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HALSTON | Official Trailer...

HALSTON, starring Ewan McGregor, is the untold story of the meteoric rise and fall of the first American celebrity fashion designer.

His name built an empire. His style defined an era. American fashion designer Halston skyrockets to fame before his life starts to spin out of control.

Premieres 14th May.

Oscars 2021...

OscarsThe 93rd Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, April 25th at the Dolby Theatre + other locations with a live telecast airing on ABC. This year's ceremony will not have a host. Here are the nominations:

PICTURE:
The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

DIRECTOR:
Thomas Vinterberg - Another Round
David Fincher - Mank
Lee Isaac Chung - Minari
Chloe Zhao - Nomadland
Emerald Fennell - Promising Young Woman

ACTOR:
Riz Ahmed - Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins - The Father
Gary Oldman - Mank
Steven Yeun - Minari

ACTRESS:
Viola Davis - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Andra Day - The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby - Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand - Nomadland
Carey Mulligan - Promising Young Woman

SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Sacha Baron Cohen - The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya - Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom Jr. - One Night in Miami
Paul Raci - Sound of Metal
Lakeith Stanfield - Judas and the Black Messiah

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Maria Bakalova - Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close - Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman - The Father
Amanda Seyfried - Mank
Youn Yuh-jung - Minari

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Judas and the Black Messiah - Will Berson, Shaka King, Keith Lucas, Kenneth Lucas
Minari - Lee Isaac Chung
Promising Young Woman - Emerald Fennell
Sound of Metal - Abraham Marder, Darius Marder, Derek Cianfrance
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Aaron Sorkin

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm - Peter Baynham, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jena Friedman, Anthony Hines, Lee Kern, Dan Mazer, Nina Pedrad, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Swimer
The Father - Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller
Nomadland - Chloé Zhao
One Night in Miami - Kemp Powers
The White Tiger - Ramin Bahrani

ANIMATED FEATURE:
Onward
Over the Moon
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE:
Another Round (Denmark)
Better Days (Hong Kong)
Collective (Romania)
The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia)
Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Judas and the Black Messiah - Sean Bobbitt
Mank - Erik Messerschmidt
News of the World - Dariusz Wolski
Nomadland - Joshua James Richards
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Phedon Papamichael

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
Collective
Crip Camp
The Mole Agent
My Octopus Teacher
Time

DOCUMENTARY SHORT:
Colette
A Concerto is a Conversation
Do Not Split
Hunger Ward
A Love Song for Latasha

ANIMATED SHORT:
Burrow
Genius Loci
If Anything Happens I Love You
Opera
Yes-People

LIVE-ACTION SHORT:
Feeling Through
The Letter Room
The Present
Two Distant Strangers
White Eye

VISUAL EFFECTS:
Love and Monsters
The Midnight Sky
Mulan
The One and Only Ivan
Tenet

PRODUCTION DESIGN:
The Father - PD: Peter Francis; Set: Cathy Featherstone
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - PD: Mark Ricker; Set: Karen O'Hara & Diana Stoughton
Mank - PD: Donald Graham Burt; Set: Jan Pascale
News of the World - PD: David Crank; Set: Elizabeth Keenan
Tenet - PD: Nathan Crowley; Set: Kathy Lucas

COSTUME DESIGN:
Emma - Alexandra Byrne
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - Ann Roth
Mank - Trish Summerville
Mulan - Bina Daigeler
Pinocchio - Massimo Cantini Parrini

MAKE-UP & HAIR:
Emma - Marese Langan, Laura Allen, Claudia Stolze
Hillbilly Elegy - Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle, Patricia Dehaney
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom - Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson
Mank - Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri, Colleen LaBaff
Pinocchio - Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli, Francesco Pegoretti

FILM EDITING:
The Father - Yorgos Lamprinos
Nomadland - Chloé Zhao
Promising Young Woman - Frédéric Thoraval
Sound of Metal - Mikkel E. G. Nielsen
The Trial of the Chicago 7 - Alan Baumgarten

SOUND:
Greyhound
Mank
News of the World
Soul
Sound of Metal

ORIGINAL SCORE:
Da 5 Bloods - Terence Blanchard
Mank - Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Minari - Emile Mosseri
News of the World - James Newton Howard
Soul - Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste

ORIGINAL SONG:
"Fight For You" from Judas and the Black Messiah
"Hear My Voice" from The Trial of the Chicago 7
"Husavik" from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
"lo Sì (Seen)" from The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)
"Speak Now" from One Night in Miami


 

BFI Flare 2021...Our Coverage...

Flare 2021 Bannerby David Anderson Cutler

The time has come...to raise the roof...it's BFI Flare 2021!!!

All films are available on-line between 17 - 28 March - everything you need to know to watch the films can be found here

And...all 38 short films can be watched for FREE! here

Five Films For Freedom returns!

The world’s largest LGBTIQ+ digital campaign returns for its seventh edition in 2021, reminding audiences that Love is Still a Human Right.

Broadcasting five brand-new LGBTIQ+ films to countries around the world, this year’s programme showcases queer storytelling from India, Spain, Sweden, USA and the UK.

In a continuing creative partnership, the British Council has selected five short films from the BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival which are available to watch for free from 17 to 28 March 2021 on British Council’s global digital networks and on BFI Player...here

Since all the films are being released at the same time and can be watched at any time during the festival - we have put together our viewing schedule, why not joins us...and if you feel compelled to write something about a film, whether it is to berate or compliment our coverage...feel free...and, with your permission, we will publish your comments...just send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Let the festival begin...! 


Day 1 - 17 March 2021...

Jump-DarlingJump, Darling
by Phil Connell

Darling...here's a film that will always be neck-deep in sadness, being Cloris Leachman's final film.

Frail, she most certainly is...and, still, sharp as a tack. Drag and dementia, not the usual bed buddies...but, here, hand-in-hand companions. At times, more bitter than sweet...and, on the odd occasion, more sweet than bitter.

Estranged grandson returns...out of [self-imposed] necessity...to steal...from his vulnerable and ailing grandma - he's the perfect, self-centred anti-hero...in drag! And...a rather damn fine performance from Thomas Duplessie it is too! Like, loathe, love...he conjures up all these emotions...while - resiliently - endearing himself.

It is a heady mix of hedonism and humanity...with generational clashes taking centre stage. A difficult balance indeed..and, Phil Connell does a decent job maintaining it. There are a couple of off-piste moments...but, they are forgivable. As good as it is, the d-i-y drag sequence in the closed bar is a bit of an incongruity. The subplot with the closeted bisexual - quite possibly - a bit of an unnecessity. Let's not mention the scene[s] with the owner of Peckers! Rather weird and totally spurious. Thankfully, these 'faux pas' fail to contaminate this film as a whole. They are just mere aberrations...

