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Gay Essential Review: Benjamin at BFI London Film Festival

Comedian Simon Amstell’s second film in the director’s chair follows a socially awkward filmmaker suffering from crippling anxiety due to the imminent world premiere of his second film. And if this didn’t already feel dangerously close to autobiography, Amstell’s second directorial outing has just had its world premiere at this year’s London Film Festival, just like the embarrassingly personal film directed by the title character of his latest effort, Benjamin.


Gay Essential Review: Rafiki at BFI London Film Festival

So much attention has been devoted to the controversy surrounding Rafiki, the first LGBT film produced in Kenya, that discussions on the film itself have been something of an afterthought. To put it simply, the Kenyan censorship board didn’t have the same rapturous response to the film as audiences at Cannes (where it premiered earlier this year), effectively banning it – only to upturn the ban, submit the film as their entry for the foreign language Oscar, and premiere it to sold out audiences upon opening in Kenya.


Gay Essential Films To Watch, Mario

Mario was released in 2018 and follows the career of a talented young soccer player who has to choose between his reputation and his love for a fellow player. Directed by Marcel Gisler, the motion picture stars Max Hubacher, Aaron Altaras and Andreas Matti. The film was co-written by Thomas Hess, Frederic Moriette and Marcel Gisler.

Happy Together

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Happy Together (春光乍洩)

Released in 1997, Happy Together was nominated for 12 awards and won seven including Most Popular Foreign Film at Arizona International Film Festival and Best Director at Cannes Film Festival. Directed and written by Kar Wai Wong, the film starred Leslie Cheung, Tony Chiu Wai Leung and Chen Chang. The film was shot in Taiwan and Argentina.


Gay Essential Films To Watch, Heartbeats (Les amours imaginaires)

Heartbeats, released in 2010, won the Regards Jeune Prize at the Cannes Film Festival as well as awards at Hamptons International Film Festival, Jurtra Awards and Rotterdam international Film Festival. It was written and directed by Xavier Dolan, who also starred. Filmed in Quebec, Canada, it also starred Monia Chokri and Niels Schneider.

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