Drag Balls, Glam Rockers And Vito Russo At The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

This month marks the highly anticipated return of the annual Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which turns 14 this year. From April 27 through May 6, MGLFF will be screening more than 60 queer movies from around the world and honoring out country singer and gay rights activist Chely Wright with the Lavender Heart Award on opening night. (Her documentary, Wish Me Away, will be screening on April 28.)

The New Zealand drama Kawa (right) by filmmaker Katie Wolfe is one of many spotlighted international films at the festival. It tells the tale of a seemingly happily married man whose secret gay life shatters his domestic bliss. Based on a book by Whale Rider novelist Witi Ihimaera, Kawa has the honor of opening the festival on April 27.

The critically acclaimed documentary Vito, screening on April 28, is an account of gay activist Vito Russo, who not only became a pioneer of gay civil rights after the Stonewall riots but chronicled how the LGBT community was represented in film, in his groundbreaking book, The Celluloid Closet.

It wouldn’t be a gay film festival without a bodacious musical and Sheldon Larry’s Leave It on the Floor delivers the goods. (Watch the trailer above.) Featuring songs by Beyonce’s music director, Kim Burse, the film chronicles the adventures of gay teen Brad, who discovers the glamorous world of house balls and voguing after being thrown out on the streets by his homophobic mother. Fans of Paris is Burning will definitely want to get in line when the film screens on April 30 at the Miami Beach Cinematheque.

And on May 6 at The Wolfsonian, audiences will have a chance to see Jobriath A.D., a new doc about openly gay glam rocker Jobriath, hailed as the “American Bowie” when he invaded the music scene in the early 1970s. Unfortunately his glory days were short-lived. (he sadly died of AIDS in 1983.) The film explores his influences and the legion of younger fans that are rediscovering his music now.

Visit the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival website for a full screening schedule and more information.

To find a film festival near you, check out the GayCities event guide

Photo: Katie Wolfe