OUT IN AFRICA South African Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Johannesburg: Nu Metro Montecasino 3-13 September
Cape Town Nu Metro V&A Waterfront 10-20 September
Featuring 19 international films and 9 South African productions – feature and shorts, of which 6 are World premieres.
1. Angel, Dir: Giorgios Katakouzinos, Greece, 1982, 120 min
A Greek classic that caused a stir when it screened at Cannes, and a box office success in Greece at the time, Angel is based on a true, tragic tale. Angelos’ life is drudgery, he falls for sailor Mikhailis, who soon begins to abuse him, pimping him as a transvestite. The Director is a Guest of the Festival
2. The Baby Formula, Dir: Alison Reid, Canada, 2008, 81min
Lilith and Athena are married and want each others’ biological child – without relying on sperm. Athena works in a cutting-edge, genetics laboratory that has managed to create ‘female sperm’ from stem cells. A witty script and tight performances make this light comedy easy to watch.
3. Before I Forget, Dir: Jacques Nolot, France 2007 108mins
What happens to the once young and beautiful gigolos? Starkly realistic, yet quietly touching picture of what it means to age in a gay subculture.
4. Boystown (Chuecatown), Dir: Juan Flahn Spain 2007 93mins
A fun, breezy, intelligent comedy set in a gay ghetto in Madrid. Someone is knocking off old ladies and selling their flats at huge profit to gay men. But the loveable, burly Bears are on to the culprit…
5. Chinese Botanist’s Daughters, Dir: Dai Sijie, France/Canada 2006 105mins
Multiple award winner, based on a true story of forbidden love between two women and set in a dramatic landscape, lovingly and beautifully shot . It’s a peek into the East, romantic and tragic.
6. Chris & Don, Dirs: Guido Santi & Tina Mascara USA 91 mins
Amazing documentary about Christopher Isherwood (Cabaret was based on his short stories Goodbye to Berlin) told mostly by his lover Don, a much younger man, supported by fabulous, well considered archival footage of Hollywood starting in the late forties. Sharp, witty and revealing.
7. The Curiosity of Chance, Dir: Russell P. Marleau, Belgium/USA 2006 98 mins
A witty high school comedy, really! Chance must negotiate the minefields of school-cool and the nasty jock Brad. Good acting, a clutchbag full of memorable one-liners, and a great 80s soundtrack.
8. Dirty Laundry, Dir: Maurice Jamal, USA 2006 100 mins
African –American Sheldon, a high-flying New York journalist, finds out he has a child and returns reluctantly to small-town Georgia to face the music. Well actually a whole orchestra. And he has to come out…
9. Family, Dir: Faith Trimel, USA 2008 109 mins
A group of 30-something African-American lesbians make a pact to finally come out to family and colleagues with surprising and hilarious results. The Director is a guest of the Festival courtesy of the US Consulate.
10. Fig Trees, Dir: John Greyson, Canada 2009 104 mins
A contemporary opera based on the activist lives of Zackie Achmat and Canadian Tim McCaskell, with clever historical reference to Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thompson. Richly layered, visual, intelligent and very different. The Director is a guest of the Festival courtesy of the Canadian High Commission
11. Hollywood je t’aime, Dir: Jason Bushman, USA 2009 95 mins
Jerome flees Paris, and a failed relationship, for Hollywood and an unexpected reality check wrapped up in cultural differences and new friends. Lots of fun and an illuminating look at the fringes of the Hollywood machine.
12. Noah’s Arc – Jumping the Broom, Dir: Patrik-Ian Polk, USA 2008 101 mins
In a perfect feature length confection the beautiful black men are back – preparing for Noah’s wedding. And which gay affair is not fraught with some crisis – exes, infidelity, commitment, HIV and more!
13. The Secrets (Ha-Sodot), Dir: Avi Nesher, France / Israel 2007 120min
Naomi persuades her rabbi father to postpone her wedding and allow her to attend a midrasha. Here she meets Naomi and though a relationship blossoms, they are challenged by all the power of the Orthodox tradition.
14. Shank, Dir: Simon Pearce, USA 2009 89 mins
Working class Cal runs with a disaffected mob of heavy-drinking, drug-dependent hoodies, hiding the fact that he’s gay. Trouble erupts when he rescues a French boy his gang has beaten up. This explicit, shocking, largely hand-held film has already picked up a clutch of international awards and breathes new life into British alternative cinema. Director Pearce and Producer Christian Martin are guests of the Festival courtesy of the British Council.
15. Spinnin’ (6 Billion Different People), Dir: Eusebio Pastrana, Spain 2007 110 mins
Exuberant, award-winning tale of lovers Garate and Omar is set in Madrid in 1995, following their journey as they seek to have a child. A warm, fuzzy film only the crazy Spanish could make and the sheer zest of the film is astonishing.
16. What Love Means (Sa raison d’être), Dir: Renaud Bertrand, France 2008 180 mins
A warm, engrossing, easy-to-watch, beautifully acted epic that charts the lives of a group of friends through the epoch of the AIDS pandemic in France – from 1980 to the present day – and reveals a tapestry of shared heartbreak, testing courage and underlining it all, deepest love.
17. XXY, Dir: Lucia Puenzo, Argentina/France/Spain 2007 86min
Recently unbanned by the Film & Publications Board, this multi-award winning film is a complex tale of gender, identification and sexuality. Beautifully shot with stellar performances. Director Puenzo and lead actor, Ines Efron, are guests of the Festival.
18. Apostles of Civilised Vice, Dir: Zackie Achmat, South Africa 1999,
Achmat unpacks the little known, inexorably tangled, tragic and often ironic queer history of South Africa, cunningly presented, endlessly revealing, it reclaims and rewrites the place of gays and lesbians in history presenting a new one that is celebrated, not criminalised or marginalised.
19. Dykumentary, Dir:Jacque Oldfield & Adelheid Reinecke, South Africa 2009 93 mins
In what must be the first ever South African lesbian feature we are introduced to the full gamut of the A-Z of lesbian identity – from the mulleted hunter / butcher through the tommy boys and the wannabes. Who’d a thunk it?
20. The Satyr of Springbok Heights, Dir: Robert Silke, South Africa 2009 58mins
A quirky mix of queer and architecture – the Art-Deco gem Springbok Heights’ houses an (ill) assorted lot that know nothing about the halfbokkie that thrives on their lust, loneliness and unrequited loves. Cape Town intellectuals, architects and journalists, however, are in the know. Director Silke is a guest of the Festival and will conduct Q&As after the screenings in Jozi and CT.
21. Society II, Dir: Adze Ugah, South Africa 2009 90mins
A feature length cut of the second series of the successful series Society – a group of fabulous black fems and the lesbian in their midst. Beth is finally out, but will she survive the pressure. Writers/Producers Mamabolo and Matsetela are guests of the Festival and will conduct Q&As after screenings in Jozi and in CT.