Preview: Get Ready for QFest

The LGBT film festival kicks off this week with 107 films in 12 days

Charlie David in Judas Kiss (courtesy of QFest)

From a Texas-style gay romance to lesbian aliens, this year’s 17th annual QFest is highlighting some of the most talked about films in independent cinema today. The festival kicks off this week (July 7th) with an opening bash at the Loews Hotel followed by 12 days of events through July 18.

Founder and Artistic Director Ray Murray says that 2011 has been a banner year for LGBT film. “Not only is there a strong American independent presence,” he says, “but films from countries like Iran, Iceland, Algeria and Latvia demonstrate the surge in international queer filmmaking.”

This year’s QFest screens 107 films in all, including 43 feature films, nine documentaries and 55 shorts with plenty of world premieres from filmmakers in almost 30 countries.

The festival also welcomes many special celebrity guests to town, including Charlie David, the host of Bump! – a travel show on Logo, and an actor best known for his roles in Dante’s Cove and Mulligans – and, most recently, Judas Kiss, a steamy film that makes its Philly premiere at QFest. The movie – about a washed up director channeling his younger self – also stars Sean Paul Lockhart, a porn star perhaps better known as Brent Corrigan (he receives the “Rising Star Award” at this year’s festival).

Judas Kiss is just one of the films making its Philadelphia premiere, along with Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, which was a big hit at Sundance. Casper Andreas’ Going Down in La-La Land – another hotly anticipated flick – closes the festival with its humorous take on the lengths an actor will go to make it in Hollywood.

Here’s a preview of Judas Kiss: