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Long Beach Q Fest: See trailers for “Birthday Cake,” “First Period” and some of the other movies!

If you are attending Q Films: Long Beach LGBTQ Film Festival this weekend, be sure to attend Saturday’s screening of Birthday Cake.

Not only is it a terrific film, but I will be conducting the post-screening Q&A!

I’m thrilled for filmmaker Chad Darnell whose short, Groom Cake, I saw at the Pam Springs Cinema Diverse festival a year ago.

The film documents the three days leading up to the first birthday party for the daughter of television star (Rib Hillis) and his screenwriter husband (Darnell).

The Q&A will feature a guest appearance by a very famous cast member: Lee Meriwether, the former Miss America who went on to become one the women who famously played Catwoman on TV’s Batman.

(The Long Beach Register has a Q Films preview that focuses on Birthday Cake – read it HERE).

The festival is marking its 20th anniversary and kicks off on Friday. For the first 15 years, the festival jumped around the calendar and to different locations until settling into its current home at the Art Theatre and the neighboring Center Long Beach.

“It was hard to get a handle on it,” said Chris Carpenter, senior executive programmer of the festival told me recently. “But the last five years that we’ve done it consistently at the same location, the same time of year, we have seen it explode with attendance and reputation.”

The attendance for 2012′s festival reached an all-time high of 1,200 which was a 20 percent increase from a year earlier.

Not only are more people than ever showing up, but more filmmakers than ever want their movies in the festival.

“We had so many submissions this year, more than ever – 150 submissions,” Carpenter said. “Last year we had 100. It was overwhelming to get all the submissions and to decide what the cream of the crop was. We are very excited about the lineup. We have a few premieres and quite a few of the big award winning films from the LGBT film circuit.”

The festival will open Friday with the film Reaching for the Moon set in 1950s Rio. Brazilian director Bruno Barreto brings the tale of poet Elizabeth Bishop and her love affair with architect Lota de Macedo Soares, the designer of Rio’s famed Flamengo Park.

It will be followed by the comedy G.B.F. which recently sold out closing night of LA’s Outfest film festival. This is a movie that is creating quite a buzz on the film festival circuit. It asks the question: What happens after a guy is outed by his classmates and becomes the title “gay best friend” for three high school queen bees? Director Darren Stein and some of the movie’s cast members will participate in a Q&A after the movie.

Other films screening during the festival include the documentary I Am Divine (director Jeffrey Schwarz will be in attendance), Corpus Christi: Playing With Redemption, First Period, The Punk Singer, Homeboy, Heterosexual Jill, Interior. Leather Bar, Valentine Road, Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf?, and Getting Go: The Go Doc Project.

There are also three programs of short films: Dragtastic!, Women in Shorts, Men in Briefs, People of Color and Queer Shorts.

Jury awards will be given to films in several categories and all net proceeds from the festival will benefit The Center Long Beach and its community outreach programs.

For a full schedule of films and parties, go to

FILE UNDER: Film Festivals


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