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.
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.
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; outshinefilm.com. Tickets cost $15 per screening.