15. Queer Lion Award...

15. Queer Lion Award: films in competition...

The Power of the Dog by Jane Campion (New Zealand, Australia, 125 ‘, 2021)
Set in the 20’s, the story centers on the Burbank brothers, Phil and George, well-off siblings owners of a Montana ranch overlooking the valley. The two could not be more different: whereas Phil is a bright but cruel man, with an overbearing and violent attitude, George is a stubborn and fussy, but always kind. When George secretly marries Rose, a young widow, Phil refuses to accept it and starts a ruthless war against her,  using her son Peter as a pawn.

Competencia oficial by Gastón Duprat, Mariano Cohn (Spain, Argentina, 114 ‘, 2021)
Looking for a prestige project that will leave a mark, a billionaire decides to finance a film. He hires renowned director Lola Cuevas, who, however, immediately finds herself in trouble, having to manage the clashing egos of the two leads, Hollywood star Félix and “serious theater” actor Iván. In order to try to create some chemistry between the two men, she comes up with a series of weird labours they will have to overcome.

Madres paralelas by Pedro Almodóvar (Spain, 120 ‘, 2021)
Two women from Madrid, both single and dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, find themselves giving birth on the same day in the same hospital: middle-aged Janis, comforts younger Ana, frightened about the future, and the words they exchange in those hours, in an anonymous hospital corridor, will end up changing their lives in an unexpected way.

Il bambino nascosto by Roberto Andò (Italy, France, 110 ‘, 2021)
Gabriele Santoro, a piano teacher at San Pietro a Majella Conservatory, lives in a low-class district in Naples. Silent, cultured, solitary, he is a man of hidden, secret passions. One morning a ten-year-old boy sneaks into his apartment and hides in it. Gabriele will soon discover that the child is the son of a Camorra man and that, as it often happens to those denied of their childhood, Ciro ignores the alphabet of feelings.

Il paradiso del pavone by Laura Bispuri (Italy, Germany, 89 ‘, 2021)
On a winter’s day, Nena gathers her family to celebrate her birthday. Il paradiso del pavone (The peacock’s paradise) is a small journey into the intimacy and authenticity of human beings: a film about an extended family in which everyone talks but no one really listens. Until an unexpected event forces the family members to look into each other’s eyes and reveal themselves for what they really are.

El hoyo en la cerca by Joaquín del Paso (Mexico, Poland, 100 ‘, 2021)
As every year, the Los Pinos school, a prestigious school of the confessional type, sends its students on retreat to the countryside. Under the watchful eye of teachers and priests, the children are led on the path of their physical and moral development. Through the gaze of several middle and upper class teenagers, the film shows how their upbringing affects the future of society itself.

La santa piccola by Silvia Brunelli (Italy, 97 ‘, 2021)
Mario and Lino, two friends, born and raised in the Sanità quarter in Naples, are two eighteen-year-olds who never stepped out from that micro-reality. They lead a monotonous life, until the sister of one of them convinces the locals that she has performed a miracle and she starts being whorshipped as a living Saint. The fate of her family abruptly changes and both boys find out that they are different from what they thought: Mario realizes that he is homosexual and in love with Lino, who, instead, does not notice it, and, actually tries to find a way out from the routine of his life.

Deserto Particular by Aly Muritiba (Brazil, Portugal, 120 ‘, 2021)
A lonely forty-year-old policeman lives in the rich south of Brazil. His heart beats for a woman he met online. Although they never met in person, their relationship becomes deeper and more and more solid. One day the woman disappears from the web and he decides to leave for Bahia and look for her. Upon reaching his destination, he will discover that the woman he loves actually is a man.

Il silenzio grande by Alessandro Gassmann (Italy, Poland, 106 ‘, 2021)
Villa Primic, once a luxurious mansion, now nothing more than a ruin that looks like something out of a ghost story, has been put up for sale. A painful decision, taken by Mrs. Rose Primic, and shared by Massimiliano (who comes out in a very touching way) and Adele, heirs to the dilapidated fortune of the family: the only one who is not happy at all is the head of the family, Valerio, who will discover that he never really got to know his dear ones and, perhaps, not even himself, to the point of reaching the bitter awareness that living does not mean being alive.