Because...there's Cloris. She steals the show...with her grit and resolve. Sentimentality would have killed this film stone dead...simply because, both leads have very little in that department - their lives have been/are being led for themselves - it's a powerful statement. There are regrets and there are apologies...and, they are all just too, too late.

With equal amounts of light and shade...Jump, Darling leaves much unsaid...the beauty of the film is that, by the end, everything has been said...without the stress of saying it, by way of a look or a touch. Ultimately, this is about end-of-life and self-discovery...the two are closer than you think!

A gem of a film.

Mama-GloriaMama Gloria
by Luchina Fisher

Here's a woman worth listening to. And, Luchina Fisher lets Mama Gloria talk...against a plain, black background, straight to camera, with no technical trickery...allowing the words to speak for themselves. And...the authenticity speaks for itself too. How refreshing.

Gloria is getting on a bit...once, she had something to say...and, guess what? She still has something to say! The voice of experience. Those who ignore those voices of experience will - undoubtedly - fall foul. Few - if any - tread new ground...but, one of the newest territories [to have been trodden in recent years] is that of transition...well, Gloria has been-and-done-that...a wise, younger person travelling down the same road will do themselves a massive favour by listening to her.

Call it what you will...personal testimony, contemporary social history...no matter, it is vital. To educate the under-educated, to enlighten those who need to call upon a shared experience...to help them through the minefield. Gloria will help...most definitely, some will call her old-fashioned...but, hey...we all become old-fashioned. Give it time...it - most definitely - will happen to you...too! Ouch! Reality hurts!

Few stones are left unturned...even down to Gloria's missing tooth! But...one thing that is so evident...Gloria needs support, her story needs to be preserved. This film accomplishes the preservation...those of the many who love her - those who she helped...it's time to step up! 

A dignified lady...and, a film that does her justice.


Day 2 - 18 March 2021...

The-GreenhouseThe Greenhouse
by Thomas Wilson-White

A grieving family drama that veers from a perceived predictability into some very strange waters indeed. As to its success...well, that is wholly dependent on your own interpretation and acceptance of the events!

We saw this as a portrait of collective grief, pansexual siblings grieve [in different ways] over the loss of one of their mothers...their differences are/is what brings them together. Along with their mother...do they represent the 5 stages of grief? Perhaps, they do...then again...perhaps, they don't. Perplexing to say the least...but, The Greenhouse does, at times, intentionally perplex!

Truly...this is an ambitious, genre-bending debut. Thomas Wilson-White manages to create and sustain a viable atmosphere throughout...it's a little spooky, with an ounce of the supernatural and a few grams of sci-fi...all rolled into one. The only hiccup was the Time-Bandits-like entrance into the parallel universe...through a car boot! A bamboozling stretch of the imagination!

There is much to admire...performances, cinematography and score. What it lacks...and, this is just a mere opinion...is the immense well of emotion normally associated with the loss of a parent. Yes...emotions do fly all over the place and when they do all come together, the director preferred to keep them more under control than allow them and the obvious sentimentality to run riot. This was the director's prerogative...the audience...well, this audience member, just wanted to bawl their eyes out...the opportunity was there! It would have left a far more lingering impression.

Anyway...an assured debut nonetheless.

Enfant-TerribleEnfant Terrible
by Oskar Roehler

Why not make a bio-pic about Fassbinder...in the style of Fassbinder himself!?! Brave? Daft? Bold? Delusional? All of them...in abundance!

Look...prior knowledge of the beatified Fassbinder [and his litany of work] will certainly help. Needless to say, Fassbinder occupies - most assuredly - now and forevermore - the love-him-or-loathe-him territory. This film will do nothing but push the general consensus towards the loathing!

It doesn't take a genius to deduct, from this relentlessly scathing portrait, that the director - Oskar Roehler - loathed the man...or, is this some kind of revenge upon the best dead German director of all time [in some people's opinion] by the best living German director of the moment [in some people's opinion]!?! Oooh what a conundrum! But...the question has to be asked: Was Herr Roehler the best director for the job?

Yes! Not a whiff of sycophancy here. Some 'names' have been changed to appease the sycophants...it doesn't take a genius to figure out who they are! The Fassbinder Foundation stills wields an almighty power...in the German film industry...thanks to the formidable Juliane Lorenz [don't mention Ingrid Caven].

Oliver Masucci plays Fassbinder as an absolute grotesque...he really is too old for the part [being 52 at the time of filming, Fassbinder died, aged 37]...but, that doesn't matter, he looks alarmingly like him...that's what excessive drugs and alcohol can do to you! And...he does deliver a performance more volatile than rocket fuel.

Enfant Terrible is a difficult film to watch...not because of how stylised it is...but, because of the cruelty. Fassbinder drove two of his lovers [of whom we know] to suicide. This man - all the time clad in his emperor's clothes - was celebrated, is still [bizarrely] celebrated...well, in light of all the cinematic scandals of recent...his celebration may be over as a result of this film. 

The emperor may - at last - be stripped of his new clothes. A most remarkable film...in more ways than one!


Day 3 - 19 March 2021...

My-First-SummerMy First Summer
by Katie Found

Apart from a few swear words and a bit of sauciness...if Disney were to make a lesbian teen drama...then, this would be it! Replete with two bungling cops!

You will have to suspend your disbelief [totally] for the sake of enjoyment...or, you'll be tearing your hair out [in clumps] because of the sweeping implausibilities. Listing them would take forever...here's an overview...a 16 year old young woman has been raised in rural isolation by her mother [a renowned writer], she well educated, reads poetry...but, has no idea what her fingers are called [mainly the pinky], doesn't know the name for turquoise [as in colour] and the taste of strawberry is totally alien...even though she's been raised on a small homestead with a fabulous market garden! Into her isolated sanctuary walks a worldly wise 16 year old young woman [with terrible dress sense] and - in next to no time - they are at it like sapphic bunnies. Suspend that disbelief!!!

There's nothing like a good twist to revitalise a flailing film...unfortunately, My First Summer's twist was heralded - to anyone with a brain cell - at the very beginning. Enough, too cruel.

Look...for teen lesbian-leaning girls who like to make beady bracelets...this is their perfect film...and, it is beautifully shot. But...adults will find it far too naïve...and [may, as we did] wonder...are all 16 year old young women this immature...perhaps, only in the Australian outback!?!

CuredCured
by Patrick Sammon & Bennett Singer

Essential viewing.

