'Love,' 'Bulgarian,' 'Gift' among events to unveil

MIAMI — The fifth annual Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival unspools Friday through May 4 with 24 features and five feature-length docus from the U.S. and abroad in competition, including seven North American and two U.S. preems.

The North American preems include Lisa Gornick’s “Do I Love You?” (U.K.); from Spain, Eloy de la Iglesia’s “The Bulgarian Lovers,” Francesco Bellmunt’s “Lisistrata” and Juan Luis Iborra’s “Valentin”; American Anne Misawa’s “Eden’s Curve”; Marco Mattolini’s “By Love or Desire”; and U.S. docu “The Gift” by Louise Hogarth.

U.S. preems are Italian Aurelio Grimaldi’s “World of Love” and Diego Lerman’s “Tan de Repente” (Suddenly) from Argentina.

Among competing features is the opening-night pic, frosh helmer Mark Rucker’s “Die Mommie Die,” starring Charles Busch, Jason Priestley, Natasha Lyonne and Philip Baker Hall. Busch, who received acting kudos for the pic at Sundance, will present “Die” at the gala at the historic Gusman Center in downtown Miami.

The fest also has a shorts competition, with a substantial number of the 55 short pics coming from Brazil and other points south, since organizers partnered with MIX Brasil to bring in work originating from South America.

Organizers are projecting attendance will exceed 15,000, which would represent a 14% increase of 2002 admissions of 13,135. Fest has expanded the number of venues to include the Jackie Gleason Theater and Regal Cinemas in Miami Beach and Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale.

Fest said it received a record number of submissions this year.

In addition, the Miami Gay & Lesbian fest will co-present with Planteout.com the fourth annual Planetout.com Short Movie Awards, which honors English-lingo shorts in documentary, experimental, animation, drama and comedy categories. Winners will be announced May 4, and the winning films will be streamed on the Planetout.com Web site.

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