La dernière séance by Gianluca Matarrese (Italy, France, 100 ‘, 2021)
Bernard has just retired. He is 63 years old, he lives alone with his two cats and decides to move to a new house, the one where he will live the last chapter of his life. Preparing the boxes, he begins to make a selection: what to leave, what to bring? Bernard is my master and I am his slave. His last lover I help him to put the whip in a box, between fragments of his memories; memories of the loves that AIDS has stolen from his arms, the traces of an adoptive family that rejected him, of the rigid upbringing that forged him, of a mother and father he never knew. Our sexual games are the chances for two generations to meet: between a whiplash and a leather harness we discuss about love, death, the AIDS epidemic in the Eighties, his new life project, about us. The wounds and grave goods of a survivor, a cry for life in the light of sexual impulses.

15. Queer Lion Award: out of competition...

La scuola cattolica by Stefano Mordini (Italy, 106’, 2021)
In a residential area of Rome, there is a well-known Catholic school for boys, where children from the cream of the crop of upper-middle class are educated. Their families feel that in that context, children can grow up protected from the turmoil that society is going through, and that that rigid education will open the doors to a bright future for them.

 Ariaferma by Leonardo Di Costanzo (Italy, Switzerland, 117 ‘, 2021)
An old nineteenth-century prison, located in an inaccessible and unspecified Italian area, is about to be closed. Due to bureaucratic problems, transfers are blocked and a dozen of prisoners await for their new destination, along with the few agents left. In a suspended atmosphere, the rules of separation are loosened and new forms of relationships seem to blossom among the men.

Bodeng sar (White Building) by Kavich Neang (Cambodia, France, China, Qatar, 90 ‘, 2021)
Growing up in Phnom Penh’s historic White Building, 20-year-old Samnang, along with two friends, Tol and Ah Kha, dreams of becoming a dance star thanks to a TV contest. All changes when, unexpectedly, Ah Kha reveals that he will soon be leaving Cambodia.

Isolation by Michele Placido, Julia von Heinz, Olivier Guerpillon, Jaco Van Dormael, Michael Wintebottom (Italy, Uk, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, 88’, 2021)
A collective documentary film, from five european directors asked to witness the revolutions and dramas caused in their own Countries by the pandemic; among them, “Two Fathers”, directed by Julia von Heinz (20’). After the death of his father, Hans-Michael von Heinz, the director finds out the truth about her parent true sexual identity. In order to know more, she starts emailing persons who got to know him over the last years, among them his closest friend, director Rosa von Praunheim.

Caveman – Il gigante nascosto by Tommaso Landucci (Italy, Switzerland, 91’, 2021)
It has been almost thirty years since Filippo Dobrilla started to sculpt a giant male nude inside a cave 650 metres deep in the Apuan Alps. This almost inaccessible place has jealously protected his secret: his youthful passion for a fellow climber, a passion Filippo was only able to indulge in here in the intimacy of this cave. Even after it was over and ever since then, Filippo has been returning regularly to the cave to work on the most important sculpture of his life, a masterpiece no one will see.

Techno, mama by Saulius Baradinskas (Lithuania, 18’, 2021)
Nikita loves to listen to techno music and dreams to go to Berlin and visit the famous club “Berghain”. His mother Irena doesn’t know about his son’s dreams and soon enough their mutual expectations will clash.

In The Mist by Tung-yen Chou (Taipei, 15’)
Theater and new media director Chou Tung-Yen touches on the unspeakable life experience of the gay community culture, exploring a male sauna through poetic lenses to take a peek into something that’s hidden under the desire—the love without love.

Era ieri (It Was Yesterday) by Valentina Pedici (Italy, 14’, 2016)
13-year-old Giò and Matteo are best friends. A small strip of land between the sky and the sea in Southern Italy is their kingdom. They head a group of boys, they do some petty thefts to feel grown up in an age of hope and childish games.