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Miami G&L unveils line-up


80 International films to compete during 6th annual event

Opening Night Gala Screening - "Straight Jacket" by Richard Day
Centerpiece Gala Screening - "Cachorro (Bear Cub)" by Miguel Albaladejo
Closing Night Gala Screening - "D.E.B.S" by Angela Robinson

Wolfe Career Achievement Award to producer Andrea Sperling
15th Anniversary Tribute to Strand Releasing

The prestigious 6th Annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, presented by HBO, has unveiled the line-up of the best gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered films that will be featured during the 10 day event from April 23rd to May 2nd. The screenings will take place at the historic Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (in downtown Miami), the Shores Performing Arts Center, the Regal Cinema South Beach, The Miami Beach Cinematheque and Cinema Paradiso (located in Fort Lauderdale).

The 10-day festival will kick-off on Friday, April 23rd with the Opening Night Gala presentation and East Coast Premiere of Richard Day's Straight Jacket at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, followed by a party at the Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building. On Wednesday April 28th, the Festival will present the Centerpiece Gala and North American Premiere screening of Cachorro (Bear Cub) by Miguel Albaladejo at the Shores Performing Arts Center followed by a party at the Gyory & Osiris Art Studio. The Festival closes on Sunday May 2nd with the Closing Night Gala, East Coast Premiere presentation of Angela Robinson's D.E.B.S. at the Gusman Theater for the Performing Arts followed by a party at Gloria & Emilio Estefan's Bongos Cuban Café overlooking Biscayne Bay.

This year's festival will also pay tribute to prolific filmmaker Andrea Sperling who will be presented with the Wolfe Career Achievement Award prior to the Closing Night Gala screening of D.E.B.S. The Festival salutes 15 years of Strand Releasing with a special Award tribute to principals Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans. Strand will unveil four of their new titles in the festival line-up including A Thousand Clouds of Peace, Iron Ladies II, Proteus, and The Raspberry Reich.

"The 2004 Festival continues the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival's tradition of cutting edge responsiveness to the continual changes and evolutions in gay and lesbian identities," said MGLFF Festival Manager Jaie Laplante. "We've always worked to expand the notion of what gay and lesbian cinema can be - and this year our ever-expanding audience will be thrilled with a rich selection of new discoveries, both on the screen and within themselves."

Making their debut as presenting sponsor this year is HBO. "We are proud to be the presenting sponsor of this event," said Olivia Smashum, executive vice president, affiliate marketing. "We have a rich history of telling powerful stories from the gay and lesbian community and look forward to our role in this year's festival."

This year's festival program will include a wide variety of films from Canada, Cuba, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States. The finalists were selected from a record number of film submissions and include features, documentaries and shorts. The Festival is also focused on celebrating the best of Queer International Cinema; with programs such as Let's Go Away featuring an eclectic assortment of shorts from around the world.

"We continue to build on our reputation as one of the leading gay and lesbian film festivals in the US," said Program Director Carol Coombes. "We are delighted to be able to bring to South Florida audiences 4 feature length World Premieres, and the best of the newest GLBT films fresh from Sundance and Berlin".

The Festival's film line-up will be launched on Saturday, April 24th, with the Afterschool Delights short film program, Straight Out: Stories from Iceland, an Icelandic feature by Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdottir & Thorvaldur Kristinsson, Key West: City of Colors, a US feature documentary by Talmadge Hayward, Paternal Instinct, a US feature documentary by Murray Nossel, The Iron Ladies II, a Thailand feature by Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, and The Rasberry Reich, a German feature by maverick director Bruce LaBruce

The Festival commences on Friday, April 23rd at the Gusman Center, with its Opening Night Gala screening of the East Coast premiere Straight Jacket, by Richard Day, starring Jack Plotnick, Veronica Cartwright and Matthew Letscher. In 1950's Hollywood, movie star Guy Stone must marry a studio secretary in order to conceal his homosexuality. She has no idea her marriage is a sham, though, and turns Guy's life upside-down. Director Richard Day, Producer Michael Warwick, actor Jack Plotnick will attend the screening. Miss Coco Peru of Trick and Girls Will Be Girls fame will host the evening.

On Wednesday, April 28th, at the Shores Performing Arts Center, the Festival will present the North American Premiere Centerpiece Gala screening of Cachorro (Bear Cub), by director Miguel Albaladejo. The film tells the story of the unlikely bond that forms between two very different individuals, a successful gay dentist in his thirties and his precocious 9 year-old nephew. Actor Jose Luis Garcia-Perez will attend the screening.

On Sunday, May 2nd, at the Gusman Theater, the Festival will host the East Coast Premiere and Closing Night Gala screening of D.E.B.S, by director Angela Robinson. There is a secret test hidden within the S.A.T. designed to identify students who can lie, cheat, fight, and kill. High scorers are recruited by a secret government agency and trained to become members of the nation's most elite paramilitary group: the D.E.B.S. A bubbly, sexy, fun-filled send-up of secret-agent espionage movies, action thrillers, wild parties, and teen angst. Director Angela Robinson and producer Andrea Sperling will attend the screening. Andrea Sperling will receive the Wolfe Career Achievement Award prior to the screening.

The 10-day festival includes the ever-popular What Girls Like and What Boys Want programs, both featuring an exhilarating assortment of US and international short films.

The 15th Anniversary Tribute to Strand Releasing whose award winning queer titles have included: The Living End, Grief, Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, Frisk, Psycho Beach Party, Innocence and many others will take place on April 24th at the Regal Cinemas with a presentation to founders Marcus Hu and Jon Gerrans.

The 5th Annual Short Film Awards, judged by industry professionals in the cities of Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco is sponsored by and presented by MGLFF and, honoring the best in Queer short films featuring Documentary, Experimental, Animation, Drama, and Comedy categories. The Short Film Award Winners 2004 will be screened on April 25th at the Regal Cinemas South Beach with an afterparty at new South Beach eatery Cafeteria.


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