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For Year 31, Tampa Bay gay film festival goes online

Bill DeYoung



Stymied like the rest of the performance world by the interminable Covid crisis, the Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival has begun a virtual screening series. Curated by the festival’s new programming chief Derek Horne, TIGLFF Online began Thursday with Laughter in Lockdown, a series of short films – all comedies – from the festival’s last 10 years.

“TIGLFF has given me the time to research new technology solutions,” Horne said in a news release, “and we are thrilled to present our new streaming platform with Eventive which gives us the flexibility to curate the films we want and deliver them to you in a user-friendly online environment.”

The shorts are available, for free, in TIGLFF’s “virtual screening room” through May 20; here’s the gateway.

There’ll be a ticket fee for Breaking Fast, the new series’ first feature film, screening at 7 p.m. May 28. Writer/director Mike Mosallam’s 2020 RomCom is about Mo, a practicing Muslim living in West Hollywood, who’s learning to navigate life post-heartbreak. Enter Kal, an All-American guy who surprises Mo by offering to break fast with him during the holy month of Ramadan.

“My intention,” says Mosallam, “is to tell a story that speaks to the nuances of daily life and treats identity: religious, sexual, gender and otherwise, as harmonious lenses by which individuals interact with the world.”

Tickets for Breaking Fast are available here.

The Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival celebrated its 30th anniversary in October 2019.

“With the arrival of the unwelcome guest with no plans to leave, Covid-19, we are tasked with embracing change in order to carry on,” wrote festival president Rob Akins on the TIGLFF website.

“Other events will be announced as they are ready and, of course, we’ll plan a physical festival as soon as the situation allows, because your health and safety are paramount.”



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