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Torino LGBT Tributes + Pan-African Festival Winners

"From Sodom to Hollywood," thats the tagline of the Torino GLBT Film Festival, whose 24th edition runs from April 23-30, 2009.

Among the 2009 Turin festival highlights are a retrospective of director Giuseppe Patroni Griffis "transgressive" oeuvre; an homage to Catalan filmmaker Ventura Pons, whose Food of Love I highly recommend; and the sidebar Muscles in Skirts: The Italian Peplums, featuring bulging pecs and thighs in sword-and-sandal epics of the 1950s and 1960s.

Also, Barbara Hammers latest two movies; screenings of Wieland Speck's Westler (1985) and Heiner Carow's Coming Out (1989), both set in Berlin during the time when The Wall was still standing; tributes to Filippo Timi, Guy Gilles, Adolfo Arrieta, and Dorothy Porter; and filmmaker Ferzan Ozpetek discussing "the films of his life," among them Black NarcissusAuntie Mame, and several John Wayne Westerns oops! Scratch the John Wayne bit and replace it with Vittorio Caprioli's 1961 comedy Leoni al sole / Lions Lying in the Sun.

PRESS RELEASE

Nearly a quarter century, 24 years of exploration and construction of queer imagery. With a discerning eye and thanks to a sharp and sensible look, year after year the Festival has grown into one of the most significant occasions promoting a frank dialogue between the GLBT community and the general public. The Festival has presented various Italian premieres and has marked the debut of significant film authors such as François Ozon, Gus Van Sant, Derek Jarman, Todd Haynes, Eytan Fox, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Alain Guiraudie, Auraeus Solito, Christophe Honoré and Brillante Mendoza.

FESTIVAL SECTIONS

Competitions
Three competitive sections with three international juries:
Feature film competition:  Ottavio Mai Award (5000 Euros)
Documentary competition (2500 Euros)
Short film competition (1500 Euros)

An audience prize will be awarded to the best film of each section.

Nuovi Sguardi Award
Assigned by the Festival selection committee, the award will be given to either a feature film or a documentary reflecting the evolution of Queer Cinema for its capability to navigate and combine diverse visual languages and to incorporate identity issues within various different film genres.

Out of competition Competition and Panorama
The Out of Competition section features premieres by internationally acclaimed directors or some titles to be released in Italy soon.  
Three non-competitive sections for feature films, shorts and documentaries will offer an exhaustive "panorama" of the latest and most stimulating developments in GLBT film and video productions.

Retrospective Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
Giuseppe Patroni Griffi was an Italian film and theatre director whose cinema and theatre works revolved around transgression portrayed through the transgressive characters of his works, who have always shocked and provoked with a sensual and freelibertine vision of the world, destined to subvert social taboos linked to sexuality, where homosexuality often has played an important role. Included in the retrospective: his debut in 1962 with The Sea and Love Circle (1969), adapted from a theatre piece, starringFlorinda Bolkan and Jean-Louis Trintignant, which was cut by the censors but also became a box office success.

Voice Over 4
A tribute to Filippo Timi [above], a unique personality of Italian cinema, theatre and literature; the 80s of General Idea [right] and Keith Haring; the contemporary world of Wolfgang Tillmans; pioneer filmmaker Barbara Hammer's latest two movies; Pascal Robitaille's latest low-budget project. These are some of the suggestions slated for the fourth Voice Over's edition, where cinema gets contaminated and gives birth to as many different languages as the various shades of the eye are.

Europa Mon Amour 
"Muscles in Skirts: The Italian Peplums"
Following on a line of research that started with the "Spaghetti Western" movies, this year the Festival will focus on the so-called “Peplum movies”. Hugely popular at the time, the Italian cinema from 50s and 60s produced  an endless series of B movies on historic themes. Muscle men, wearing short skirts and brandishing shining short swords, whose acting was a pretext to show off male nudity like some American magazines such as Beefcake did for bodybuilders. Among the titles: Vittorio Cottafavi's Hercules Revenge (1960), Sergio Leone's The Colossus of Rhodes (1961) and Sergio Corbucci's The Son of Spartacus (1962).

Music & Movie Icons
UK 1979-2009. From “Ashes to Ashes” to the “Common People” Generation 
30 years in music to celebrate the Queer Revolution Made in UK: from David Bowies transgression to the new-romantic transformism of Visage; from the planetary success of the Smiths to the radio hit of Smalltown Boy, from the consacration to fame of Soft Cell and Pet Shop Boys, up tthrough the 90s with the Brit-Pop era and its Common People, the song by Pulp against the excesses of the 80s, as well as an elegy to normal life seen as diversity.
Nowadays to follow this evolution are bands like Franz Ferdinand and The Rakes, in whose music  whatever remaining taboos are sung with wit and irony.

