Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2010: Music, diversity and more

While TIGLFF has always featured a host of films from around the world, the 2010 fest puts a special emphasis on the international aspect, Murray said. This can be attributed to government funding for the arts in European countries. “There are a lot more international submissions and films being shown because funding for the arts hasn’t been cut as much as it was here,” she said. She added, “The international films are just amazing. The production value is wonderful and the story lines are unique. There are some great [American] filmmakers out there, but countries like Spain, Italy and Portugal are creating some beautiful work.”


One international highlight, Murray said, is The Man Who Loved Yngve, a Nordic punk-rock tale about young love between two teenage boys. “It’s a wonderful film that’s going to surprise a lot of people,” she said. Also not to be missed are I Killed My Mother (France), Undertow (Peru) and Sasha (Yugoslavian).

Still, there are many wonderful films that were created right here in the United States. Murray is excited about The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, a quirky documentary about bawdy lesbian, yodeling twin sisters known for their comedic brand of country music. Another film to look out for is You Should Meet My Son, the story of a gay man whose mother and aunt, after years of trying to find him a nice woman, realize he’s gay and try to find him a nice guy instead. “It’s hilarious,” Murray said of the last-minute submission, “but it’s definitely a film you either love or hate. But I was rolling on the floor when I saw this.


Another curious trend that popped up for this year’s festival was the number of music documentaries, Murray said. “Some of the most compelling documentaries we got this year were about musicians,” she said. Look for films about gay musical icons Rufus Wainwright and Le Tigre, as well as Riot Acts: Flaunting Gender Deviance in Music Performance. Dubbed a “transfabulous rockumentary,” Riot Acts explores the world of several trans musicians trying to make it in the industry and figure out where they fit in.

And as always, many of the directors and actors from the films being featured will be on hand during the week, making themselves available to answer questions and enter into discourse on topics tackled by the films. “Everyone is really accessible,” Murray said.

When an annual event reaches a major milestone, as the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival did last year with its 20th anniversary, it's always a challenge to follow up. Couple that task with a crippled economy, which has led to slashes in arts funding across the country, and it's no wonder that  TIGLFF Director of Programming Margaret Murray wasn’t quite sure what to expect for this year’s festival.

“I was worried for a while,” she said. “But I was surprised that we had more entries than last year. The economy can affect the arts before it affects any other areas.”

But Murray is confident that this year’s TIGLFF is bringing some compelling, interesting and current LGBT films to the Tampa Bay area Oct. 7-14. From documentaries to lighthearted romantic comedies, the festival offers diverse programming with something for everyone, man or woman, gay or straight.

“The cool thing about Tampa is the wide variety of people that are here,” Murray said. “So we need to really reflect this in our programming.”

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