AFI Fest, an annual film festival organized by the American Film Institute, kicks off today in Los Angeles for eight days of cinematic celebration. Some of the year's best films from around the world will screen today through November 14, and the fest is free and open to the public. But which to see? The Advocate has highlighted six films that feature LGBT themes and characters, ranging from the moving drama Philomena, starring Judi Dench as a mother searching for her lost son, to Stranger by the Lake, a steamy tale of murder on a French beach, to Vic and Flo Saw a Bear, a story of lesbian ex-convicts in the countryside. Check out the selection.
[Photos courtesy of AFI Fest]
Vic and Flo Saw a Bear
Vic and Flo Saw a Bear (or Vic et Flo Ont Vu un Ours, in its native French), stars Romane Bohringer as Florence, an ex-convict seeking a fresh start in a remote region of Quebec. She begins her new life alongside Victoria (Pierrette Robitaille), her former cellmate and lover, but their happiness is complicated by ghosts from their past, including a parole officer Guillaume (Marc-André Grondin), as well as the appearance of a mysterious woman from their neighborhood. Directed by Denis Côté and winner of the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, Vic and Flo Saw a Bear is an engrossing crime drama that delves into the lives of characters attempting to live outside the codes of society — with startling and unexpected results. Screens Saturday at 4 p.m. and Monday at 10:15 p.m. at TCL Chinese Theaters, 6801 Hollywood Blvd.