Film Festival plans LGBT focus
Bolstered by strong writing and impressive performances, “Laurence Anyways” will be a highlight of the Sonoma International Film Festival’s LGBT showcase.
It’s almost here, the time of year when Sonoma gets pelted with more films than one can possibly squeeze into a long weekend. The Sonoma International Film Festival rolls into town from April 10 to 14, and this year will include a variety of cinematic showcases that reflect the wide range of voices across Sonoma Valley.
One such subset will be a focus on films that highlight the LGBT community.
“Laurence Anyways” swept the Cannes Film Festival before earning the Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012. Set over the span of a decade in the 1980s, the film follows a unique couple through the ups and downs of their relationship in this drama that brings strong, character-driven performances from the two leads. Laurence is madly in love with his girlfriend, Frederique, but he’s been holding a secret back from her. His entire life, he felt he was born in the wrong body, and was instead meant to go through life as a woman. At first she is distressed, and leaves Laurence. But ultimately, she realizes their love is more powerful together, and she helps him forge a new path in the world as a woman. See the trailer here
The American film “I Do” puts a new twist on the green card marriage story. Jack is a gay, British photographer living and working in New York when he learns his visa will not be renewed and he must leave America. Instead, he decides to marry a close friend who is a lesbian so he can stay in the country that has become his home. Things get complicated when he meets the man of his dreams in this issue-based story that looks at both immigration and gay marriage.
Hailing from Argentina, “Mia” brings heart-wrenching performances from Camila Sosa Villada, who plays Ale, a transgender woman who makes her living sorting through rubbish looking for treasures. When she unearths a personal journal from a woman named Mia, she becomes captivated by the writing and stories of a family torn apart by illness. She tracks down Mia’s grieving daughter and father and ultimately fills the roll Mia once held in the family. The film earned the OUTtv People’s Choice Award at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival andwas named an audience favorite. See the trailer here
Out in the Vineyard, a tour and event company specializing in gay and lesbian visitors, is organizing a “Secret Disco Party” during the film festival on Saturday, April 13, in the Backlot Tent from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10, or free for premier and star passholders at the festival.
For passes, schedules and more film highlights, visit sonomafilmfest.org.