Philadelphia’s QFest Lights Up With BearCity 2, I Do, Elliot Loves

Queer-film festival season continues with the 18th annual QFest in Philadelphia from July 12 to 23, one of the best in the world. This year’s schedule promises some of the best in LGBT cinema, with 55 international features, numerous shorts series and parties, parties, parties!

The fun kicks off Thursday with the Philly premiere of Elliot Loves, director Gary Terracino’s follow-up to the award-winning 1995 short, My Polish Waiter. Elliot  shifts back and forth between the childhood of a young gay Latino in New York and his romantically tumultuous adult years, where he’s played by newcomer Fabio (Costaprado, left).

Friday the 13th is good luck for QFest: It’s the local debut of  Jack and Diane, a quirky, surreal love tale about a British teen who falls for a tomboy skater girl in New York City. Directed by Bradley Rust Gray (The Exploding Girl) and co-starring Kylie Minogue, Jack and Diane promises a lesbian romance unlike anything this side of David Lynch.

Openly gay actor-writer David W. Ross (Quinceanera) is back in front of the camera on July 20 and 21 in I Do, directed by Glen Gayford (Eating Out 3: All You Can Eat). The film follows British photographer Jack (Ross, right), who has been raising his niece since the death of his brother years earlier. But when Jack’s threatened with deportation, he decides there’s only one solution: marry his best gal pal (Jamie-Lynn Sigler, right)!  Everything looks peachy-keen until he falls head over heels for a U.S.-born Latino architect (Breaking Bad‘s Maurice Compte). Can Jack find love and marriage?

Closing night on July 22 will be abuzz with the East Coast premiere of BearCity 2: The Proposal, the highly anticipated sequel to 2010’s burly comedy, BearCity. Featuring most of the original cast, The Proposal sees the furry gang going to Provincetown for Bear Week  to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Roger and Tyler (Gerald McCullouch and Joe Conti, left). But not everything goes according to plan as the hirsute bunch encounter more drama, sex and crazy characters than a teddy-bear picnic.

Among the festival’s many shorts programs is Dangerous Sex, which featuring several segments dealing with the perils of intimacy: In Ian Wolfley’s “Bug Chaser,” a gay teen is horrified by a strange growth that develops after a one-night stand, while  two straight actors grapple with a graphic gay-sex scene in “Performance Anxiety.”

Other QFest highlights include South Africa’s Beauty, in which a closeted family man harbors a secret passion for his best friend’s son; festival favorite Cloudburst, starring Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker; the Wakefield Poole documentary Dirty Poole: A Work in Progress; and the Dutch drama North Sea Texas, about a teenage boy in love with his straight best friend.

Photos: TLA Releasing; Sharp Left Studios; Wikimedia.org