Filmfinalcoverpage_2 Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lovers of film and filmmaker’s from around the world will converge on the East Bay for the Third Annual Oakland International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Film Festival on August 18, 20, 21,2005.

Contrary to popular belief, Oakland , unlike its famous sister city, San Francisco , contains one of the largest and most ethnically diverse concentrations of lesbians and gays in the nation. A 2000 survey by the International Federation of Black Gay Prides ranks Oakland seventh among U.S. cities with the highest number of Black LGBT people.

Continuing to build on its success, the festival has expanded its lineup to include a third day of films at Oakland ‘s landmark Parkway Theater. The event will highlight the work of several local filmmakers, including three from Oakland : "Jumpin’ the Broom" by Debra Wilson, celebrates marriage and tradition in the African American gay community . "Undercover Cross" by j.s. Ingram explores the continued impact of HIV on family, community and art."Feminine Sense" by Crystal H. Weston, femininity is explored as an emotion, energy and a notion in this video maker’s first documentary.

This year’s festival features "Strange Fruit" a dramatic thriller directed by Kyle Schickner set in the backwoods of Louisiana . The story centers on the investigation of a hate-crime murder committed against a young Black gay man. The 2003 independent film circuit block buster "Madame Sata" by Brazillian director Karim Ainouz will also screen.  It tells the story of the legendary criminal, proud homosexual, cabaret star, passionate lover, killer and devoted father of seven adopted children.

"Last year the film festival sold out every night," said Wilson, who is also co-founder of the festival. "The event has become a welcome new tradition for the Black LGBT community and the LGBT community at large. We expect record attendance again this year."

The three-day film festival is part of Bay Area Black In The Life Pride, a four day celebration of African & African-American LGBT life and culture.

"Last year we experienced phenomenal growth and community support," recalls film festival
co-founder, Joe Hawkins.  " Oakland is being recognized as a place where Black LGBT filmmakers can make their dreams of producing and screening their films a reality," says Hawkins.  "It feels really good to be Black and gay in Oakland ."

The Third Annual Oakland International  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Film Festival will be held August 18, 20 and 21 at the Parkway Theater, 1834 Park Blvd., (510) 814-2400.  For the festival schedule and related events, please visit Bay Area Black In The Life at http://www.bbitl.net.