Films 2014

52 Tuesdays

 
Sixteen-year-old Billie can’t believe her mother has decided to undergo gender reassignment surgery. James – as her mother now prefers to be known – has always wanted to be a man. The challenging journey will take one year. When Billie learns that she is to live with her father Tom in the meantime, she feels her own wishes have been ignored. James’ promise to spend every Tuesday afternoon with her is scant comfort. Nonetheless, James tries to observe his motherly responsibilities, [...] more

 

As Rosas Brancas

 
Engl. Title: The White Roses
A group of people dance at a sports ground to the music of Supertramp. The siblings take flowers to a grave in the deep snow, wearing floral wreaths in their hair. The father directs them. They embrace one another. Memories are invoked by pictures enclosed inside Gabriel's, the brother's, amulet. The mother is dead - how will they fill the void she left behind? Each individual family member tries to find their way, is obliged to redefine their course. Calm are the images and gestures [...] more

 

Bim, Bam, Boom, Las Luchas Morenas

 
Three women/three sisters/three professional luchadoras, part of the Dynasty Moreno: Rossy, Esther and Cynthia are competitive wrestlers on the ring. But they also bring lucha libre into life, wrestling with knives, pig heads, flowers and feathers! more

 

Caravaggio

 
On his deathbed, the painter Michelangelo Caravaggio (1571–1610) looks back on his life. In flashbacks we see his childhood in Bergamo and Milan, the man who fostered his talent, Cardinal Del Monte in Rome, the controversy over his realistic painting style, and above all, his relationships with his models. Caravaggio finds the models for his mainly religious paintings among outsiders. On his forays into the world of the poor, criminals, and drunkards, he meets the gambler Ranuccio and [...] more

 

Castanha

 
“What have I become? Me, a true 80’s creature?” is what the character played by João Carlos Castanha asks on stage, which could just as easily be directed at he himself: 52-year-old actor and transvestite João has his best years behind him. He’s ill, has lost both lovers and companions along the way and appears weary, even if none of this stops him from living the way he always has. João shares two rooms with his mother in a lower middle-class housing [...] more

 
Winner

Der Kreis

 
Engl. Title: The Circle
Founded in the early 1940s, the network around the magazine 'Der Kreis' ('The Circle') was the only gay organisation to survive the Nazi regime. It blossomed during the post-war years into an internationally renowned underground club. Legendary masked balls at the Theater am Neumarkt in Zurich provided 800 visitors from all over Europe with a secret and safe space to act out their 'otherness' in a self-determined way. It is there that timid teacher Ernst Ostertag falls [...] more

 

Der Samurai

 
Engl. Title: The Samurai
People in the Brandenburg countryside are scared of wolves. Their howling frightens the populace and silences the lambs. But once this night is over people will wish it had just been a wolf that had come to haunt them. Instead, a nightmare in the shape of a nameless stranger with a samurai sword appears at the edge of the forest and leaves a trail of destruction in the village. For young local police officer Jakob in particular the encounter with the warrior forces him to confront his own demons [...] more

 

El carro azul

 
Engl. Title: The Blue Car
After his grandmother’s death Hansel returns to Cuba from San Francisco to look after his disabled brother, Marcos. The brothers have drifted apart. Marcos misses his grandmother and refuses to accept that she has died. She was the only one he trusted, the only one to look after him so patiently, and to teach him so much about the world, time, humans and animals. At first Marcos sees Hansel as an intruder in his world. He spends most of his time on the balcony looking up and down the [...] more

 

Felice chi é diverso

 
Engl. Title: Happy to be different
An older gay couple in a city in northern Italy talk about their decades-long relationship. A man describes how he was physically abused by his father because of his sexual identity. Another, who had a high-flying career, recounts a sexually fulfilled life and mentions numerous homosexual politicians. Gay men from across the social classes and regions of the country have their say and discuss the different conditions which determined gay life in Italy. Their stories recall isolation, discrimination, [...] more

 

Feriado

 
Engl. Title: Holiday
In 1999, Ecuador’s banking system collapsed in the wake of a corruption scandal. These events provide the historical context for sixteen-year-old Juan Pablo’s enforced sojourn with his rich uncle and his family. Pensive Juan has absolutely no use for either this corrupt banker who has withdrawn to his refuge in the Andes, or his ignorant sons. One night he observes his uncle’s cronies brutally mishandling a man they discover tampering with their cars. After Juan Pablo helps [...] more

 

Fieber

 
Engl. Title: Fever
“Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood” (Pablo Neruda). It’s the early 1950s and little Franzi is growing up in the small Austrian town of Judenburg. Her oppressive family home is dominated by her feverish and mentally ill father, who is rigid and unpredictable. Her father, who regularly delivers halves of pork for the butcher, spent several years in the French Foreign Legion in Morocco, Algeria and Syria – a period which he partly glorifies but which [...] more

 

