29th annual Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Award Winners

Audience and Jury Awards are Announced


TAMPA, Florida – October 25, 2018 – The 29th annual Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival presented by Macy’s has announced the winners for both the Audience and Jury Awards. AT THE END OF THE DAY, written and directed by Kevin O’Brien of Lakeland, FL, won Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Film, EVERY ACT OF LIFE, Jeff Kaufman won Audience Award for Best Documentary, and WAFFLES and GETTING STARTED tied to win the Audience Award Best Short Film.

AT THE END OF THE DAY will be screened again at freeFall Theatre in St Petersburg on November 15 with an outreach to Churches, PFLAG and other organizations.

“There was renewed excitement and energy at TIGLFF this year. Every festival takes an extraordinary team effort, and this year our team of volunteer organizers really showed up, and so did the audience.” said KJ Mohr, Director of Programming.

One of the oldest film festivals in Florida, TIGLFF empowers acceptance through storytelling. With films from over 17 countries exploring  topics from transgender people in the military to aging in the LGBTQ+ community, this year’s Festival was a treasure trove of storytelling.

In addition to audience awards, TIGLFF awards The Ira Alan Dusowitz Awards for Emerging Filmmakers. The winner of the Award for Short Film was Jovan James (THE JUMP OFF) and the Award for Feature Film was Jenna Laurenzo (LEZ BOMB).

Finally, the prestigious Jury Awards went to the following: for Best Documentary the winner was CALL HER GANDA; and the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature Film was a tie between the winners  A MOMENT IN THE REEDS and WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY, GOOD MANNERS being the Runner-Up. The Jury Award for Best Short Film went to  MARGUERITE, with a tie for the Runners-Up, SOMETHING ABOUT ALEX and MY OWN WINGS.

Mohr followed up the announcement saying,“Banding together is more important than ever for LGBTQ folks, and this year’s festival audience felt powerful and invested, with increased attendance, stellar films, and engaging conversations. All signs point to a fantastic 30th anniversary coming up for this vital annual community celebration.”

The Film Festival screens movies and has events throughout the year.


Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Film


Kevin O’Brien (Lakeland)

(This film was filmed almost entirely in Lakeland, FL)

Kevin O’Brien has lovingly created a quintessential modern American story with At the End of the Day. We are at a point in history where contemporary Christians are grappling with LGBTQ issues as much as queer folks are dealing with their relationships to religion. It’s a key issue for these times, and watching this excellent cast of sympathetic, complex characters is such a great way to start the conversations and to give folks a point of relatability. At the End of the Day gets to the root of these issues in an entertaining cinematic tale that manages to be funny and compelling at the same time that it is challenging and profound. This is a story that our audiences can relate to and have been hungry for.


Audience Award for Best Documentary Film


Jeff Kaufman

The groundbreaking life and work of 4-time Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally – a personal journey through five decades of the American theatre.

Audience Award for Best Short Film


Foster Wilson

The morning after a casual one-nighter with an older woman, Gina consults Google, only to discover that the person in bed beside her is the epitome of everything she loathes in this world.


Alan Ira Dusowitz Award for Best Emerging Filmmaker of a Short Film

Jovan James (The Jump Off)

Idealistic young man Nigel has been in a secret romantic relationship with his friend, Malik, for several weeks, seemingly content with their unofficial status, but he longs for more.


Alan Ira Dusowitz Award for Best Emerging Filmmaker of a Feature Film

Jenna Laurenzo (Lez Bomb)

A closeted woman brings her girlfriend home for Thanksgiving, only to have her coming-out efforts thwarted by the unexpected arrival of her male roommate.


Jury Award for Best Documentary



For powerfully bringing a story of American colonialism to light through the story of a murdered transgender woman, Jennifer Laude, and the three women, (her mother, a transgender journalist, and an attorney) determined to seek justice for Jennifer. (Yvonne Welbon)

Call Her Ganda sheds light on a horrifically ugly incident with extraordinary cinematic artistry. Balancing the personal with the political, this film goes beyond a lurid hate crime to reveal how one country’s imperialistic attitude towards another can lead to the irresponsible, disrespectful and lethal behavior that lies at the root of the problem. (Derek Horne)

Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature Film

Winner (tie):


For bold, contemporary filmmaking. Director Mikko Makela’s beautiful lush film shows a coming together of two men from different places. (Mary Guzmán)

An incredibly intimate portrayal of instant connection so beautifully realized and tenderly acted that it’s almost like the audience is a voyeur. Quite possibly the most erotically charged film in the LGBTQ festival circuit, “A Moment in the Reeds” is very sexy and yet still poignant, timely and relevant in the issues that it covers. (Michael Gamilla)




For completely unique, extraordinary filmmaking. Writer/Director Madeleine Olnek gives love to Emily Dickinson, in her witty, funny, informative film. (Mary Guzmán)

Victorian comedy and Emily Dickinson do not ever belong in the same sentence. But the film manages to make that happen. (Michael Gamilla)


Directors Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra present the strength, the persistence, of love in its many forms. (Mary Guzmán)

An impossible mash up of lesbian romance, horror, drama, and musical, “Good Manners” is the surprise delight in this year’s LGBTQ festival circuit. (Michael Gamilla)

Jury Award for Best Short Film


With sensitive and quiet power, Marguerite’s narrative reflects on the possibilities of self-actualization and self-realization, even at the end of life. Nurse Rachel (Sandrine Bisson) and the title character (Beatrice Picard) whom she cares for are brilliantly portrayed as multi-dimensional and complex: a rare feat for a short film. (Joanna Razcynska)


Runner Up (tie):


What appears initially as routine teen-age angst is poignantly shown to be something far more profound. This small film is a revelation, capturing the anguish of gender dissonance in a way that powerfully depicts its particular pain, yet connects to the outcast experience that all in our community share. Something About Alex packs an emotional wallop, and reminds us that, even in short-film format, movie-making is an indispensable art form. (Keith Roberts)




The expansive and gorgeous cinematography compliments the extraordinary stories. The film’s global perspective and selection of voices is really remarkable. (Joanna Razcynska)


About Friends of the Festival


Friends of the Festival, Inc. (FOF) is a non-profit (501c3) organization that produces the Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, which began in 1990 through the outreach of several local community based organizations. The mission of the festival is to showcase a selection of compelling film and video by, for or about the LGBTQ+ community that Entertains, Empowers and Enlightens the festival audience.