Fabulous Independent Film Festival celebrates eight years

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | The Harvey Milk Festival’s Fabulous Independent Film Festival (FIFF) will dazzle audiences with its eighth year Sept. 28-30.

“The Fabulous Independent Film Festival is definitely something the community needs,” Harvey Milk Festival President Shannon Fortner says. “We’ve had such great support. Magida Diouri, who founded and gifted it to the Harvey Milk Festival, continues to do its programming and does such a wonderful job.”

FIFF’s eighth offering will feature six films, chosen by Diouri and ranging in style and substance. The festival’s programmer says she chose each film for their relevance and impact.

“Every time I select films, for every festival I’ve programmed, a theme comes up,” she says. “I’m not even trying to do it, it just happens. Maybe it’s where my head is, but I chose them because they have heart. They have messages that we need to hear.”

The festival will be shown across three locations; a FIFF first that Diouri calls an exciting experiment. The majority of the film’s will screen at Burns Court Cinema, with one playing at Payne/Cafe in the Park and another at Sarasota Skybar — the former LGBTQ hotspot Bumpers.

“LGBTQ films have that wonderful thing about them,” Diouri says. “They bring a sense of acceptance and it’s essential. It’s important to celebrate differences and diversity. The Fabulous Independent Film Festival is for everyone – absolutely everyone.”

For more information about this year’s parties, lineup, venues and ticket prices, visit FIFF’s website.

Check out this year’s offerings below.

Sept. 28


8:00 p.m. | Burns Court Cinema

“TransMilitary” chronicles the lives of four individuals (Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Villanueva, Captain Jennifer Peace and First Lieutenant El Cook) defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own. They put their careers and their families’ livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender to top brass officials in the Pentagon in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve. The ban was lifted in 2016, but with President Trump now trying to reinstate it, their futures hang in the balance again.

Sept. 29


1:30 p.m. | Burns Court Cinema

“Tucked” tells the story of an aging drag queen who, following a diagnosis of terminal cancer, befriends a younger queen and sets about living life to the fullest with what little time he has left. It’s a heartwarming story about the importance of embracing one’s unique identity even in the face of discrimination and hatred – a surprisingly warm and fluffy story, considering the heavy themes at its heart


4:00 p.m. | Burns Court Cinema

“Every Act of Life” profiles world-renowned playwright Terrence McNally’s pioneering 5-decade career in the theater, focusing on the struggle for LGBT rights and his pursuit of love and inspiration at every age. Featuring Angela Lansbury, F. Murray Abraham, Larry Kramer, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Edie Falco, Christine Baranski, Patrick Wilson, Billy Porter, and many more.


6:15 p.m. | Burns Court Cinema

Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan star as Paul and Erasmus, a bickering gay couple whose life is turned inside out when a ten-year-old boy shows up at their door claiming to be Erasmus’ grandson. Neither Paul, nor Erasmus, are ready to give up their extravagant lifestyles to be parents, but maybe this little kid has a thing or two to teach them about the value of family.


8:00 p.m. | Payne/Cafe in The Park

“Freelancers Anonymous” is a quick-paced comedy feature about a group of women who come together to launch a tech start-up company. The story follows Billie who, on impulse, quits her soul-sucking office job and is left to figure out “now what?” She meets a ragtag group of women who are also looking for employment, and is struck with the idea of cultivating their skills to create an app for freelancers.

Sept. 30


“When the Beat Drops” explores the development of bucking, an energetic form of dance. It is told from the point of view of Anthony Davis, an Atlanta native who helped popularize it in an LGBTQ haven in Atlanta. Together with his crew of other gay African American men, it grows into a national movement.

Noon | Sarasota Skybar

Photos courtesy FIFF.

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