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Philadelphia QFest will open with the Philadelphia premiere of Elliot Loves from director Terracino

Running from July 12 to July 23, 2012, the 18th edition of Philadelphia QFest opens with the Philadelphia premiere of Elliot Loves from director Terracino and closes eleven days later with the East Coast premiere (and only second showing in the world!) of BearCity2: The Proposal. (Festival Favorites will be screened on Monday, July 23).

With 107 films that include 42 feature films, 13 documentaries, and 52 short films – and 7 World Premieres, 1 North American Premiere, 2 U.S. Premieres, 16 East Coast Premieres, and 26 Philadelphia Premieres, QFest is bringing the very best in LGBT comedy, drama, and romance, while also tackling transgender issues, and the hot-button issues of immigration and the legalization of same-sex marriage!. 

The Opening Night, presented by TD Bank, kicks off with Elliot Loves (Thursday July 12th at 7:15pm Ritz East 1), the story of Dominican-American Elliot Ayende at two stages of his life: as a 9-year-old who is sidekick and confidant to his barely-keeping-it-together single mom; and as a 21-year-old looking for love in New York City. A TLA Releasing film, Elliot Loves is a comedy-drama that shows you can survive anything life throws at you. Director Terracino, actor Quentin Araujo and actress Elena Goode will be in town with the film.

What’s an Opening Night without a party? Festival goers will head over to Chris Scarduzio’s Table 31, 32 North 17th Street, from 9:30 p. m.-12:30 a. m., for the Official Opening Night Gala Party, presented by TD Bank, at The Comcast Center, one of the city’s most dramatic settings where the festivities will be held inside and outside, with DJ Jimmy (Dimitrios) DePre will be spinning Oldies and today’s house music, a spectacular sculptural ice bar will flow with Smirnoff’s Whipped & Fluffed, and food tastings will be featured from Scarduzio’s kitchen. Godfather Brittany Lynn and The Drag Mafia will be patrolling the plaza.
Tickets are $40 for combos (film and after-party); $35 for party only at the door, with three complimentary drink tickets for beverages from our generous sponsors.      

Closing out the festival on Sunday, July 22 (7:15pm in Ritz East 1) is the hilarious follow-up to TLA Releasing’s BearCity. In BearCity2: The Proposal, Kathy Najimy plays den mother to the returning cast of bears, boys and cubs, for a Bear Week bachelor party in Provincetown. Film-goers will take a trip down the aisle with Roger and Tyler to one of the most magical beach towns on earth in this romantic comedy. Kevin Smith, Lt. Dan Choi, Frank DeCaro, Mike Ruiz and Varla Jean Merman lend their support to our lovable gang as they navigate through a foam party, ex-boyfriends and 3,000 sexy men.

Prior to the screening of BearCity2, QFest 2012 audience awards (Best Short Film, Best Documentary Film, Best Comedic Film, Best Feature Film) and the jury awards (Best
Short Film, Best Documentary Film, Best Feature Film, First Time Director) will be announced.

Festival attendees will then say farewell to another year of incredible LGBT cinema while dancing the night away at SugarHouse Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Avenue, from 9:30 p. m. – 12:30 p. m. for the Official Closing Gala Night Party, featuring “MANdance: Rehoboth’s” DJ Stephen Durkin and Mr. Telly “Style” Simmons who will oversee the army from The Drag Mafia! They’ll be more than “Lights, Camera, Action” with some definite drama when the drag queens meet the bears from Liberty Bears who will be full force in attendance.

Tickets are $35 for combos (film and after-party); $35 for party only at the door, with three complimentary drink tickets for beverages from our generous sponsors.

This year the closing night festivities continue as an after-after party is hosted by Bike Stop, 206 S. Quince St.,12:30 p m. -2 a. m., as a fundraiser for Liberty Bears featuring DJ Barney Medunic.   

QFest 2012 Award Recipients:
Artistic Achievement Award in Directing – Rose Troche
Rising Film Star Award – David W. Ross
Barbara Gittings Award – Ellen Ratner

More details at www.qfest.com

This year’s Centerpiece Screenings are: 

•      Cloudburst: a film by American-Canadian writer and director Thom Fitzgerald, starring Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as Stella and Dotty, a lesbian couple from Maine who embark on a Thelma and Louise-style road trip to Nova Scotia to get married after Dotty is moved into a nursing home by her daughter.
•      Beauty: Directed by Oliver Hermanus, the South African drama tells the story of a married man who is forced to deal with his attraction to other men. Winner of the Queer Palm Award at  2011 Cannes Film Festival
•      I Do: A moving heartfelt drama about a British gay guy (David W. Ross) living in New York fighting for love, family and a green card. Tackling gay marriage and immigration, the film stars Jamie Lynn Sigler, Alicia Witt, and Maurice Compte, David Ross will be in town as the recipient of QFest 2012 Rising Film Star Award
•      North Sea Texas: A lonely gay adolescent suffers the pangs of unrequited passion in this poignant rendered coming-of-ager from Belgian helmer Bavo Defurne.

And what’s a festival without a few stars? QFest is bringing over 100 filmmakers and actors to Philadelphia for this year’s festival including:

•      A Force of Nature: Fox News analyst and White House Correspondent Ellen Ratner
•      A Perfect Ending: director Nicole Conn, executive producer Marina Rice Bader, producer Melanie Rice and actress Marina Rice Bader
•      Bad Boy Street: director Todd Verow
•      Dirty Poole (work in progress): director Jim Tushinki and actor Wakefield Poole
•      Elliot Loves: director Terracino, actress Elena Goode and actor Quentin Araujo
•      I Do: writer, producer and actor David W. Ross
•      Saltwater: director Charlie Vaughn and actor Ronnie Kerr
•      Tennessee Queer: director Mark Jones
•      TRANS: producer Mark Schoen and film subjects Terry Cummins, Esq., Dr. Christine McGinn and Dr. Maureen Osborne

Comedies and documentaries – relationships and religion – QFest is bringing 12 days of cinematic magic from directors and producers fueled by a passion for outstanding LGTB filmmaking. This is a year not to be missed!

Screening locations for QFest 2012 are the Ritz East Theatre 1 and 2 and the Ritz at the Bourse. For more information on QFest, visit www.qfest.com or call 267.765.9800; and follow the festival on Twitter: @QFEST and Facebook: www.facebook.com/qfestphilly.

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