Overcome

Posted on Fri 04 Nov by AlexK / scruff, bullying, homophobia, LGBT rights

At this year’s festival we pay tribute to one of the major tragedies this year - June’s shocking attack on one of our safe spaces in Orlando - by telling both fictional and factual global stories of LGBT rights, fighting homophobia and resilience in the face of bullying in our strand Overcome. These diverse accounts feature Check It, a revolutionary queer street gang in Washington DC; a father seeking justice for his gay son in Chile to prove You’ll Never Be Alone; and a young Cuban hairdresser rekindles the relationship with his estranged, homophobic father while finding himself through the power of drag in our opening film Viva.

 

Overcome is kindly Powered by


Viva
- Tuesday 15 November - Rio Cinema
Dir Paddy Breathnach / Ireland 2015 / 100 min

Jesus, a young hairdresser, works at a Havana drag cabaret club to make ends meet. He dreams of one day becoming a perfomer himself. Encouraged by his mentor, Mama, Jesus finally gets his chance to take the stage. But when his estranged father Angel abruptly reenters his life, his world is quickly turned upside down. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, Viva develops into a love story as they struggle to understand one another and reconcile as a family.

Viva is a moving drama that packs an emotional punch with its portrayal of families, from those we adopt to those we are born into while illustrating the every day struggles of ordinary Cubans and the transformative power of drag.

Check It - Thursday 17 November - The Institute of Light
Dir-Prod Dana Flor & Toby Oppenheimer / USA 2016 / 91min

In this spirited and raw documentary, Washington D.C street gang Check It (claimed as the only documented queer gang in the world) are thrown onto the world stage as they struggle to survive and claw their way out of gang life through an unlikely avenue: fashion.

Chronicling the birth of the gang in response to overwhelming homophobia and violence, Check It invites us to consider (non-judgementally) how to build a community and identity when danger lurks around every corner. In a time when the streets of many American cities seem to be on fire, this is a vital story that commands our attention.

You’ll Never Be Alone - Sunday 20 November - Rio Cinema
Dir Alex Anwandter / Chile 2016 / 82min

Dance student Pablo lives with his father Juan, a manager at a mannequin factory, in their drab, homophobic suburb of Santiago. He has a secret affair with a member of the neighbourhood's street gang and dreams of starring in his favourite reality TV show with his best friend Mari, while his father struggles to become partner in the company he worked at for the last 25 years. One night, Juan and Pablo's lives change forever, and for the first time, Juan faces the harsh reality his son experiences on a daily basis.

Alex Anwandter’s stunning debut is based on true events which led the Chilean government to enact the country’s first anti-discrimination laws.

 

Other films grappling with these themes are the super steamy Utopians and that rarest of gems, a comedy dealing with the topic, A Little Lust.

Utopians - Saturday 19 November - Rio Cinema
Dir Scud / Hong Kong 2015 / 87min

Set amongst the stunning backdrop of the Hong Kong skyline Utopians follows the story of Hins, a 21 years old student, who lusts after his lecturer despite his Catholic girlfriend’s hostility towards him, causing them both to delve into their untapped desires. Sexy, romantic and sweet this pansexual treat whets all appetites with full frontal nudity, philosophical ruminations and seriously lush cinematography while providing an insightful view on how homosexuality is discussed in contemporary Chinese society. 

A Little Lust - Wednesday 16 November - Genesis Cinema
Dir. Veronica Pivetti / Italy / 2015 / 104min 

16 year old Rocco's two aims in life are to get laid and to see his favourite pop star in concert with his best friends, sassy and tomboyish Maria and nerdy and quiet Mauri. When a  bullying incident at school forces Rocco to come out to his divorced middle-class parents their liberal leanings are severely tested. Luckily his two friends stand by him and join him in running away from home (in his parents stolen car) to see their favourite singer in concert, followed hot on their heels by his neurotic mother and eccentric gran to hilarious effect.

Presented in partnership with CinemaItaliaUK

 

We Are Family

Posted on Wed 02 Nov by AlexK / transgender, Brazil, QTIPOC, Trans, Film, Event, Gay, Lesbian, Family, Academy Awards, Documentary

Whether it is the struggles and triumphs with our biological families or those that we chose and make ourselves, the family has emerged as a dominant theme in this year’s programme. Opening film Viva - Ireland’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar (in Spanish!) - brings us into the life of a young Cuban hairdresser, initiated into Havana’s drag scene while trying to reinvigorate a relationship with his estranged father. Chosen families also shine through in stories of a Hijra family in India, vogueing houses in the US, and an inseparable band of Brazilian misfit punk queers. We invite you to join us for a Queer Family Sunday Brunch and short film programme all about the ties that bind.

