The 17th annual Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival opens Friday night at the Colony Theater on Lincoln Road and unveils its new name, MiFo —which officially ties the separately held Miami and Fort Lauderdale festivals.
The festivals’ single new name: MiFo: the Miami and Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals.
“We haven’t rolled out our complete branding strategy, but we wanted to make sure the new name was released during festival so people could start getting used to it,” said Mark Gilbert, MiFo’s president and interim director.
Traditionally, the Miami festival has been held in late April, early May. The Fort Lauderdale festival, now in its seventh season, has been in October.
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That won’t change, according to festival spokesman Richard Murry.
Friday night, the Miami festival begins with a screening of Robin Williams’ final dramatic film, Boulevard, about a middle-aged man’s coming out.
Nolan Mack (Robin Williams) has worked quietly at the same bank branch for decades, sharing a home (but not a bedroom) with his wife, Joy (Kathy Baker.) But when he begins an unsettling relationship with young hustler, Leo (Roberto Aguire), Nolan's safe existence is rocked to its foundation. Director, Dito Montiel, explores a middle-aged man's sexual awakening with grace and dignity, anchored by a poignantly understated performance by Williams, as the enlightened but unraveling Nolan. Montiel’s seasoned direction builds just the right amount of tension between the players and their now questionable relationship.
Williams took his own life last August, before the film’s general release. This week, distributors announced Boulevard would be screened nationally beginning July 17.
Actor Aguire is scheduled to appear Friday at the MiFo opening, and will conduct a Q&A after the Boulevard screening. An after-party will be held at Skydeck on Lincoln Road.
The festival runs through May 2 with screenings at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, 1130 Washington Ave.; Regal Cinemas South Beach, 1100 Lincoln Rd.; and the Gleason Room Back Stage At The Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave.
A closing brunch will be held 11 a.m. Sunday, May 3, at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.
If you go
MiFo: the Miami and Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festivals
Opening night, April 24, 2015
7 p.m. —Red Carpet Arrivals
7:30 p.m. — “Boulevard” screening, Colony Theater, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach,
10 p.m. — Opening Night Party, SKYDECK Miami, 605 Lincoln Rd.
General admission tickets for the screening and party are $75. Click here to purchase.
For a complete list of 2015 festival films, theaters and events, click here.