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March 19, 2018, marked the 24th Annual Black Tie Gala for qFLIX Philadelphia's LGBTQ+ Film Festival. The festival founded by James Duggan and co-run by Thom Cardwell received an honor from Mayor Jim Kenney on behalf of the city of Philadelphia in recognition of qFLIX's efforts in LGBTQ+ relations and advocacy.

The premiere consisted of a screening of Tom Gustafson's film "Hello Again" followed by drinks and catering at the top of the One Liberty Observation Deck overlooking the city. While the after party was the perfect end to the night, the true star of the evening was the film itself.

'Hello Again' uses the musical film genre to create a fantastical world

The musical film [VIDEO] is a genre that has recently resurfaced, even making it so far as Oscar nominations as is the case with "The Greatest Showman".

Based on the off-broadway play of the same name by Michael John LaChiusa, "Hello Again" uses the quirks and suspended belief of the genre in order to create an atmosphere of passion, love, loss, and conflict. Writer Cory Krueckeberg and director Tom Gustafson worked to weave together 10 uniquely complicated romances set in varying time periods.

The jump in time and shocking talent of each singer on screen makes for a fascinating experience. Media buffs of any age will enjoy appearances by actors such as Martha Plimpton, Audra McDonald, T. R. Knight, and Rumer Willis. Each actor performed live on set, differentiating this musical from other films. Although many scenes in the film concern serious situations, "Hello Again" enlists an Oscar Wilde-esque humor to both act as the comic relief while also allowing characters to connect to their past scenes.

Each decade explored over the course of the film follows a very detailed structure particular to that time period, immersing the characters in their environment and building moods that often pay homage to popular movies. In what is possibly the most moving and creative of all the scenes, a story of two men resisting their affection for one another is told through the lens of the Titanic in 1912. Director Gustafson uses swaying camera motions and calamitous orchestra music to create the unstable setting for the two men who will inevitably go down with the ship.

qFLIX Philadelphia honors 'Instinct' actor Alan Cumming

Over the course of the 7 festival days, qFLIX will be premiering 89 films from 29 different countries all across the world created by and celebrating members of the LGBTQ+ community. The closing night award ceremony is set to take place on Sunday, March 25th following a screening of Director Vincent Gagliostro's "After Louie" starring Scottish-American actor, Alan Cumming.

Alan Cumming ("Cabaret") will be presented with the qFLIX Philadelphia 2018 Artistic Achievement Award in Acting. The Tony Award winner will be honored for his contributions to both the world of acting and the LGBTQ+ community.

Tickets remain available on the qFLIX Philadelphia site and help fund the continuation of LGBTQ+ Film Festivals.