Screened Out – Florida Film Festival LGBT Shorts

By : Stephen Miller
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Lots of shorts drop at the Florida Film Festival, from April 10 to April 18 in Central Florida. These offerings are brief – most less than 15 minutes – giving audiences quite a varied show. The Florida Film Festival marries LGBT content with other films, but the organizers gave us a chance to check out what’s hiding in some of these shorts.

More information is available at www.FloridaFilmFestival.com. 

Pop-Up Porno – part of the “Midnight Shorts” program, Sat, April 11th @ 11:59PM, Enzian and Sat, April 18th @ 11:59PM, Regal Winter Park Village

This short film is hilarious and – just like a lot of the offerings in Midnight Shorts – decidedly adult. The animation style is actually of a pop-up book, and the story describes an online hookup on a visit to New York City. Any other information I could give would ruin the surprise and the comedy. All I’ll say is that you’ll either be uncomfortable, or you have something seriously wrong with you.

Election Night – part of the “All I have to do is Dream” program, Sat, April 11th @ 3:00PM, Regal Winter Park Village and Tue, April 14th @ 6:30PM, Regal Winter Park Village

Election Night is noble in its attempt to bring LGBT rights into political debate. A Democratic politician is running for Maine Senator. Waiting for election results, the whole family is holed up in a hotel kitchen. Some nervous tension arises when the father starts spouting off, and his daughter dives into a debate with him. A few jokes and some broad comedic acting – as well as a couple twists – make this a little more entertaining. Mostly, this is a chance to pontificate on equal rights

Michael Paul Smith's models in Elgin Park are astounding.

Michael Paul Smith’s models in Elgin Park are astounding.

Elgin Park – part of the “Tomorrow We Disappear” program, Sun, April 12th @ 11:45AM, Enzian and Wed, April 15th @ 7:00PM, Regal Winter Park Village

Artist Michael Paul Smith floated from job to job, until he decided his great love was creating models. His work in miniatures is part optic illusion and part imagining of a utopian past. That’s not surprising when one hears of Smith’s childhood – violence, bullying and his constant gay shame. The later drug use probably didn’t help… Elgin Park – a fictional, miniature town in fantastic detail – is an embodiment of Smith’s ideal childhood. It also shows how great art can come from pain.

 Adjust-a-Dream – part of the “When Will I Be Loved?” program, Sun, April 12th @ 8:45PM, Regal Winter Park Village and Thu, April 16th @ 4:00PM, Regal Winter Park Village

A gay couple decides to move in together, so they go shopping for a mattress. This simple purchase throws their entire relationship – which obviously must be nascent – into a tailspin. On top of that, one of them keeps checking his phone – uh’oh if you’re the jealous type, because that could be the first sign of the end. As if the passive aggression isn’t already a harbinger of doom. It’s a well-filmed tidbit with two people you wouldn’t want to meet at a party, much less go shopping with for household items.

Stella Walsh makes for a fascinating documentary short.

Stella Walsh makes for a fascinating documentary short.

Stella Walsh – part of the “8 X Very, Very Real” program, Mon, April 13th @ 4:45PM, Regal Winter Park Village and Sat, April 18th @ 2:00PM, Regal Winter Park Village

Stella Walsh was a famous Olympics track star of the early 20th-century. In 1980, at the age of 69, Stella was stabbed to death in an apparent attempted robbery. Her autopsy and the controversy that followed afterwards challenged a lot of what we know about sports rules and gender. This basic, small documentary has the benefit of an extraordinary, unusual story. The incredible subject means that – no matter what quality the filming – this is a worthy see.

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