This is our history. This is the defining moment of our history, not Stonewall...this! This is when we all stopped being a diagnosis, an illness...millions upon millions cured instantaneously...with a mere signature. The American Psychiatric Association was led by religion, not by science...those, alive and dead, ought to be stripped of their bogus credentials...shamed and criminally charged. Any 'doctor' who performed lobotomies, castrations, electro-shock therapies [and other 'treatments'],still alive have to be charged [and, those dead, posthumously so]...without reserve. Historical child abuse...yes, most definitely...imprison the culprits. Historical conversion therapy [and contemporary conversion therapies]...imprison the culprits. The suffering and torture that they administered [and are still administering] was [is] Mengele-ian. Dr [ha] Charl[atan]es W. Socarides...

He wrote that male homosexuality typically develops in the first two years of life, during the pre-Oedipal stage of a boy's personality formation. In his view, it is caused by a controlling mother who prevents her son from separating from her, and a weak or rejecting father who does not serve as a role model for his son or support his efforts to escape from the mother.

Guess what? His son is magnificently gay!

These are the people who paved the way. Here is activism at its most most potent...and, at its most bizarre - the first testimony from a gay psychiatrist...in a mask! It took years, it took patience, tenacity and intellect.

Praise them. They won.

Exceptional film-making. Exceptional people...where would we all be without them?


Beginnings and Endings...short films...just click on the pic...

Buck Cosmopolitan 2019 Escaping The Fragile Planet Listening In Pool Boy The Night Train


Day 4 - 20 March 2021...

CowboysCowboys
by Anna Kerrigan

We originally saw this at the Glasgow Film Festival and had a chat with the director. Needless to say, in our humble opinion, it's such a good film that we decided to watch it again!

Take your favourite place and your favourite movie and let the writing process take place...that's what Anna Kerrigan did...and, Cowboys is the result. This might not be your atypical wild western...but, it is wild. The wildnesses of transition and mental health...and, a son and a father trying to keep it altogether [together] when the world around them is imploding, exploding and shattering...Kipling describes perfectly...

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you...  
 
Anna Kerrigan visualises it beautifully. She turned and flipped the table with this tale...the obvious isn't so obvious, everything is just a little unexpected. The backdrop will take your breath away, the tension will have you holding that breath. Ms Kerrigan certainly knows how to play with her audience. But...it's the chemistry between the two leads that really steals the show...their affection for each other is concrete. They care...making you care.

There is always a danger when approaching the trans narrative...of course, each story will always have similarities and the biggest danger is that every film made will turn out to be a mere deviation of the same story. Filmmakers have to think outside of the box...otherwise, trans-themed films will be swept onto the ever-growing we've-seen-and-heard-it-all-before pile. There's no danger of that happening with Cowboys...this is fresh, this is heart-warming and heart-breaking, this has majesty in scenery and in sentiment.

It's just a bloody lovely film.

The-Obiturary-Of-Tunde-JohnsonThe Obituary of Tunde Johnson
by Ali LeRoi

Taking risks with your debut feature is [sometimes] a risk worth taking. Ali LeRois has taken a massive risk...with his variation on Groundhog Day! In that...the same story is told over and over again...with tweaks. The danger with this structure is that each new variation can feel like a re-write of the previous scene...and that is exactly the problem with this film. Repetition...each variant is [needlessly] announced, it's almost as if the director has [wildly] under-estimated the audience...it's screamingly obvious when a chapter ends and a new one begins! But, seriously...how many 'coming out' scenes can you take in one film?!?

Tunde's character arc is utterly bamboozling...going from an affable Dr Jekyll to a scurrilous Mr Hyde without rhyme or reason - outing your lover to friends and family ain't gonna win you no fans! Steven Silver [as Tunde] does the best he can with the material...which is akin to being intermittently spoon-fed and preached at...all at the same time. 

This obituary needed less chapters and more depth...and, reasoning. Shame...because there really is a good story screaming to be told...coherently.


For the Record...short films...just click on the pic...

Above The Troubled Water All I Need Is A Ball Being Sascha Son Of Sodom Tracing Utopia 


Day 5 - 21 March 2021...

FirebirdFirebird
by Peeter Rebane

A most handsome film, it certainly is...alas, it's all style with a disappointing amount of substance. It's all just a bit too squeaky clean.

Homosexuality in the military is a subject that has cropped up sporadically throughout the years...most recently, with two rather splendid examples are the South Africa produced: Moffie and Canary. Threat, menace, risk, danger, dread, tension, thrill, joy and excitement - these are the ingredients necessary for a gripping military-based, cat-and-mouse, homo-sex drama.

Tension is a dramatic resource that Firebird failed to tap...the potential was all over the place - but, whenever these two young bucks were on the cusp of getting caught 'bucking'...they hid...behind a rock, behind a bush, in a bath-tub and that would be it...nothing that would get you onto the edge of your seat! For gawd's sake, if they were caught, they'd be shipped off to a secret Siberian gulag in next to no time for an indeterminable amount of time...where was their fear!?! Their hearts should have been in their mouths, chests beating like a frenzied King Kong.

Even the villain is not that villainous - everything seems to be resolved without too much of a fuss! Of course, it going to end in tragedy [how can it not] - instead of watching one character shed tears...wouldn't it have been preferential to have the whole audience bawling their eyes out?

It's a decent enough film...it just needed more dirt and grit, danger and dread.

Colors-of-TobiColors of Tobi
by Alexa Bakony

Be warned: A massive amount of hair dye was used in the making of this film.

Tobi changes their mind more times than they change the colour of their hair. Tobi is fortunate, Tobi has absolutely amazing parents. That's enough about Tobi...because Tobi will have you pulling your hair out rather than dying it. How their mother still has a full head of hair is testament to her inexhaustible parenting skills.

Having a lesbian then trans then non-binary child is a challenge...on so many levels. Societal, intellectual and financial are just a few of the inherent issues that have to be considered and, if possible, dealt with. Societal...well, you ain't gonna change everyone's mind, especially not in a small traditional village in Hungary [a country not noted for its homo/trans friendliness]. Intellectual...even the most educated still have 'problems' with trans, gender and non-binary...with a limited education Tobi's mother tries her best to understand...but, never compromises her support. Financial...transition can be costly and the process is time consuming - not just the transition itself but the process to arrange all the components necessary to transition...this cash-strapped, out-of-work mother does everything she can...to make ends meet!

If anything...this is not a film about Tobi, this is about their incredible mother - she deals with everything...all awhile keeping Tobi at the centre of her world - who firmly resides in the centre of their world! What a wonderful woman and mother, many could learn much from her.


