Filmmakers from Sundance, Berlinale & SWSX will be hosted at The Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival between June 1 and 10, 2017.
The festival will open with a festive ceremony and the screening of the film "The Wound", which was screened in Sundance and Berlinale 2017. During the festival, 60 Features and more than 100 short films from Israel and around the world will be screened. Among the festival's guests arriving in Israel are Mink Stole the star of John Waters movies and groundbreaking director Monika Treut.
The Wound, a South African film by John Trengove, was screened at the international competition of Sundance Festival 2017 and was the opening film of the prestigious Panorama program at the 2017 Berlin Festival. The film is about an outdoor, week-long initiation ceremony for adolescent boys, which begins with a circumcision ceremony that is supposed to assert their masculinity. But it is also a ground for class struggle and social background. Director John Trengove is a guest of the festival.
The opening night of the festival will be held at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on June 1, in which two prizes will be awarded to film and entertainment people who are among the most important and influential on the history of the LGBTQ community.
Monika Treut is a groundbreaking filmmaker who has contributed greatly to the representation of LGBT sexuality over the years. She is not only a director with a unique voice, but also a producer and screenwriter who has influenced lesbian feminist cinema as well as independent German cinema since the early 1980s. She has proven to be one of the most important leading voices of modern queer cinema. Since the screening of her first film Seduction: The Cruel Woman in 1985, more than a dozen of her films have been screened at the Berlin Film Festival. Her 1999 documentary Gendernauts won a Teddy Award and is considered the most important documentary film on transgenders to this day; she is currently filming a sequel to her groundbreaking documentary film. In honor of her winning of the Teddy Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival, we will be hosting Monika Treut and a selection of her films.
Mink Stole is a living legend. part of the talented group of actors assembled by inimitable filmmaker John Waters, Stole was best known for portraying the nemesis of the characters played by Waters' ultimate star, Divine, who was celebrated for the purely satanic nature of his roles. One of her most notable roles is the wicked, red-haired, cat-eye glasses-sporting villain Connie Marblein the notorious Pink Flamingos (1972). It was this performance that set the stage for the plethora of grotesque figures she was to play throughout her career as a Waters regular. These included screeching, spoiled child Taffy Davenport in the 1974 movie Female Trouble, murderous housewife Peggy Gravel in Desperate Living (1977), and unforgettable secretary Sandra Sullivan in box-office hit Polyester. Her other Waters credits include Cry Baby, Hairspray, Cecile B. Demented, with and Serial Mom. With time, she became a favorite of LGBT filmmakers, who cast her in numerous films: But I'm a Cheerleader (1999), the Eating Out movies (2006-2011), and All About Evil (2010).
And more guests:
Zachary Booth, an American actor who played Glenn Close's son in the hit series Damages, is also known for his role in the independent film Keep the Lights On, and the new hit series, The Good Fight. He will come together with director Vincent Gagliostro to present the film After Louie, after its world premiere this March.
Laurent Micheli, Belgian director, will arrive in Tel Aviv to present his film Even Lovers Get the Blues, which won the critics' award at the Namur International Festival in Belgium. A contemporary multi-sexual drama. Limited to ages 18 and up.
Director Helena Hegemann and lead actress Jasna Fritzi Bauer, from Germany will arrive in Tel Aviv to show the Axolotl Overkill, Winner of the Sundance 2017 Photography award.
Actress and writer Fawzia Mirza from USA will present Signature Move, after its world premiere at SWSX Festival 2017.
Lawyer and social activist Evan Wolfson will arrive to present the Hot Docs hit, The Freedom to Marry, about his work as an activist behind the US Marriage Freedom Movement
Antonio De Silva, an award-winning Portuguese artist and filmmaker who explores male sex and sexuality in his movies, will present a Portuguese short film and will lead a conversation about his unique way to photograph gay men.
Simon J. Berger, Swedish actor will arrive in Tel Aviv to show the mini-series: Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves, about the first years of the AIDS epidemic in Stockholm.
Italian Filmmaker Fabio Mollo will present his movie Il Padre d'Italia, with which this year’s festival will close after the award ceremony on June 10.
The stars of reality show RuPaul's Drag Race arriving to TLVFest:
Sharon Needles - winner of the fourth season & Jinkx Monsoon – winner of the fifth season
Other international queens who will be hosted at TLVFest: Peaches Christ - San Francisco's leading drag queen. Sherry Vine, a New York icon, celebrating 25 years of career this year, and one of the world's leading drag queens. Gloria Viagra - the most famous drag queen in Berlin. A DJ, singer, and activist for the rights of LGBT people and immigrants.
