Tag Archives: Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

7 LGBT Festival Films That We Recommend You Watch Before the Year is Out

Film Festivals are about discovery, it’s where the slightly more niche and indie films go to get seen, and for critics to talk them up and tell the public why they should pay attention (even when big production companies or movie distributors haven’t).

That’s often the case for many LGBT films with many big budget publishers shying away from the queer content that many of us crave. Now we move into a new year, and take time out to see what queer related films caught our eyes.

Appropriate Behavior

Making cultural and ethnic identities the subject in this tale, Appropriate Behavior’s lead character, Shirin, must reconcile her identity as a ‘politically correct bisexual’, ‘a hip, young Brooklynite’ and ‘an ideal Persian daughter’ as she, like many young people, struggles to fit all of the pieces to her identity jigsaw together.

Desiree Akhavan is the familiar name behind the project having also picked up acclaim for The Slope, a lesbian webseries that she also worked on so, with plenty of budding talent behind it, Appropriate Behavior deserves more than the appropriate amount of interest.

 52 Tuesdays

When your mother reveals to you that she is trans* and is set to transition, that’s something that will certainly accelerate your maturity as your come to terms with such a huge decision. That’s what happens to 16 year old Billie in 52 Tuesdays as she not only has to be there for her mother as he transitions, but her time with him is also limited to Tuesdays, making it paramount for the mother-daughter duo to stay close.

Keeping within the film’s theme, the Australia-set movie was actually filmed across the course of a year as shooting took place every Tuesday. 52 Tuesdays was a big hit at Sundance, with director Sophie Hyde winning the ‘World Cinema Directing Award’ for her work.

I Love Your Work

If 52 Tuesdays’ filming schedule was somewhat peculiar then I Love Your Work’s is even more mind-boggling. Being made up of over 2000 10-second clips, I Love Your Work riffs off the popular saying that you might say to an actor or director of your favourite movie, only in this film, those movies happen to be porn. As an interactive documentary, the Jonathan Harris directed piece covers the private lives of 9 women who make lesbian porn with some describing Harris’ piece as “beautifully designed.”

Beautifully designed as it may be, I Love Your Work is also around 6 hours long, given the fact that footage was taken at 5 minute intervals over 10 consecutive days, but that perhaps provides a more accurate look at the day to day of the porn industry rather than a dramatised serial that someone wants to make headlines out of.

The Case Against 8

A documentary that is shot more in the traditional sense, The Case Against 8 as filmed across 5 years as those in California struggled to overturn Proposition 8, the law that saw the liberal-leaning state of California ban gay marriage. Before the ban, California did allow for gay marriage, with high profile couples like Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi actually getting married just prior to the ban, which is why many saw it as ludicrous when Prop 8 actually passed.

As a result, The Case Against 8 is a phenomenal watch as it follows the team that took the first marriage equality case to the U.S Supreme Court in a move that has led the way for many couples to do the same and progress the same-gender marriage rights across the United States.

The Foxy Merkins

Also focusing on the topic of sex, but very much in a different way to that of I Love Your Work, The Foxy Merkins is based around two lesbian prostitutes in New York City. One of them, a newbie to the queer sex worker world and the other one, who is described as ‘an expert on picking up women’, make for a hugely hilarious pairing.

The Foxy Merkins is essentially a queer-centric buddy comedy that sees the two women meet a delightful selection of characters that you probably wouldn’t see in another film with a widespread release, needless to say, this film is refreshing.

The Skeleton Twins

Usually when a film centres on siblings who have fallen out or who have never gotten along, it takes something dramatic to bring them together and they end the film happily, reminiscing over the parts of their childhood that they actually liked. That’s very much the case of The Skeleton Twins but don’t expect it to be all smooth sailing.

As the film with the biggest amount of starpower on this list, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play twins Maggie and Milo (Milo’s ex boyfriend is played by Modern Family’s Ty Burrell) who have a reunion after they both ‘cheat death on the same day’. The fact that they actively confront the differences between them to fix their lives rather than passive aggressive behaviour or ridiculous pranks that usually take place in similarly themed movies may make for uncomfortable viewing but with a cast like that, The Skeleton Twins isn’t one to miss.

My Prairie Home

Another intriguing form of filmmaking, My Prairie Home is a documentary and a musical that is described as a ‘poetic journey’. Put in better terms, My Prairie Home is compiled of visual interpretations of trans* singer Rae Spoon’s music, all set with beautiful landscapes of Canadian prairies.

It’s easier to watch than it is to describe because the music can’t be put into many words but if you’d like something offbeat that will be a delight to your ears, check My Prairie Home out.

September Sees 25th Anniversary of Hong Kong’s Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

September see’s the 25th anniversary of the HKGLFF, making it the longest standing gay & lesbian film festival in Asia. To celebrate this birthday, HKGLFF has chosen the theme of Mature+ and have curated films that explore senior LGBT members of society.

To open the festival ‘Love Is Strange’ and ‘Life Partners’ will be screened.

Love is Strange

‘Love is Strange’ explores a Manhattan couple who have been together for decades and finally tie the knot, before things start to go wrong.

Life Partners

‘Life Partners’ is about the relationship of two codependent best friends, Sasha and Paige, one lesbian and one straight.

The Way He Looks

This year’s closing film is Brazilian film, 64th Berlin Film Festival Teddy Award Best Film winner ‘The Way He Looks’.

Anita’s Last Cha-Cha

Another closing film is ‘Anita’s Last Cha-Cha’ from the Philippines, about a 12 year-old little girl named Anita having her first innocent girl crush.

For the first time in HKLGFF history, a section of the festival will be dedicated to documentaries. Including the award-winning film ‘Regarding Susan Sontag’, a documentary on one of the most provocative and influential thinkers of the past century, and ‘Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda’, which reveals the reality in the Russian gay community.

Regarding Susan Sontag

Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda

The HKLGFF also sees the presentation of the Prism award which is presented to an individual as recognition of their contribution to the gay community. This year, HKLGFF proudly presents the award to Dr. Travis Kong, author and prominent sociologist in the area of Chinese sexualities.

Red Ribbon Centre (RCC) and HKLGFF have been close working partners throughout the years, and this year RCC presents 2 Scandinavian short films: The Circle and Nomansland. In addition, RCC will present For Love, We Can – a local short film that has now received over 300,000 views on Youtube. RCC will also be holding a photo exhibition named Be Negative at The Broadway Cinematheque, to promote prevention of Hepatitis C and HIV.