Heart’s Desires...short films...just click on the pic...

The Act Baby Lies Truthfully Eden Isaac And The Ram Land Of The Free Of Hearts And Castles


Day 6 - 22 March 2021...

Boy-Meets-BoyBoy Meets Boy
by Daniel Sanchez Lopez

When Johannes met Harry...briefly, until sunset.

Well...nothing can bring this young man down. High as a kite with a lost wallet and a stolen bike...oblivious to the real world when there's a bit of totty up for grabs...Johannes is the typical gay young man.

Harry just wants to get his rocks off and to see a bit of Berlin...before he flies home later in the day. This is their foreplay...they wander around and talk incessantly...man, can these two talk?!? There's barely a pause between them, nothing of beautiful Berlin is shown...and, at one point during this erratic conversation, Harry should have seen a great big red warning flag, thrown in his chips, cut his losses and ran towards the Brandenburg Gate...but, no...totty is totty!

Ultimately, is this a brief encounter that will pervade Harry's memory for evermore? Or...is it just one of those hook-ups destined to become a mere notch on the bedpost? 

Have you ever been on holiday and you meet the one who could be the one...on the very last night? The 'what ifs' ringing in your ears throughout your return flight home...that's as bitter-sweet as it gets! And this is what this film could have been...a bitter-sweet brief encounter. Sadly, it's just a bedpost notch.

Rebel-DykesRebel Dykes
by Harri Shanahan & Siân A. Williams

Sweet, sweet, raunchy nostalgia...this is herstory!

London in the 80s...for those of a certain age [and who lived in London], this is an absolute trip-down-memory-lane, rib-tickling treat. Remember...this is before we all had mobiles with cameras, this is before the Internet...this is when we all went out, searching to find...exactly what we wanted to get into! And...when you found it, there was no going back...other than going back [regularly] to what you had found. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Club nights used to spring up all over the place [and close just as quickly]...in some of the dodgiest areas, in some seriously dodgy venues...with blacked-out windows and a weird smell of disinfectant.

It is true to say...that women were under-served, in London in the 80s. There was The Black Cap in Camden [20p entrance fee to get through to the back and it always ended with a girl-on-girl fight], there was The Bell in Kings Cross [not the Kings X of now...then, it was notorious, for all the wrong reasons]...and then, there was The Market Tavern - fabulous filth! There were a few more 'posher' places...but, who wants posh when you can have filth!?!

Oh and there was always Greenham Common, 90 minutes away...that is, if you wanted to rough it with like-minded spirits!

Rebel Dykes is a blast...from the past. Where they got some of the footage from is testament to the directors dedication and research. The 'rebels' may have mellowed with the passing years...but, wow, they all still revel in those rebellious memories - once you got it, you never lose it! With this film, those memories have been [rightfully] preserved...this is herstory told by those who made it...happen. Brilliant...just bloody brilliant.


Into the Unknown...short films...just click on the pic...

The Cost Of Living From A To Q Girls Shouldnt Walk Alone At Night Love Is A Hand Grenade Wings HelloGoodbye 


Day 7 - 23 March 2021...

Rurangi Rūrangi
by Max Currie

Originally, a web series...and, not being a particularly great fan of that genre...and, accompanied by a fair amount of trepidation, we jumped on the bus to Rūrangi - so glad we did!

What a surprise...a refreshing deviation away from the commonplace trans narrative. Not a mention of binders, nothing about genitalia, surgery doesn't get a look in and the 'T' word isn't even mentioned...this is just an off-the-beaten-track, home-coming-out tale...with a wee bit of a difference.

Reconnection with your past, reconciliation with friends and family and the regrets that you have carried around for 10 years...are what Caz has got to face. Some are handled with comparative ease...some, a little more difficult...and, one which becomes the highlight of the film...really, due to Arlo Green delivering a fantastically measured performance as the awkward, endearing, befuddled, clumsy [utterly adorable] Jem - Caz's once-upon-a-school-time boyfriend...when things were just a wee bit different.

In truth, this story-line should have been the mainstay of the film...because, it does tend veer off-piste with some other unnecessary issues...thankfully, not for too long. Rūrangi is, indeed, a most welcome addition to the ever-growing canon of trans-themed films...in its own way, it has broken the familiar trans mold - this is post-transition - and, it should be duly admired and celebrated for doing so. The same has to be said for cast and crew...they have made a credible film from a web series...well, they have certainly put this web series cynic [rightfully] in his place!

Well done.

DramaramaDramarama
by Jonathan Wysocki

Let us not beat about the bush with this one...without quibble, indefatigably, most assuredly, with hand pressed solidly against my heart...absolutely loved it.

A maelstrom of words and emotions...heralding the end of juvenility, the indoctrination and brainwashing [courtoisie des parents et de la religion]. The last hurrah...to security, [probably] to friendships too! Remember leaving school? This film will bring it all back...mine was a plainly-dressed anti-climax, this is anything but!

Ensemble, dialogue-driven...the potential to completely mess it all up was kept at bay...because of Jonathan Wysocki's nifty direction and nimble writing. The cast don't hold back...throwing themselves into melodrama, dancing with camp...upstaging whenever there's an opportunity. There's light, there's shade, there's forbidden love, unrequited love...the truths are outed and the 'outed' stay in - grudges, secrets and envies...that's what friendships are made of and that's how all friendships end. It's all here...all wrapped up in a murder mystery...neatly, tied up with lies, loves and loathing.

Dramarama will not only entertain...it will make you reflect, reminisce...and, it will expand your vocabulary exponentially.


Queer as in Question Everything...short films...just click on the pic...

Acrimonious Bodies Of Desire Pure 2021 We Two


Day 8 - 24 March 2021...

Poppy-FieldPoppy Field
by Eugen Jebeleanu

It's one of those films you'll either 'get' - or, you won't. What it will most certainly do is to make many a person's blood boil...for quite a few reasons.

If you can feel empathy and sympathy for a gay, closeted [rather toxic] policeman who attacks a former lover to save face in front of his colleagues...then, you will get this film. Internalised homophobia is as complex as it is reprehensible. Poppy Field is less complex and more reprehensible...if Cristi [the gay-bashing homo] had been portrayed with a sliver of compassion, regret, shame...then, maybe, you could feel something other than fury and disgust towards him. But no...this man is toxic, difficult...an obdurate thug.

Some may say he's 'wresting' with his sexuality...what a load of bollocks. The film opens with him quite happily wrestling with his boyfriend's bollocks [figuratively speaking], that boyfriend disappears entirely from the film soon after...why? It was a perfect way to frame the film...happy homo, bad homo...and, back to being the happy, hypocritical homo!

