CineQ Queer Film Festival aims to focus on new stories and QTIPOC (Queer Trans and Intersex
People of Colour) perspectives, while introducing ‘New Queer Cinema’ a type of queer cinema often overlooked along with showcasing some of the best underrepresented LGBTQ film both past and present.
Kena (Samantha Mugatsia) and free spirit Ziki (Sheila Munyiva) both dream of a life beyond the stifling confines of their conservative Nairobi neighbourhood. From the moment the two young women meet, the connection is clear and their budding friendship blossoms into something more serious, forcing these star-crossed lovers to make an impossible choice between happiness and safety.
Adapted from a Ugandan short story, Monica Arac de Nyeko’s Jambula Tree, a national ban was enforced on Rafiki for its supposed ‘intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya, contrary to the law’. Such intolerance only serves as a testament to the unabashed courage director Wanuri Kahiu demonstrates in telling queer stories in a country where gay sex is still a punishable offence.
SHAKEDOWN is the story of Los Angeles’ black lesbian strip club scene and its genesis. Owned and operated by women, underground and illegal in nature, the club Shakedown is the darker, faster, younger iteration of this dance culture. The film is a window into this world. Shakedown emerged from a post-RIOTS, post-OJ, post-integration but still very racially divided Los Angeles. In this divided city Shakedown is an independent, all black and all female cash economy.
SHAKEDOWN chronicles the explicit performances and personal relationships of the party’s dancers and organizers including Ronnie-Ron, Shakedown Productions’ creator and emcee; Mahogany, the legendary “mother” of the community; Egypt, their star performer; and Jazmine, the “Queen” of Shakedown.
In 2010, former BFI film festival programmer Jason Barker took to the stage sporting a rather impressive baby bump. But, while Jason’s pregnant trans-male body was a thing of true beauty, beneath the bump was a much bigger story dating back many years.
In his debut film, assembled entirely from home video footage which he and his partner Tracey shot over the course of a decade, Barker tells the fascinating story behind their journey to conceive.
BODY ELECTRIC + CINEQ AFTER HOURS
Modesty comes in many forms, but it’s most appreciated when matched by a generosity of spirit. “Body Electric,” Marcelo Caetano’s debut as feature director, is a character study of a 23-year-old gay man who hasn’t figured out what he wants out of life, realized with sensitivity as well as a complete lack of pretension. Affection for the protagonist remains constant as he flows between groups, accumulating lovers who become friends, and searches for a way through the kind of healthy uncertainty that too often, in less understanding hands, is presented as a negative trait. Although the focus occasionally wanders, “Body Electric” is a satisfying, warmhearted film whose understated charms leave a pleasant glow. It’s a pity viewership will largely be limited to LGBT outlets, since mainstream festivals would also get a charge from its low-key current. - Variety
By women for women, this short film programme takes male voyeurism out of film, rebels against heteronormativity and challenges perceptions of the queer community.
This screening is also part of a double bill including Then & Now
How far have we really come? In a short film programme that ponders history and the future of a fragmented world, we’ll go on a journey to understand what we’ve endured in order to galvanise us to stand again the inequalities and injustices we still face.
This shorts programme is part of a double bill with Femxle Gaze
Matthew is a young Canadian new to Berlin. He's come to make a fresh start, but he feels the isolation of living in a strange, new city. When he meets Matthias, he is entranced. Beautiful and charismatic, Matthias is everything Matthew wants to be. Soon Matthew's interest escalates, becoming an obsession.
Leo (Félix Maritaud) is a 22-year-old sex worker who yearns for affection. In poor health and with no fixed address, he finds fleeting solace in the arms of the men he meets through his work. The crushing solitude of Leo’s life is tempered when he falls for fellow hustler Ahd - but when his romantic feelings are violently rebuffed, Leo begins to spiral, questioning if he will ever find the love he so desperately craves. While the title might imply a wild, even feral, affair (and this sexually explicit film certainly comes with its fair share of brutality), Camille Vidal-Naquet’s arresting debut is also one of quiet introspection and disarming fragility. Such compassion is in no small part thanks to the remarkable Félix Maritaud, whose raw and vulnerable central performance is nothing short of devastating.