Opening Film: Viva - Tuesday 15 November, Rio Cinema
Dir Paddy Breathnach / Ireland 2015 / 100min

Jesus, a young hairdresser, works at a Havana drag cabaret club to make ends meet. He dreams of one day becoming a perfomer himself. Encouraged by his mentor, Mama, Jesus finally gets his chance to take the stage. But when his estranged father Angel abruptly reenters his life, his world is quickly turned upside down. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, VIVA develops into a love story as they struggle to understand one another and reconcile as a family. 

VIVA is a moving drama that packs an emotional punch with its portrayal of families, from those we adopt to those we are born into while illustrating the every day struggles of ordinary Cubans and the transformative power of drag.

Powered by SCRUFF 

A Little Lust - Wednesday 16 November - Genesis Cinema
Dir. Veronica Pivetti / Italy / 2015 / 104min 

16 year old Rocco's two aims in life are to get laid and to see his favourite pop star in concert with his best friends, sassy and tomboyish Maria and nerdy and quiet Mauri. When a  bullying incident at school forces Rocco to come out to his divorced middle-class parents their liberal leanings are severely tested. Luckily his two friends stand by him and join him in running away from home (in his parents stolen car) to see their favourite singer in concert, followed hot on their heels by his neurotic mother and eccentric gran to hilarious effect.

Presented in partnership with CinemaItaliaUK

Check It - Thursday 17 November - The Institute of Light
Dir-Prod Dana Flor & Toby Oppenheimer / USA 2016 / 91min

In this spirited and raw documentary, Washington D.C street gang Check It (claimed as the only documented queer gang in the world) are thrown onto the world stage as they struggle to survive and claw their way out of gang life through an unlikely avenue: fashion.

Powered by SCRUFF

The Nest - Friday 18 November - Hackney Showroom
Dir Filipe Matzembacher, Marcio Reolon / Brazil 2016 / 115min

Handsome young soldier Bruno deserts from the Brazilian army to go on a search for his long-lost brother in Porto Alegre. While his brother remains elusive Bruno quickly falls in with a gang of genderqueer bohemians and befriends Stella, one of his brother’s acquaintances. Through these unconventional new friendships Bruno begins to discover himself and explore his sexuality.

Guru: A Hijra Story - Saturday 19 November - Hackney Showroom
Dir Laurie Colson & Axelle Le Dauphin / Belgium/India 2016 / 75min

This moving portrait gives an insightful glance into the daily life of a family of transgender women in India - the hijras, more commonly referred to as ‘the third gender’. The film paints a fascinating portrait of their history, mythology, rituals and place in contemporary indian society, where they are revered in the country’s religious history yet ostracised by society and commonly rejected by their families.

Presented in partnership with Open City Documentary Festival

A Womb of their Own - Saturday 19 November - Hackney Showroom
Dir Cyn Lubow / USA 2016 / 85min

What can a diverse group of masculine-identified, pregnant people teach the world about gender? This touching and optimistic documentary follows queer transmasculine people experiencing pregnancy in the space between gender binaries, with identities in flux. This speaks to the experience of many genderqueer and trans people whose lives are omitted from the societally proposed binary. Fundamental, resistant and evocative, A Womb of Their Own explores the obstacles to self definition that are transcribed both within the body and onto the family by the state.

You’ll Never Be Alone - Sunday 20 November - Rio Cinema
Dir Alex Anwandter / Chile 2016 / 82min

Dance student Pablo lives with his father Juan, a manager at a mannequin factory, in their drab, homophobic suburb of Santiago. He has a secret affair with a member of the neighbourhood's street gang and dreams of starring in his favourite reality TV show with his best friend Mari, while his father struggles to become partner in the company he worked at for the last 25 years. One night, Juan and Pablo's lives change forever, and for the first time, Juan faces the harsh reality his son experiences on a daily basis.

Powered by SCRUFF

Shorts: A Queer Family Portrait + Family Brunch - Sunday 20 November - The Institute of Light

Joyful, emotional, hilarious and provocative, these films explore the bonds we share with the ones we love. Come join Fringe! for a big queer family brunch from 13:00 at Helio’s Cantina at The Institute of Light (a la carte), have your own queer family portrait taken, and stay for a cracking programme of short films redefining ways of thinking about family.

Brunch reservations recommended, screening tickets free but separate.
 