Not only does this film lack structure, the constantly moving hand-held camera distracts more than it informs. Then, slap, bang in the middle of the mayhem everything stops with a ludicrously long conversation about a lost dog - it makes no sense whatsoever. Padding for a threadbare script.

So...what is Eugen Jebeleanu & [writer] Ioana Moraru trying to say? Nothing subtle nor complex...Romanian police are homophobic, religious nutcases are homophobic...Romania is homophobic...no surprises there. Keep your head down and become a noxious chameleon...remember 'don't ask, don't tell' - this is exactly why that policy was so dangerous.

This film does a massive disservice to all those people who are fighting for equality in Romania. If Cristi cannot stand up and be the man that he is...then, what good is he? The same can be asked of this film...without even a glimmer of hope, what good is it?

I-Am-SamuelI am Samuel
by Peter Murimi

The most weirdly framed documentary seen in recent times! 

The film opens with graphic, gut-wrenching and horrific footage...of a public, ultra-violent, homophobic attack. Seemingly, these kind of attacks are a common occurrence in Nigeria. Peter Murimi certainly sets the tone of his film, from the off...this is not going to be pleasant. However, it ends with two, gay, grown men [joyfully] playing Hide & Seek...

What lies in between the harrowing start and the happy ending is...more bizarre than uninteresting. This is NOT about that poor man so brutally attacked and humiliated. This is not about that poor man's recovery. This is about Samuel...who was not brutally attacked...but, as he says himself, it could have been him! But...it wasn't.

Samuel's story is nothing surprising, it's the same-old same-old...tradition and religion doing their very best to screw up people's lives. Only, they actually don't screw up his life...after a bumpy moment, when his parents 'see the light' and cast him out...a couple of weeks later, after a phone-call, they are reunited and all is hunk dory. He even takes his partner to meet them and they end up playing hide and seek. The end.

Mr Murimi missed the boat with this one. Why he chose Samuel's story to tell is a question only he can answer. There was a roomful of young gay men, living in Lagos, living in fear...their stories sounded far more interesting than the one told. It really was a case of: Choose your [main] subject more wisely!


Shapes We Make, Spaces We Take...short films...just click on the pic...

Is It Me Space Walk Subject Room This Is An Address Transitions II 


Day 9 - 25 March 2021...

SubletSublet
Eytan Fox

Well, as expected, Mr Fox does not disappoint...with his dignified portrait of how our differences can bring us together. Here, different worlds, generations and outlooks...come together, briefly.

Being gay and Jewish are these two men's common denominators...besides those, they are chalk and cheese. But...what middle-aged gay man doesn't appreciate [the company of] a charismatic younger gay man...and, what younger gay man doesn't flirt and flounce with all that appreciation?

This could have been just one of those mid-life crisis catastrophes [it's not]...Michael is stuck in a comfortable rut...but, hey, that's not to say that he's not perfectly happy to be stuck in that rut. It happens to us all...it will, young man, happen to you too! Occasionally, it feeds the soul to re-live, to glimpse back...to what once was...Michael's young accomplice - Tomer - becomes his conduit. Michael's boundaries are set in stone...and, Tomer has no idea what boundaries are...aaah, that sweet smell of irresponsible youth!

Sublet demonstrates - perfectly - those things that divide us, unites us...and, conversely, the things that unite us, can and do divide us...let's not forget [although many do] youth is for the young. And, for many of us, a comfortable rut is exactly where we want to be...kept company by memories, regrets and all the experiences that made you who you are, got you to where you are.

Perfectly written, perfectly performed...those of a certain age will certainly resonate with this film...from their comfortable ruts! Lovely.

ToveTove
by Zaida Bergroth

Who would have 'thunk' it!?! Tove Jansson - the celebrated children's author - was a bit of a wild one! She liked the booze, she liked the ladies [and the men] and smoked like an industrial chimney.

Oooh sweet Bohemia, where marriage is just a mere convenience and - so it would seem - a hall pass to unbridled bed-hopping...where else would a struggling artist live? Bloomsbury perhaps!?!

Poor loves...so many struggles the artist has to face...whether it be finances, inspiration...or even their success...or, lack of it. Tove struggled in all these aspects, not quite content with her own success, never content with her art [or, more so, with its lacklustre reception]...and, although merely hinted at, discontented with [and compromised in] love. She was a true malcontent who ended up - in her eyes - with all the second bests!

Decadent in both production design and flavour...Tove is a rich tapestry of a life that had more intricacy than what appears...saying that is in no way a detriment to the film. Artists show what they want...through their work...like this film does.

Tove gave the world the Moomins...her tragedy is...she wanted to give so much more. Tove is a completely satisfying and lush film...about an unsatisfied success story. 


Striving to Be Seen...short films...just click on the pic...

Dustin 2020 Kind Of The Lights Are On Trans Happiness Is Real Unliveable Victoria 2020


Day 10 - 26 March 2021...

AIDS-diva-the-legend-of-connie-normanAIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman
by Dante Alencastre

No-one intimidated her, nothing could faze her...not even AIDS.

Connie Norman was an activist...in the truest sense of the word. As a transwoman, she was the David to the institutional Goliaths...pulled no punches, put herself on the line, got arrested, helped many, rattled many more...and, made a difference before succumbing [like so many others] to AIDS...she fought on until the end. What a woman.

Listening to one her last television appearances is gut-wrenching and - ironically - life affirming. There she sat, knowing full well that her time was rapidly coming to an end...she speaks with warmth, with kindness...and, thanks the savage disease that will kill her. The potency of her words are amplified even further with a simple and powerful message: Be yourself.

This is our history, why it has taken so long to tell it, to share it with the world? Well...better late than never. So, thank you Dante Alencastre...for giving Connie the respect and recognition she most deservedly deserves. Again...thank you. And...thank you Connie, for being yourself.

Kiss-Me-Before-It-Blows-UpKiss Me Before It Blows Up
by Shirel Peleg

A rom-com...which relies entirely on cultural differences for its comedy...oops. These [extreme] differences are perhaps a step too far for the given material...with anti-semitism, anti-gentilism and racism being the driving forces behind the supposed [and, at times, bizzare] slapstick comedy...no surprises, there is very little in the way of laughs. Some lines will - indeed - leave you with a blank and befuddled facial expression.

Needless to say, it is jam-packed full of stereotypes...unconvincing performances and scenarios...and, the gay brother with the camera is just a bloody nuisance. Perhaps Shirel Peleg ought to have watched 1967's double Oscar-winning Guess Who's Coming to Dinner before she put pen to paper and - most definitely - before the cameras started to roll. 