Finding Vivian Maier

 
An older gay couple in a city in northern Italy talk about their decades-long relationship. A man describes how he was physically abused by his father because of his sexual identity. Another, who had a high-flying career, recounts a sexually fulfilled life and mentions numerous homosexual politicians. Gay men from across the social classes and regions of the country have their say and discuss the different conditions which determined gay life in Italy. Their stories recall isolation, discrimination, [...] more

 

Fucking Different XXY

 
The sixth part in the compilation film series Fuckung Different breaks new ground. Since 2005 producer and project initiator Kristian Petersen has asked gay and lesbian filmmakers from various cities to make short documentary and fiction films - in each case a lesbian taking on gay topics and vice versa. Fucking Different XXY intends finally to dissolve the binarity of classic gender identities. Seven transgender filmmakers from all over the world have made short films about aspects of sexuality [...] more

 
Winner

Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho

 
Engl. Title: The Way he Looks
Giovana is Leo’s best friend. They spend their afternoons at the pool, awarding points for the level of their boredom and just hanging out. But there are limits to their intimacy. Leo is rather self-contained; even his schoolmates’ barbs can’t cause his sense of his own independence to waver. Tired of his parents’ over-protective attitude, this blind fifteen-year-old decides to determine his own life and applies for a school exchange. The arrival of a new pupil at school [...] more

 

iBhokhwe

 
Engl. Title: The Goat
Ukwaluka is an ancient circumcision ritual for young men still widely practiced by the Xhosa in South Africa. It marks the transition from youth to manhood. A boy who has just undergone circumcision sits in semi-darkness in a simple hut on a hill, far away from the village, as prescribed by the initiation ritual. He is covered from head to toe with a paint made from clay which makes him look as white as a goat. This should be a period of healing, but he is cold and in pain. His grandfather, [...] more

 

Love Is Strange

 
When same-sex marriage is legalised in New York in 2011, Ben and George decide to marry after 39 years together. Shortly after this, George, who works as a music teacher at a Catholic school, is dismissed without notice and they lose their apartment in Chelsea. George finds a place to stay with a gay couple who are both police officers and Ben is taken in by his nephew’s family in Brooklyn. Strained efforts to be considerate, nagging ill humour, encroachment on private spaces and burgeoning [...] more

 

Mario Wirz

 
Six weeks before his death from cancer, poet Mario Wirz takes a walk with his friend Rosa von Praunheim during which he candidly shares his final thoughts on, among other things, the power of love and positive thinking: “Let’s live!” more

 
Winner

Mondial 2010

 
A Lebanese gay couple decides to take a road trip to Ramallah. The film is recorded with their camera as they chronicle their journey. The protagonists and the viewers are invited through the couple's conversations into the universe of a fading city. more

 

Papilio Buddha

 
We could be in paradise: Shankaran discovers a rare butterfly, the Papilio Buddha, which is only found in the Western Ghats in India. It is a near perfect moment for him and his gay friend, Jack. The American lepidopterist accompanies Shankaran home where he witnesses an argument between Shankaran and his father which he fails to understand – and not just because they are speaking Malayalam. His father is the leader of a group of Dalits, or low caste ‘untouchables’ who are [...] more

 

Pierrot Lunaire

 
A young woman that regularly dresses as a man falls in love and seduces a young girl that has no clue that her lover is of the same sex. When the girl introduces ‘her boyfriend’ to her father he becomes skeptical and unmasks the fraud. more

 

Praia do Futuro

 
Water is lifeguard Donato’s element and the sea is his home. The ‘Beach of the Future’ mentioned in the film’s title unexpectedly gives his life new direction. When two men are caught by a dangerous current, Donato dives in and manages to save Konrad, a German tourist, but his best friend’s life is claimed by the sea. While along the coast the search is on for the body, Konrad and his rescuer get to know each other. Their initial physical attraction soon turns [...] more

 

Quick Change

 
‘You’ll be beautiful and it won’t even hurt!’ This is what Dorina promises dozens of her clients. She has come to Manila from Japan to help them realise their dream of once winning a Miss Gay or Miss Amazing beauty contest. Decked out in the eccentric and colourful costumes of the show there’s no sign of the earlier injections of liquid silicone to their cheeks, nose, lips, breasts, hips and behind. Dorina, who is herself transgender and unhappily in love with [...] more

 

Sebastiane

 
Saint Sebastian is at the centre of Jarman's first feature film, which he made in 1976 together with editor and producer Paul Humfress. This is the story of the guardsman Sebastiane who is relegated to an isolated outpost of the empire. There, the soldiers while away the time in the sweltering heat with sword exercises, swimming and erotic games. In this heated atmosphere, Sebastiane comes into conflict with the sadistic captain Severus, who's secretly in love with him. Avowing himself [...] more

 