 

Documentaries at Fringe!

Posted on Fri 28 Oct by AlexK / Documentary, QTIPOC, gender

As in previous years documentaries are a big part of the Fringe! Programme and following on from that tradition this year’s programme features a varied selection of non-fiction films exploring the lives of queer people. This year’s documentary films particularly focus on two main themes - the exploration of gender expressions around the globe, while a significant portion reveal a rich tapestry of stories by and about queer and trans people of colour. 

Check It - Thursday 17 November - The Institute of Light
Dir-Prod Dana Flor & Toby Oppenheimer / USA 2016 / 91min

In this spirited and raw documentary, Washington D.C street gang Check It (claimed as the only documented queer gang in the world) are thrown onto the world stage as they struggle to survive and claw their way out of gang life through an unlikely avenue: fashion.

Powered by SCRUFF

The Same Difference - Friday 18 November - Hackney Showroom
Dir Nneka Onuorah / United States 2015 / 78 min
 
Confronting expectations of oppressive gender performance and lesbian-on-lesbian discrimination, this compelling documentary becomes a platform for queer women of colour to discuss hypocrisy intersecting race, gender and sexuality.
 
A Womb of Their Own - Saturday 19 November - Hackney Showroom
Dir Cyn Lubow / USA 2016 / 85min

What can a diverse group of masculine-identified, pregnant people teach the world about gender? This touching and optimistic documentary follows queer transmasculine people experiencing pregnancy in the space between gender binaries, with identities in flux. 

Guru: A Hijra Story - Saturday 19 November - Hackney Showroom
Dir Laurie Colson & Axelle Le Dauphin / Belgium/India 2016 / 75min

This moving portrait gives an insightful glance into the daily life of a family of transgender women in India - the hijras, more commonly referred to as ‘the third gender’. The film paints a fascinating portrait of their history, mythology, rituals and place in contemporary indian society, where they are revered in the country’s religious history yet ostracised by society and commonly rejected by their families.

The Peculiar Kind
- Saturday 19 November - Hackney Showroom
Dir Alexis Casson / USA 2016

Based on the web series of the same name this illuminating documentary candidly explores the lives and experiences of queer women of color with eye-opening and unscripted conversations.

Kiki - Saturday 19 November - Barbican
Dir Sara Jordenö / Sweden/US / 2016 / 95min

In New York City, LGBTQ youth-of-colour gather out on the Christopher Street Pier, practicing a performance-based artform, Ballroom, which was made famous in the early 1990s by Madonna’s music video VOGUE and the documentary PARIS IS BURNING. Twenty-five years after these cultural touchstones, a new and very different generation of LGBTQ youth has formed an artistic activist subculture. Through a strikingly intimate and visually daring lens, Kiki offers a riveting and complex insight into a safe space created and governed by queer youth of color, who are demanding happiness and political power. 

Strike a Pose - Sunday 20 November - Rio Cinema
Dir Ester Gould & Reijer Zwaan / Netherlands/Belgium 2016 / 83min

It's called a dance floor, and here's what it's for. Strike A Pose is a moving documentary catching up with the dancers of Madonna's Blond Ambition tour and stars of In Bed With Madonna aka Truth or Dare. While the tour came to epitomise Madonna’s commitment to gay liberation and the acknowledgement of AIDS, the gay dancers Salim, Kevin, Carlton, José, Luis and Gabriel soon found themselves to be role models in the gay community.

Suited - Sunday 20 November - Genesis Cinema
Dir Jason Benjamin / USA 2016 / 77min 

Going deeper than fine fabrics and silk linings, Suited takes a modern, evolved look at gender through the conduit of clothing and elucidates the private and emotional experience surrounding it. With heart and optimism, the film documents a cultural shift that is creating a new demand—and response—for each person’s right to go out into the world with confidence.

 

Selina Robertson's debut work Couple Time / ZeitZuZweit (2015) at LOVE+

Posted on Tue 09 Feb by AlexK /

by MK Margetson

At the Canada Water Culture Space in February, InShortFilmFest and Fringe! present LOVE+, an alternative Valentine's evening programme of short films concerning love in all its derivatives and expressions.

As part of our short film programme, LOVE+ will be screening the recent debut work of superstar curator and filmmaker Selina Robertson of the BFI and Club des Femmes, a Super 8 short called 'Couple Time', or 'ZeitZuZweit', released only last year.

I was able to speak to Robertson this past week about Couple Time, relationships, and curation in the week before LOVE+

— How would you describe Couple Time/ Zeit zu Zweit? It was filmed, or compiled, recently in Berlin? Can you tell us a bit about the process of making this film?

