QFest is getting ready to kick off its 18th edition on July 12 (through the 23rd) with 107 films this year, including 13 documentaries, 52 short films, seven world premieres, two U.S. premieres and 26 Philadelphia premieres.
The LGBT film festival opens with Elliot Loves, the story of Dominican-American Elliot Ayende at two stages of his life: as a nine-year-old who is sidekick and confidant to his struggling single mom, and as a 21-year-old looking for love in New York City. The closer is the comedic follow-up to TLA Releasing’s BearCity - BearCity2: The Proposal. In it, Kathy Najimy plays den mother to the returning cast of bears, boys and cubs, for a Bear Week bachelor party in Provincetown.
Other notable films include:
Cloudburst, which stars Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as Stella and Dotty, a lesbian couple from Maine who embark on a Thelma and Louise-style road trip to Nova Scotia to get married after Dotty is moved into a nursing home by her daughter.
Check it out:
Beauty, a South African drama that tells the story of a married man who is forced to deal with his attraction to other men.
I Do, A heartfelt drama about a British gay man (David W. Ross) living in New York and fighting for love, family and a green card. The film tackles timely issues of gay marriage and immigration, and stars Jamie Lynn Sigler, Alicia Witt and Maurice Compte.
North Sea Texas, a film about a lonely gay adolescent who suffers the pangs of unrequited passion in this coming-of-ager from Belgium.
There are also quite a few local connections at this year’s QFest, including:
Transpass, a short film that delves into SEPTA’s controversy over gender stickers on its weekly and monthly transpasses and the efforts by RAGE (Riders Against Gender Exclusion) to have them removed.
Bumming Cigarettes, a film was shot on location that explores themes of HIV and AIDS within the black LGBT community.
Check it out:
I Stand Corrected, an award-winning true story about the meteoric rise and internal struggles of King of Prussia native Jennifer (then John) Leitham, a transgender, left-handed, upright bassist and recording artist.
The festival will also honor a few notable filmmakers, including Rose Troche (July 21), an award-winning writer, director and producer whose first feature Go Fish became a seminal film about lesbian life when it premiered in 1994. In March of this year, Troche confirmed that she will be working on Go Fish 2.0.
At the festival, she’ll be joined on stage for an interview with Philly film reviewer Gary Kramer.
For more information about QFest, click here. We’ll also be interviewing visiting filmmakers and actors, and bringing you previews of films, including G Philly‘s top picks.