- Director: Various
- Writer: Various
New Queer Visions: Lust in Translation...
Shimi – dir. Kate Maveau (Belgium)
A young woman practices the disciplined rigours of ballet, while fellow dancer Keely and a mysterious stranger watches. Hints of repressed lesbian desire are unleashed. As Keely gets to know the stranger, Mairi, it becomes increasingly unclear whether she is a real person or a vision of who Keely wishes she was (perhaps her id) – or perhaps a bit of both. Extremely well made and with shades of Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Shimi is intriguing and somewhat mysterious, exploring the repressed sexual desire and awakening of a young woman in a rather fascinating way. As it continues it also reveals a darkness and complexity to its story that’s well worth sticking around for.
Lost In The World – dir. Xolelwa “Ollie” Nhlabatsi (South Africa)
A woman trawls the streets in her car, apparently on the lookout for drugs. In flashback we see her earlier life with her female partner, as we piece together the events that she is apparently trying to forgot through narcotics. This thriller plays with genre ideas, swapping the ‘expected’ genders and showing a more realistic fallout for the sort of events we see in mainstream crime movies. It’s a smart and well-made movie, made by a South African filmmaker who wants to get across that drugs and crime aren’t just about entertainment, they’re about lives falling apart.|
Stevie – dir. Chloe Jury-Fogel (USA)
This short film follows the title character, a slightly dorky, small town tomboy. She gets asked by a new boy in town, Justin, whether she wants to hang out, which she agrees to, although she isn’t sure quite what she’s supposed to do or how to do a ‘date’. Stevie’s sister is excited as she thinks it might end the rumours that Stevie is a lesbian, although a woman Stevie meets on the date suggests that there may be some feelings there. Looking at people’s expectations of genders and the pressures of young women who don’t fit into the idea of being obsessed with their looks, weight and snagging a boy at all costs, it’s a sweet and rather charming short.
Blood & Water – dir. Emily Iason (USA)
A young British student in New York loves partying, having fun and one-night stands, although her hedonistic life might be causing her to neglect her studies. After being invited to a party thrown by one of her professors, she decides to make a move on her teacher. This starts a difficult relationship between the two, with Flo pushing for more but the professor knowing that nothing ought to happen. Blood & Water is an interesting look at the experimentation and vacillating tendencies of youth, as well as playing on the power dynamics between a student and teacher.
Two Girls Against The Rain – dir. Sopheak Sao (Cambodia)
It’s often difficult to know what it’s like to be gay in other countries and cultures, but this short documentary gives us a small insight into love in extraordinary circumstances. It tells the story of two women who fell in love in Cambodia during the ravages of the Khmer Rouge. After surviving that regime, they began to live together, despite being in an area where such things were never heard of. Their love still survives now. It’s a fascinating insight into life and cultural change for LGBT people in a culture we are perhaps not familiar with. While short, it’s also surprisingly moving.
Almost Obsolete – dir. James Cook (UK)
After having major problems with her girlfriend, Chris decides to go on spur of the moment road trip to Brighton to see her gay friend, Michael. While they’ve been somewhat out of touch, their reconnection proves potent, with a night out ending far differently for both of them than they’d hoped. It brings into relief that 10 years have passed since they lived together, and that one of them may have moved on and changed, while the other one is much the same. While the lure of going back to the hedonism of youth is enticing for Chris, she also feels she’s – rightly or wrongly – been looking for something else. Sometimes sexy, well-acted and with some interesting idea, Almost Obsolete is a sweet and touching look at the changes age and responsibility bring, the pain of getting over a breakup, and the different people we can be.
Lit – dir. Elena Oxman (USA)
Two women meet in a bar, with one of them thinking they’re headed for a hook-up. However, rather than going back to one of their houses, they end up heading off on a trip around San Francisco. As with some of the other shorts, Lit is intrigued about the power play between people, here questioning whether a ‘butch’ lesbian who thinks she’s in charge, may actually be both emotionally and physically reliant on the other woman. It questions what they’re both looking for and how appearances can be deceptive, as well as the fact that ‘butch’ and ‘femme’ may suggest rigid gender roles, but the reality is more complex.
New Queer Visions: Men from the Boys...
A compilation of short films exploring first love, revenge, new beginnings and more are unwrapped in this exciting collection from first-time directors from Portugal, Taiwan, Belgium, the UK and the USA.
CIGANO dir. David Bonneville (Portugal): Wealthy young Sebastian finds out he has a flat tyre and ends up accepting help from a Gypsy passer-by in the highly original short film ‘Cigano’. When Sebastian offers to give him a ride home, their expected destination is not what it seems…
TALKING TO MY MOTHER dir. Leon Le (USA): A young man is trapped in a culture clash where traditions stunt his quest for personal happiness. Will Michael be able to face the truth with his loved ones – and most importantly, himself, before it’s too late?
DAWN dir. Leon Le (USA): On an evening commute, Tye detects racism from another passenger’s glance. In revenge, he decides to follow and confront the man.
SPILT MILK dir. James Dunstan (UK): ‘Spilt Milk’ is an unconventional and highly moving love story between two teens leading up to the night of their prom as they begin to understand the differences and similarities of love, sex and gender.
DINNER CONFESSION dir. Chih-Jen Lin (Taiwan): In the hilarious and sweet ‘Dinner Confession’, Che is having dinner with his mom, but all of a sudden, she takes out Che’s secret magazine and starts to question him about it. However, she is interrupted by the unexpected visit of Che’s close friend, Chun-Hao…
PITTSBURGH dir. Rory Dering (USA): ‘Pittsburgh’ is an intimate, emotionally turbulent yet occasionally light-hearted look at a young deaf man’s relationship with his boyfriend, who isn’t quite ready to come out of the closet.
KISS ME SOFTLY dir. Anthony Schatteman (Belgium): Seventeen-year-old Jasper lives in a small grey town in a family dominated by his dad, a cheesy singer called Lukkie Luk. Jasper finds it hard to come to terms with his father’s career and also struggles with the problems of adolescence, but eventually he musters up the courage to be true to himself and those around him in this heartwarming coming of age tale.
New Queer Visions: Seeing is Believing...
ADULTdir. Jamieson Pearce
HELLO, STRANGER dir. Anthony Schatteman
LITTLE POTATOdir. Wes Hurley, Nathan M. Miller
JUAN GABRIEL IS DEAD dir. Tavo Ruiz
LE CONVIVE dir. Hakim Mastour
CONTESTANT # 4 dir. Jared Joven, Kaj Palanca