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Gays Gone Wild + Ventura Pons & Ferzan Ozpetek: Torino GLBT Film Festival

Adorfo Arrieta, Donatello Fumarola

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Tribute to Spanish filmmaker and painter Adorfo Arrieta (above, with Arrieta section programmer Donatello Fumarola), among whose cinematic efforts are El crimen de la pirindola and Jouet criminel.

Photos: B. Malacart (Arrieta, Stephens), L. Gallizio (Hung)

Giovanni Minerba, Ventura PonsApr. 26: 2009 Torino GLBT Film Festival: Catalonian filmmaker Ventura Pons (above right, with festival director Giovanni Minerba) presents his latest feature, Forasters / Strangers. Pons, among whose credits are Actresses (1997), Caresses (1998), Food of Love (2002), and Barcelona, a Map (2007), was also given a special award for his contributions to gay cinema. (Image: M. Maldonado.)

In Strangers, a traditional family goes through two traumatic experiences over the course of four decades. First, one family members passes away; later on, their apparent familial harmony is disrupted by the arrival of two neighbors, strangers. Directed and adapted by Ventura Pons from a play by Sergi Belbel, Strangers stars Anna Lizaran, Joan Pera, Manel Barceló, Aida Oset, Dafnis Balduz, and Nao Albet.

Photos: V. Francesco (Ducastel/Martineau), Luca Gallizio (Pansittivorakul, Keegan, Treut)

Monika Treut
German filmmaker Monika Treut was given a special award at the 2009 Torino GLBT Film Festival, which also screened her latest effort, Ghosted, a cross-cultural tale (Germany-Taiwan) mixing romance, murder, and the supernatural.

Giovanni Minerba, Ferzan Ozpetek

Apr. 26: 2009 Torino GLBT Film Festival: Filmmaker Ferzan Ozpetek (above, with festival director Giovanni Minerba) presents “the films of his life.”

Ozpetek’s quotes below are from the festival’s press release.

“I couldn’t have been happier when Giovanni Minerba made this proposition to me. I wanted to start out with a series of ‘Madames,’ ranging from the splendid Madame X, by David Lowell Rich, with Lana Turner, to Madame Rosa, [starring] Simone Signoret, and then on to Madame Sousatzka by John Schlesinger, with the intriguing Shirley MacLaine, and finishing off with Madame de… directed by Max Ophüls, in 1953.

“Unfortunately there were problems in getting the films, so the only remaining ‘madame’ belongs to Ophüls himself, a film which had literally enraptured me [because of] its camera movement! There is another ‘mama’ that I dearly loved as a child: Auntie Mame by Morton Da Costa [made in] 1958. I was really struck by the way the story was told, through the set designing and the lighting, as well as the feeling of the young boy in relation to his aunt, which really moved me. What the aunt says may come off as superficial, but her words touch the heartstrings.

“I saw Bianca by Nanni Moretti two times in a row; that character really struck me with all that he felt regarding the separation [of] the couple who are his friends: it is an outstanding film by Moretti. Lions Lying in the Sun is definitely another genre, though made by another Italian director I love: Vittorio Caprioli. He is truly great, I also remember his Far from Gay Paris. Seeing The Sign of Venus by Dino Risi on the big screen again means rediscovering a magnificent Franca Valeri; I laughed and cried at her interpretation.”

Photo: V. Francesco

Apr. 24: Nacho G. Velilla’s Spanish comedy Fuera de Carta / Chef’s Special opened the 24th edition of the Torino GLBT FIlm Festival last night.

In Chef’s Special, a highly regarded chef (Javier Cámara, above, with festival programmer Cosimo Santoro and Velilla) working at a trendy restaurant in Chueca, Madrid’s gay neighborhood, believes that life is just perfect. It doesn’t take long, however, for imperfection to knock at his door in the form of his children from a former marriage and of a hunky ex-soccer player from Argentina.

The festival’s opening ceremony was hosted by actress Lucia Ocone, and featured a special appearance by veteran actress Franca Valeri. Valeri can be seen in Vittorio Caprioli’s Lions Lying in the Sun, which will be screened at Torino as part of Ferzan Ozpetek’s “Films of his life” sidebar.

, Ricke Meirighi

Eirik Andreas Sandaker (above, with programmer Ricke Merighi) presented his documentary Kjærlighetens Valg / A Choice of Love, which is described as “a reflexive documentary where the openly gay filmmaker … meditates on the controversial topics of Islam and homosexuality.” In the film, Sandaker meets with both openly and closeted gay Muslims.

Photos: Torino GLBT Film Festival

Torino GLBT Film Festival Feature Lineup: John Greyson & ‘Fire in Silence’

Fire in Silence, the directorial debut of 21-year-old undergraduate student Shen Weiwei, will have its world premiere at the Torino GLBT Film Festival, which kicks off this evening.

