This may be the extra 38 minutes of “sexy as hell” Ryan Phillippe footage talking, but organizer Mark Gilbert says there’s much to like about this year’s rebranded Miami and Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
As some 75 LGBT-centric films get set to screen April 24-May 3 in Miami Beach, Gilbert says moviegoers will notice the festival’s catchy new shorthand, MiFo, and a lineup filled with celebrity wattage. The 17th edition will kick off Friday night with the late Robin Williams’ final movie, “Boulevard,” a drama about a closeted banker who finds his sexuality awakened by a male hustler. The stars also come out for “I Am Michael” (screening 9:15 p.m. April 25), the James Franco-Zachary Quinto vehicle about a gay activist who switches to Christianity and renounces his homosexuality, and a director’s cut of “54” (9 p.m. April 30), the 1998 paean to New York’s legendary disco Studio 54 starring Mike Myers and Phillippe, here with homoerotic scenes trimmed from the theatrical release.
“By sheer good fortune, the amount of star power in these films makes this, I think, our strongest lineup ever,” says Gilbert, the festival’s director. “Our goal is always trying to gather the best in international LGBT films, and if those films happen to have major well-known talent, as well, it sure doesn’t hurt.”