In addition to the preview announced weeks ago (with news about the Berlinale Panorama 40 Cycle, the Opening Film, and this year's Queer Focus), and the films that are part of this year's Competitive Sections, Queer Lisboa 23 presents a total of 101 films from 36 countries, and various parallel activities.
In a year in which several milestones in the history of movements claiming the place of LGBTI+ communities are being celebrated, Queer Lisboa could not fail to reflect on what half a century of modern movements for the rights and dignity of these communities have meant. From the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising to the 20th Anniversary of the Lisbon LGBTI+ Pride March, having also into account the 40th Anniversary of the Berlinale Panorama Section, this is a year in which the festival intends to reflect upon the political and social achievements that have been taking place in various corners of the globe and what activism has meant, and still means, for queer culture.
This is also an edition in which not only the specific issues linked to intersex, transgender, and non-binary individuals are highlighted throughout the various sections, but also where their presence as filmmakers and thinkers is quite notable, also among the guests that this year will attend the festival.
In the Panorama section, highlight for The Spark: The Origins of Pride, where we can relive the history of Stonewall and its repercussions, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, with an extraordinary Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, and JT LeRoy, where the ever-brilliant Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern revisit the crazy story of JT LeRoy's literary hoax. The festival also announced its Closing Film: Skate Kitchen.
Queer Pop will present this year a program entitled Portugal Today. The documentaries Conan, O Rapaz do Futuro and Lena d'Água - Nunca Me Fui Embora are two opportunities to look at the unique moment crossed by these singular musicians. The session is complemented by recent music videos by some of the happening Portuguese musicians, from Filipe Sambado to Capicua, Surma or Isaura. There is also a second session dedicated to Hip Hop, which shows us some queer peaks achieved in this field: Princess Nokia, Mykki Blanco, Big Dipper and Brooke Candy are some of the artists who prove the ever-increasing permeability of this musical genre.
In the Hard Nights we present Alfredo Não Gosta de Despedidas, in which a sex-obsessed artist creates, through family reports, a self-fictional documentary; and Goodyn Green's cinema returns to the festival with An Illicit Affair and Second Shutter.
There will be also an opportunity to watch some titles curated by Portuguese filmmaker Cláudia Varejão, as part of the curatorial proposal that the Short Film Agency made this year to several Portuguese filmmakers and artists, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. Agência 20 Years: Carte Blanche to Cláudia Varejão includes a program of films made by Portuguese female filmmakers in which they investigative dialogues with the territory and within the natural landscape. The program includes films by Salomé Lamas, Renata Sancho and Joana Pimenta.
In partnership with the Queer Media Database Canada-Quebec, the festival is also pleased to present a side program entitled Bodies Desire Landscapes: an Archive of Canadian LGBTQ Short films 1989-2017. Ten shorts and one feature film were chosen, including Marie, Eu te Vejo, by Carol Fernandes, who will be attending the festival, and the feature film Limites, where photographer Carlos Quiroz reveals the artistic process behind the capture of the male nude.
Also to highlight: a Special Screening in which we present Mister Lonely, by Harmony Korine, a film that links to one of this year edition's exhibitions. Curated by Thomas Mendonça and featuring works by artists Andy James, Dylan Silva, Karine Rougier, Filippo Fiumani and Rui Palma, Fearless of Creating Chaos is intended to represent and praise some aspects of the cinematic oeuvre of the enfant terrible of American cinema. Already announced, we will also host the Exhibition 20 Years of the Lisbon LGBTI+ Pride March, which will be shown at Cinema São Jorge, and which results from the public challenge launched with the purpose of gathering a live collection of unpublished photographs and other materials related to the history of the Lisbon Pride March.
The festival also organizes a set of Debates and Talks. In partnership with the LGBTI+ Lisbon Pride March, a debate will be held about New Populisms, which has as its motto the screening of the festival's Opening Film, Indianara. Also having a movie as its motto, in this case the documentary Ni d’Ève, ni d'Adam. Une Histoire Intersexe, the festival invites the public for the debate The Right to Be… Intersex, in order promote knowledge and reflection on this theme. Finally, there will also be an opportunity for a Conversation with Wieland Speck at the Goethe-Institut. Speck will be chatting with João Ferreira, Queer Lisboa artistic director, and we'll be able to get to know his work and programming challenges as director of the Berlinale Panorama section from 1992 until 2017.