lgbtq community spotlight

by chris carpenter INTERNATIONAL SPIRIT

Long Beach QFilm Festival Goes Virtual Due To Pandemic


ong Beach was long ago crowned “the international city” thanks to its well-utilized port and other com- mercial and cultural elements. It is most appropriate then that this year’s Long Beach QFilm Festival is going

worldwide for the first time: virtually! The 27th annual celebration of the rich diversity and experi-

ences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people will run online from Thursday, September 10 through Sunday, September 13. Cinema lovers can use a streaming device or smart TV to view

more than 40 new narrative, documentary and short films not yet seen in theatres or on major streaming platforms. Tickets are now available at An all-access festival pass costs $50 and allows buyers to watch all the films. QFilm’s net proceeds will support the many important programs offered by the LGBTQ Center Long Beach, known locally as The Center. “We made lemonade out of lemons this year,” said Andrew Dorado, interim executive director of The Center. “COVID-19

10 | September 2020

was not going to stop The Center from presenting unique queer stories and storytellers while raising funds to serve the community.” The Center supports more than 25,000 people a year through its outreach programs, which include youth and senior services, counseling, legal services, trans health programs, HIV and STI testing, and more than 20 weekly support groups, including for people impacted by domestic violence. Many of these services are being offered online during the pandemic. “We are excited that this year, QFilms has the potential to not only reach our local community but also the LGBTQ com- munity and our allies all around the world,” said Robert Cano, the festival’s founder. As it does each year, the festival will award jury and audi-

ence awards. Having lived in Long Beach for 12 years, I know that it is also a uniquely diverse city from a spiritual-religious perspec- tive. Some of the best movies to be screened during QFilm 2020 seem reflective of this diversity.

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