Speaking from his overburdened office less than a week before the start of the Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, festival director Roberto Appicciafoco sounds weary but enthusiastic. He admits that ticket sales for this year have “kind of blown up.” That’s an understatement. According to Appicciafoco, online sales have jumped some 500 percent from this time last year. That’s ample evidence to suspect many of the festival’s film screenings will sell out and the multitude of parties (including a brand-new opening night soiree at Bailey’s on the Beach) will be packed with happy celebrants.
With 23 feature films and countless shorts screening at three venues, prospective festivalgoers may be at something of a loss to choose their views. So we asked Appicciafoco to single out his own personal top-five pics of the festival.