A head-scratchingly, peculiar film.


Five Films For Freedom...short films...just click on the pic...

Bodies Of Desire Land Of The Free Pure 2021 Trans Happiness Is Real Victoria 2020


Day 11 - 27 March 2021...

No-Ordinary-ManNo Ordinary Man
by Aisling Chin-Yee & Chase Joynt

Who has ever heard of Billy Tipton?!?

You may have, if you're a fan of obscure jazz. And, it would seem, according to this film, if you are trans...he's a bit of icon. Although...when I asked some trans friends [in Europe]...none of them had ever heard of him either.

Well...they have now, courtesy of this film...Billy Tipton is now on the map...and, an inductee into the Trans World's Hall of Fame.

Upon his death, in 1989, his secret was 'outed' - now, what this film fails to ask: how did this incredible invasion of privacy actually happen? Who leaked [i.e. sold] this information to the tabloids? 

His adopted son and estranged wife [they parted in 1977] did round-upon-round of talk shows, newspaper and magazine interviews, radio shows...were they forced to do so? No.

Even...a posthumous [and, it would seem, partially unauthorised] book was written about him in 1998...the story still had legs then...and, in 2020, the story still has legs. Even though that book and this film are about Billy...both seem to have forgotten who he actually was...

The book was mere sensation and can be [dis]regarded as such. The film, on the other hand, is an exercise in subjectivity, creativity and revisionism [ouch]. Billy's experience was not the contemporary trans experience of today, although the filmmakers seem to think so...a major failing of the film. That was then, this is now...the 'then' is not the 'now' and never will be.

Due credit and applause must be given...trans stories being told by trans filmmakers...but, tell those stories as they are and not what you want them to be!

The truth of the matter...and, there are very few truths in this film [but, an abundance of trans-inferences]...Billy Tipton would have wanted to be remembered for his music and as a jazz musician...not as a trans-man...if, indeed, he was actually trans. Whatever...this was his secret and a secret he wanted to take to the grave...but, was denied...by those headlines, that book and this film.

PS-Burn-This-Letter-PleaseP.S. Burn This Letter Please
by Michael Seligman & Jennifer Tiexiera

This has absolutely everything...and, more.

What a journey! What a find...a treasure trove of letters...curated, constructed and presented with a sense of the times, with swathes of obvious affection and wave-upon-wave of hilarity and emotion.

This is a one-way conversation...to a mystery man, a confidant and a dear, dear friend...named Reno. Who is he...and, who is Daphne [a most prolific letter writer]? Patience, dear hearts...rewards [in an ideal world]...and, all will be revealed!!!

Few films can boast the grand larceny of wigs...well, hence the title, this does...with a rather incriminating letter! Crime, whether it be petty or grand, is a recurring source of joy...but, stop, think about it, if you [yourself] are considered criminal by law enforcement...simply because of your sexuality, because you want to step out in a fabulous frock...well, it's a fair assumption that...if Mr Law Enforcement doesn't respect me...then, why the f&*k should you respect him!?!

The Mafia owned The Stonewall Inn...it would seem, they owned every establishment that exploited and promenaded the queens of the time...but, hey, they did supply safe spaces and incomes...hooray for the Mafia!

This isn't a political film...this is high jinx and higher camp with razor-sharp edges gleaming all over the place...and then, WHACK, AIDS! Few survive, those who do - and, we salute you - tell their stories with threads of joy, anger, and tears...not to mention, a great big dollops of fantastic, fabulous, phenomenal camp.

As for the great reveal!?! It is as jaw-dropping as this film is...it's been an absolute privilege. Thank you. X

Sweetheart
by Marley Morrison

An angst-ridden teen reluctantly goes on holiday with her family! What could possibly go wrong? Or, right?

Recently, there was Make Up - a lesbian-coming-of-age horror, set in a holiday camp. Now this, a lesbian-coming-of-age rom-com story...set in a holiday camp. 

The similarities don't end there...these are the debut features by their filmmakers...and, both films really do paint a fairly gloomy lesbian picture. Where Make Up continues with the gloom...Sweetheart, thankfully, makes a permanent detour into and onto a more-sweet-than-bitter terrain. Having said that...Sweetheart's AJ is an absolute moaning horror...if anyone was in need of a happy pill...it's her!

AJ's sexuality is not an issue for her family...which - it would seem - pisses her off even more than how pissed off she already is...c'mon, she's 16 and never been...kissed. She's undeniably and absolutely sexually frustrated! Remember those mad masturbatory days?!? Some of us haven't waved them goodbye!

In walks the 'woman' of her dreams...the stage is all set...for what could have been a familiar, reminiscent comedy about embarrassing [teen] sex, bad [teen] manners and messy, premature orgasms [they happen to all of us]! Alas, no! This has more sand and less grit.

Marley Morrison has played it a little too safe [and sweet]...with predictability taking centre-stage rather than red-cheeked embarrassment...if the intention was to make a family-foible-friendly film...then, hat's off...success.

But...to make your mark in this industry, you have to ruffle a few feathers...rather than preen them...otherwise, you'll end up directing daytime soaps!

And...no trailer, no poster...for a film festival premiere. Fire the PR!!!


Day 12 - 28 March 2021...

The-DoseThe Dose
by Martin Kraut

As understated as it gets...as it should be...because, 'angels of death' want neither attention nor praise.

This is not a hospital ward you will ever want to be in...with two murdering nurses plying more than they were trained for...

Euthanasia is - in the eyes of the law - murder. Here...two nurses, inflicted with and deluded by their respective god complexes...take lives. One regards his actions as a final act of mercy...the other, well, he just does it because he can.

They soon discover what the other is up to...and, with the mounting number of deaths, the hospital launches an investigation...both being guilty and both not willing to be caught. This is more cobra-and-mongoose than cat-and-mouse...the stakes are incredibly high...who [of the two] can play the better mind-game!?! And...there are mind-games aplenty.

This is Martin Kraut's debut feature...it is as impressive as it is complex. This is not about taking sides...this is the lesser of two evils...and, it does make you fantastically uncomfortable when you realise you are actually rooting for a murderer! Manipulation is everything...and, with The Dose this director certainly knows how to manipulate his characters and his audience!

Not a pleasant film...but, it's effect is admirable.

Well-RoundedWell Rounded
by Shana Myara

Big gay ladies talk about being big and gay!

