By Ryan Keating-Lambert
This year’s Mezipatra Queer Film Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary from November 7th – 14th with a wonderfully diverse programme carefully selected in line with this year’s theme ‘Winds of Change’ – a focus on the persistence and drive one must have to bring continuous change to a world that is still far from perfect. Check out this year’s festival trailer by Jay Walker.
The programme is entirely English friendly and will include five new feature films in the main competition section, 39 short competition films, five retro films and a fantastic industry programme for budding filmmakers.
Opening the festival in the stunning Kino Lucerna is coming-of-age comedy Adam, a look at self-conscious 17-year-old Adam (Nicholas Alexander) whose world is turned upside down when he falls for Gillian (Bobbi Salvör Menuez) while on summer break in New York. Tensions rise when Gillian thinks he is a trans boy. Adam is then faced with the decision of whether or not to tell her the truth. Also starring the remarkable Margaret Qualley as Adam’s sister Casey, Rhys Ernst’s debut feature film will captivate you with its charming sense of humour and wholly original take on the teen romance genre. Make sure you stay for the after party as well!
Another festival standout is Levan Akin’s award-winning Swedish-Georgian drama And Then We Danced which sees Georgian dancer Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani) fall for rival performer Irakli (Bachi Valishvili). The two struggle to break free from both traditional gender roles enforced by Georgian society, and by the National Georgian Ensemble to which they both belong.
Other noteworthy entries in the main feature competition include Teddy award-winning Brazilian road movie Brief Story From the Green Planet which sees a group of Buenos Aires based party animals journey into the vast and alien-like countryside to fulfill a dying grandmother’s wish, and renowned Austrian director Marie Kreutzer’s psychological thriller The Ground Beneath My Feet about a career driven management consultant having an affair with her boss.
In the documentary section, Tomer Heymann’s controversial Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life is a look at the harmful effects of the porn industry on the life of the titular Israeli porn star, and will surely get your attention.
This year’s festival will also introduce new section Queer Kino presents, which will celebrate Czech Republic’s newly launched (and very first) queer distribution label with screenings of last year’s steamy French hit Sauvage, and the Czech premiere of the new film Matthias & Maxime (pictured), the 8th film by the French-Canadian golden boy Xavier Dolan.
This year’s accompanying industry programme Queering the Industry is also English friendly and aside from the ridiculously fun parties and entertainment, will also delve into queer influence and representation in the film industry with several free discussions and master classes, including the How to Make Diversity Work class with Michael Raesler, producer of past festival winners We the Animals and Beach Rats.
For passes, tickets and full programme details, visit the official festival website.