Fabiana

Gay Essential Review: Fabiana at International Film Festival Rotterdam

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.

Elliot Loves

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Elliot Loves

The 2012 romantic comedy Elliot Loves examines love during two periods of a young man’s life, first in bonding with his mother as a boy, and later looking for love as an adult. Written and directed by Gary Terracino, this film won the Audience Choice Award at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

Tremors

Gay Essential Review: Tremors (Temblores) at Berlinale

Pablo (Juan Pablo Olyslager) seems to have it all. With his beautiful family and a respected job in finance, the fortysomething patriarch is the envy of his community, but as Tremors (Temblores) opens, we learn that Pablo has done something which threatens the very foundations of his world, much like the titular tremors that plague Guatemala City.

More than Only

Essential Opinion: More than Only

Justin Johnson is a privileged rich kid, whose parents only ever wanted two things – a straight son who got straight A’s. Bankrolling his college fund, he’s flown the nest and is finally free to be himself, until he gets phone calls from his disapproving father that always lead to committing various acts of self harm.

Men of Hard Skin

Gay Essential Review: Men of Hard Skin (Hombres de piel dura) at International Film Festival Rotterdam

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.

Absent

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Absent (Ausente)

The thriller Absent (originally titled Ausente) tells the story of a teenager who pursues a sexual relationship with his swimming instructor. Written and directed by Marco Berger, this film features an Argentine cast including Carlos Echavarria, Javier De Pietro, and Antonella Costa. Absent won a 2011 Teddy Award for Best Feature Film in the Berlin Film Festival.

Lemebel

Gay Essential Review: Lemebel at Berlinale

Lemebel is an enrapturing look at the life of an LGBT icon, told with an intimacy that feels like catching up with an old friend. Joanna Reposi Garibaldi perfectly honours the spirit of her subject by grabbing your attention with many of his more abrasive, harder to define stages of performance art, then slowly peeling back the disreputable veneer to uncover the man at the heart of it all.

Mixed Kebab

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Mixed Kebab

Mixed Kebab is a Belgian drama that examines the crossroads between gay and straight, and modern and traditional Muslim lifestyles. Cultures clash as a closeted gay Muslim man must face the prospect of an arranged traditional marriage. Written and directed by Guy Lee Thys, this film stars Cam Akkenat, Simon Van Buyten, and Gamze Tazim.

Of Love & Law

Essential Opinion: Of Love & Law (愛と法)

Fumi and Kazu, the subjects of Hikaru Toda’s documentary Of Love & Law, are the first openly gay couple to establish a law firm in Japan, and with regressive laws in the country stopping them making their partnership official, they’ve taken it upon themselves to help other outsiders who are vocal in their fight against societal norms.

Eastern Boys

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Eastern Boys

Eastern Boys is a provocative French drama about an encounter between an older man and a young male immigrant who spends his days at the Gare du Nord train station, seemingly working as a prostitute. After the two men agree to meet, the older man soon discovers he has actually been lulled into a trap.

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