THE EVENTS:

Carte Blanche to Ferzan Ozpetek
The director of The Ignorant Fairies (2001), Saturn in Opposition (2006) and A Perfect Day (2008) is invited to introduce to the Festival audiences to the "films of his life". This selection includes such classics as Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Black Narcissus (1947), Morton DaCosta's Auntie Mame (1958) and Vittorio Caprioli's Lions Lying in the Sun (1961).

Special Award to Ventura Pons
The 2009 Festival Special Award will be given to Catalan filmmaker Ventura Pons, presenting his new movie Strangers (2008). One of the pioneers of gay cinema, Pons has made over twenty 20 feature films, some of which, Caresses (1988), Beloved/Friend (1999), Food of Love (2002) and Barcelona, A Map (2007) have been distributed in Italy.

20 Years from the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Two movies that remember the life in the divided city: Wieland Speck's Westler (1985) and Heiner Carow's Coming Out (1989). This event is part of the Biennal of Democracy that will take place in Turin, April 22-26.

Stonewall: from Judy Garland to Harvey Milk
Judy Garland made her final film appearance in Ronald Neame's I Could Go on Singing (1963). This is the last movie in which the beloved gay icon of that the time played in. Judy Garland died on June 22nd, just a couple of days before the violent New York riots engaging the GLBT community and the police broke out at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village. A few years later, the gay activist Harvey Milk will start his battle for the civil rights with his "Hope" speech given in San Francisco.

TRIBUTES

Adolfo Arrieta: Love Delirium
A Spanish author close to the French Nouvelle Vague, Arrieta is a painter and a great connoisseur of Jean Cocteaus works. His short movies shot in Madrid in the 60s are milestones of the independent cinema, while Les Intrigues de Sylvia Couski, shot in Paris in 1974, is considered the first Parisien underground militant work.

Guy Gilles: Time Out of Time
Guy Gilles was born in Algiers in 1938 and moved to France at the end of the 50s. Here he directed his first feature film, Love at Sea (1962) starring Juliette Gréco, Romy Schneider and Jean Pierre Léaud, as well as Patrick Jouané, who would become his alter-ego on screen as well as his partner in life. Marguerite Duras loved very much his second feature Wall Engravings (1968) and Jeanne Moreau supported him in the making of Repeated Absences (1972): the most autobiographical movie of this eclectic filmmaker, who worked in between cinema, painting, writing and photography.

Dorothy Porter: Rhymes of  Cinema
Tributed to Australian poetess Dorothy Porter, who recently passed away, this Festival section presents her work done for cinema: Julian Temple's The Eternity Man (2008) and Samantha Lang's The Monkeys Mask (2000): a lesbian noir, originally written as a novel in rhymes and later adapted to be a movie.

Sugar Rush: A European TV Case
Sugar Rush is one of the most popular and loved GLBT TV series. Broadcasted on Channel Four in the UK, this series has raised much heated controversy and many criticism for dealing with the touchy subject of teenage homosexuality: leading character Kim is only 15 years old. Never seen on any Italian TV channel, Sugar Rush has become a cult show within the Italian lesbian community who watches it over the internet. The Festival attention to the teenager world in cinema will now contaminate with the so-called New Media World.

Ethiopia Tragedy Tops Pan-African Film Festival Awards

2009 Pan-African FESPACO Film Festival: Burkina Faso, in March 2009

Set during Mengistu Haile Mariam's 1974-1991 blood-soaked rule in Ethiopia, Haile Gerima's Teza won the top prize at the 2009 Pan-African FESPACO film festival in Burkina Faso. In the film, a medical research scientist trained in Europe returns full of hope to Ethiopia, but once there his efforts are violently put to rest.

 

Golden Stallion: Teza by Haile Gerima (Ethiopia)

Silver Stallion: Nothing But the Truth by John Kani (South Africa)

Bronze Stallion: Mascarades by Lyes Salem (Algeria)

Oumarou Ganda Prize: Missa Hebie for The Armchair / Le Fauteuil (Burkina Faso)

Best Actress: Sana Mouziane for Les Jardins de Samira (Morocco)

Best Actor: Rapulana Seiphemo for Jerusalema (South Africa)

Best Screenplay: Mama Keita for L'Absence (Guinea)


         
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