Pasty is the New Black

Have you noticed your fellow Floridians are looking less tan than normal? Well that’s because we are in the middle of Film Fest Season. It’s a beautiful time, really — when else are you considered refined for staying indoors and eating popcorn?

This weekend, transform yourself into your most upscale self at the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. It kicks off in swanky style tonight at the Parker Playhouse (707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale) with an opening night gala. If you’re VIP, expect the full treatment starting at 6 p.m. (complementary beverages, envy from your peer group); general admission types can purchase drinks from the cash bar and shimmy up next to the VIP beginning at 6:30 p.m. (Why? Because people with better access make better friends.)

Clink glasses, bask in your general fabulousness, and enjoy yourself; just be seated at 7:30 p.m., because you don’t want to miss the festival’s opening film, Ask Not. Emmy-nominated director Johnny Symons takes his camera crew into battle — or rather, to those who have been denied the right to go into battle. With our country’s demand for soldiers peaking, the higher-ups have tried everything to recruit fresh fighters. They’ve allowed felons, they’ve lowered education requirements across the board, they’ve even batted around the word “draft” — and yet, they ban gays and lesbians from service. Ask Not explores this problem through interviews and protest footage. And after you reach a deeper understanding of the world’s injustices, it’s time to party again. Dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and a rocking bar will take you into the night; filling you with energy for the next three days of screenings. Find prices, showtimes, and a party list at
May 1-4, 6 p.m., 2008

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Jamie Laughlin