Now in its fifth year, the PBS Online Film Festival has cemented itself as a venue for promising and diverse voices committed to social issues. This year’s fest boasts collaborations with a wide variety of public television producers, including the Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), Wisconsin Media Lab and Vision Maker Media.
Just like in years past, viewers will be able to catch the 25 films chosen to be part of the 2016 edition of the fest and vote on their favorites. The one you should keep an eye out for? Gold Star. Directed by Karla Legaspy, the co-founder and director of programming at the CineArte Latin@ Queer Arts and Film Festival, the short is the first of three Latino Public Broadcasting funded films that will premiere on PBS.org this summer.
Gold Star follows Iliana, a young girl who dedicates a love song to her teacher during an elementary school talent show. The innocent gesture is nevertheless met with homophobic reactions by her school and family alike, even prompting her mother Terry to lash out against her own queer best friend, Chela. Scored by the strings of Iliana’s guitar, Gold Star is a sweet-natured flick that’s unafraid to wade into the tricky waters of imagining queer love at such a young age.