The festival will feature prominent and award-winning films from the world's most important film festivals: Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, SWSX, Toronto, and more.
From Sundance Festival 2017:
This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous
Director Barbara Kopple, winner of two Oscars for her documentary films Harlan County U.S.A. (1976) and American Dream (1990), brings to the big screen the exciting story of international YouTube phenomenon Gigi Gorgeous and, as usual, an honest and moving cinematic experience.
Winner of the Sundance 2017 Photography Prize, this is the first film by the 25-year-old novelist, actress, playwright, and opera director Helene Hegemann, based on her successful but controversial German bestseller. The plot is about a 16-year-old girl who has an affair with two different women many years older than her and a flirt with one of their husbands. Director Helena Hegemann and lead actress Jasna Fritzi Bauer are guests of the festival.
A chilling cinematic work that incorporates four nerve-racking horror films featuring female characters who deal with crises of various kinds, giving the public a new queer and feminist perspective. When did we last see female figures and their dilemmas in everyday life in a horror movie? Screened in the Midnight film category at the Sundance Festival 2017.
From the Berlin Festival 2017: The Best of LGBT Cinema from the Panorama, Forum, and Generation sections
Director Naoko Ogigami won a special award at the Teddy competition during the past Berlin Festival. A family drama about Tomo, an 11-year-old girl abandoned by her single mother and adopted by her uncle and his girlfriend, Rinko, a young transgender whose dream is to have children. The two develop an exciting mother-daughter relationship. For the first time in her life, Tomo feels in a real home, but reality then penetrates the bubble they have created.
The documentary film of Taiwan's Hui-Chen Huang won the Teddy Award for best documentary film at the last Berlin Festival. This is an intimate, moving, multi-layered, and emotional documentary that slowly reveals a complex relationship between mother and daughter.
My Gay Sister
Lea Hietala's film was awarded the Teddy Award for best short film at the Berlin 2017 International Film Festival. Since her sister came out of the closet, 10-year-old Cleo has a lot of questions.
A masterpiece by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi that brings to the big screen the story of legendary Mexican singer Chavela Vargas. The film features a portrait of a social warrior, a declared lesbian, and a charismatic artist. A fascinating figure who is larger than life.
A film by Camila José Donoso documents what happens behind the doors of the Casa Roshell Club in Mexico City, where the boundaries are blurred, and where gay, straight, and bisexual men can be women for a few hours. They gossip around the tables or wait for men that love crossdressers to touch them in the dark room.
Bold films from the Berlin Festival 2017 - Entrance from age 18 and up
A film by Taiwanese multimedia artist and filmmaker Shu Lea Cheang. An erotic art-fiction piece that created a mini-scandal at the last Berlin Festival because of its pornographic content. The year is 2060 and AIDS has been eradicated. However, the HIV virus mutated into a gene from which a drug can be produced that is the white powder of the twenty-first century. With a unique scanning system, the secret police try to identify who carries this gene.
A new film by Bruce LaBruce. This time, a group of female revolutionaries plan to kidnap men and turn them into women. But what happens when one of the students, who conceals a big secret about her identity, decides to help an injured soldier who is fleeing the army and even falls in love with him?
The first film of Spanish director Eduardo Casanova is a combination of Pedro Almodóvar's camp films and the 1932 masterpiece of Tod Browning, Freaks. Scandalous Skins managed to make the audience roll with laughter and make sounds of shock and cries of enthusiasm at the end.
Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves
The film by Matthew Dennis and Simon Lavoie achieved its international premiere at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival after being named best Canadian film at the Toronto 2016 Festival. Also in Berlin, it obtained a prize. Quoting its praising at its section, “this film is part of the Youth section of the festival; it may be about youth, but it is more suitable for an adult audience.” It is 183 minutes long and describes the lives of four revolutionary students; a lesbian couple, a transgender, and a young man. To Godard fans, and especially to fans of his revolutionary film The Chinese: This is a radical and activist piece, a thrilling fusion between feature film, documentary, and experimental film. An epic, ambitious, emotional, and intellectual experience.
Films for teens from the Berlin Festival 2017 - Entrance to the whole family
From today, it cannot be argued that the International LGBT Film Festival is suitable for adults only.
The director/screenwriter Bruce Macdonald brings to the screen a magical youth drama, which is also a journey film that takes place in the late seventies against a background of nostalgic soundtrack. Kit and Alice, a pair of high school students, set out on an adventure along the east coast of Canada. Kit wants to move in with his mother (Molly Parker), who lives in a commune on the beach. She is an artist who in the past worked with Kit's revered Andy Warhol, who also appears in his dreams and fantasies. Alice, who is in love with Kit, does not understand why her partner is more interested in the boys who are on their way than in her. During the journey, the two will come to new insights about themselves and their relationship will be put to the test.
