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. (Image: 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.
Interracial Gay Romantic Comedy, Oscar Winners as Lesbian Lovers: Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival Awards
The Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival (website) screened a handful of features and about two dozen shorts over the Nov. 9-11 weekend. Earlier today, the jury winners were announced on the festival's Facebook page. Elliot Loves, a romantic (and mother-son) comedy by first-time feature-film writer-director Terracino, and Douglas Horn's Coffee & Pie, a comedy short in which a jilted woman discovers that revenge is sweeter when pies are involved, were the festival's top movies. (Image: Jermaine Montell, Fabio Costaprado Elliot Loves.)
The Creative Director's Award, given “to the film that demonstrates creativity and the spirit of LGBT issues” went to Kai Stanicke's short Cold Star, in which a menacing group of people pushes a boy onto a diving platform, where he finds unexpected help from a mysterious man.
The Bob Dietrich Memorial Award given to a short comedy film went to Jason Sax's Do You Have a Cat?, which, as per the festival's website, “examines the trials of bisexual dating and pet ownership.”
Road movie featuring two Oscar winners as elderly lesbian lovers on the run is audience favorite
Additionally, the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival announced Audience Awards in various categories. The Favorite Gay Feature Film was Douglas Langway's Bear City 2: The Proposal, a sequel to Bear City, which follows the personal adventures of a group of “bears, boys and cubs” in New York City and, in the sequel, Provincetown. The Favorite Lesbian Feature Film was Thom Fitzgerald's Cloudburst, a road movie starring Academy Award winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as lovers on the run, and Ryan Doucette as the hustler they pick up while en route to Canada and legal marriage.
Coffee or Tea? and Do You Have a Cat? were, respectively, the Favorite Gay Short Film and Favorite Lesbian Short Film. And finally, the Favorite Documentary Feature was Robert Camina's Raid of the Rainbow Lounge, about the vicious beatings by Fort Worth cops (initially defended by the local chief of police) during a 2009 raid at a local gay bar, while Nathan Gillock's Of an Armed Cavalieri, about Tommaso de Cavalieri's role as the inspiration for some of Michelangelo's work, was the Favorite Documentary Short.
It Gets Better photo via LesGaiCineMad.