Torino International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
In 1981 Ottavio Mai and Giovanni Minerba decided to stage their own rebellion against mainstream movies where homosexual "characters" were always relegated to marginal roles and/or to offensive stereotypes. Their opposition took the form of their first film, shot in video, Dalla vita di Piero. The film was well received at Festival Cinema Giovani di Torino, Turin's festival for young film-makers, and was then presented at several international festivals.
So the seed of the Torino International Film Festival on Homosexual Themes, "From Sodom to Hollywood", was planted. As Mai and Minerba travelled to the various festivals to present their film, they realized that there were many excellent films being made on GLBT themes that were never released in Italy in any shape or form. They therefore began to work on the concept of a Festival and presented their ideas to local government bodies: to the Piedmont Regional Council, to the Turin Provincial Council and to the City Council of Turin. For three years they received no response. Then in 1985, the City Council appointed a new Councillor for Culture, Marziano Marzano, a man of open, liberal ideas, and non-conformist attitudes. With his support the first festival took place in 1986, in the face of the fierce opposition and controversy which was to dog the event over the years to come. The festival also managed to obtain funding from the Turin Province and from the Piedmont Region, and, subsequently, the invaluable artistic and cultural backing, which has been maintained through the years, of such prestigious national and international bodies as the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, the British Council, the Goethe Institut, the Colegio de Salamanca, the B.F.I., the Canadian Embassy, the Spanish Ministry of Entertainment, and the Centre Culturel Français.