Test

 
It’s 1985. The location is San Francisco, America’s ‘gay mecca’. Introverted Frankie is an understudy in a prestigious modern dance company. Todd, an established dancer in the troupe, is openly homosexual. When one of the dancers falls ill one day Frankie is asked to stand in and Todd helps him to prepare. Could the illness be the ‘gay plague’ as they are already vilifying Aids? Ignorance, repression, panic, fear, prejudice and open homophobia are rife. Rock [...] more

 

The Dog

 
Over ten years in the making, Allison Berg’s and Frank Keraudren’s powerful documentary The Dog follows the life of Jon Wojtowicz, who tried spectacularly to secure the money for his partner’s sex change by robbing a bank. His attempted heist was made famous by Sidney Lumet’s 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon. Making use of copious archive footage, photographs and the testimonials of contemporaries the filmmakers follow not only the man’s bizarre life and progression [...] more

 

Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

 
In his impressive and artistically versatile documentary, Thomas Allen Harris chronicles the history of photography from an Afro-American perspective. With the aid of countless archive photographs he makes apparent how, from the beginnings of photography to the present day, the black community used the camera as a tool for social change. If photography’s story has until now largely been told through the work of white photographers, Harris enables Afro- American photographers, collectors [...] more

 

Tits

 
Sam, 13, hopes to conceal his breasts with a tightly worn leather belt. This slender teenager is going through a particularly tough time at his authoritarian boys’ school on account of a hormonal disorder. Desperate, he tries everything he can to avoid swimming lessons, but his worst fears are confirmed when he discovers a pink bra hanging from his peg. Nonetheless, Sam manages to find the courage to face up to one of the ringleaders and refuses to be blackmailed. The film displays a [...] more

 

Unfriend

 
A 15-year-old boy stands on the edge of the roof of a building site; his hand playfully reaches into the air. Beneath David lies the city and behind him his friend Jonathan who is two years older and looks on, captivated by the sight of his friend. David lives with his grandmother who divides her time between housework and TV shows. Warm and humorous, she supports her grandchild’s openly gay life, but he prefers to withdraw into his Facebook world at every opportunity. David would do [...] more

 

Vetrarmorgun

 
Engl. Title: Winter Morning
Maria hesitates when her best friend Birita offers her some pills, but – what the hell? Her mother’s away and they are both desperate to have some fun tonight. They set off and, once the drug takes effect, start euphorically planning how they might finally escape their dreary island. But they only manage to wind up at a party where thez continue celebrating. Maria’s pupils are wide open in her delicate face. She may be high, but she doesn’t feel at all well any more. [...] more

 

Vihasarok

 
Engl. Title: Land of Storms
Szabolcs, a young Hungarian footballer, plays for a German team and is good friends with his roommate Bernard. But the training proves to be too hard for him and, after losing a game and quarrelling with Bernard, Szabolcs decides to return to Hungary. In search of a new start in life, he decides to keep bees on his grandfather’s farm. But then Áron, a stonemason’s apprentice from the nearby village arrives on the scene, and suddenly all thoughts of an uncomplicated life disappear. [...] more

 

Vulva 3.0

 
We live in hypersexualised times. The press, adverts and TV are constantly putting naked women and their genitalia on display. But many women are still deeply prudish when it comes to the relationship with their own body. In public we see airbrushed, de-individualised anatomies which conform to the standards of attractiveness used by the porn industry. The ideal image of the smooth, perfectly shaped vulva with symmetrical labia has little to do with the actual shape of most female genitalia. [...] more

 

Ya Gan Bi Haeng

 
Engl. Title: Night Flight
After a tryst with a lover in a derelict, condemned building housing the ‘Night Flight’ gay bar, Yong-ju roams the streets of night-time Seoul and bumps into his ex-best friend, Gi-ung. They were once in the same class but have long since gone their separate ways. Having become embroiled in a fight, Gi-ung snatches Yong-ju’s bicycle in order to escape and doesn’t give it back. Yong-ju threatens him, but Gi-ung is impervious to his warnings – his gang is notorious [...] more

 

Ye

 
Engl. Title: The Night
A young man stands in front of a mirror. The night belongs to him. Every evening, he appraises his appearance, attired in a new shirt, leaves his apartment and waits in a poorly lit alleyway for his johns. One night he meets a female prostitute of his age who’s new in this part of town. They flirt and wander the streets, toy with the idea of renting their bodies out to each other and name themselves after flowers: he calls himself Tuberose and she, Narcissus. The strangers they follow [...] more

 

Yves Saint Laurent

 
Paris in 1957. At the age of 21 talented young designer Yves Saint Laurent takes up a position as assistant to couturier Christian Dior. After Dior’s sudden and unexpected death Saint Laurent is made artistic director of one of the world’s most renowned fashion houses. His first collection is a triumphant success and this shy fashion genius becomes famous overnight. In Pierre Bergé he finds the love of his life and together they found their own label: ‘Yves Saint Laurent’. [...] more

 

FESTIVAL FILM ENTRY 2015

FESTIVAL FILM ENTRY

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