Emo the Musical
Director Neil Triffett provides us with a delightful Australian Musical with a queer touch and plenty of humor. Ethan, a sensitive and imaginative child with suicidal tendencies, arrives at a new high school. He joins the Emo band in a rival school with a Christian youth group, of which Trinity, a devout Christian girl, was a member. There is mutual attraction between the two of them, but the stigmas and social groups in high school will not allow them to realize their love. Despite the fact that there are only secondary gay characters in the film, we chose to present the film Emo the Musical at the LGBT Film Festival because of its important social messages regarding acceptance of the other and difference in society. We hope to see parents coming together with their children to watch this entertaining and excellent film, suitable for the whole family.
International premiere! A day after its world premiere at the closing ceremony of the Toronto LGBT Film Festival
A new and spectacular musical by Tom Gustafson, the director of the musical Were the World Mine and the producer of the drama Getting Go, which were screened with dazzling success at the past TLVFest. Hello Again, inspired by the scandalous play by Austrian playwright Arthur Schnitzler, La Ronde, consists of 10 different stories that take place at different times in New York City, bringing to the big screen narratives of passion, love, and betrayal. In this game of identities, every actor and actress plays different characters from different periods in at least two of the stories. The glittering and impressive cast includes Broadway's number one diva, winner of five Tony Awards, Audra MacDonald (Beauty and the Beast), T.R. Knight (Gray's Anatomy), Cheyenne Jackson (American Horror Story), Martha Plimpton (The Real O'Neals), Jenna Ushkowitz (Glee), Rumer Willis (Demi Moore & Bruce Willis' daughter) and model/actor/singer Nolan Gerard Funk (Riddick, the series Arrow, and the face of fashion brand Versace alongside Lady Gaga) and more.
La Ronde (Reigen), written by Schnitzler in 1896, became a homonymous film by Max Ophüls in 1950. In 1994, Lincoln Center awarded a scholarship to composer Michael John LaChiusa and asked him to turn the play into a Broadway musical starring John Cameron Mitchell and Donna Murphy. The Israeli audience will be the second in the world to be exposed to the spectacular cinematic result.
Films from Tribeca, Cinequest, and SWSX Film Festivals 2017
Tom of Finland
The film by Dome Karukoski participated in the official competition of Tribeca Festival 2017. It tells the story of cult artist Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, and the events over the years that influenced his iconic homo-erotic paintings. The film follows the artist from his days as a soldier in World War II until he became a symbol of the Gay Sexual Revolution during the 1970s. In cooperation with the Embassy of Finland.
The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin
A movie by Jennifer M. Kroot screened for the first time at the SWSX 2017 festival. It brings to the big screen the life of author Armistead Maupin, from a boy in a conservative southern town, the jungles of the Vietnam War, and the San Francisco bathhouses of the 1970s to a best-selling writer and LGBT rights activist. Featuring interviews with actors and artists such as Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Neil Gaiman and Olympia Dukakis.
Jennifer Reeder's film, based on a screenplay by Fawzia Mirza, had its world premiere at SWSX Festival 2017. A Pakistani Muslim lawyer living in Chicago with her conservative mother who is looking for a husband for her only daughter, starts a new romance with Alma, a Mexican-American who lives out of the closet. Lead actress and writer Fawzia Mirza is a guest of the festival.
Prom King, 2010
Christopher Schaap's debut film won the New Vision Award at Cinequest Festival 2017. Charlie is a love-loving student. He loves the way James Dean and Natalie Wood kiss passionately in Rebel Without A Cause, and is moved by the sound of the orchestra as Laurence Olivier promises Joan Fontaine to take her behind a tree and violently make love to her in Rebecca. But reality is not a Hollywood classic, and the men he dates are not movie stars from the fifties.
Films from European film festivals: Rotterdam 2017, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, and San Sebastián 2016
In his first long film, Marcelo Catano succeeds in creating a realistic piece about Elias, a young man working for a female fashion designer with a large sewing workshop in Sao Paulo. Her brother, the director of the human resources department, does not approve of Elias' warm relationship with the workers of the large sewing factory. World Premiere: Rotterdam 2017.
Daniel Abma's documentary, premiered at the Karlovy Vary Festival in 2016 and winner of the best documentary film award at prestigious film festivals in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Montreal and more. The film reveals an unknown side in Cuba, the world of the transgender community.
