Open Dialogues: Stories from the LGBTQ Community won the “Best Short Film-Runner Up” Audience Award at the 2021 Outshine Film Festival beating out “Coded”, which was produced by MTV and Proctor and Gamble, and the acclaimed French documentary “Silent Voice”.
The Art of winning with Open Dialogues
The documentary short which was produced by the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood and directed by Miami-based award-winning filmmaker Freddy Rodriguez of 66 Films, centers around the coming-out narratives of seven Broward County residents and explores how the LGBTQ community is marginalized among families, schools, churches and public spaces – and how individuals interviewed for the film learned to empower themselves in these spaces.
Julie Marie Wade starts the film followed by Dan Bassett, Christine Walters, Omar Morales, Gary Keating, Franchesca D’Amore, and Michael Goodman. The seven South Florida residents took part in the on-camera interviews over two days in Hollywood, Florida in early 2020. The topics range from personal stories of self acceptance, overcoming rejection/violence based on gender, race, sexual identity, and sexual orientation, and building LGBTQ/Straight alliances.
“Working on Open Dialogues reminded me that hate and misunderstanding not only play a powerful role on how we are perceived as a community, but plays an even more pivotal role in how we perceive ourselves as gay people” – Filmmaker, Freddy Rodriguez
Open Dialogues – “Best Short-Runner Up”
Open Dialogues: Stories from the LGBT Community is also an “Official Selection” of the 2021 Orlando Film Festival, the 202o St. Augustine Film Festival and won “Best Broward Doc” at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
“Winning the ‘Best Short Film-Runner Up’ Audience Award at Outshine is an honor. Audiences are really connecting with our film which is a wonderful and the fact that it happened at Outshine, one of the best LGBTQ film festivals in the world, makes the win even sweeter – Freddy Rodriguez.
In a statement by Director Freddy Rodriguez, he goes on to say: “It’s a Director’s job to help a film, be it narrative or documentary, to tell its story. In the case of Open Dialogues: Stories from the LGBTQ Community, it was my job to take seven stories and help tell them as efficiently as possible, while striving to keep the emotion authentic. It’s not often that I get impacted so deeply with a project. As a married gay man, who lives safely in a Miami suburb, I have become completely complacent of the LGBTQ struggle. Working on Open Dialogues reminded me that hate and misunderstanding, not only play a powerful role on how we are perceived as a community, but plays an even more important role in how we perceive ourselves as gay people. The stories in Open Dialogues are real, powerful and raw. Prepare yourself.”