Following the impulse that film production gained after the pandemic, the new editions of Queer Lisboa and Queer Porto aim to do justice to a queer, non-polarized look, a gaze beyond borders. The 27th edition of the festival in Lisbon returns to its usual venues, Cinema São Jorge and Cinemateca Portuguesa, between the 22nd and the 30th of September, with an all-inclusive and challenging program, which once again embraces a broad approach to the concept of “queer”.
Among the 80 films that form the program are some of the most celebrated titles from the recent international film festival circuit. But also, many new surprises to discover. Films from geographies as diverse as Kosovo, Egypt, South Africa or Colombia. Films fearlessly tackling the most sensitive issues on the queer spectrum: from the FARC to the war in Ukraine, from gentrification to sexual harassment. Films by cis men represent 45% of the program, by cis women 41%, and by trans or non-binary individuals, the remaining 14%, in a tangible demonstration of how queer cinema increasingly embraces diverse authors and realities.
In addition to the titles and activities previously announced - the Yvonne Rainer retrospective in collaboration with the Cinemateca Portuguesa, the Opening and Closing Films, Special Screenings and the Panorama Section -, the festival now reveals its five official competitions and a series of talks and debates intent on triggering discussions on various pertinent social and cultural issues: among them, drug use, mental health, LGBTQI+ representation in the media, or the realities faced by trans communities and people with disability in Brazil.
The jury of the Feature Film Competition is composed by actress Anabela Moreira, journalist Bernardo Mendonça and curator Joana Alves. Heterogeneity and a priority given to first films illustrate this competition. “Blue Jean” mirrors the daily life of a teacher terrified by the possible disclosure of her sexuality at school, in the political context of Thatcherite Britain. This year’s Teddy Award winner at the Berlinale, “All the Colors of the World Are Between Black and White”, takes us to the outskirts of the Nigerian metropolis of Lagos, where the friendship between Bambino and Bawa embodies internal censorship and resistance to desire. “Pornomelancolía”, a fictionalized documentary by Manuel Abramovich, and a portrait of the protagonist's internal desolation, follows Mexican Lalo Santos, a sex influencer turned porn actor. There is also room for the Golden Leopard winner at Locarno 2022: “Regra 34”, by Julia Murat, a film that addresses BDSM, virtual sex, feminism and domestic violence. Four more titles complete this section, whose prize is sponsored by Variações in the amount of €1.000.
The selection for this year's Documentary Competition plunges us into not always tranquil waters. Francisco Frazão, artistic director of Teatro do Bairro Alto, Gertrudes Marçal, producer for RTP, and filmmaker Susana Nobre form the jury in charge of deciding which of the eight films wins the prize sponsored by RTP2, by purchasing the broadcast rights of the film, valued in €3.000. Transphobia, racism, and masculinity are dissected in the powerful “Kokomo City”, in which D. Smith follows black and trans sex workers, alongside their clients and boyfriends. “Out of Uganda” helps us understand discrimination in that country, where being queer can be a death sentence. Luís Capucho, writer, musician and composer, diagnosed with HIV in 1996, is one of those rare talents who found themselves relegated to the margins. In “Peixe Abissal”, Rafael Saar follows him through the streets of Niterói and Rio de Janeiro, in a reenactment and mystical evocation of his life. In addition to four more films, we also highlight “Transfariana”, which trails the story of a FARC leader who begins a relationship with a trans woman, in prison.
22 titles comprise the Competition for Best Short Film, whose jury includes dancer André Cabral, actress Mia Tomé and artist Rafaela Jacinto. The list of films is a diverse demonstration of the very essence of queer cinema. An opportunity to discover works such as “Aribada”, a spiritual portrait of a community of indigenous trans women; “Dipped in Black”, a back-to-roots journey of a queer person into Aboriginal territory, and this year's Teddy Award-winning short film; the story of an exorcism in a rural and conservative Polish context (“J'ai vu le visage du diable”); the new audiovisual essay by South-African filmmaker Jyoti Mistry, “Loving in Between”; “Maria Schneider, 1983”, or how to reconstitute reality by discussing the place assigned to women in the film industry; or reflections on sex work and the stigma associated with it, in “Work”, by Chicana director April Maxey.