My film is a love letter to my girlfriend and Berlin. I shot the super 8 footage in 2007 and last year collaborated with my friend Maria Mohr to edit the film. I lived in Berlin for 6 years and when I moved back to London it took me a long to time to stop missing the city. I describe the film as a suitcase of memories of my life there. 

— Why did you decide to release a short that follows the end of an experience?

I guess I’ve just answered that question [before]. The film is the end of my relationship with Berlin but not with my girlfriend, we are still together :)

— How did the filmmaking process, or the film's reception, affect that process of recollection?

In terms of the film being a cathartic way of saying goodbye to Berlin, yes this is true. I guess I have in a subconscious way ‘named the pain’ in my film. 

— What is the best bit of advice you have for queer or female filmmakers and programmers?

For a queer/female  filmmaker - don’t over think things, just do it and believe in yourself. For a queer/female programmer - be bold with your film programming and find like minded collaborators - it’s so rewarding. 

— And finally, Couple Time is going to be screened at LOVE+ alongside films that capture varying stages of romance: first flushes to later, more dynamic interactions. What effect do you think this will have on the audience's reception of the film?

I hope audiences will feel an emotion when they watch my film - hopefully a happy, love, fuzzy feeling, even though I have deliberately left the ending a little enigmatic. It’s my first film so it means a lot if people respond to it. 

 

Selina is the founder of Club des Femmes.

Buy tickets here: bit.ly/LovePlus

 

Chemsex

Posted on Fri 27 Nov by AlexK / Sexual Health, Film, Open Discussion, Gay, Chemsex

By Anna Wates

@anthnarra

From what seemed like a little known aspect of London’s underground gay sub-scene, there's been a lot of media coverage about chemsex recently. The term chemsex, which broadly describes the use of psychoactive drugs in a sexual context, has suddenly emerged as a public health concern. Following a British study among gay and bisexual men living in South London, and an editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), there is increasing anxiety about the risks of chemsex, particularly in contributing to the rising prevalence of HIV diagnoses in London.

Beneath the mainstream media narratives which often focus on the more sensational elements, lies a more complex reality, one that opens up important questions around intimacy and the subtle psychological obstacles that gay people face growing up. This reality is explored in the new documentary Chemsex, showing as part of this year’s Fringe!

This compelling, raw and ultimately very moving film introduces us to a number of gay and bisexual men involved in the chemsex scene. Directors William Fairman and Max Gogarty describe the film as “a confessional show-and-tell about a community's search for intimacy and belonging, in what are all too often the wrong places”. This feels apt given the deeply personal narrative style of the film in which we follow the men as they take drugs, have sex, get help through counselling, and talk openly about their experiences. All the while Fairman and Gogarty’s lens holds an unflinching gaze.

In an age of technological connectivity, it’s all too easy to empathise with this search for fast intimacy – this longing for instant, if momentary, sexual rapport with strangers – even if it’s clear this will ultimately lead to alienation.

David Stuart, who runs a chemsex support service at 56 Dean Street, features heavily in the film and shares his experience of living with HIV/AIDS during the height of the crisis. He describes how – fearing his mortality, depressed and at home – he would look forward to weekly visits from a friend with whom he would get high. This provided a brief moment of release in a seemingly bleak situation. Now in good health, Stuart reflects that, though recreational drugs can be an effective means to self-medicate against pain, they can also result in a different type of suffering in the form of addiction.

In linking chemsex with this moment, the film provokes challenging questions about mistakes made in the handling of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As Stuart observes, you can’t simply get people tested, hand out medication and be done with it. The trauma of the disease itself, and the initial lack of political will to treat it, remains ingrained not just in individual psyches, but collective identity as well. Though the film shows interviews with men of all ages involved in the scene, a large number are those who will have grown up queer in the 80s and 90s, when the HIV/AIDS crisis would have had a huge impact on gay men's psychology. We are only now seeing the effects of this, as evidenced partly through the appeal of chemsex, which seems to provide a means to (mis)manage negative feelings – a lack of confidence and self-esteem, internalised homophobia, as well as stigma about HIV status.

This film deftly illuminates an urgent, complex, and pivotal cultural moment, and leaves us with a great deal of soul-searching ahead.

Chemsex will be screening on Sat 28th November at the Rio Cinema. It will be followed by a Q&A with directors Max Gogarty, Will Fairman, alongside David Stuart and Simon Welch, who also appear in the film.  

