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July 10, 2013

Our Top Picks For Screenings And Events Of The 19th Annual Philadelphia QFest LGBT Film Festival, July 11-21

The annual celebration of LGBT film returns with more than 100 screenings over 12 days, July 11-21. (Image courtesy QFest)

Kicking off tomorrow, July 11, the East Coast’s largest LGBT film festival Philadelphia QFest is set to spotlight the best in LGBT cinema through July 22.

With more than 100 films scheduled over the next 12 days, and as many as 17 in a single day (Saturday, July 20), QFest features movies ranging from lighthearted comedies, like opening-night film G.B.F., to such poignant documentaries as Where I Am, the amazing true story of gay Philadelphia writer, Robert Drake.

Playing exclusively at the Ritz East and the Ritz at the Bourse in Old City, QFest 2013 consists of 108 films including features, documentaries, shorts, world premieres and a whopping 50 Philadelphia premieres this year.

Besides the array of films, festival goers are also invited to join in parties, special screenings and special events, including appearances by more than 80 filmmakers, actors and other special guests.

Tickets and the full festival lineup are available online.

Tickets are also available for sale in person at The William Way Community Center (1315 Spruce Street) and Giovanni’s Room (345 S 12th Street).

Read on for our top picks of films and events during Philadelphia’s celebration of LGBT film.

G.B.F. and Opening Night Party: Help launch the 12-day film fest with the Philadelphia premiere of Darren Stein’s G.B.F. The hilarious high-school comedy spoofing the fashionability of a “gay best friend” starts at 7:15 p.m. at the Ritz East, and is followed by a prom night-themed party at Lit Ultra Bar with DJ Jimmy DePre and special performances by Brittany Lynn and the Drag Mafia.

When: Thursday, July 11; Film, 7:15 p.m.; Party, 9:30 p.m.
Where: Film, Ritz East, 125 S. 2nd Street; Party, Lit Ultra Bar, 460 N. 2nd Street
Cost: Film, $15; Party, $25; Combo, $40

Where Am I and Post-Screening Reception: On Friday night at the Ritz East, see the dramatic documentary about the journey of Philadelphia gay writer Robert Drake, who was the victim of a brutal hate crime but has resolved to forgive and accept. After the film, join the documentary’s subjects Drake and his longtime caretaker Butch Cordoba and the film’s director Pamela Drynan for a meet and greet at Knock Restaurant and Bar.

When: Friday, July 12; Film, 7:15 p.m.; Reception, 9 p.m.
Where: Film, Ritz East, 125 S. 2nd Street; Reception, Knock, 225 S. 12th Street
Cost: Film, $11; Reception, pay as you go

Beautiful Something Script Reading: For a behind-the-scenes look at film development, join local, award-winning director Joseph Graham, QFest’s Kelly Burkhardt and a cast of Philadelphia actors for an intimate, staged reading of a story that follows four gay men from different generations on a single night in Philadelphia.

When: Saturday, July 15, 5:15 p.m.
Where: L’Etage, 624 S. 6th Street
Cost: $5 in advance, $8 at the door

For more picks, see below.

Romeo Romeo and Tumbledown Joint After-Party: Two very different films –Romeo Romeo is a touching family-focused story and Tumbledown is a provocative thriller — team up for an evening of entertainment at Tavern on Camac after their respective screenings. Dance along to the music of cabaret singer Lexy Casano-Antonellis from the film Romeo Romeo and stick around for more meet and greets and a seductive burlesque show performed by Liberty City Drag Kings.

When: Thursday, July 18; Romeo Romeo, 7 p.m. Tumbledown, 9:15 p.m.; Party, 9 p.m.
Where: Film, Ritz East, 125 S. 2nd Street; Party, Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac Street
Cost: Films, $11; Party, pay as you go

I Am Divine Extravaganza: Filmmaker Jeffrey Schwartz’s entertaining documentary about internationally recognized drag superstar and frequent John Waters collaborator, Divine, gets its own fab bash after its screening. Don your best Divine costume (Hairspray hair rollers, anyone?) to participate in a lookalike contest, or just attend to meet the film’s producer Lottie Phariss Knowles.

When: Friday, July 19; Film, 9:45 p.m.; Party, 11:30 p.m.
Where: Film, Ritz East, 125 S. 2nd Street; Party, Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac Street
Cost: Film, $11; Party, pay as you go

Fall To Grace and Jim McGreevey Benefit: On Saturday afternoon, see director Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary for HBO, Fall to Grace, about ex-New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey and his famous proclamation of “I am a gay American.” After the film, the Philadelphia Cinema Alliance, the nonprofit that produces QFest 2013, hosts a benefit at the Sofitel including a meet-and-greet with McGreevey himself.

When: Saturday, July 20; Film, 2:15 p.m.; Benefit, 4 p.m.
Where: Film, Ritz East, 125 S. 2nd Street; Benefit, Sofitel, 120 S. 17th Street
Cost: Film, $11; Benefit, $25

Hot Guys with Guns and Closing Night Party: Wrap up the film festivities on Sunday by taking in the fun flick Hot Guys With Guns, a modern action film flecked with dry wit. Following the movie, look out for the caper theme to continue at the closing night party with undercover agents and private eyes, plus a guest DJ, live music from the Philadelphia Freedom Band, dancing and more.

When: Sunday, July 21; Film, 7:15 p.m.; Party, 9:30 p.m.
Where: Film, Ritz East, 125 S. 2nd Street; Party, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street
Cost: Film, $15; Party, $25; Combo, $40

Philadelphia QFest
Where: Ritz East, 125 S. 2nd Street; Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Ranstead Street
When: July 11-21
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.qfest.com

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