By Brian Brooks | Indiewire April 6, 2006 at 12:11PM
The 2006 Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival has announced its eighth annual line up of galas, screenings, tributes and panels for its event taking place April 21 - 30. The festival will open with the East Coast premiere of Manuel Gomez Pereira's "Reinas (Queens) at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami, ushering in the ten day event. The Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival will screen 83 films from around the world in its competition.
According to the festival, the Spanish-centered "Reinas" centers on the country's first mass same-sex wedding. "Upscale hotelier Magda has agreed to host the event at her five-star establishment, but faces a possible labor strike from her kitchen staff. Magda's son Miguel reluctantly agrees to have future mother-in-law Ofelia stay at his posh apartment, but a furry surprise threatens to sabotage his relationship with hunky fitness trainer Oscar." A gala party will follow the film's Gusman screening.
The Florida premiere of "Whole New Thing" by Amnon Buchbinder will screen April 26 as the fest's Centerpiece. The Canadian film is about a thirteen -year-old boy growing up in Nova Scotia and is home-schooled by ultra-liberal parents in an atmosphere where casual nudity, recreational pot smoking and open discussions about sex are embraced. Forced to attend public school for the first time, he is placed in the home-room of a middle-aged gay teacher whose lonely secret life consists of solitary nights at home with porn rags and anonymous sex in public restrooms. The screening will be followed by a party at the Hotel Nash, with displays of Buchbinder's multi-media work.
Philadelphia-based film distributor and home entertainment company TLA Entertainment Group will be celebrated with a MGLFF tribute prior to the screening of "20 Centimeters" on April 22 at the Colony Theater. TLA Releasing, which releases primarily gay content, will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in the industry.
French director Francois Ozon will also be feted with festival accolades this year, receiving the event's Career Achievement Award. Actor Melvil Poupaud will accept the honor on his behalf just prior to the U.S. debut of "Time to Leave."
Director Todd Stephens and actor Darryl Stephens will be in attendance for the Florida premiere of their film, "Another Gay Movie," which will close the event at the historic Gusman Theater April 30. The film follows Andy, who is decidedly gay, though much to his mother's horror. According to the festival, "with the help of a sexed-up party dyke who has no trouble scoring cheerleaders and his sexually ambiguous dad, Andy has made a pact with his three hunky homo pals that by summer's end, all 'cherries will be popped.'"
"We are entering our 8th annual Festival season with a record number of members," commented MGLFF co-director Jaie Laplante in a statement. "Clearly, the excitement from last year's hugely successful event and our wonderful monthly screening series has attracted the attention of new audiences who are obviously very enthusiastic about our programming.
[For more information and a full line up, please visit the festival's website.]