In Gu huo / Fire in Silence, a young couple face a crisis in their relationship after they meet a man who, after having had numerous liaisons with women, has decided he wants to seduce one of them.

According to Weiwei, “Fire in Silence is neither a mere film about homosexuality nor a simple gay story, but rather, a portrait of one of the innermost desire[s] of human beings – the possessive instinct – [as seen] through gay characters.  Human beings, born with desires, will stop at nothing, even at the cost of their basic conscience, to pursue what they want, whether it is power, money or love. He Ye [the seducer] is the epitome of everyone in this world.”

Turin’s gay film festival runs until April 30.

Torino GLBT Film Festival: Feature Lineup


Light Gradient by Jan Kruger

Rückenwind (Light Gradient) by Jan Krüger (Germany, 2009)
friday 24 april, 18.30 – saturday 25 april, 14.30

El patio de mi cárcel (My Prison Yard) by Belén Macías (Spain, 2008)
friday 24 april, 22.45 – saturday 25 april, 11.30

Gu huo (Fire in Silence) by Shen Weiwei (China, 2008)
saturday 25 april, 18 – sunday 26 april, 14.15

Leonera (Lion’s Den) by Pablo Trapero (Argentina/South Korea/Brazil, 2008)
saturday 25 april, 20 – monday 27 april, 11

Selda (The Inmate) by Ellen Ramos, Paolo Villaluna (Philippines, 2008)
saturday 25 april, 22.15 – sunday 26 april, 11

A Festa da Menina Morta (The Dead Girl’s Feast) by Matheus Nachtergaele (Brazil, 2008)
sunday 26 april, 18.15 – monday 27 april, 15.45

Serbis (Service) by Brillante Mendoza (Philippines /France 2008)
sunday 26 april, 22.45 – monday 27 april, 14

Daybreak by Adolfo B. Alix Jr.

Daybreak by Adolfo B. Alix Jr. (Philippines, 2008)
monday 27 april, 18.30 – tuesday 28 april, 15

Soundless Wind Chime by Kit Hung

Wu sheng feng ling (Soundless Wind Chime) by Kit Hung (Hong Kong/China/Switzerland, ‘09)
monday 27 april, 22 – tuesday 28 april, 11

Luan qing chun (Beautiful Crazy) by Lee Chi Y.  (Taiwan, 2008)
tuesday 28 april, 20 – wednesday 29 april, 15

Guillermo Villegas in Raging Sun, Raging Sky

Rabioso sol, rabioso cielo (Raging Sun, Raging Sky) by Julián Hernández (Mexico, 2008)
tuesday 28 april, 22 – wednesday 29 april, 11

Elève libre (Private Lessons) by Joachim Lafosse (Belgium, 2008)
wednesday 29 april, 20.30 – thursday 30 april, 11.30


Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild! by Todd Stephens (USA, 2008)
monday 27 april, 20.15 (Ambrosio, Sala 1)

Boy by Auraeus Solito (Philippines, 2009)
wednesday 29 april, 22.45 (Ambrosio, Sala 1)

Fuera de carta (Fuori menù, Chef’s Specials) by Nacho G. Velilla (Spain, 2008)
thursday 23 april, 22.45 (Cinema Ideal)

Maman est chez le coiffeur (Mommy Is at the Hairdresser’s) by Léa Pool (Canada, 2008)
sunday 26 april, 20.45 (Ambrosio, Sala 1)

Sex, Party and Lies by Alfonso Albacete, David Menkes

Mentiras y gordas (Sex, Party and Lies) by Alfonso Albacete, David Menkes (Spain, 2009)
thursday 30 april, 22.45 (Cinema Ideal)

Nés en 68 (Born in 68) by Olivier Ducastel,  Jacques Martineau (France, 2008)
friday 24 april, 22 (Ambrosio, Sala 2)

Canadian filmmaker John Greyson was at the 24 Torino GLBT Film Festival to receive a special award for his latest effort, the part-documentary, part-fiction Fig Trees, about the struggles of AIDS activists Tim McCaskell of Toronto and Zackie Achmat of Cape Town, as they fight governments and the pharmaceutical industry for better access to antiviral drugs. Fig Trees won the Teddy Award for best documentary at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival.

As per the Torino festival’s release, “Greyson hopes that his presence in Torino will help the festival audience to share the Spanish and European Union opinions (including the possibility to send 1 million condoms to the countries affected by this disease) in opposition to the pope’s recent declarations.”

“The idea of this film sprang from a meeting with some gay mates,” Weiwei explained. “Their stories thrilled me and I tried to express the Chinese queer society … I chose a tragic and passionate love story, with a bitter taste, very similar to every gay or straight love story. The protagonists are two young guys. In China, things are changing also in the queer community, nowadays teenagers … coming out are growing in numbers.”

