The 2009 Miami Latin Gay Film Festival unspools April 16 with the U.S. premiere of director Francisco Franco's Quemar Las Naves (Burn The Bridges).

Franco's movie explores the lives of a pair of teenage siblings living in a secluded village in central Mexico. Sebastian and Helena are isolated from the world as they tend to their dying mother. But tensions erupt when Sebastian mets Juan, a tough new student in his school that awakens new desires and possibilities. Their lives implode when the matriarch of the family dies and the siblings must confront the limits of family loyalty.

Franco and Angel Onesimo Navares, who plays Sebastian, will lead a discussion panel on the film after the film's screening.

It's the inaugural launch for the nascent film festival which organizers say came about due to large demand for Latin-flavored queer cinema in Miami.

“Through my six years of working with the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, I have noticed a huge demand for Latin gay films and programming that was not always possible,” said festival Director Jim Dobson. “The few Latin films programmed were always the first to sell out which proved a definite demand by the community.”

Another treat for audiences attending the four-day festival will the screening of Director Nacho G. Velilla's Fuera De Carta (Chef's Special).

Restaurateur Maxi prefers an uncomplicated and unattached love life. All this changes when a hot Argentine ex-football player moves in next door. Comedy ensues as Maxi struggles to remain in the closet to his staff and family. The Spanish newspaper Diario El Mundo called the Spanish film “inspired.”

Fuera De Carta closes the 2009 Miami Latin Gay Film Festival.

On the Net: More information at the festival's website

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