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Fabulous Independent Film Festival

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"Cupcakes" / COURTESY PHOTO

"Cupcakes" / COURTESY PHOTO

For the fourth year in a row the Fabulous Independent Film Festival should have no problem living up to its name. Held at Burns Court Cinemas on Friday through Sunday, the event celebrates diversity in the LGBT community with a program of short and feature-length selections from around the world, plus fabulous parties around Sarasota. In association with the Harvey Milk Festival, the film festival is organized by Magida Diouri’s Broken Rules Productions. This year, for the first time, attendees may vote on their favorite of the nine feature films for the Audience Award. Here they are, with a synopsis and quote on each from Diouri.

FRIDAY

"Blackbird" / COURTESY PHOTO

"Blackbird" / COURTESY PHOTO

7:30 p.m. “Blackbird” (U.S., 99 min.)
Synopsis: Opening Night Film is the Florida premiere of director Patrik-Ian Polk’s “Blackbird,” a coming-of-age tale that stars Oscar-winner Mo’Nique (“Precious”) and Isaiah Washington as well as newcomers Julian Walker and Kevin Allesee, of Port Charlotte.
Quote: “It has all kinds of things weaved into the story and all kinds of things are happening at once. It’s not full drama or full comedy, it’s very reflective of what a film can be and also how life can be.”

9:30 p.m. Opening Night Cocktail Party at Made Restaurant, 1990 Main St., Sarasota; free cocktail with “Blackbird” ticket; 953-2900; maderestaurant.com

11 p.m. Opening Night Dance Party at Throb Nightclub, 2201 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota; free cocktail with “Blackbird” ticket; 358-6969.

SATURDAY

1:15 p.m. “Born to Fly” (U.S., 82 min.)
Synopsis: Documentary about choreographer Elizabeth Streb inspiring her dancers to pursue the art of human flight.
Quote: “(Streb’s) idea of modern dance and movement is to defy gravity and if she can’t defy gravity she will play with it. The film is remarkable, all the emotions and everything you see that is so real it all becomes almost surreal.”

3:15 p.m. “The Circle” (Switzerland, in German with English subtitles, 102 min.)
Synopsis: Multiple award on the current international festival circuit, “The Circle” combines a narrative with a documentary love story about the network of friends and lovers that formed around The Circle, a Swiss gay magazine published from the 1930s to ‘60s.
Quote: “You meet the two characters who met through The Circle in Zurich and follow them now because they’re still alive and the director took the past life and recreated it as a period piece. It’s an interesting concept that the struggle (for gay rights) was the same there as here without the Internet and everything. There are a lot of parallels.”

5:45 p.m. “Boy Meets Girl” (U.S., 95 min.)
Synopsis: Romantic comedy about three 20- somethings living in Kentucky - Robby, Francesca and Ricky, a transgender woman - captures the energy, sensuality and heartache of “non-traditional” love in a small town in Kentucky.
Quote: “There is tension but there is also a lot of love and it’s a nice change because you know how the transgender world is not treated correctly most of the time.”

8 p.m. “Queerituality” (U.S. 90 min.)
Synopsis: World premiere of last work by Sarasota filmmaker Tom Murray. His documentaries were regularly featured at the Gay and Lesbian Film Celebration at Burns Court that Diouri programmed before he died in 2010 and she went on to form the Fabulous film festival.
Quote: “In all his films he has been inquisitive about what prompted people to do things and in this film he is inquiring about how the LGBT community attends to its spiritual needs, when some religions are not welcoming to LGBT members.”

SUNDAY

“The Way He Looks” / COURTESY PHOTO

“The Way He Looks” / COURTESY PHOTO

1:15 p.m. “The Way He Looks” (Brazil, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 96 min.)
Synopsis: Romantic drama about teenage love and friendship focuses on a blind boy, his BFF, and the new kid in school infatuating both of them.
Quote: “I love the delicacy of that film, it is not heavy handed, and it’s in Portuguese, one of the sexiest languages in the world. I love the attraction between the two characters because it’s so subtle and so nice."

3:15 p.m. “Appropriate Behavior” (U.S. 83 min.)
Synopsis: Director/actor Desiree Akhavan delivers a comedy about a bisexual Persian-American trying to deal with her family’s traditions while navigating Brooklyn’s dating scene.
Quote: “She has this dry humor about the whole thing and it’s just wonderfully silly. I also like it because it’s a bit irreverent.”

5:15 p.m. “To Be Takei” (U.S., 90 min.)
Synopsis: Documentary celebrates the “Star Trek” icon George Takei who is also a marriage-equality advocate, spokesperson for Japanese Americans imprisoned in internment camps during World War II and Facebook superstar with more than 7 million fans.
Quote: “George is himself a character who’s been through so much but still has such a great spirit. And we get to meet his husband, who took George’s last name, which is why the movie is called ‘To Be Takei.’”

7:30 p.m. “Cupcakes” (Israel, in Hebrew with English subtitles 90 min.)
Synopsis: Closing Night Film is a comedy about six friends who unexpectedly find themselves representing Israel in an international song contest.
Quote: “It’s fun and campy and the perfect way to close the festival.”

9:30 p.m. Closing Night Reception at Caragiulos, 69 S. Palm Ave., 951-0866; caragiulos.com

Fabulous Independent Film Festival
Friday-Sunday; Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Lane, Sarasota; $8.50-$10; fabulousiff.com

IMDB.com was used in this story.

Fabulous Independent Film Festival
Friday-Sunday; Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Lane, Sarasota; $8.50-$10; fabulousiff.com

Wade_Tatangelo_by_Mike_Lang_HT_06212013
WADE TATANGELOis the editor of TICKET + and a contributor at TicketSarasota.com. He has been an entertainment editor, reporter, columnist and reviewer for more than a decade at publications nationwide. He is a Hershey, Pa., native who grew up in Tampa and graduated from the University of South Florida. Wade joined the Herald-Tribune in 2013 and writes the weekly Bar Tab column. He can be reached by email or call (941) 361-4955.
Last modified: August 28, 2014
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