A Date for Mad Mary
Darren Thornton's film was screened at the 2016 Karlovy Vary Festival for its world premiere. Mary is released from a criminal institution after a six-month prison term. As soon as she leaves the institution, she comes to help her best friend, Charlene, prepare for a wedding with her boyfriend, but of course, things get complicated.
Francie Fabriz's short and brilliant film was screened at Locarno Festival 2016 for its world premiere, and at San Sebastián Festival 2016, where it won the Panavision Award. Two women get stuck in the elevator of a department store. They deal with the stressful situation in an original way.
Films from documentary film festivals: Hot Docs 2016, IDFA 2016
The Freedom to Marry
Eddie Rosenstein's film, presented in Hot Docs 2016, brings to the big screen the story of the activists behind the US Marriage Freedom Movement: Evan Wolfson and Mary Bonauto, who are considered the Movement's masterminds, and their colleagues from the early days to the final stage of the struggle at the US Supreme Court. A special guest in the festival is lawyer and social activist Evan Wolfson.
A Queer Country
Lisa Morganton's film was screened at the prestigious IDFA Festival and reveals how liberal attitudes in Israel often clash with the legal and political structure of the state. It also raises the question of whether Israel is really a true pro-LGBT state, as it is being promoted in the world, or whether it is a political invention whose opponents call pinkwashing; that is, the cynical use of the LGBT community by politicians in Israel. A Queer Country places emphasis on the citizens living here and offers a complex and humane picture.
Toronto Film Festival 2016:
Starring Anne Heche, Sandra Oh, and Alicia Silverstone. Also screened at the Gothenburg 2017 Festival. Usually, the films that describe two college friends who meet after years lead to a heartwarming story, but not in this case. This is a sharp, barrier-free comedy that leaves no wounded on the ground.
Below Her Mouth
April Mullen's directing is powerful, and the script by Stephanie Fabrizzi is written honestly. The film was made by a team of women, one of the reasons for the authenticity and naturalness of the events on screen. An unexpected novel between a shapely construction worker and a successful fashion magazine editor who lives peacefully with her fiancé but is suddenly in a difficult dilemma.
Angry Indian Goddesses
Pan Nalin's film has won a number of audience awards at festivals in Toronto, Rome, and more. A group of female friends that have not seen each other for a long time meets at a beach house in Goa after being invited by one of them with a sudden and urgent announcement: "I'm getting married." A great surprise awaits the friends when they arrive: their friend comes out of the closet and informs them that she is marrying her partner, whom they did not even know.
The stars of reality show RuPaul's Drag Race arriving to TLVFest
Sharon Needles - winner of the fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Sharon quickly became a phenomenon in the social networking world. In 2013, she launched her first PG-13 album. In 2015, her second album, Taxidermy, was released.
Lady Gaga is one of her admirers, praising her in interviews. She first appeared in Pittsburgh in 2004, where she became one of the protagonists of the It Gets Better project. Because of her love for the Gothic style, Needles launched Haus of Haunt, a group that changed the nightlife of Pittsburgh with shows influenced by punk, camp, and horror.
Jinkx Monsoon - the fifth season winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, began her career at age 15 and describes herself as "bizarre, daring, dismissive, anachronistic, stunning." Monsoon is considered one of the biggest stars in the international drag world and the cabaret show, having starred in stages all over the world, from Australia to most European countries.
Other international queens who will be hosted at TLVFest
Peaches Christ - San Francisco's leading drag queen. Her performances at the Castro Theater regularly attract over 1,000 viewers every month. Peaches Christ has appeared in the Oscar-winning film Milk and other award-winning films I Am Divine and Diary of a Teenage Girl, among many others.
Sherry Vine, a New York icon, celebrates 25 years of career this year. One of the world's leading drag queens. She has starred in dozens of successful Off-Broadway productions in New York. She has participated in dozens of films including Wigstock, Stonewall, The RuPaul Christmas Special, The Rasberry Reich, and SqueezeBox The Movie!. Her cabaret performance with Joey Arias - StarLust – was given in Berlin, Manchester, Sydney, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Budapest, Vienna, and more.
Gloria Viagra - the most famous drag queen in Berlin. She is a DJ, a singer, a band leader, an activist who for the rights of LGBT people and immigrants, and an activist against neo-Nazis. She is also a member of the Teddy Awards Family (the quirky film awards distributed at the Berlin Festival). In 2009, she initiated a rally in solidarity with the LGBT community in Israel after the shooting at the Tel Aviv Gay Center.