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San Diego LGBT Film Festival will return in 2020, but the stars will still come out in 2019

ShortFest is on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas. 
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One of the biggest entertainment events in San Diego is taking a break this year.

The FilmOut LGBT Film Festival is on hiatus until 2020, but they are taking the time to retool the festival and create other things. Some of which are already creating a lot of a buzz.

"Last year we had our 20th Anniversary film festival," said FilmOut Program Director Michael McQuiggan who adds that his dedicated staff also maintain full-time jobs outside their duties at the festival. "So we are taking a much-needed break (mostly personal reasons). We are having a board retreat at the end of this month where we are going to discuss future of film festivals (especially LGBTQ), screening venues relocation, soliciting more diversity on the board and most importantly raising sponsorship dollars."

McQuiggan may be taking a break, but he is still very busy keeping the brand alive with high-profile monthly screenings such as April's  20th-anniversary screening of the iconic film "Trick." He's even nabbed director Jim Fall to attend the showing and answer questions from the audience.

Fall recently made headlines after announcing he was at work on a sequel to the classic LGBT film.

For those who may be disappointed that the LGBT film festival isn't happening, McQuiggan has another offering this year called ShortFest, a night of LGBT-themed shorts that encompass themes from all over the spectrum. 

"I figured we would do this ShortFest as one of our monthly screenings since audiences love short film tracts," he said. "It is a one-off."

Scheduled in two blocks (tracts), the evening consists of bite-sized masterpieces, each hand-selected--some of them making their world premieres.

This event is already buzzworthy and like the FilmOut festival will probably pack them in. People love seeing movies, and with shorts, talent is usually up-and-coming. Who knows, they may take home an Oscar one day.

There was certainly no absence of qualified entries according to McQuiggan.There are five from right here in San Diego. 

"We received a little over 250 submissions in a short window submission period for this ShortFest," he said. "If it is successful we may do it every year - in addition to the festival."

Below is the full schedule of films being shown on May 15. Get your tickets HERE

Tract I:

Ad Lib, 2018, 6.60 minutes, Dir: Leire Acham, Spain. Through dance and music, two people discover their love and face a world that wants to restrict it.

Carlito Leaves Forever (Carlito Se Va Para Siempre), 2018, 7.40 minutes, Dir: Quentin Lazzarotto, Peru. California Premiere. A short poetic film following Carlito, a young man living in an indigenous village in the heart of the Amazonian jungle, who decides to leave and change his life forever.

Headspace, 2017, 4 minutes, Dir: Jake Graf, U.K. A rare and intimate glimpse into the trials and tribulations faced by transgendered folks on a daily basis.

Misdirection, 2018, 13.58 minutes, Dir: Carly Usdin, USA. California Premiere. Camila is an average college freshman with an obsessive-compulsive disorder and a big, gay crush on her roommate. After both situations come to a head in a near car crash, Camila is stuck trying to find a distraction. A chance encounter with a street magician teaches her to channel her misguided energy into a new hobby, and to open her heart to new possibilities.

Miller & Son, 2018, 21.28 minutes, Dir: Asher Jelinsky, USA. U.S. Premiere. A transwoman mechanic lives between running her family’s auto shop during the day and expressing her femininity at night, until an unforeseen event threatens the balance of her compartmentalized life.

P-175, 2018, 9.25 minutes, Dir: Astor Stark, France/USA. U.S. Premiere. In the heart of WW2, a homosexual Jew accidentally runs into a Nazi SS officer while hiding in the forest.

ROUK, 2018, 12.45 minutes, Dir: Jay Russell, USA. California Premiere. Best friends Alex and Bryan have a bitter fight, entirely via text message, when one of them sleeps with the other one’s crush. But, just as things seem to settle down, an unexpected development may lead to yet another rift.

The Handyman, 2018, 8.30 minutes, Dir: JC Calciano, USA. West Coast Premiere. A single, gay man schemes creative ways to have a hunky repairman repeatedly return to his home to fix things. But suddenly the fantasies become more than either of them expected.

Thrive, 2019, 16.49 minutes, Dir: Jamie Di Spirito, U.K. A hook-up between two young men, who have a connection, becomes apparent they’re looking for different things.

Vibes, 2018, 6.30 minutes, Dir: Bane Fakih, USA. US Premiere. Mayssa is looking for a sexual release to cure her recent depression but luck – and her mother – are not on her side.

Tract II: 

Engaged, 2018, 16.58 minutes, Dir: David Scala, USA. San Diego Alumni Filmmaker. Darren keeps trying – and failing – to propose to his boyfriend Elliot. When their relationship is put into an uncomfortable spotlight during a friend’s outrageous engagement party, Darren realizes he actually might be self-sabotaging himself due to unresolved insecurities about his sexuality.

Gay Camp, 2018, 10.07 minutes, Dir: Mark Marchillo, USA. San Diego Filmmaker. In a world where most of the population is gay, children who exhibit "straight" tendencies are sent to Camp Sohomo in order to convert them back to their natural homosexual lifestyle.

He Drinks, 2018, 6 minutes, Dir: Michael Varrati, USA: With their relationship in peril, Chris and Bram decide to seek out the aid of a respected couple’s therapist. However, as she digs into their case, the good doctor discovers that their problems may be far more complicated than she initially thought.

Kathy, 2018, 17 minutes, Dir: Jonathan Hammond, USA. San Diego Filmmaker. The true(ish) story of a young boy and his mother who held afternoon exorcisms in the living room – and the new friend who is so "Godly", she may as well be wicked.

Lone Wolf, 2019, 7 minutes, Dir: January Jones, Australia. World Premiere. Determined to fit in at a sleepover, 15-year-old Sam ignores cruel taunts from mean girl Blair and her growing feelings for her new friend Willow. But she can’t ignore the strange things happening to her body.

Mankind, 2018, 13 minutes, Dir: Layke Anderson, U.K. West Coast Premiere. A restless young man wants to leave love and the Earth behind. This film reflects the idea that human beings are explorers by nature, and the consequences of standing still for too long.

Mother's Day (Anneler Günü), 2019, 8.09 minutes, Dir: Merve Cagla Dincer, Germany. World Premiere. A story of two women who are trying to come to terms with different losses that ultimately change the course of each other’s lives.

Pepitas, 2018, 8 minutes, Dir: Alessandro Sampaoli, Italy. California Premiere. Andrea, despite being over thirty, still lives at home with his mother and visually-impaired grandmother. His family doesn’t know, but he has a part-time job.

Romance is Dead, 2018, 13 minutes, Dir: Todd Jackson, USA. San Diego Filmmaker. Finding it hard to cope with the loss of his fiancé, Donovan turns to his best friend, Adam, to implement a crazy plan to get him back.

Steps in the Night (Pasos en la Noche), 2018, 8.26 minutes, Dir: Daniel Garcia, USA. San Diego Filmmaker. In mid-1990’s Tijuana, a closeted gay man enters a local Cumbia competition in the hopes of dancing with a man whom he’s secretly admired.


ShortFest is on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Landmark Hillcrest Cinemas. 

"Trick" 20th Anniversary screening is on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at the Hillcrest Landmark Theatre.

The Hillcrest Landmark Theatre is located at 3965 5th Ave. San Diego, California 92103

Get tickets HERE.