Image courtesy of Long Beach QFilm Festival.
Kicking off this Thursday is the city’s longest-running film festival, set to bring more than 1,500 people through the doors of the historic Art Theatre to view narrative features, documentaries and short films embodying the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities.
“QFilms is one of my favorite times of year in our community,” said Porter Gilberg, executive director for The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach. “As someone who grew up in a small town, there were many instances where my only access to LGBTQ culture was through film. It’s a privilege to be a part of The Center and to be able to put this film festival on for the community.”
The 2017 Long Beach QFilm Festival starts off September 7 with an opening night party from 7:00PM to 10:00PM for All Access Pass and Thursday night ticket holders at The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach, next door to the Art Theatre, where the first film of the four-day event, The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin, will be screened at 7:30PM. The new and acclaimed documentary about the author of the classic “Tales of the City” book series will make its Long Beach premier.
On Friday two feature films, “The Feels”, a comedy about a woman who has never had an orgasm and “Something Like Summer”, a romantic drama exploring the relationship between two gay friends over a decade, will premiere locally. In between screenings a party will take place at The Center for All Access Pass and Friday night ticket holders.
Over the weekend, a variety of narrative and documentary features will be screened, including “The Lavender Scare”, a documentary on the persecution of LGBT employees of the US government during the Cold War, “A Million Happy Nows”, depicting a longtime lesbian couple confronting early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, “Extra-Terrestrials”, a story about family secrets and the first feature film by award-winning Puerto Rican writer-director Carla Cavina and “Alaska is a Drag”, an expansion of Shaz Bennett’s award-winning short film about an aspiring drag superstar stuck working in an Alaskan fish cannery.
QFilms will also feature its first ever Latinx Shorts Spotlight, as well as three other short film programs between Saturday and Sunday: Men in Briefs, Women in Shorts and Queer & Trans Shorts.
Make sure to check out the full schedule of events and screenings here.
“All of our screenings are really wonderful, diverse, and share really incredible stories about our many LGBTQ communities,” Gilberg said. “One of the films I’m most looking forward to is our Saturday evening women’s feature Signature Move. Filmmaker and star Fawzia Mirza has created an incredibly relatable lesbian comedy, a genre that’s always a staple at LGBTQ film festivals, while also bringing incredible visibility to queer Muslim, South Asian, and Latina women through her storytelling.”
Attendees can expect filmmakers and cast members to be present for post-screening discussions, nightly parties, Sunday Drag Brunch and chances to mingle with filmmakers, actors, critics and other industry professionals.
“Besides watching the films, I really look forward to our evening parties and brunch because that gives the community the opportunity to get to know one another and build stronger connections which ultimately creates a stronger Long Beach,” Gilberg said.
Jury and Audience awards will be given to films in several categories, while proceeds from the festival will benefit The Center and its community outreach programs. QFilms will take place Thursday, September 7 through Sunday, September 10. For more information and tickets, visit the website here.
The Art Theatre is located at 2025 East 4th Street, right next to the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach.