Now that the crowds have wound down at the ticket booths and the 2016 Miami International Film Festival is history, it is time to look back at some of the winning LGBT films at this year’s festival.
Here are the top seven LGBT films from the Miami International Film Festival:
El Rey De La Havana - The King of Havana
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The Cuban film, The King of Havana, was actually set in the Dominican Republic. With its vintage look and aesthetics audiences would have no idea most of it wasn’t shot on the island due to filming restrictions. Adapted from a novel by Pedro Juan Gutierrez, Cuba’s prominent author of “gritty realism,” the story follows a young man (Maykol David Tortolo) through the life and hustle of surviving, falling in love and working in Cuba. Directed by famed Spanish director Agusti Villaronga, one can’t help but join in this crazy adventure that takes viewers on highs and lows of a marginalized community. The film also has a wonderful transgender character played by Hector Medina, of VIVA who delivers a magnificent performance and brings a gentle tone to this dramatic film. Cuban actress Yordanka Ariosa plays Rey’s love interest and tempestuous on-and-off lover
La Belle Saison- Summertime
The French film Summertime directed by Catherine Corsini, starring Cécile De France and Izia Higelin is a story about two women who meet at the beginning of the feminist movement and fall in love. The film set in the ‘70s and follows their story along with the trials and tribulations from opposing family and societal views to coming out to the men that love them, making it difficult to continue their relationship or return to their “normal lives.”
Te prometo anarquía -I Promise You Anarchy
Diego Calva and Eduardo Martínez Peña play Miguel and Johnny, two young skateboarding lovers in I Promise You Anarchy. The film is directed by Julio Hernández Cordón and set in Mexico. It follows their story of mischievous youth in a corrupted city. They ride with their crew through the chaotic neighborhoods of Mexico City, sometimes naked — and rejoice in their sexuality and each other. In a series of events, a contact hooks them up with drag traffickers looking to partake in the illegal blood trade. Vulnerable and inexperienced their scheme derails and they find themselves culpable for a mass kidnapping that may lead into the murder of many innocent people. As the pressure amounts and tensions soar, Miguel and Johnny are tempted to turn against each other and betray their love for the sake of keeping their lives.
Desde Allá - From Afar
In From Afar, Alfredo Castro plays Armando, a middle-aged estranged man who makes dentures for a living. For sex, he pursues relationships with young street thugs in exchange for cash. Everything changes when he meets 17-year-old Elder played by new comer Luis Silva, a leader of a criminal gang, fists and emotional blows erupt between them. It’s the first feature film for writer-director by Lorenzo Vigas and it’s set in Caracas, Venezuela. The city’s backdrop and political strain provide a perfect location for this tense and emotional drama.
Ausente - Absent
At first viewing, Argentine film Absent may seem like a typical plot of a teacher overstepping his boundaries with his student. However, as the film progresses, audiences are taken for a thrilling ride as teenager Martin, played by Javier de Pietro, has been conspiring to spend the night and seduce his swimming coach Sebastian (Carlos Echevarria). Director Marco Berger’s second feature film preciously captures a young innocent love gone wrong and the life-altering experience an impossible love can have on the heart and the conscious.
Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures
This documentary directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato is about the controversial yet brilliant American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Look At The Pictures documents the photographer’s complex and frank subject matter of underground BDSM scene of the 1960s and ‘70s. He also famously photographed naked men and women and featured them on large-scale black-and-white photographs. The homosexual undertones of his work birthed a national debate over the public funding of provocative artwork and strained his relationships with family and friends.