By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 12-day Philadelphia Q-Fest kicks off today at the Ritz Bourse and Ritz East. It’s the largest Gay and Lesbian film festival on the east coast.

Celebrating it’s 19th year, the festival will welcome more than 110 special guests and will host 14 parties. And this year is the biggest ever.

“We have 47 feature films, about 58 shorts, three special events and in total 124 films,” says Carol Coombes, Q-Fest managing director. “It’s kind of huge!”

Listen to more of Cherri’s interview with Carol by clicking the link below.

She says the festival showcases films that address a variety of LGBT issues, like same sex marriage, non-traditional families, gay-straight friendships and much more.

“We’re opening with G.B.F.- a hot indie film,” says Coombes, “It’s about the ‘gay best friend’ which has become a hot accessory for many girls out there. Another film we’re really excited about is a documentary called, ‘I am Devine’ it’s a really great biopic about [drag superstar] Devine.”

Other highlights include the feature documentary, “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth,” on July 20-21 and “Hot Guys with Guns” showing on July 21st.

Coombes says the past year has been a banner one for the LGBT community, with gay marriage becoming more mainstream and many more in the LGBT community standing up for civil rights. Coombes says the festival is in many ways a celebration of the many accomplishments thus far, but it also fills a void.

“There’s always films that are a little more gritty or small, but there are still audiences that are hungry to see those films,” she says, “and also I think it’s very important that we have a space which we can claim as our own where audiences watch films and mingles and can catch out the talent as they wait in line to get into the cinema.

The festival runs through July 22nd and tickets are selling fast. For more info, go to

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