A record number of films will be screened at the MiFo LGBT Film Festival Fort Lauderdale, spanning two weeks. In this feature, three films from the final weekend of the festival have been reviewed. We hope you will go out and support the festival and see these movies, as well as many others.
Winning Dad will be screened at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 16 at Cinema Paradiso. This is the first screening for this film anywhere in the Southeast United States, and after viewing this film, I think crowds down here will like this feature a lot.
Colby’s relationship with his father is lukewarm at best. They’re civil toward one another, but Colby doesn’t have the same kind of relationship with his father that he does with his mother or his sister, and it’s because they’ve accepted his sexuality and his father — for whatever reason — has not yet. Colby devises a plan to ensure that his father accepts that he’s gay, and accepts that he has a boyfriend, all at once.
He does this by tricking his father to go on a camping trip with Rusty, his boyfriend, and announcing he can’t go at the last minute. They get along beautifully at the beginning, but Rusty decides to ask for Colby’s hand in marriage, which causes his father to become irrationally angry. In an attempt to hurt his father, Rusty describes in detail what he does to Colby during their lovemaking. This move causes everyone to distrust Rusty, including Colby, who calls off their relationship.
Colby’s father has a change of heart after speaking to his wife, and he approaches Rusty with an apology and with a plan. With the help of Colby’s entire family, Rusty puts everything on the line and asks for Colby’s hand one more time — this time directly to him. Will Colby have it in his heart to accept his proposal? This movie proves that it’s never too late for love to win — whether it be familial or romantic.
Written and Directed by Arthur Allen
Cast: Jake Street, Arthur Allen, Chuck Sigars, Ellen McLain, Megan Jackson
Sebastian will be screened at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, October 17 at Cinema Paradiso. This is the East Coast premiere for this feature, which was partly filmed in Los Angeles and partly in the town of Chiclayo, Peru.
Writer and director Carlos Ciurlizza stars as Sebastian, a well-respected cook in Los Angeles with a husband and dog, who gets very upsetting news from his home country and has to take the first flight there. After arriving in Peru and hearing that his mother, a lawyer and strong female figure in the community, has had a stroke, all Sebastian wants is to take care of her and ensure she is brought back to full health.
With the help of her maid, Martha, Sebastian brings his mother back home. Openly gay back in California, Sebastian must go back into the closet to keep the peace, partly due to Peru’s homophobic society and partly due to his mother’s disapproval. We learn that his mother paid him off to leave Peru — because she felt he was an embarrassment to her. The arrival of Sebastian’s husband Josh only further complicates matters.
When Josh arrives, not only does Sebastian have to deal with the vehement disapproval of his mother, but also with the wrath of an old friend, Lucia. Not only did Sebastian and Lucia have sex once before — which resulted in the birth of a son — but they succumbed to a night of passion when Sebastian returned to Peru, unbeknownst to Josh. (Don’t worry, he finds out.) Sebastian learns that he must make a stand in his life before anything can get better.
Country: USA, Peru
Written by Carlos Ciurlizza and Mauricio Hoyos
Directed by Carlos Ciurlizza
Cast: Carlos Ciurlizza, Haydeé Cáceres, Katerina D’Onofrio, Liz Moreno, Brando Gallesi, Burt Grinstead
Those People will be screened at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 18 at Cinema Paradiso. This film is spotlighted as the men’s closing night film. Latinos Salud presents the screening of this film as a community sponsor.
Charlie and Sebastian have a rather unhealthy relationship — a stunted man-child, Sebastian leans on Charlie for perhaps too much emotional support after his father, a hedge-fund manager, went to prison for fraud. Charlie, a painter who doesn’t come from money, is obsessed with Sebastian to the point where he feels like he is in love with him, despite Sebastian never returning his romantic feelings.
By chance at a piano bar, Charlie meets Tim, who immediately cops to finding Charlie attractive and attempts to make a pass at him. Charlie, who is aware that Tim is a concert pianist, is intrigued by his passion and makes plans to meet with him. Over time, their friendship turns into love, and Tim asks that he join Charlie in San Francisco. Charlie admits he’s in love — with Sebastian — and everything crashes around him. Tim leaves, and Sebastian does not return Charlie’s feelings.
Things come to a head at a dinner party hosted by Sebastian and his friends. By this time, Tim and Charlie have made an effort to reconcile, but Sebastian throws a wrench into Charlie and Tim’s plans to go to San Francisco. We’re left thinking that the worst thing that could have happened at that party did — but it was for the greater good, as Charlie, Sebastian and Tim all begin to carve their own paths.
Written by Joey Kuhn and Grainne Belluomo
Directed by Joey Kuhn
Cast: Jonathan Gordon, Jason Ralph, Haaz Sleiman, Britt Lower, Meghann Fahy, Chris Conroy, Allison Mackie
For a full list of films that will be screened at MiFo Fort Lauderdale, visit mifofilm.com.