Movies about transgender identity top Madrid lesbian, gay, and transsexual film festival
Movies about gender — or rather, transgender — identity were the top winners at the 2012 edition of LesGaiCineMad, Madrid's lesbian, gay, and transsexual film festival which ran Nov. 1-11. Xavier Dolan's Canadian drama Laurence Anyways, a portrait of the relationship between a woman in a man's body (Melvil Poupaud) and his/her partner (Suzanne Clément), was the LesGaiCineMad jury's top narrative film. Tanwarin Sukkhapisit's Thai comedy-drama It Gets Better, featuring three stories about transgender characters, was the Audience Award winner for Best Narrative Feature. And the U.S. documentary feature Trans, about the lives of a diverse group of transgender men and women, earned a jury award for director Chris Arnold. (Photo: Tanwarin Sukkhapisit's It Gets Better.)
Here are the other LesGaiCineMad winners in the narrative feature categories: Best Director Ira Sachs for the romantic drama Keep the Lights On, in which a New York-based Danish filmmaker (Best Actor winner Thure Lindhart) has a difficult but passionate relationship with a young attorney (Zachary Booth). Best Actresses Nikohl Boosheri and Sarah Kazemy for Maryam Keshavarz's Circumstance, about two Iranian teenagers whose blooming sexual relationship is threatened by the drug-addict-turned-Allah-addict brother (Reza Sixo Safai) of one of them. Best Screenplay winners Ingibjörg Reynisdóttir and Baldvin Zophoníasson for Zophoníasson's Icelandic drama Jitters, the story of a 16-year-old (Atli Oskar Fjalarsson) attempting to come to terms with his sexual orientation in economically troubled Iceland.
Documentary about anti-gay repression in Uganda wins two awards
In the documentary and short film categories, LesGaiCineMad winners included Katherine Fairfax Wright & Malika Zouhali-Worrall's documentary feature Call me Kuchu, about Uganda's brutal anti-gay repression (the legal aspects of it at least partly inspired by American Evangelical Christians) that also won the Audience Award for Best Documentary (one of the film's key characters, gay activist David Kato, would be bludgeoned to death); Oliver Rendón's documentary short En Tierra de Vaqueros (In the Land of Cowboys), about gay cowboys in the Mexican state of Sonora; Grant Scicluna's Australian narrative short The Wilding, a love story set in a juvenile detention center; and Rafa Salom's animated short Despierta (Awake), in which a woman wakes up in the middle of the night and walks into her closet, where she gets to see scenes from her present, past, and future.
Besides It Gets Better and Call me Kuchu, the other Audience Award winners were
Eli Navarro's Vecinas (Neighbors) as Best Short Film and Celina Tolosa's documentary feature Cuerpo a Tierra (Get Down) as Best Spanish Film.
It Gets Better photo via LesGaiCineMad.