The Five Best Films to Check Out Before MiFo 2016 Ends

With the MiFo LGBT Film Festival in town, there’s an abundance of options for audiences to check out some queer films. This could be your only chance — otherwise, you'll have to wait months and hope for a theatrical or online release. Halfway through the festival, there are still plenty of great films worth watching. Check out our picks for the top five. 

5. Alena
Thursday, April 28, at Regal Cinemas South Beach
There aren’t nearly enough queer-genre films out there nowadays, and, luckily enough, MiFo programs at least one every year. This time around, it’s a nice little lesbian horror movie by the name of Alena. Adapted for the screen in Sweden by filmmaker Daniel di Grado, it's based on a graphic novel of the same name by Kim W. Andersson. The story follows a young woman named Alena whose dead best friend, Filippa, begins to haunt the kids at school who are harassing Alena. 

4. Paris 05:59
Friday, April 29, at the Miami Beach Cinematheque
Some viewers might be put off by a film that begins with a graphic 18-minute scene in a gay sex club. Others might think it sounds like a rollicking, good time. But Paris 05:59 (Théo et Hugo Dans le Même Bateau), is so much more than its opening sequence. It’s an art film through and through — one that shifts gears from hardcore sex to a Before Sunrise-style exploration of a budding relationship between two men. It also tackles subjects that are distinctly queer.  

3. Downriver
Friday, April 29, at Regal Cinemas South Beach
Downriver played at the Fort Lauderdale edition of the festival in 2015, and now it will screen in Miami. An atypical-sounding gay movie, Downriver is a strange suspense film about a man who, after serving time for his involvement in the suspected drowning of a boy, sets out on a journey of self-discovery. It's definitely worth checking out the Best Feature Film of MiFo 2015. The filmmaker and cast members will be in attendance at the screening for a Q&A following the film.
2. Girls Lost
Friday, April 29, at Regal Cinemas South Beach
Coming-of-age films in queer cinema are basically a given. But Girls Lost is definitely an outlier in a tired subgenre. It's a strange, mystical, and fascinating Swedish film. It places three young women in the bodies of men, thrusting them all into wondering which sex they identify with most. Girls Lost was an honorable mention from MiFo’s Best Feature Film jury this year.

1. Women He’s Undressed
Sunday, May 1, at the Miami Beach Cinematheque
Although it has been decades since she gave us the wonderful Little Women adaptation, filmmaker Gillian Armstrong is still making movies for the world to enjoy. Her latest isn’t a feature, but a documentary — a rather curious one. Women He's Undressed is about costume designer Orry-Kelly, who worked on nearly 300 films in classic Hollywood. The doc is both delightful and playful. It shines a light on a figure whom many individuals might not know but who is worth knowing. Plus, it also scored an honorable mention from MiFo’s documentary jury.

For a full schedule of films, visit mifofilm.com.

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