By Anna Wates
@anthnarra

Looking back and looking forward

Posted on Fri 27 Nov by AlexK / Sexual Health, Documentary, Film, porn, Open Discussion

by guest blogger MK Margetson

London, as a queer city, experienced various changes in identity throughout the last century. In the 1980s during and following the AIDS crisis the queer counter culture mecca of Soho gave itself a makeover in response to the way the health crisis affected the image of gay people worldwide. The following sanitisation of Soho is visible in the constructed image of many of the area’s existing establishments, as well as in the political conviction (or lack thereof) of its current scene which, even if queer, primarily has assimilated into the mainstream. A mainstream gay identity can be identified all around us: on London buses, and corporate-sponsored Pride parades. The BFI Flare festival, whilst consistently reaching the highest standards of critical acclaim in its programme and outreach is also able to be considered a commercial success, rather than a niche endeavour.

In 2011 when its funding was cut, and its length and programme reduced to only a week, a small group of East London queers began commenting on Facebook that another festival could be set up on this side of the city in response. They began Fringe! to meet the gap left by funding cuts, and from then the festival, and the team behind it, has morphed and grown and changed.

In the twentieth century (the century of establishing ourselves as gay people) the Pride movement has been a glorious success: a widespread commercial and consumerist event for Western cities. Gay and some queer people are accepted within the mainstream as “just like everybody else” in 2015. The Gay Shame Movement has been catalysed into responding to the essentialist, apolitical, gay identity they see in the Pride movement. 

Beginning in Brooklyn in the nineties, heralded by speakers like Kiki and Herb, Eileen Myles and Penny Arcade, and developing into a direct action collective and loosely connected party group, Gay Shame became a label under which to deride the corporate presence in queer society. Embracing of counter-culture ideology and avant-guardism, Gay Shame identifies queer people as different to straight people. In particular our experiences and politics cannot be the same as that of straight people, and neither should our image in the world, nor our festivals.

Fringe! has managed to cultivate some impressive alternative credentials throughout its years: its DIY ethos, enacted throughout planning and production stages; its alternative representations of sexuality (from S&M workshops to Chemsex) rather than cultivating a pink washing of the queer image; its programme’s international and interracial focus, which includes works that are critical of their societies, as opposed to being pure prestige pictures; the fully intersectional political identity Fringe! has established: feminism, queer theory, trans* inclusivity, body positive, sex positive, anti-racist and anti-ableist.

The best 5 alternative events taking place in Fringe! this November, from feature films to panel discussions and performances:

  • Liz Rosenfeld presents her Surface Tension trilogy, which repositions famous and infamous women from history as queers in modern day Berlin and, in doing so, queers Berlin’s history. 
  • This year’s Fringe! also welcomes feminist erotica in titles, Shutter and When We are Together… which feature tantalising, original scenes of queer women and non-gender conforming people whose sexualities choose pleasure over convention. 
  • More anti-conventional erotica comes in the form of Fringe! favourite Antonio da Silva, who presents 3 new works dealing with the virtual nature of modern sex, combining pornography, art, and narrative film, as well as perhaps the most alternative erotic offering, documentarist Jan Soldat’s Prison System 4614. All this alongside a sexy programme of erotic shorts, and spanking and shibaru workshops on our Sexy Saturday. 
  • Pushing for PrEP (as well as the reflective documentary Chemsex), as well as other discussions Taking up Gay Spaces, and Sexile, wherein we address the varied material experiences of queer people, from our health, to our location and community, and address them as activists. 
  • Finally the documentary A Queer Aesthetic attempts to define those experiences that unite us, without creating an exclusive ‘unified gay identity’ or identifying a set of essential qualities; A Queer Aesthetic queers the idea of unity in its findings through filmed interviews and documentary footage of its varied subjects. It’s screening alongside An Afternoon with Mike Kuchar, which discussion the radical artist’s life. 

General Idea's Video Works: The potentiality of life unscribed by heteronormative conventions

Posted on Thu 26 Nov by AlexK / Artists Moving Image, General Idea, AA Bronson, Video art, Documentary

Fringe! guest curator Panos Fourtoulakis writes about General Idea and the collective's impact on his work as a curator.

The work of General Idea has had a profound influence on my understanding and interest on what constitutes queer identity and culture. If we define queer as an opportunity to question structures, then General Idea’s practice defines the term. Both through living and working together as a throuple as well as through their large and complex body of work. The group always aided for and became living examples of the idea of "potentiality of life unscribed by heteronormative conventions".

