In the beginning, the harshness of these films, complete with their aforementioned surrealist edge, made things difficult. Nobody seemed interested in screening them, deeming them as too controversial. Some even called them homophobic and Hickling recalls, “I was criticized not only by the straight community but also by the gay community. But I think that as the work started being shown and selected, people started to re-look and re-think.”
Comedy has always been one of the most effective ways of manifesting representation in storytelling, as well as offering people with an opportunity to laugh away the sorrows. It is also Calciano’s favourite way of expressing his own creativity through cinema. His first fiction feature directorial effort, Is It Just Me? came in 2010, and it was closely followed by eCupid (2011) and The 10 Year Plan (2014). 2010 was another landmark year for his artistic output, as it marked the beginning of his work on a certain long-lasting cult web series.
Billie and Emma, revolves around the romance shared by two teenage girls. In its charming simplicity, this touching comedy drama touches on delicate themes, such as homosexuality, teenage pregnancy, religion and the education system. Furthermore, while it carries on the director’s work of advocating for better representation of women and LGBTQ+ in her local cinema, it also speaks to an international audience.
After working on the highly-acclaimed Valentino: The Last Emperor (2009) and directing Dior & I (2014), French-born filmmaker Fréderic Tcheng returns with a new film about another style icon. His new documentary, Halston, tells the story of the American fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, who rose to international fame in the ‘70s, during which he became a household name and a mainstay of the New York City scene that revolved around its most iconic discotheque, Studio 54.
Filmmaker Wim Wenders once famously said, “The camera is a weapon against the tragedy of things, against their disappearing.” By virtue of association, filmmaking can be seen as an act of preservation. All throughout This Spring (Au printemps tu verras), there is a constant reference to the passing of time, the importance of memories and the importance of remembering.
The characters of Bani Khoshnoudi’s film are broken and lost, each in their own way; they are marked by a restlessness and instability that is reflected in the Mexican port city of Veracruz, where Fireflies is set. Veracruz was once a place of luxury and vibrant culture but is now a place of decay and oxidized, crumbling buildings. Much like the Casablanca of that famous Michael Curtiz 1942 film noir, Veracruz is a depicted as a place of passage and transit, mirroring the internal struggles of its inhabitants as well as the current globalized situation of exile.
Journey is, in every sense of the term, more important than destination in Fabiana, directed by Brazilian filmmaker Brunna Laboissiére. Here, Laboissiére hitches a ride with a lesbian transgender woman named Fabiana, a seasoned truck driver approaching retirement who has criss-crossed Brazil for several years, joining her on what will be one of her last ever work trips.
José Celestino Campusano is an Argentinean filmmaker known for a type of brutal realism that often unearths the origins of hidden desires and the energies that influence the nature and machinations of the environments of his stories. The strongest of these energies is sexuality and while the characters are never either likable or entirely unpleasant, they are often divided between those who take charge of it and those who, for one reason or another, do not.
For Izzy, writer-director Alex Chu’s latest film, is a story of broken people who find strength through fellowship. It is the story of retired divorcee Anna, and her lesbian daughter Dede, struggling with addiction, whose lives change after they move next door to a lonely widowed father, and his autistic daughter, Laura.