In the European School Short Film Competition “In My Shorts”, which will be evaluated by the same jury, and that gathers films from schools such as La Fémis (Paris) and ECAM (Madrid), we highlight “Because I Know How Beautiful My Being Is”, where Afro-Indigenous filmmaker Ana María Jessie Serna celebrates London's black queer community; “Edge”, a visceral experiment where Edmund Krempiński, a trans man, frees himself from oppressive Polish society through psychomagic; “Ours”, in which Morgane Frund reflects upon the discomfort that the male gaze can arouse in our society; and the Portuguese film “Vanette”, the recent Sophia Student Award, by Maria Beatriz Castelo. In total, ten films make up this section.
Lastly, this year's Queer Art Competition explores the potential of artists aiming to break free from more commercial narrative protocols, opening space for sensory experiences of personal transformation. A rebellion of spectrophiles in Medellín (“Anhell69”), the correlation between Covid and the AIDS epidemic (“Freedom from Everything”) or a performative homage to Boston’s oldest gay bar (“Playland”), are some of the suggestions of a section where there is also space for a video correspondence between Chica Barbosa and Fernanda Pessoa, filmmakers and friends who, in “Vai e Vem”, pay tribute to female experimental filmmakers while also addressing the concept of political belonging. The jury in charge of deciding which of the eight films deserves the Prize sponsored by Contranatura worth €1.000, is composed by DOP Marta Simões, artist and activist Puta da Silva, and actress Teresa Coutinho.
Following the collaboration with Irish queer film festival, Gaze, which this past August hosted the best of Portuguese queer cinema in Dublin in a program curated by Queer Lisboa, the Festival announces the Gaze Shorts Program, six Irish short films selected by its programming team. Greg Thorpe will be in Lisbon to present the program and to introduce us to the event he directs, founded in 1992, and considered one of the largest and oldest Irish events dedicated to the community.
The films from the Panorama Section, recently announced, will all be complemented with debates and talks, taking place at Cinema São Jorge’s Sala 2. The screening of “Cidade Lúcida” is followed by a conversation between its protagonist, dancer Benvindo Fonseca, and journalist Carolina Franco; and the screening of the feature film “Arrête avec tes mensonges” is preceded by a conversation between the writer of the novel on which the film is based, Philippe Besson, and journalist and President of the Cannes Film Festival’s Queer Palm, Franck Finance-Madureira. Gabz 404, one of the directors of the film “Intransitivo: a Documentary on Trans Narratives”, will also engage in a conversation with the festival's audience.
Debates: “Chemsex and drug use in the queer community” featuring Cristiana Vale Pires and Rui Guerreiro as guests, will be moderated by Maria José Campos and will precede the screening of “Drifter”; “Inside Oliver Sacks’s head”, with Pedro Cabral and Bruno Maia, neurologists, and also moderated by Maria José Campos, follows the exhibition of the documentary about Oliver Sacks. In addition to the already announced debate at Cinemateca Portuguesa, “Yvonne Rainer, film and dance”, with Gisela Casimiro, João dos Santos Martins and Jorge Jácome, moderated by Cláudia Galhós and Joana Ascensão, there will also be space for “We on the screen. LGBTQI+ representation in the media”, a debate where we aim to create a dialogue on themes that cut across several films in the program, and, more specifically, on the visibility of the LGBTQI+ community in channels such as social media.
And to celebrate after the film screenings, there will be several parties throughout the nine days of the festival in several venues across the city: Arroz Estúdios, Bar TR3S, Purex Clube, Drama Bar, and NAV – Nunca Antes Visto; with lots of djs and surprise guests.
Queer Lisboa 27 has a budget of €150.000 and is financed by Lisbon City Council and ICA – Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual, in addition to important partnerships such as those established with the Secretary of State for Equality and Migration, the Embassy of Brazil, the MaisFrança Program, the Embassy of Sweden, Youtube, Absolut, FLAD – Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento, and Variações, among many others.