Photos: C. Celano (Greyson, Molitor), L. Gallizio (Weiwei), R. Hermann (Peters, Bonneville)

Torino GLBT Film Festival: Documentary / Short Film Lineup

Documentaries IN COMPETITION

Boriven nee yu pai tai karn kuk kun (This Area is Under Quarantine) by Thunska Pansittivorakul (Thailand, 2009)
friday 24 april, 16.45 – monday 27 april, 11.30

Out in India: A Family’s Journey by Tom Keegan (USA/India, 2007)
friday 24 april, 18.30 – saturday 25 april, 11.30

Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo (Shakespeare and Victor Hugo’s Intimacies) by Yulene Olaizola (Mexico, 2008)
friday 24 april, 15.30 (Sala 3) – saturday 25 april, 11.30 (Sala 3)

Giorgio/Giorgia… storia di una voce (Giorgio/Giorgia…History of a Voice) by Gianfranco Mingozzi (Italy, 2008)
saturday 25 april, 16.30 – sunday 26 april, 11.30

Falusi Románc: Meleg Szerelem (A Village Romance: Lesbian Love)  by Kriszta Bódis (Hungary, 2007)
sunday 26 april, 17.20 – tuesday 28 april, 12.30

No Woman’s Land by Anne Smolar (Belgium, 2008)
monday 27 april, 17.45 – tuesday 28 april, 11.30

Khastegi (Sex My Life) by Bahman Motamedian (Iran, 2008)
monday 27 april, 19.10 – tuesday 28 april, 11.30 (Sala 3)

Les parents (The Parents) by Christophe Hermans (Belgium, 2008)
tuesday 28 april, 18.15 – wednesday 29 april, 11.30 (Sala 3)

Queer China, “Comrade” China by Cui Zi’en (China, 2008)
tuesday 28 april, 18.15 – wednesday 29 april, 11

Isola nuda (Naked Island) by Debora Inguglia (Italy, 2008)
wednesday 29 april, 17.30 – thursday 30 april, 11

Punches’ n’ Ponytails by Pankaj Rishi Kumar (India, 2008)
wednesday 29 april, 19 – thursday 30 april, 12


Heikoby David Bonneville (Portugal, 2007)
Le Fossoyeur (The Gravedigger) by Sylvie Benavides (France, 2008)
James (above) by Connor Clements (UK, 2008)
Clouded by Ajae Clearway (USA, 2007)
En Compagnie de la Poussière (The Good-Fellow-Ship of Dust) by Jacques Molitor (Belgium/Luxembpurg, 2008)
510 Meter über dem Meer (510 Meter Above the Sea Level) by Kerstin Polte (Switzerland, 2008)
Les Filles de feu  (Girls of Fire) by Jean-Sébastien Chauvin (France, 2008)
saturday 25 april, 18.15 (Sala 2) – sunday 26 april, 11 (Sala 3)

El Reloj by Marco Berger

Inkanyezi Yobusuku (Night Star) by Kekeletso Khena (South Africa, 2007)
Wednesdays by Deniz Buga (USA, 2008)
Tanjong Rhu (The Casuarina Cove) by Boo Junfeng (Singapore, 2008)
El reloj (The Watch) (above) by Marco Berger (Argentina, 2008)
Senteurs (Scents) by Laura Schroeder (Luxemburg, 2008)
Lapsus by Arnauld Visinet (France, 2008)
Salivaby Esmir Filho (Brazil, 2007)
Over Vis en Revolutie (About Fish and Revolution) by Margien Rogaar (The Netherlands, 2008)
sunday 26 april, 18.30 (Sala 2) – monday 27 april, 11 (Sala 3)

Bongo Bong (above) by Ken Wardrop (Irland, 2007)
Boy Meets Boy by Kim Jho Gwang-soo (South Korea, 2008)
En la luz del sol brillante (Under the Bright Sunshine) by Jesús Torres (Mexico, 2008)
Mon printemps talons hauts (My Easter in Heels) byViva Delorme (France, 2007)
Dish by Brian Harris Krinsky (USA, 2009)
Même pas mort (Tomboy) by Claudine Natkin (France, 2007)
Paradise by Mark Robinson (Australia, 2007)
Xia wu (Summer Afternoon) by Ho Wi Ding (Taiwan, 2008)
wednesday 29 april, 15.15 (Sala 2) – thursday 30 april, 11 (Sala 3)

Torino GLBT Film Festival website.

“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.


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 OzonGus Van Sant, Derek Jarman, Todd Haynes, Eytan Fox, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Alain Guiraudie, Auraeus Solito, Christophe Honoré and Brillante Mendoza.


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 through 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.


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.


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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