In a collaboration that spanned 25 years, General Idea created a self contained mythological world that fundamentally challenged power structures and aimed at reconfiguring what art is and how it could be delivered. Creating their own universe where culture became the backdrop through which to explore their artistic concerns. The collective played with the ideas of fame and glamour and employed them in order to examine the relationship between culture and nature. While at the same time questioning set ideas of value and morality in general- using whatever media necessary in order to make their message as visible and accessible as possible. Disillusioned of the idealistic promises of the 60s, General Idea replaced cultural terrorism with viral methods. As AA Bronson recalls 
“Utilizing the distribution and communication forms of mass media and specifically the cultural world, we could infect the mainstream with our mutations, and stretch the social fabric”.

The videos on show- selected by AA Bronson, were modelled on prime-time television shows and documentary formats of the time. While watching them, one gets introduced to the main aspects of their practice which was in many ways unconventional in relation to their contemporaries. From Pilot, produced in 1977, where we get introduced to their conceptual body of work up until that point. Such as the Miss General Idea Pageants, FILE magazine as well as their plans for the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion. To Test Tube (1979) and the development of their mass media and consumerism oriented thematics. Followed by Cornucopia (1982) a pseudo- historical documentary examining the ruins of the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion. And finally to Shut The Fuck Up (1984) in which they intertwine clips from Joker in the Batman series winning a painting contest with Yves Klein’s Anthropometries archival video and their own performances. STFU explores the ambivalent relationship between the artist and the media. All films are defined by a tongue in cheek, ironic camp sensibility.

What I think is very interesting about the works of General Idea and particularly about these four videos is that as time goes by more layers of interpretation are added to them. To be more specific they give us as much information about the time that they were produced as much about the time in which they are being interpreted.  Both thematically as well as in relation to the medium of video, the formats used, and the ways in which these have been developed since then. Furthermore, these archives should not only viewed as sources of information- but also and most importantly sources to theorize about queer experience and possibility.

For all these reasons, I feel very excited that AA Bronson- the last surviving member of the group, will join us for a Q&A after the screening.

General Idea: Video Works, 1977-1984 screens at Barbican Centre on Sunday 29 November at 2pm.

Artists' Moving Image at Fringe!

Posted on Mon 23 Nov by AlexK / Artists Moving Image, Performance, Video art, gender, General Idea, Club des Femmes, AA Bronson, Liz Rosenfeld

This year we bring you a collection of incredible work by artists working with video and film spanning almost four decades. Queer artists who have and still are pushing boundaries, exploring sexuality, gender, queer histories and much more.


A Strangely Glorious Opportunity
Rose Lipman Building, Friday 27 Nov, 8.30pm
A brilliant selection of recent work challenging the idea of gender as fixed by exploring its fluidity. The programme includes work by Ursula Mayer, Wu Tsang, Carlos Motta, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz and Oreet Ashery.

I'm With You presents Liz Rosenfeld: The Surface Tension Trilogy (World Premiere)
Barbican Cinema, Saturday 28 Nov, 3pm (performances), 4pm (screening)
Liz Rosenfeld's trilogy tracks the interwoven stories of famous women and artists in Weimar era Berlin. In conversation with the screening, IWY has curated intimate performance encounters. Followed by a Q&A with Liz Rosenfeld.

Lux & Club des Femmes present This Is Now: Film & Video After Punk - Through a Glass, Darkly
Rio Cinema, Sunday 29 Nov, 1pm
This collection of incredible videos by post-punks most provocative female filmmakers combine the DIY spirit of punk with ideas around female subjectivity and that of the gendered viewer. Followed by a panel with filmmakers Jill Westwood and Cordelia Swann.

General Idea: Video Works, 1977-1984
Barbican Cinema, Sunday 29 Nov, 2pm
A
 rare archive screening of videos by seminal Canadian artists' collective General Idea. These irreverently playful and provocative works prod sexuality, consumerism and art. Followed by a Q&A with group founder AA Bronson.

 

Festival Team Top Fives - Round Four

Posted on Sun 22 Nov by AlexK / Documentary, Film, Trans, Performance, QTIPOC, transgender, sport, gender, queer muslims, workshop

It's only two days until this year's fest kicks off, so here's another edition of top fives. These ones are from Hakeem, Vanessa and Daniele.


Hakeem - Programming Assistant

Naz & Maalik
It’s just so authentic and casual. A charming day in the life of two maybe-almost-boyfriends. The awkward frustration of being young and in love. It's just so great to see the intersection of what it is to be Young, Black, Gay, Muslim men in the United States, so casually, and effortlessly.

