QFest Closes and Awards Given–see below

In a year that boasted 107 films, 17 sellouts, and record attendance of 25,000 individuals from as close as Philadelphia and as far as London, the 18th edition of Philadelphia’s QFest came to a close with the hilarious follow-up to TLA Releasing’s BearCity: BearCity2: The Proposal, starring Kathy Najimy, a rocking party at SugarHouse Casino, a jamming after-party at Bike Shop, and the announcement of this year’s Audience and Jury Awards. And the winners are…
2012 QFest Jury Award Winners
Best Short Film: Prora, directed by Stephane Riethauser

Best First Time Director: Negar Azarbayjani, director of Facing Mirrors

Best Documentary: Love Free or Die, directed by Macky Alston

Best Feature Film: Keep the Lights On, directed by Ira Sachs

Said Macky Alston of Love Free or Die, “We are thrilled and honored to have been awarded the best documentary at QFest. This is a critical year to lift up the stories of people like Bishop Robinson who call us all to stand for equality. We hope that this award will inspire people all over the country to screen Love Free or Die in their communities.”

Upon being notified that Keep the Lights On was a festival winner, director Ira Sachs shared: ”QFest has supported my work since I started making movies, and without audiences like those at the festival, I’m certain I wouldn’t be making films like this one. My hope is that Keep the Lights On encourages open conversation, and that as individuals we continue to walk out of the closets we construct for ourselves, and to live our lives honestly, transparently, and with all the lights on.”

2012 QFest Audience Award Winners
Best Short Film: Tsuyako, directed by Mitsyo Miyazaki

Best Documentary:TRANS, directed by Chris Arnold

Best Comedic Film:Let My People Go!,directed by Mikael Buch

Best Feature Film: Cloudburst, directed by Thom Fitzgerald

In her absence, Nancy Gerstman, co-president of Zeitgeist Films, distributor of Let My People Go!, gave her thanks to “..the audience in Philadelphia for appreciating Mikael Buch’s terrific comedy. We agree that it’s hard not to be swept away by its charm!”

And Thom Fitzgerald of Cloudburst said, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have an audience for Cloudburst. The audience are the very people for whom I made the movie, and we are so appreciative. Olympia, Brenda and Ryan are equally thrilled. My thanks to QFest and the QFest team for working to make that happen, for my film, and all of the films the festival brought to the Philadelphia public.”

As filmmakers and filmgoers say goodbye to 12 days of incredible LGBT cinema, QFest excitedly turns its attention to next year’s dates: the 19th edition of Philadelphia’s QFest will take place July 11-July 22, 2013.