Essential Film Festivals Lisbon: Queer Lisboa

Established in 1997, Queer Lisboa is an annual event and the only one of its kind in Portugal as well as being the oldest film festival in Lisbon. The festival is held each September and in 2014 will run from 19th to 27th September, at Cinema Sao Jorge and Cinemateca Portugesa, during which many guests including actors, directors and critics from all over the world will attend.

Films screened include short and full length films along with documentaries and are all themed to be of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered and transsexual communities. In addition to the film screenings there will be activities such as workshops, masterclasses, installations, performances and of course, parties. The Festival has four categories of competition: Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Short Film and the European School Film Competition –‘In My Shorts’

2014 sees Queer Lisboa’s 18th anniversary and to celebrate a book “Queer Film and Culture” will be published, featuring a series of essays looking back at the 18 years of gay art and culture in the festival programme. Festival highlights will include: Polyester, the famous film from director John Waters, which starred Divine. As was done at the film’s premier, Queer Lisboa will hand out ‘Odorama’ scratch-n-sniff cards to the audience; Cariocas, a voyeuristic film from Antonio da Silva, detailing adventures from his trip to Rio de Janeiro; Touki Bouki, a Senegalese drama directed by Djibril Diop Mambety, telling the story of  two persons who plot to leave Africa for Paris and ; Eastern Boys, an offering from Robin  Campillo telling the story of a number of Eastern European men, who hang aournd the Gare du Nord in Paris.

Queer Lisboa

Film Festival Location

Increasingly popular as a gay destination, Lisbon is home to many cultural attractions, lively nightlife and stunning beaches, including Beach 19, the nude beach, which is primarily for gay sun seekers.

The main gay neighborhoods in the city are in Chiado, Bairro Alto and Principe Real. These warm and relaxed areas of the city host a vast choice of restaurants, bars, bookshops, antique stores and nightclubs.

Some of the most popular bars are Portas Largas, Lisbon’s favourite hotspot and Agua No Bico. Max caters for the bears and their fans, whilst Primas is the ideal choice for lesbians. Nightclub options include Trumps, the most famous gay nightclub in Lisbon and the relaxed Clube de Esquina, which caters for all tastes.

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Film Festival Accommodation

The Altis Belém Hotel & Spa is a 5-star design hotel with the unique offering of a prime city centre and waterfront location. This luxury modern hotel provides 50 rooms and five suites together with a spa with gym and swimming pool and three fantastic restaurants: Feitoria Restaurant serves signature Portuguese cuisine along with fine wines, whilst Mensagem Cafeteria and Oyster &Sushi Bar offermore informal choices. Additionally 38-41 Bar offers a wonderful range of cocktails and drinks.

Another unique offering is available at Neya Lisboa, a peaceful retreat with an unbeatable city centre location and a modern hotel offering 71 rooms and five suites. The hotel’s restaurant Viva Lisboa serves healthy Mediterranean cuisine prepared using local produce. Neya Bar offers a range of drinks in relaxing surroundings.

Carmell Scarlett

Carmell Scarlett

Content Contributor at Gay Essential
Carmel is a freelance proofreader and content/copy writer. Writing experience includes policy, procedure, technical manuals, training material and web content writing. Carmel is an expert knitter specialising in fun knitwear and toys, ‘delighting’ her friends with her creative efforts.
Carmell Scarlett


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