of queer media.

Nevertheless, the Men's Spotlight takes place in the shadows. Femme is a twisted erotic-revenge thriller that incisively explores the nexus of desire, repulsion, queerphobic violence, and internalized homophobia. Ladies' Spotlight is Marinette, a biopic about France's pioneering female soccer player and civil rights advocate. Think of her as the proto-Franco Maegan Rapinone. Oskar's Dress represents the Transcendent spotlight. The coming-of-age of both a father and child, the film explores a stunted father's relationship with his young children when they are reunited.

The festival fills out its programming with a tremendous collection of films covering the spectrum of tastes. The After Dark program dives into queer horror, erotic thrillers, and "offbeat films" for those looking for the macabre or different. The documentary selection covers films about queer youth like Summer Qamp and Chasing Chasing Amy, subcultures like A Big Gay Hairy Hit! Where the Bears Are: The Documentary, and allies and trailblazers such as Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field and Hidden Master: The Legacy of George Platt Lynes. The shorts program continues offering variety and moments of discovery in two sections divided between men and women.
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Still from Summer Qamp
Outshine Film Festival photo
Finally, the festival celebrates local filmmaking with a shorts program devoted to South Florida filmmakers. The collection of eight films from ten filmmakers (Sebastian M. Olivier, Rogelio Salinas, Ahuatl Amaro, Joe Tufte, Aaliyah Leehanna Brown, Maria Paula Arboleda, Christina Isabel Rodriguez de Conte, Peter C. Bisuito, and Freddy Rodriguez), share their films with their community. In addition, Outshine will be screening locally made Big Easy Queens!, a queer horror-musical mashup that combines glitter and gore with drag performers fighting for control of the city.

Gilbert proclaims that the team is "thrilled to announce this incredibly diverse lineup" and that "sharing our struggles and triumphs" is vital in uncertain times.

Outshine Film Festival. Thursday, October 19, through Sunday, October 29, at various locations; Tickets cost $15 per screening.
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