Artistic Icon: Mark Gilbert

  • This is a part of our feature on LGBTQ Performing Arts Leaders

Mark Gilbert. Photo by JR Davis.

Mark Gilbert has been on the Board of the OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival (formerly The Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival) for the better part of 20+ years. In his early years, he put gay on the radio with a sponsorship for the film festival that said The Miami Gay And Lesbian Film Festival out loud and proud all day and night.

In 2013, Gilbert became the Board Chair and for the next two years, the Executive Director, reinventing so much of the festival. Under his leadership, Fort Lauderdale was expanded to a full 11-day, second festival; Cocktails and Cinema, a mainstay monthly screening series, OUTshine At Home was created and the name change to OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival happened, and so much more.

During the last two years, Gilbert has served as interim ED while the search was on for a new ED leading the festival through so many changes. His love for OUTshine and for the community itself cannot be understated.

Prior Related Employment and/or Education: He also created a successful LGBT Radio show called “Marky G's Issues Over The Rainbow,” a smash hit in the community giving us a voice on the radio. He interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and gave voice to so many South Florida gay organizations, on the “New Party 93-1, South Florida’s Pure Dance Channel." He went onto Y-100 with the #1 rated show South Beach Dance Party.

Mission Statement: Our mission is to inspire, entertain, and educate; encouraging a sense of community through international and culturally diverse film, video, and other media that offer historical and contemporary perspectives on the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience.

What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?

Seeing an audience react to the films we show and the impact they have on our community… It is amazing to listen to the reactions after the film at our many incredibly fun events. Also, doing the Q&A’s with our visiting invited filmmakers. It is so exciting to learn the who, what, where, and why of what goes into making each film and to hear the audiences’ reactions and questions.

What would you say is the most challenging part of your job?

It is a monumental task to put on two major acclaimed festivals a year in different locations. Managing our amazingly dedicated team to make sure we have the right films in the right places, that our theaters are all secured and scheduled properly that all films and collateral are operational, that our party venues and talents all meet our standards and objectives, and doing all this while still managing costs … A daunting challenge.

What would be a “dream come true” for your organization?

That more of the community partake in this amazing festival and that more get involved in helping us to achieve even loftier goals. We know that there are so many ways to view our content, but none are better than being together to watch our stories on the big screen. And then to join old and meet new friends at our numerous fabulous events … I want to see us sell out every night because our stories are that special and watching them together in a packed theater of just us, is simply magical. Our festival is honestly the best LGBTQ event in town for both Miami and Fort Lauderdale I want more of us to experience how great our festival is … the thousands that go each year, always love it.

Where would you like to see your organization in 10 years?

The LGBTQ destination for the world to come. South Florida is the perfect place for us to visit and partake in all we offer … for us to have huge premiers and be the cultural event of the year for so many more of us, where tens of thousands crowd our doors to be part of the splendor of our OUTshine films and events.


LGBTQ Performing Arts Leaders


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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