Unless you are a big gay lady yourself, you're really not going to get much out of this. Talking heads recount shared experiences and absolute horror stories...and, unsurprisingly, there are a few [slimmer] pseudo-intellectuals who discuss contemporary society's perception of being rather large...it is as interesting as it sounds!

Body-shaming is a bad. Body positivity is good. Being happy in your own skin can be nothing but good for your mental health...so, well done ladies for being so positive and happy.

But...and, this is where the film falls apart, next to nothing is mentioned about the health benefits of losing weight, practically nothing is mentioned about the life-shortening risks associated with obesity. When body positivity ignores medical truths...well, that's just irresponsible. And, what you see on screen really does veer precariously close towards the superficial...smile, be happy, be upbeat...you're on camera!

A film with substance but no depth. 

ValentinaValentina
by Cássio Pereira dos Santos

The statistics make for harsh reading...around 80% of transgender youth drop out of school in Brazil, the average life expectancy of trans-women is 35 years old.

Valentina's mother will doing anything and everything for her daughter not to become one of those statistics. This is all about sacrifice rather than compromise which is a most welcome approach when addressing the current trans narrative.

Our only quibble with the film is...the opening scene. It really does give a false [first] impression of the film as a whole. It's that old familiar...trans-girl kisses a boy who later finds out she's trans and he goes - unsurprisingly - berserk! Many will be appalled at his reaction and - no doubt - some will find him justified.

This is the centrifugal point [and force] of the trans narrative...which Valentina - unnecessarily - straddles before moving on...into pastures new. A new start, a new identity, new friends and all the same problems and attitudes.

The message delivered is unequivocally clear and bold...you can't run and hide for eternity. There's always a time [sometimes not of your choosing] when we all have to stand up, stand still and tall...and tell the world exactly how it is, who you are...they may accept reject, deny and decry...no matter...just be your happier self.

Valentina does this admirably.


That's it...every film watched and reviewed...

Massive great big thank you to all @BFIFlare - for a great festival x


 

British Academy Film Awards 2021: The Nominations...

BaftaThe EE BAFTAs take place the weekend of 10 and 11 April 2021, and will be broadcast on the BBC.

 

BEST FILM

THE FATHER Philippe Carcassonne, Jean-Louis Livi, David Parfitt

THE MAURITANIAN Nominees TBC

NOMADLAND Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Chloé Zhao

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN Ben Browning, Emerald Fennell, Ashley Fox, Josey McNamara

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 Stuart Besser, Marc Platt


 

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

CALM WITH HORSES Nick Rowland, Daniel Emmerson, Joe Murtagh

THE DIG Simon Stone, Gabrielle Tana, Moira Buffini

THE FATHER Florian Zeller, Philippe Carcassone, Jean-Louis Livi, David Parfitt, Christopher Hampton

HIS HOUSE Remi Weekes, Martin Gentles, Edward Kings, Roy Lee

LIMBO Ben Sharrock, Irune Gurtubai, Angus Lamont

THE MAURITANIAN Kevin Macdonald, Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, M.B. Traven

MOGUL MOWGLI Bassam Tariq, Riz Ahmed, Thomas Benski, Bennett McGhee

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN Emerald Fennell, Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Josey McNamara

ROCKS Sarah Gavron, Ameenah Ayub Allen, Faye Ward, Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson

SAINT MAUD Rose Glass, Andrea Cornwell, Oliver Kassman


 

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

HIS HOUSE Remi Weekes (Writer/Director)

LIMBO Ben Sharrock (Writer/Director), Irune Gurtubai (Producer) [also produced by Angus Lamont]

MOFFIE Jack Sidey (Writer/Producer) [also written by Oliver Hermanus and produced by Eric Abraham]

ROCKS Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson (Writers)

SAINT MAUD Rose Glass (Writer/Director), Oliver Kassman (Producer) [also produced by Andrea Cornwell]


 

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

ANOTHER ROUND Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen

DEAR COMRADES! Andrei Konchalovsky, Alisher Usmanov

LES MISÉRABLES Ladj Ly

MINARI Lee Isaac Chung, Christina Oh

QUO VADIS, AIDA? Jasmila Žbanić, Damir Ibrahimovich


 

DOCUMENTARY

COLLECTIVE Alexander Nanau

DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: A LIFE ON OUR PLANET Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes, Keith Scholey

THE DISSIDENT Bryan Fogel, Thor Halvorssen

MY OCTOPUS TEACHER Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, Craig Foster

THE SOCIAL DILEMMA Jeff Orlowski, Larissa Rhodes


 

ANIMATED FILM

ONWARD Dan Scanlon, Kori Rae

SOUL Pete Docter, Dana Murray

WOLFWALKERS Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young


 

DIRECTOR

ANOTHER ROUND Thomas Vinterberg

BABYTEETH Shannon Murphy

MINARI Lee Isaac Chung

NOMADLAND Chloé Zhao

QUO VADIS, AIDA? Jasmila Žbanić

ROCKS Sarah Gavron


 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

ANOTHER ROUND Tobias Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg

MANK Jack Fincher

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN Emerald Fennell  

ROCKS Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 Aaron Sorkin


 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

THE DIG Moira Buffini

THE FATHER Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller

THE MAURITANIAN Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, M.B. Traven

NOMADLAND Chloé Zhao

THE WHITE TIGER Ramin Bahrani


 

LEADING ACTRESS

BUKKY BAKRAY Rocks

RADHA BLANK The Forty-Year-Old Version

VANESSA KIRBY Pieces of a Woman

FRANCES McDORMAND Nomadland

WUNMI MOSAKU His House

ALFRE WOODARD Clemency


 

LEADING ACTOR

RIZ AHMED Sound of Metal

CHADWICK BOSEMAN Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

ADARSH GOURAV The White Tiger

ANTHONY HOPKINS The Father

MADS MIKKELSEN Another Round

TAHAR RAHIM The Mauritanian


 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

NIAMH ALGAR Calm With Horses

KOSAR ALI Rocks

MARIA BAKALOVA Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

DOMINIQUE FISHBACK Judas and the Black Messiah

ASHLEY MADEKWE County Lines

YUH-JUNG YOUN Minari


 

SUPPORTING ACTOR

DANIEL KALUUYA Judas and the Black Messiah

BARRY KEOGHAN Calm With Horses

ALAN KIM Minari

LESLIE ODOM JR. One Night in Miami…

CLARKE PETERS Da 5 Bloods

PAUL RACI Sound of Metal


 

ORIGINAL SCORE

MANK Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

MINARI Emile Mosseri

NEWS OF THE WORLD James Newton Howard

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN Anthony Willis

SOUL Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross


 