Kumu Hina
I love seeing stories about Queer Women of colour in cultures and communities I know nothing about. It’s fascinating to learn about the history of trans people in Hawaii, it’s also fascinating to see the universalities and differences of the queer experience. Kumu Hina is a testament to what is achievable when you are empowered to achieve it.

Game Face
Easily the most nail-biting, compelling and tense doc I’ve ever seen. I was at the edge of my seat all the way through, and genuinely forgot to breathe at least twice. It’s too necessary to see Trans and Queer athletes, as complex and complicated people with lives, loves and families.

The Turkish Boat
It’s affirming and encouraging seeing queer people organise and mobilise. Unlike The New Black, which puts a face and voices to the fight for marriage equality within the African American community, I knew nothing about the Turkish Boat, let alone the Turkish immigrant community in The Netherlands. The film makes such a strong statement about claiming multiple identities; second generation, gay, muslim and proud, it just left me so inspired and excited at all their promise and passion.

Shorts: Flesh + Bone (Free)
Amongst an excellent selection of shorts, Bedding Andrew was just so honest and humble. I dare anyone not to empathise…


Vanessa - arts programmer, performance

Mamoru Iriguchi: 4D Cinema
A creative, beautiful performance that fuses the aesthetics of cinema with delicate commentary on gender, all with a dash of DIY tech.

Closing Party with Fancy Chance & Friends
Fancy Chance is an amazing performer (and winner of Alternative Miss World) and the line-up of female cabaret powerhouses is to die for. This is going to be crazy fun.

The Lady's Not For Walking Like An Egyptian
A high-energy performance, combining 80s pop songs and Thatcher, from two extremely funny ladies. What's not to love?

Making Up Drag Workshop
Explore your drag alter-ego with Vic Sin, who offers a free make-over with a side-order of gender politics.

Women and the Word 
Not only is the film an inspiring take on queer feminist activism, but we've also got a Q&A with the producer, who's coming all the way from the US.


Daniele - Fundraising manager

Scrum
As fundraising manager, I am delighted that SCRUFF have teamed up with us and are sponsoring this great documentary (which incidentally has several hot rugby players in it!).

Mamoru Iriguchi: 4D Cinema
Beautiful, deeply poetic performance with a quirky, humorous use of DIY technology

Meanwhile in Beirut
Fascinating documentary about being a trans in Beirut

Shorts: Hands in the Dark
Tantalising sexy shorts!

Alex & Ali
The extraordinary, moving story of a forbidden, secret love between an Iranian and an American man, spanning 35 years.  

 

 

 

Documentaries at Fringe!

Posted on Sat 21 Nov by AlexK / Brazil, Documentary, Film, JT Leroy, literature, gender, Trans, QTIPOC, sport, transgender

by MK Margetson

Over the past 4 years Fringe! has consistently brought us outstanding stories of queer life. These stories can inspire us, educate us, remind us of our history and our future, and bring the queer community together through the joys and obstacles familiar to those whose gender or sexuality dares to divert from convention. This year’s festival is no different. Here are some highlights from the documentaries that will screen next week: 

Favela Gay — 26 Nov — Genesis Cinema
Dir Rodrigo Felha / Brazil / 2014

These LGBT people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder reinvent their lives through music, dance, politics and study. Then, gloriously, Rio’s famous Carnival bring them together.

Kumu Hina — 27 Nov — Bernie Grant Arts Centre / 29 Nov — Rose Lipman Building
Dir. Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson / USA / 2014

Refreshing and irresistible documentary about being true to yourself, fighting for love and through heartbreak, and the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture in modern day Hawai’i. Screening with LITTLE ELEPHANT Dir. Kate Jessop / Prod. Bobby Tiwana / UK / 2015.

The New Black + panel — 27 Nov — Hackney Attic
Dir. Prod. Yoruba Richen / USA / 2013

This compelling award- winning documentary accompanies a collective of passionate civil rights activists dedicated to empowering Black LGBT people and a host of other characters in their resolute fight for victory in the Marriage Equality Referendum in Maryland, USA. The New Black screening will be followed by a panel discussion. Confirmed speakers include: Jay Bernard, Dr. Edson Burton, and Jide Macauley.

The Turkish Boat — 28 Nov — Rio Cinema
Dir. Chris Belloni / The Netherlands / 2013

Featuring Amsterdam's famous Gay Pride Canal Parade and the first ever Turkish Boat that partook in the parade; we join the Turkish-Dutch gay activists Döne and Serdar in their attempt to gain recognition and acceptance within the Turkish community. 