QUEER LISBOA 27 / Complete program:
La Bête dans la jungle / The Beast in the Jungle, Patric Chiha (France, Belgium, Austria, 2023, 103’)
Queendom, Agniia Galdanova (France, USA, 2023, 98’)
FEATURE FILM COMPETITION
O Acidente / The Accident, Bruno Carboni (Brazil, 2022, 95’)
All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White, Babatunde Apalowo (Nigeria, 2023, 92’)
Blue Jean, Georgia Oakley (UK, 2022, 97’)
Mutt, Vuk Lungulov-Klotz (USA, 2023, 87’)
Opponent, Milad Alami (Sweden, Norway, 2023, 119’)
Peafowl, Byun Sung-bin (Republic of Korea, 2022, 115’) - pictured above
Pornomelancolía, Manuel Abramovich (Argentina, Brazil, France, 2022, 98’)
Regra 34 / Rule 34, Julia Murat (Brazil, France, 2022, 100’)
As I Was Looking Above, I Could See Myself Underneath, Ilir Hasanaj (Kosovo, 2022, 62’)
Cantando en las Azoteas / Singing on the Rooftops, Enric Ribes (Spain, 2022, 78’)
Kokomo City, D. Smith (USA, 2023, 73’)
Out of Uganda, Rolando Colla, Josef Burri (Uganda, Switzerland, 2022, 65’)
Peixe Abissal / Abyssal Fish, Rafael Saar (Brazil, 2023, 110’)
Polish Prayers, Hanka Nobis (Switzerland, Poland, 2022, 85’)
Transfariana, Joris Lachaise (France, Colombia, 2023, 153’)
Who I Am Not, Tünde Skovrán (Romania, Canada, 2023, 105’)
SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Acesso / Access, Julia Leite (Brazil, 2021, 18’)
Aribada, Natalia Escobar, Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau (Germany, Colombia, 2022, 30’)
Buscó a Satanás, Encontró la Familia / Sought for Satan, Found the Family, Miguel Ángel Fajardo (Colombia, 2021, 22’)
Casa de Bonecas / Dolls House, George Pedrosa (Brazil, 2023, 16’)
The Dalles, Angalis Field (USA, 2022, 10’)
Dipped in Black, Matthew Thorne, Derik Lynch (Australia, 2022, 25’)
I Am a Horse, Chaerin Im (Republic of Korea, Denmark, 2022, 8’)
I Can See the Sun but I Can’t Feel It Yet, Joseph Wilson (UK, 2023, 20’)
I’m the Only One I Wanna See, Lucia Martinez Garcia (Switzerland, 2022, 6’)
Incroci, Francesca de Fusco (USA, Italy, 2023, 13’)
J’ai vu le visage du diable / I Saw the Face of the Devil, Julia Kowalski (France, 2023, 36’)
Kerel (Sea of Love), Jon Cuyson (Philippines, 2021, 14’)
Loving in Between, Jyoti Mistry (Austria, South Africa, 2023, 18’)
La main gauche / The Left Hand, Maxime Robin (Canada, 2022, 14’)
Maria Schneider, 1983, Elisabeth Subrin (France, 2022, 25’)
Nuits blanches / Sleepless Nights, Donatienne Berthereau (France, 2023, 25’)
Queima Minha Pele / Burn My Skin, Leonardo Amorim (Brazil, 2023, 19’)
Repair, Bertil Nilsson (UK, 2022, 11’)
SCRED TBM, Kevin Le Dortz (France, 2022, 16’)
Troy, Mike Donahue (USA, 2022, 16’)
Warsha, Dania Bdeir (France, Lebanon, 2022, 16’)
Work, April Maxey (USA, 2022, 13’)
“IN MY SHORTS” EUROPEAN SCHOOL SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Because I Know How Beautiful My Being Is, Ana María Jessie Serna (Colombia, UK, Brazil, 2023, 18’)
Combien danseront sur ta langue / How Many Will Dance on Your Tongue, Louis-Barthélémy Rousseau (France, 2022, 20’)
Edge, Edmund Krempiński, Jakub Dylewsk (Poland, 2023, 18’)
Et tu cherches quoi de beau ici? / I Should Feed My Cat, Abram Cerda (Belgium, 2022, 16’)
Les garçons dans l’eau / Boys in the Water, Pawel Thomas Larue (France, 2023, 39’)
Heart Fruit, Kim Allamand (Switzerland, 2022, 20’)
Ours / Bear, Morgane Frund (Switzerland, 2022, 20’)
