Sat., Aug. 29 - Sun., Oct. 25, 2020
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Virtual Screening of Open Dialogues at Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
The documentary short film Open Dialogues: Stories From the LGBTQ Community will be screened virtually beginning Oct. 23 as an official selection of the 35th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. This 20-minute black-and-white film, which was produced by the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood and directed by Freddy Rodriguez, is featured in the category “Shorts: Sunshine Celluloid.”
Open Dialogues: Stories from the LGBTQ Community is a series of targeted activities within the Center’s multi-disciplinary programming that are considerate of issues and narratives within the LGBTQ community in Hollywood and throughout Broward County. Open Dialogues was created to engage with the stories and identities of a diverse cross-section of LGBTQ residents while fostering conversations within the community at large.
The project features an original gallery exhibition of a newly commissioned short documentary film directed by award-winning filmmaker Freddy Rodriguez. The exhibition will include artifacts from the Stonewall Museum & Archives in Wilton Manors and text by Broward-based author Julie Marie Wade.
Open Dialogues is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Broward as part of Broward Pride, one of the 10 Issues That Matter most to Broward’s future. Broward Pride seeks to catalyze institutional culture change within organizations to openly welcome and include LGBT residents.
The short documentary film Open Dialogues: Stories From the LGBTQ Community draws upon the coming-out narratives of seven Broward residents who took part in on-camera interviews for this project. The 20-minute video was produced by the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood to inspire conversation about acceptance and inclusion of the LGBTQ community in Broward County.
Open Dialogues will be screened on an ongoing basis from Aug. 29 through Oct. 25 in the Center’s Interactive Room gallery.
For the film, the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood reached out to seven individuals from Broward’s LGBTQ community who represent a variety of coming-out narratives. They are Julie Marie Wade, Dan Bassett, Christine Walters, Omar Morales, Gary Keating, Franchesca D’Amore, and Michael Goodman.
Each was interviewed on camera and spoke openly about their respective coming-out journey.
The topics covered include how acceptance of self is the first step in expecting acceptance from others, overcoming rejection based on gender or sexual identity, and the role of spirituality in the LGBTQ community.
Julie Marie Wade is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Florida International University. She is the author of 11 books of poetry and creative nonfiction, including When I Was Straight, Same-Sexy Marriage, and her collection, Just an Ordinary Woman Breathing. A native of Seattle, Washington, she lives in Dania with her spouse, Angie Griffin.
Dan Bassett is Assistant Principal of St. Mark’s Episcopal School in Fort Lauderdale. A native of upstate New York, he has served as the artistic director of the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble since 2005. He plays the trumpet and lives in Fort Lauderdale with his husband Francis Lyn.
Christine Walters is Co-Chair of the South Florida Bisexual+ Network. A resident of Pembroke Pines, she is completing her course work to become a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals.
Omar Morales is an Office Assistant at the LGBTQ Community Service organization SunServe in Wilton Manors. A native of Puerto Rico, he worked previously as a news correspondent for Telemundo in New England. He lives in Fort Lauderdale with his partner Johnnie Mejia.
Gary Keating is the Director of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, which he founded in 1986. He is a retired teacher who was Director and Conductor of the Choral/Vocal Magnet Program at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in Miami, where he conducted four choruses and taught Advanced Placement Music Theory and other subjects. He lives in Oakland Park with his husband Richard Schultz.
Franchesca D’Amore is a member of the Hollywood LGBTQ+ Council and serves on its Business Committee. A native of Zimbabwe now living in Hollywood, she works as a hair stylist, life coach and tutor. She is the author of the musical Combing Through Life’s Tangles and founder of the non-profit Hairstylists for Humanity (2004-2013). She has served as a board member for various social service and arts-related nonprofits in South Florida.
Michael Goodman is the owner/founder of GPR/Goodman Public Relations, a full-service agency based in Fort Lauderdale. He is the board chair of the Florida Theatrical Association, immediate past chair of Neighbors 4 Neighbors, and is an Honorary Trustee at the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood. He performs nationally as the iconic artist Cher under the stage name Michael Dean as Cher.
Open Dialogues is directed, photographed, and edited by award-winning Miami-based filmmaker Freddy Rodriguez, owner of the film production company and creative video agency 66 Films. Rodriguez is an EMMY®, TELLY® and Promax/BDA® award-winning writer, director/DP, and editor of commercials, music videos and short films. These include Malabar, which was acquired by HBO and was selected as the Best Short film of 2019 at FilmGate-Miami's “Not Gonna Move to L.A. Film Festival.” He received a 2019 Ellie's Creator Award from Oolite Arts to write the feature-film screenplay Project Ballroom, which tells the story of Miami’s gay ballroom scene of the 1990s.
Support for Open Dialogues: Stories From the LGBTQ Community has been provided by the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward: Richard Frisby and Edward Burkhart Fund, Leonard & Sally Robbins Fund, Frederick W. Jaqua Fund, and James Bell-Greenbaum Charitable Fund.