Philadelphia QFest 2009 Ends, Award Winners Announced
Philadelphia QFest closed its 15th year with the much-praised premiere of The Big Gay Musical and a packed closing night event on the 33rd floor of the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia. Both the screening and the party served as the grand finale for twelve days full of critically acclaimed movies, celebrity appearances, awards ceremonies, outdoors screenings, and festive parties.
Along with a new name, QFest (formerly the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival), demonstrated a fresh sensibility. QFest expanded into Old City, screening films at the Ritz East theatres, as well as utilizing their traditional home at The Prince Music Theater, and reviving the highly popular under-the-stars screenings at the Jamaican Jerk Hurt.
12 days of LGBTQ cinema were book ended by the well-received Hollywood j' etaime on opening night and Big Gay Musical, the closing night world premier.
During the closing night festivities, the following festival award winners were announced:
Jury Award for Best Feature: Patrik 1,5
Jury Award for Best Documentary: Off and Running
Jury Award for First Time Director: Nancy Kassim, Drool
Jury Award for Best Short Film: Awakening
Audience Award for Best Feature: Hannah Free
Audience Award for Best Documentary: Pop Star on Ice
Audience Award for Best Short Film: Looking For...
World champion skater Johnny Weir joined Sharon Gless, H.P. Mendozza, Mink Stole, and Chad Allen to create an unbeatable celebrity slate for 2009. Gless tearfully accepted the Gay Icon Award at the sold-out screening of her tearjerker Hannah Free, and Mendozz was awarded the Rising Star award during a screening of his new musical Fruit Fly. QFest was also honored to award, in conjunction with Equality Forum, the first ever Barbara Gittings Award to Dee Mosebacher for her contribution to the gay rights movement, such as her moving new documentary, Training Rules.
QFest's fantastic lineup of international queer films, paired with its new name and new energy made this a banner year all around.
Since its inception, the Philadelphia Cinema Alliance is dedicated to the presentation of film and video in the Greater Philadelphia area as a powerful form of artistic expression and a unique force for cultural diversity and international understanding. Founded in 1995, the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, now known as QFest, presents GLBT films from around the world.