One of the biggest art and film festivals in the British Isles, Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest returns to East London with a flurry of creative works running from November 24 – 29. Designed for the queer cinema scene, yet welcoming to all, Fringe! 15 presents a vibrant collection of creative works including features films, shorts, experimental art, gallery crawls, pop-up events, and parties.
On Wednesday, 25 November, the Hackney Picturehouse features The Summer of Sangaile from director Alante Kavaite. This touching coming of age drama follows a sheltered 17-year-old girl as she discovers her own inner courage and begins to blossom, with the help of a new and beautiful friend.
For something a little more raw and gritty, many festival visitors may prefer Chemsex. This documentary feature explores the underground chemsex scene (using drugs during sex, particularly crystal meth). Providing an unflinching glimpse of real sex and drug use, this timely film reveals the tragedy of a head-on collision between technology, drug use, and sex.
Dutch director Chris Belloni offers another docu-drama, The Turkish Boat. In this film, the audience is introduced to a pair of Turkish-Dutch activists who share the challenges facing Turkish homosexuals set against the backdrop of the Amsterdam Gay Pride festival. The film Scrum offers another story of emotional depth. Following three men as they attempt to gain entry to the world’s premiere rugby team, this film offers a beautifully view of physical ferocity and emotional depth.
Rounding out this year’s Fringe! Festival is a film audiences will be talking about for years. Dyke Hard is a riotous comedy adventure through a Battle of the Bands competition, chock full of lesbian stereotypes, ninjas, cyborgs, B-movie references, and evil villains.
Film Festival Location
As one of the largest cities in the world, it should come as no surprise that London is home to Europe’s largest LGBT population. Gay travellers will find plenty to do in this lively and historic city. Aside from its historic charm, London presents a lively atmosphere of modern attractions and stunning destinations. The Soho neighborhood is recognized as gay mecca for it’s hundreds of gay friendly clubs, cafes, bars, and social venues. However, night owls will want to take a stroll through Vauxhall. This LGBT friendly neighborhood features dozens of nightclubs and bars, many of whom stay open far into the night.
Film Festival Hotels
Owning a most unusual name is only a sliver of the charm gay travellers will find at Batty Langley’s, located in Spitalfields. Named for a publisher of guidebooks about proper Georgian gardens, this hotel extends its charm and character throughout every step of the hotel experience. Guests will find unique antiques, fine furnishings, and a staff that believes in good, old-fashioned hospitality.
Situated in Clerkenwell, The Rookery is a charming gay friendly boutique hotel with a warm and honest atmosphere. Guests will feel transported to a bygone era as they relax by the grand fireplace and delight at the rich wood paneling and period furnishings.
In the heart of the East End, LGBT travelers will find a landmark hotel in the Town Hall Hotel & Apartments. Built during the peak of Edwardian London, the Town Hall is a symbol of confidence, artistic prowess, and British tradition. This stunning Art Deco space has played host to many celebrities and has made appearances in dozens of feature films, magazines, and photo collections.