The Cult of JT Leroy — 28 Nov — Rose Lipman Building
Dir. Marjorie Sturm / USA / 2014

The truth behind underground literary sensation JT Leroy is gradually exposed in this mind-boggling documentary. Ethically charged, controversial, and confusing, JT's life and death springs open a Pandora's box of powerful questions about literature and culture, identity and celebrity, and the reality of the society we live in.

DOUBLE BILL: A Queer Aesthetic + An Afternoon with Mike Kuchar — 28 Nov — Rose Lipman
Dir Luke Cornish / Australia / 2015 // Dir Oscar Oldershaw / UK/USA / 2015

—Sydney based portrait artist Guy James Whitworth considers the concept of a ‘queer aesthetic’ as he prepares for his 2014 exhibition 'A Queer Aesthetic" and the contributions from other artists provides an insight into the hearts, minds and creative processes of a selection of queer artists practising in Australia today.

—"Movies should have sex appeal," says Mike Kuchar. "It's a basic fundamental quality and helps in making it bearable to watch."

The twin brother of the late George Kuchar (his collaborator the New York underground film scene of the 60's and 70's) welcomes us to his home- a folly of kitschy religious iconography and lurid B-grade movie paraphernalia- to delve into his life and his work, embodying this philosophy of a palpably sexual undercurrents and a lushly lurid aesthetic.

ChemSex + Q&A — 29 Nov — Rio Cinema
Dir. Will Fairman & Max Gogarty / UK / 2015

Sex, drugs and… well more sex and drugs. CHEMSEX is a gritty, raw and unflinching VICE documentary feature about the chemsex sub-scene of London’s queer community. Actual sex scenes and self-confessed ‘slammers’ feature along side medical health professionals and past users to bring together a hard-hitting and timely film in the face of the ever-changing fast-paced world of technology, drugs and our relationships with each other. Followed by Q&A.

Women and the Word + Q&A — 28 Nov — Bernie Grant Arts Centre / 29 Nov — Rose Lipman Building
Dir. Sekiya Dorsett / Prod. Andrea Boston / USA / 2015

A joyous, empowering documentary charting the course of seven black women in a minivan on the road across America with THE REVIVAL, a slam style poetry tour. Absolutely eloquent, insightful and refreshing, we dare you not to want to hang off every word that they speak and drop everything to join the movement. Saturday’s screening is followed by a Q&A.

Paint it Pink + Q&A (free screening) — 28 Nov — Hackney Attic
Dir. Sophie MacCorquodale / UK / 2014

This is the all-singing, all-dancing, no-holds-barred glitterly love-in tribute to the radically inclusive East London club night genderfuck happening. Taking on everything from childhood struggles to redefining drag for ones-self, the result is a kinetic lansdlide of positivity, culminating in Sink The Pink's Summer Ball. Screening with: SERIOUS FUN TRANSMISSION Dir. Angel Rose / UK / 2014 / 2min45 and SINK THE PINK: TRANNYSFORMATION - Ted Dir. Craig Heathcote / UK / 2015 / 2min30

Alex & Ali  28 Nov — Genesis Cinema
Dir. Malachi Leopold / USA / 2014

Director Malachi Leopold's heartbreaking documentary begins as his uncle Alex starts planning a reunion with his long lost lover on neutral ground in Istanbul. This epic romance is set against enormous political struggles, touching on themes as varied as immigration, the right to love, cultural differences and competing ideologies. Screening with: MILKSHAKES & MEMORIES Dir. David Cave / Prod. John McMahon / UK / 2014 / 7min

Game Face — 28 Nov — Bernie Grant Arts Centre
Dir. Michiel Thomas / USA & Belgium / 2015 

Fringe! is proud to present the sports feature documentary GAME FACE. This film tells the parallel story of Fallon Fox, MMA's first transgender pro fighter, and Terrence Clemens, a college basketball player in Oklahoma who happens to be gay. 

Meanwhile in Beirut — 29 Nov — Rose Lipman Building
Dir. Felipe Monroy / Switzerland / 2015

Lea is a 30 year old, trans and lives in the Hamra district of Beirut. In Lebanon, transsexuality is prohibited by law. Working as an escort girl and locked in her apartment at the Hotel Stars, she refuses to be a victim and finds a way to an existence that resembles a 'normal' life as much as possible.

For full programme info: bit.ly/fringe15prog

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