Celebrate Sweet 16 With QFest 2010

QFest is kicking off their festival with a night dedicated to gay and lesbian cinema

There is a perfect way for fans of independent films to enjoy gay and lesbian cinema while getting the weekend started a little early.

Take a stroll out to the Ritz Theaters in Old City on Thursday kickoff Philadelphia Qfest, formerly known as the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

Celebrating “Sweet 16” with over 125 films, narratives, documentaries and shorts, this summer festival hosts some of the best films in GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) cinema from around the world.

Don’t miss opening night Thursday, which features your choice of two great films, drinks, great food and a night of mixing and mingling under the stars -- with the stars. The package will only cost you $50 and will be well worth the money as your dancing the night away with DJ Stephen Durkin.

Start your night by making your way over to Ritz East Theater 2 at 7:15 p.m., to witness the talented work of veteran filmmaker Nicole Conn in Elena Undone. The film features actresses Necar Zadegan (from TV’s 24) and Traci Dinwiddie (from TV’s Supernatural) as they create electrifying chemistry in this journey about passion and finding your true soul mate.

“What is incredibly charming about this breathtaking film is that it’s based on Conn’s own life, which just might solidify the dream that we all have a soul mate out there,” said Pepperbox Pictures’s Kelly Burkhardt in her review.

Or catch the romantic comedy, You Can’t Have It All at Ritz East Theater 1 at 7:30 p.m. written and directed by Jay Arnold. A captivating story about finding true love and the confusion that brings with performances by Jon Lindstrom (from As the World Turns), Wendie Malick (from Pushing Daisies and Just Shoot Me!), along with a talented cast of newcomers.

“The fun and frolic -- who’s gay, who’s not (who should be) -- will continue into the question and answer session following the screening,” according to Qfest.com.

After the films, the GLBT celebration goes from 9:30 p.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Liberty View Ballroom & Terrace at the Independence Visitor Center.

If you're only interested in seeing the films, tickets will be sold on the day of the show for $15 (cash only). For just the party, it’ll be $40 at the door but you must be 21-years or older and show ID. You can also reserve tickets online.

For a full schedule of screenings that run until July 19, visit the QFest calendar.

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