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LGBT Film Fest Set For Downtown Pensacola

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Pensacola LGBT Film Festival
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The third annual Pensacola LGBT Film Festival kicks off Wednesday in downtown Pensacola. All film screenings are free and open to the public. Organizer Sara Latshaw sat down recently with WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody.

Pensacola LGBT Film Fest 

The Pensacola LGBT Film Festival will be held October 15-­18 in Pensacola, Florida. The Pensacola LGBT Film Festival highlights the artistic contributions both nationally and internationally of lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) films and filmmakers. The unique ability of film to transcend stereotypes and relate to the viewer opens the door to a dialogue about the LGBT experience, building a stronger and more open Pensacola. All film screenings are free and open to the public. There will be merchandise available for purchase.

Organizer Sara Latshaw:

“We have a fantastic lineup of films this year. We have a very diverse lineup, so there's really something for everyone. As in previous years, our films are family friendly, so that everyone can come have a good time and enjoy the event. Festival goers can look forward to a mixture of short and feature length films."

"This year's fest has been shaped by the first and second festival in a number of ways. We're doing four days in four different locations, like we have done in the past. We've learned that providing some programming that provides an education experience for the community has been really beneficial so we are offering similar experiences this year as well as fun and artistic films."

"The first day of the fest is at the Museum of Commerce and the films this day of the fest were chosen by our committee which includes members of the UWF Gay-Straight Alliance and so we let them play a special role in selecting films the first day which are films directed at a youthful audience. So the films the first day are all short films and while I would say they are definitely adult appropriate they were selected for youth by youth."

"The second day of the festival will be at the Palafox House downtown and we will be showing a film called Gen Silent which is about aging in the LGBT community. This is an issue that isn't always thought about, you see all these issues that pertain to the rights movement but this important subject of elder care isn't always addressed so we are excited to bring that awareness to the community."

"On Friday night it is Gallery night so we're showing a bunch of fun films downtown so people can pop in, catch some cool films and then go back to their Gallery night.

"On Saturday we are showing a film called The Turkish Boat which looks at LGBT issues through an Islamic lens."

Do you think LGBT focused events like the film festival moving more mainstream?

"I do. We've received such incredible support from the public for the LGBT film festival. The venues have been donated, the films have been donated, we have great community partners and I think this speaks to the direction Pensacola is moving, that we are moving towards equality and it is really, really exciting."

On the positive reception of LGBT related events in the conservative panhandle:

"I think it is a surprise to some but this is such a huge movement. I think people are realizing more and more everyday that the LGBT community is contributing and they are a big part of our community and of every community. I think it is a natural progression towards equality."

On the role of social media to promote events and equality:

"It has been such an essential tool for us. In all of our events, in the movement, I have seen social media play such a critical role as a way to reach so many people and get them rallied up to come to our events, show up and participate."

We have a great lineup of dramas as well as some stellar thought provoking documentaries that are a must see.” Committee member Keith Hardy said.

The confirmed venues for this year’s film festival are as follows:

Oct 15: Historic Pensacola's Museum of Commerce @ 6:30pm Short films selected by UWF GSA

Oct 16: The Palafox House ­ Pensacola, FL @ 6:30pm Gen Silent & a local panel of activists for older adults

Oct 17: Pensacola Little Theatre @ 7:00 pm ***gallery night*** Short films

Oct 18: The East Hill Yard @ 7:00pm The Turkish Boat with a Skype interview with a cast member from the film.

If you’d like to enjoy the festivities with VIP passes sponsorships start at $100. As an annual event it’s never too late to donate to the Film Festival. We accept donations of any size. 

For updates and more information about this year’s festival, please like the Pensacola LGBT Film Festival page on Facebook.