Plastic Touch, Aitana Ahrens (Spain, 2022, 12’)
Pussy Love, Linda Krauss (Germany, 2023, 4’)
Vanette, Maria Beatriz Castelo (Portugal, 2023, 13’)
QUEER ART COMPETITION
Anhell69, Theo Montoya (Colombia, Romania, France, Germany, 2022, 75’)
O Estranho / The Intrusion, Flora Dias, Juruna Mallon (Brazil, France, 2023, 107’)
Freedom from Everything, Mike Hoolboom (Canada, 2022, 87’)
Labor, Tove Pils (Sweden, 2023, 95’)
The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Who Lived for Twenty and Eight Years All Alone on an Inhabited Island and Said It Was His, Benjamin Deboosere (Belgium, 2023, 75’)
Playland, Georden West (USA, 2023, 72’)
Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day, Mohammad Shawky Hassan (Egypt, Lebanon, Germany, 2022, 63’)
Vai e Vem / Swing and Sway, Chica Barbosa, Fernanda Pessoa (Brazil, 2022, 82’)
Passages, Ira Sachs (France, 2023, 91’)
Sisi & I, Frauke Finsterwalde (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, 2023, 132’)
Arrête avec tes mensonges / Lie with Me, Olivier Peyon (France, 2022, 98’)
Cidade Lúcida / Lucid City, Adrian Stölzle (Germany, Portugal, 2023, 91’)
Drifter, Hannes Hirsch (Germany, 2023, 79’)
Intransitivo: um Documentário sobre Narrativas Trans / Intransitive: a Documentary about Trans Stories, Gabz 404, Gustavo Deon, Lau Graef, Luka Machado (Brazil, 2022, 72’)
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, Ric Burns (USA, 2019, 111’)
GAZE SHORTS PROGRAM
Don’t Go Where I Can’t Find You, Rioghnach Ni Ghrioghair (Ireland, 2021, 20’)
First Date, Clara Planelles (Ireland, 2022, 12’)
Homebird, Caleb J. Roberts (Ireland, UK, 2022, 11’)
Punch Line, Becky Cheatle (Ireland, 2022, 10’)
Skin to Skin Talks, Pradeep Mahadeshwar (Ireland, 2023, 12’)
What Could Go Wrong?, Caroline Quinn (Ireland, 2023, 17’)
RETROSPECTIVE: “Becoming Yvonne Rainer”
Feelings Are Facts: the Life of Yvonne Rainer, Jack Walsh (USA, 2015, 83’)
Film about a Woman Who…, Yvonne Rainer (USA, 1974, 105’)
Journeys from Berlin/1971, Yvonne Rainer (USA, UK, West Germany, 1980, 125’)
Kristina Talking Pictures, Yvonne Rainer (USA, 1976, 90’)
Lives of Performers, Yvonne Rainer (USA, 1972, 90’)
The Man Who Envied Women, Yvonne Rainer (USA, 1985, 125’)
Murder and Murder, Yvonne Rainer (USA, 1996, 113’)
Privilege, Yvonne Rainer (USA, 1990, 103’)
Rainer Variations, Charles Atlas (USA, 2002, 42’)
Talk with Benvindo Fonseca (moderated by Carolina Franco)
Talk with Gabz 404
Talk with Philippe Besson (moderated by Franck Finance-Madureira)
“Chemsex and drug use in the queer community” (with Cristiana Vale Pires & Rui Guerreiro, moderated by Maria José Campos)
“Inside Oliver Sacks’s head” (with Pedro Cabral & Bruno Maia, moderated by Maria José Campos)
“We on the screen. LGBTQI+ representation in the media”
“Yvonne Rainer, film and dance” (with Gisela Casimiro, João dos Santos Martins & Jorge Jácome, moderated by Cláudia Galhós & Joana Ascensão)
Opening Party / Friday 22 • Arroz Estúdios, 12am-5am. With AAguilAA, DIDI & Rafaela Jacinto
Queer Rendez-Vous / Saturday 23 • Bar TR3S, 10pm-3am.
Volunqueers Party / Thursday 28 • Purex Clube, 10pm-2am. With Dj Sentado & Dj Gosto d ti
Drama Horror Picture Show / Friday 29 • Drama Bar, 7pm-1am.
Closing Party - DISCORUSH! / Saturday 30 • NAV – Nunca Antes Visto, 12am-6am. With Alex B2B Afonso, Paco! & more to be announced.