LGBTQ South Florida

Gay and lesbian films showcased three weeks at Fort Lauderdale’s Cinema Paradiso

Ghilherme Lobo (Leo) and Fabio Audi (Gabriel) in ‘The Way He Looks.’
Ghilherme Lobo (Leo) and Fabio Audi (Gabriel) in ‘The Way He Looks.’ Strand Releasing

A three-week series of LGBT-oriented films begins Wednesday at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale, run by the Broward County Film Society, which also produces the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival.

The event is being guest programmed by Robert Rosenberg, founding director of both the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and the Coral Gables Art Cinema.

Here’s the official news release:

Gay and Lesbian characters, themes and communities are showcased front and center in a special three-week line-up of films at the Cinema Paradiso - Fort Lauderdale starting today, November 26. The three films – this year's Foreign Oscar submission from Brazil, The Way He Looks; the U.S. indie Life Partners, starring Leighton Meister and Gillian Jacobs; and this year's Foreign Oscar submission from Switzerland, The Circle are rich in stories, laughs, tears and cinematic artistry. Each film runs for one week only, playing every day in 2K Digital Cinema Projection, and will have a live video-link Q&A with the film's director at one screening. This is an unusual opportunity to really sample some of the best of global cinema's approaches to gay film, as well as simply some great art house movies.

The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho) begins its South Florida First Run Engagement on Wednesday, November 26. Set against the unique music of Belle and Sebastian, the film tells an honest and tender coming-of-age story of a blind teenage boy struggling to be independent. A charged triangle develops between him, his best friend who is a girl, and the new boy at school. This is a gently sexy, emotionally resonant twist on finding yourself as a young gay person that is both surprising and universal. A huge hit in Brazil and on the international film festival circuit, the film is in Portuguese with English subtitles. There will be a Caipirinha Brazilian drink special all night Friday, November 28, for both the 7pm and 9:30pm screenings. There will be a live video-link Q&A with the film’s director Daniel Ribeiro at the 7:00 pm, Saturday, November 29 screening. The San Francisco Chronicle calls The Way He Looks,, “Exquisite…an instant classic.”

Leighton Meister, of Gossip Girl fame, makes a very credible twenty-something lesbian at loose ends in Los Angeles in the Exclusive South Florida Theatrical Premiere run of Life Partners, beginning Friday, December 5. In this U.S. independent dramedy, she is BFF's (best friends forever) with the very heterosexual Gillian Jacobs, from Community. That is, until the two women find their relationship and lives tested when a man, played by Adam Brody of the O.C., starts to win Gillian's heart. As Meister's characrter's 30th birthday looms, the friends must find a new way to grow up, together. The film also stars Gabourey Sidibe, from Precious. There will be a live video-link Q&A with the film’s director Susanna Fogel at the 1:30 pm,Sunday, December 7 screening. Variety calls it, “Breezy… authentic.”

Set in the late 1950s in Switzerland, The Circle begins its South Florida First Run Engagement Friday, December 12. The film uncovers a powerful and little known history of underground gay life and activism, mixing lushly directed narrative sections with documentary segments. Two men, a bashful teacher and a German cabaret performer, get to know one another in the Swiss homosexual organization called “Der Kreis.” (The Circle) during a virulently ant-gay time in Europe. The film is a multiple award winner at the Berlin Film Festival, Outfest and other events. There will be a live video-link Q&A with the film’s director Stefan Haupt at the 3:00 pm, Sunday, December 14 screening. The Hollywood Reporter calls The Circle,“Great and beautiful.”

Robert Rosenberg, Guest Programmer for this special showcase, who was the Founding Director of both the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and the Coral Gables Art Cinema, says, “While the LGBT community is certainly much better represented today in the mainstream media than in the past, these unique foreign and independent films truly capture real-life stories in an honest and artistically wonderful way.”

Tickets for all regular screenings are $10 general admission, $8 seniors and students, and $6 members. and can be purchased in advance on the Cinema Paradiso website a t www.fliff.com or in-person during regular screening hours at the Cinemas’ box office. For more information visit the website or contact the Cinema or info@fliff.com, or by phone (954) 525-3456.

Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale is located at 503 SE 6th St., in downtown Ft. Lauderdale just east of the Broward County Courthouse. The theater offer a full bar and concessions.

Parking is at on-street meters, and free at Courthouse parking garage after 5 pm on weekdays and all day on weekends.

The theater, along with its sister venue Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood, are Broward County’s only year-round non-profit art houses. They are are run by the Broward County Film Society, which also produces the annual Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival.

Funding for the Cinema Paradisos comes in part from Air France; the Broward County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council; the Community Foundation of Broward; Cowan Enterprises; the Forman Family Foundation; Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and the many other sponsors, businesses, individual donors and members who contribute to the Cinemas’ work.

If you go

WHAT: South Florida First Run Engagements of Gay & Lesbian international films The Way He Looks, Life Partners and The Circle in 2K Digital Cinema Projection; Live video-link Q&A's with directors for all three films.

WHEN: Full-week showtimes for The Way He Looks are: Wed. 11/26 at 7:00 & 9:15 pm; Thu. 11/27 at 3:15, 6:15 & 8:30 pm; Fri. 11/28 at 7:00 & 9:30 pm; Sat 11/29 at 2:30, 4:45, 7:00pm * (with director Q&A) & 9:15 pm; Sun.11/30 at 1:30, 3:45, 6:00 & 8:15 pm; and Mon. 12/1 through Thu. 12/4 at 6:15 & 8:30 pm.

*There will be a live skype Q&A with the film's director at the 7:00pm screening on Saturday, November 29.

•Full-week showtimes for Life Partners are: Fri. 12/5 at 9:15 pm; Sat. 12/6 at 2:30, 4:45 & 7:00 pm; Sun. 12/7 at 1:30pm * (with Q&A), 6:30 & 8:45 pm; Mon. 12/8 at 8:15 pm,; Tue. 12/9 at 6:00 pm; Wed. 12/10 at 8:15 pm; and Thu. 12/11 at 6:00 pm. *There will be a live skype Q&A with the film's director at the 1:30 pm screening on Sunday, December 7.

•Full-week showtimes for The Circle are: Fri. 12/12 at 7:00 & 9:15 pm; Sat 12/13 at 2:30, 4:45, 7:00 & 9:15 pm; Sun 12/14 at 1:30 , 3:00 pm * (with Q&A), 5:45 & 8:00 pm; Mon 12/15 through Thu 12/18 at 6:15 & 8:30 pm. *There will be a live skype Q&A with the film's director at the 3:00pm screening on Sunday, December 14.

WHERE: Cinema Paradiso Ft. Lauderdale, 503 SE 6th St in downtown Ft. Lauderdale one block from the County Courthouse; parking at on-street meters, and free at Courthouse parking garage after 5 pm on weekdays and all day on weekends

ADMISSION: All regular screening tickets are $10 general admission, $8 seniors and students, and $6 members. They can be purchased at the Cinema's box office during regular screening hours and online at www.fliff.com.

FOR MORE INFO: www.fliff.com info@fliff.com (954) 525-3456

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