The last days of this year’s edition of Queer Lisboa, brings us the Memory, Bodies and Sex programs which conclude this edition’s Queer Focus. The first, which is shown on Thursday at 18:00 in sala 2 of Cinema São Jorge, features two short films by experimental director Jennifer Reeves, Chronic and Monsters in the Closet, followed by a debate with Fernanda Eugénio, Joana Menezes and Sérgio Braz d'Almeida. Bodies, in the same cinema and also at 18:00, but on Friday 25, brings us the documentary Un Uomo Deve Essere Forte, by Ilaria Ciavattini and Elsi Perino, where we follow the path of Jack, a transgender man who starts his transition process while living around a small town in northern Italy, a hyper-masculine society where Jack also begins to question what it is like to be a man and what kind of man he wants to be. This screening will be complemented with a conversation with poet and activist André Tecedeiro. To close Queer Focus we will have, also on Friday but at 22:30, the program Sex, which is also this year’s Hard Night and shows the stunning and recently restored Équation à un Inconnu (1980), by Dietrich de Velsa, perhaps one of the most carefully stylized porn films ever made.
In the Feature Film Competition, all eyes on the second screening of the tender and touching Neubau, by Johannes Maria Schmit (Thursday 24, at 19:00), which will once again be attended by part of the film’s team to present the film and, on the same day but at 19:00, the first screening of the Argentinian El Cazador, Marco Berger's new film, premièred at the most recent edition of the Rotterdam International Film Festival, which shows how a teenager in full sexual awakening, finds himself trapped between seeing his sexuality exposed or collaborating with a paedophilia ring. On Friday we have three films in this competition: second showing of El Cazador and also of Las Mil y Una, by Clarisa Navas; and finally No Hard Feelings, by Faraz Shariat, winner of the 2020 Teddy Award for best feature film, where we'll discover what happens to Parvis, a young German of Iranian descent, when he meets the siblings Banafshe and Amon in a refugee center where he is forced to do community work, and the attraction that grows between Parvis and Amon. There will be a second screening on Saturday, at 16:00.
Thursday and Friday, always at 18:30, are also the days for the In My Shorts Competition, a strand of films from European Film and Art Schools, with not only a big geographical variety but also of genres, from documentary to animation, fiction and more experimental works. In the first programme we will count with the presence of filmmaker Olivier Cheval who will present his short film Rose Minitel, produced by the prestigious French school Le Fresnoy. The two programs also include films from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, HEAD in Geneva, FAMU in Prague, the Berliner DFFB, and Doc Nomads. From the latter, we will show the Portuguese co-production An Act of Afection, by Viet Vu, winner of a Special Mention in the Short Film Competition at Queer Lisboa 23.
The end of this year's festival still has in store three powerful works in the Queer Art Competition. On Thursday, at 21:30, the return of the Mike Hoolboom to the festival programme with Judy versus Capitalism, in which the director uses super8 film to look at the feminism since the 1970s, and at the same time, to make a moving portrait of mental health. On Friday, time for Santos, by Alejo Fraile, who shows us a family submerged in silence, living days of decline, and El Viaje de Monalisa, where director Nicole Costa, meets Iván Ojeda, a promising Chilean actor who, in 1995 after an artistic residency in New York, decides to stay illegally in the country to reinvent himself as Monalisa and earn a living as a sex worker. Director Nicole Costa will be present in this screening, as well as the next day at the second showing, to present her film.
The last two films to be shown as part of the Documentary Competition are Miserere, by Francisco Ríos Flores (Thursday 24, at 18:30) where we are surrounded by the suffocating heat of Buenos Aires and, in the square that gives the film its title, we observe a group of young male sex workers; and All We've Got, by Alexis Clements (Saturday 26, at 18:30) which looks at the huge amount of places where queer women would find a sense of belonging and a physical space to meet in the United States of America and which, as of 2010, have been closed.
And finally, on Saturday 26, at 21:00, we closed Queer Lisboa 24 with Petite Fille, by Sébastien Lifshitz. Premiered at the 70th edition of the Berlinale, in 2020, a festival where Lifshitz had previously won two Teddy Awards, the documentary follows the title’s petite fille, Sasha, and her tireless family, irreducible in the struggle for the affirmation of her daughter’s gender identity and her acceptance in the various dimensions of her social sphere and, particularly, within the school environment. Confronted by a constant hostile environment, it is up to Sasha's parents to fight for her freedom, while the girl lives comfortably in her skin, sometimes without even understanding the reasons why it is so complicated to just let her be who she is.