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By Film Threat Staff | April 4, 2009

Miami, Florida – The Miami Latin Gay Film Festival has unveiled the line-up of the best Latin Gay and Lesbian films from around the world that will be featured during the 4 day sneak preview event from April 16 to 19, 2009. The announcement was made today by Festival Director Ellen Wedner.

The Festival will be a full scale Annual event taking place in Miami Beach during the Summer from July 31 to August 2 with the Spring sneak preview being held in honor of Miami Beach Gay Pride Weekend.

“I am truly grateful to all the filmmakers and distributors who have worked with me to enable us to present this intimate line-up for our inaugural event. The Festival was created to fill a void in the Florida Latino Gay community and the enormous support we have received from around the world is overwhelming. We are also very excited to have assembled an amazing group of Latino men and women from South Florida and around the world on our Advisory Board. Their input on programming and future development of the Festival has been instrumental on creating the best Festival for the community” said Jim Dobson.

Opening Night Screening – “Quemar Las Naves (Burn the Bridges)”

The 4-day preview festival will kick-off on Thursday, April 16, 7:30pm with the Opening Night presentation and U.S. Premiere of Quemar Las Naves by Francisco Franco at the Colony Theater. This is an emotionally compelling drama about Helena and Sebastian who live in a crumbling villa with their dying Mother in Central Mexico. Helena leaves school and becomes her mother’s caretaker. Isolated in the secluded Villa, Helena grows jealous of Sebastian who roams freely, if awkwardly through his teenage life of denial. Then Sebastian meets Juan, a tough new student who awakens a sense of danger, desire and possibility in him. After their mother dies, the emotional rivalry between the siblings reaches an operatic intensity as they confront the limits of loyalty and they must choose to live in the past or destroy it to pursue their dreams. The Opening Night Screening and party are in honor of Miami Beach Gay Pride. All Supporters of Gay Pride get $1.00 off when mentioning the special code. Director Francisco Franco and lead actor Angel Onesimo Navares will attend the screening to discuss the film with the audience. Gala party at the Sagamore Hotel follows the screening.

Latino Filmmaker Spotlight Screening- “Aquarelas (Watercolors)”

On Friday April 17, 7:00pm, the Festival will present the Latino Filmmaker Spotlight screening of Aquarelas Director David Oliveras has created a multi-award winning teen romance about a young artist, Danny who falls for the hunky swimming champ Carter. Danny helps the troubled Carter with his schoolwork while the smoldering Carter brings Danny out of his shell awakening his passion for art and his newfound sexuality. The Spotlight evening was created to honor rising Latino directors who make films for all audiences beyond the Latino community. The screening will take place at the Bill Cosford Cinema at the University of Miami. Students with ID will be admitted free to this screening. Club Azucar in Coral Gables will host the after party with complimentary signature cocktails.

Fort Lauderdale Spotlight Screening – “Spinnin” (6000 Millones de Personas Diferentes)

On Saturday, April 18, 8:00pm we bring Broward County audiences the Florida premiere of one of the finest award winning films from Spain. Spinnin’ directed by Eusebio Pastrana is a wonderfully exuberant, multi-layered Spanish drama about Garate and Omar. Both young, gorgeous and in love they are desperate to have a child. After failed attempts with their female pals, they befriend Raquel, a pregnant woman whose partner died of AIDS. Sound conventional? Spinnin’is anything but. It’s a wildly entertaining, inventive film that celebrates being alive. There is even an onscreen countdown of 101 kisses between lovers both gay and straight, children and parents, strangers and families. A refreshing, feel good movie about love, friends, and relationships. Winner of the Audience Award at the Barcelona Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Reception to follow screening.

Women’s Spotlight Screening – “El Patio De Mi Cárcel (My Prison Yard)”

On Sunday, April 19, 4:00pm we present the U.S. Premiere of the hard hitting drama El Patio De Mi Cárcel by Belén Macías at the Colony Theater. A film about women, female inmates, alienated from life. This is the story of gorgeous young Isa, a caustic yet generous thief unable to adapt to life outside of prison, and her friends Dolores, a blond gypsy who killed her husband; Rosa, a tender fragile prostitute; Ajo, in love with sexy fellow inmate Pilar, who lives her life to unbearable limits and Luisa, a naïve Columbian surprised by an environment she does not understand. A new prison warden starts them on a journey towards freedom. The creation of a prison theater group empowers these women to cope with life’s hard knocks. Produced by Agustín Almodóvar and nominated for several Spanish Academy Awards, the film is an journey of love and hope in the midst of tragic circumstances. Director Belén Macías will attend the screening to discuss the film with the audience. The film is preceded by a Women’s Spotlight Party at The Anglers Resort in Miami Beach featuring exquisite appetizers and open beer and vodka bar.

Closing Night Gala Screening – “Fuera De Carta (Chef’s Special)”

The Festival closes on Sunday April 19, 7:30pm with the Closing Night Gala and Florida Premiere screening of the hysterical comedy Fuera De Carta by director Nacho Velilla at the Colony Theater. Maxi is a Chef with stress issues. Intent on earning his restaurant a much revered Michelin star, he runs his kitchen with panic-stricken fervor. Though Maxi is comfortably out of the closet, he has some skeletons still firmly tucked away there, including a sham marriage that resulted in him fathering several children. When, unexpectedly, they turn up on his doorstep and a hunky Argentinean soccer player moves in next door, Maxi might have to reevaluate his own morals and values. This delicious farce overflows with hilarity. As the highly-strung Maxi, Javier Cámara (Almodóvar’s “Talk to Her”) gives a masterful comic performance, supported by a wonderful cast, particularly Lola Dueñas(Almodóvar’s “Volver”) as Maxi’s emotionally unstable friend. A huge box-office smash in Spain, the film went on to win multiple honors. Join us for our Closing party, the final event of the Spring Festival at a private residence near Lincoln Road.

Short Films and Special Musical Retrospective
The breadth and diversity of films this year also include the Premieres of the short films Brincos de Estrela and The Fugitives as well as celebrating a Sing-a-long Matinee with ¡MARISOL in Tómbola! at the Miami Beach Cinematheque on Sunday, April 19th at 2:00pm.Who do you get when you cross Julie Andrews, Haley Mills, and Shirley Temple with Charo, and Jennifer Lopez? MARISOL…that’s who! Marisol was Spain’s colorful answer to wholesome entertainment during the grey General Franco dictatorship. Her young and flamboyant vitality was also a secret symbol of leftie liberation, and that includes, of course, being a gay icon for all the colorful boys (and girls) yearning to be just like her, or yearning to, at least, sing just like her. If you speak or sing or, at least, read Spanish, now is a single rare chance to relive or live for the first time your Spanish heritage and childhood, singing your heart out with MARISOL (on screen) in her classic film Tómbola (which is about…um, Marisol being fabulous!).

“I am thrilled to be part of this new festival which can only enhance the South Florida festival community. Here‘s an opportunity to see a wide range of Latin works that otherwise might not be available to South Floridians. What is so great about this festival is you don’t have to be Latin or Gay to appreciate and enjoy these films. You only have to appreciate high quality cinema” said Festival Director Ellen Wedner

Order tickets online at after March 16.

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