Released in 2014 and directed by Ira Sachs, Love Is Strange deals with the complexities of gay marriage in modern American society. Starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, the movie was filmed in New York City, and was nominated for a number of awards, including Outstanding Film at the GLAAD Media Awards.
Named for Vjeran Miladinovic Merlinka, a transgender sex worker who was murdered 16 years ago, this festival now proudly showcases dozens of queer and LGBT themed films, including over 100 short films. As Serbia takes steps towards making a safer world for LGBT youth, the Merlinka Festival has become more of a cultural event and source of local pride than an avant-garde film fest. As such, we were more than happy to get a sneak peek at this year’s catalogue.
Released in 2004 and directed by Eytan Fox, Walk on Water follows an Israeli intelligence agent after his wife commits suicide, and his assignment with the grandchildren of Nazi war criminals. Filmed in multiple locations including Israel, Turkey and Germany, the film stars Lior Ashkenazi, and was awarded Best Film, Director and Actor at the Awards of the Israeli Film Academy.
Released in 1998 and directed by Ana Kokkinos, Head On explores the life of a confused 19 year-old Greek-Australian grappling with his repressed identity amidst the forces of his immigrant family and their place in urban Melbourne. The film, starring Alex Dimitriades, gained many awards, such as the Grand Jury Award at L.A. Outfest.
Released in 2014 and directed by Chris Nelson, Date and Switch is a twist on the typical high school comedy, filmed in Vancouver. Two best friends, Matty and Michael, played by Hunter Cope and Nicholas Braun, respectively, promising to get laid before senior prom. Their plan takes a turn when Matty comes out of the closet, with hilarious and endearing results.
Black Ocean, written and directed by Marion Hänsel and first screened at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, tells the story of three young men aboard a French naval vessel in the South Pacific in 1972. Adrien Jolivet, Nicolas Robin, and Romain David star as the three young sailors in this Belgian coming-of-age story, loosely based on the short stories of Hubert Mingarelli.
White Frog made its début in 2012 at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. The film is directed by Quentin Lee and co-written by the mother/daughter duo Fabienne Wen and Ellie Wen. This film puts the spotlight on the troubles of a handicapped gay teenager who struggles with life after he tragically loses his brother. Booboo Stewart of Twilight fame takes centre stage in the film.
The Fluffer is directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (who also wrote the screenplay). Released in 2001, The Fluffer is an independent film that explores a story of one man’s obsessive love for another whose hedonistic lifestyle places him on a path of destruction. The film stars Scott Gurney, Michael Cunio and Roxanne Day.
Solo is a 2013 erotic thriller from Argentinian director Marcelo Briem Stamm. Starring Patricio Ramos and Mario Varón, it tells a story about love, chemistry, and the dangers of connecting with strangers online. What starts as a sweet romance gets tenser and tenser, culminating with a surprising twist.
Tom At The Farm, or in French, Tom à la ferme is the award-winning razor-cut suspense film directed by Xavier Dolan. The film released in 2013 is an intriguing tale of a young man who endures physical and emotional bullying to keep a secret hidden. Xavier Dolan, Pierre-Yves Cardinal and Lise Roy star in this film.