CASTING

CALM WITH HORSES Shaheen Baig

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH Alexa L. Fogel

MINARI Julia Kim

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN Lindsay Graham Ahanonu, Mary Vernieu

ROCKS Lucy Pardee


 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH Sean Bobbitt

MANK Erik Messerschmidt

THE MAURITANIAN Alwin H. Küchler

NEWS OF THE WORLD Dariusz Wolski

NOMADLAND Joshua James Richards


 

EDITING

THE FATHER Yorgos Lamprinos

NOMADLAND Chloé Zhao

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN Frédéric Thoraval

SOUND OF METAL Mikkel E.G. Nielsen

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 Alan Baumgarten


 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

THE DIG Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald

THE FATHER Peter Francis, Cathy Featherstone

MANK Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale

NEWS OF THE WORLD David Crank, Elizabeth Keenan

REBECCA Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer


 

COSTUME DESIGN

AMMONITE Michael O'Connor

THE DIG Alice Babidge

EMMA. Alexandra Byrne

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM Ann Roth

MANK Trish Summerville


 

MAKE UP & HAIR

THE DIG Jenny Shircore

HILLBILLY ELEGY Patricia Dehaney, Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM Matiki Anoff, Larry M. Cherry, Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal

MANK Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams

PINOCCHIO Mark Coulier


 

SOUND

GREYHOUND Nominees TBC

NEWS OF THE WORLD Michael Fentum, William Miller, Mike Prestwood Smith, John Pritchett, Oliver Tarney

NOMADLAND Sergio Diaz, Zach Seivers, M. Wolf Snyder

SOUL Coya Elliott, Ren Klyce, David Parker

SOUND OF METAL Jaime Baksht, Nicolas Becker, Phillip Bladh, Carlos Cortés, Michelle Couttolenc


 

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

GREYHOUND Pete Bebb, Nathan McGuinness, Sebastian von Overheidt

THE MIDNIGHT SKY Matt Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, David Watkins

MULAN Sean Faden, Steve Ingram, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN Santiago Colomo Martinez, Nick Davis, Greg Fisher

TENET Scott Fisher, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley


 

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION

THE FIRE NEXT TIME Renaldho Pelle, Yanling Wang, Kerry Jade Kolbe

THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT Mole Hill, Laura Duncalf

THE SONG OF A LOST BOY Daniel Quirke, Jamie MacDonald, Brid Arnstein


 

BRITISH SHORT FILM

EYELASH Jesse Lewis Reece, Ike Newman

LIZARD Akinola Davies, Rachel Dargavel, Wale Davies

LUCKY BREAK John Addis, Rami Sarras Pantoja

MISS CURVY Ghada Eldemellawy

THE PRESENT Farah Nabulsi


 

EE RISING STAR AWARD

BUKKY BAKRAY

CONRAD KHAN

KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR

MORFYDD CLARK

ṢỌPẸ DÌRÍSÙ

 

#FiveFilmsForFreedom 2021...

...a global LGBTIQ+ short-film celebration

17 - 28 March 2021

The world's widest-reaching digital celebration of LGBTIQ+ themed film returns from 17 - 28 March 2021.

Five Films For Freedom is a global, online short film programme in support of LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer) rights.

We invite audiences everywhere to watch the five films online in solidarity with LGBTIQ+ communities in places where freedom and equal rights are limited, and to spread the word using the hashtag #FiveFilmsForFreedom.

Self-expression, homophobia in rural communities, coming out as a teenager, and finding love later in life - this year's short films look at an intersection of LGBTIQ+ perspectives to explore love and acceptance.

More about Five Films

We invite audiences all over the world to come together to watch the films in solidarity with LGBTIQ+ communities in places where freedom and equal rights are limited. Share the films and join the conversation using the hashtag #FiveFilmsForFreedom in recognition of the fact that love is a human right.

Since the project began, 15 million people have viewed the films in over 200 countries and principalities, including parts of the world where homosexuality is punishable by the death penalty.

Working in partnership with BFI Flare: London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival 

More about the 2021 programme

Pure (USA)

Directed by Natalie Jasmine Harris

On the eve of her cotillian ball, a young Black girl grapples with her queer identity and questions her purity.

Victoria (Spain)

Directed by Daniel Toledo

A bittersweet reunion between a trans woman and her ex sparks tension and a long buried resentment.

Trans Happiness is Real (UK)

Directed by Quinton Baker

A transgender activist takes to the streets of Oxford to fight anti-trans sentiment through graffiti.

Bodies of Desire (India)

Directed by Varsha Panikar and Saad Nawab 

Using Varsha Panikar's poetry series of the same name, Bodies of Desire is a visual poetry film capturing four sets of lovers amid passion.

Land of the Free (Sweden) 

Directed by Dawid Ullgren

David and his friends celebrate his 25th birthday with a swim at the beach. The good mood quickly changes after two straight couples walk by and laugh. But was the laughter directed at them? And who owns the truth of what exactly happened? 

 

2021 Golden Globes Nominees...& Winners...

Golden Globes Awards LogoThe Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has announced the nominees for the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Sarah Jessica Parker, six-time Golden Globe winner, and Taraji P. Henson, Golden Globe winner, disclosed the nominees.

For the first time in the history of the Golden Globes, the nominations were announced virtually, following the current safety measures during the Covid pandemic.

The 78th Golden Globes will take place on February 28,  coast to coast from 5 pm to 8 pm PT/8-11 ET on NBC. The event will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, returning for the fourth time, after hosting in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Fey and Poehler will share duties from their respective cities, with Fey on the East Coast and Poehler on the West Coast. Fey will be live from New York’s Rainbow Room, Poehler will be live from the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, and nominees, from various locations around the world.

In addition to the categories announced today, the 2021 Golden Globes will honor Jane Fonda with the Cecil B. deMille Award, and Norman Lear with the Carol Burnett Award. Lear will be the third recipient of the recently created Carol Burnett Award, which honors contributions to television.

As previously announced, Satchel and Jackson Lee, children of filmmaker and three-time Golden Globe nominee Spike Lee and producer and philanthropist Tonya Lewis Lee, will serve as the 2021 Golden Globe Ambassadors.

Produced by dick clark productions in association with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Golden Globe Awards are viewed in more than 210 territories worldwide.

The full list of nominees of the 78th Golden Globes (check all our nominees for 2021):

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

THE FATHER (Trademark Films; Sony Pictures Classics)

MANK (Netflix; Netflix)

NOMADLAND  (Highwayman / Hear/Say / Cor Cordium; Searchlight Pictures)

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (LuckyChap Entertainment / FilmNation Entertainment; Focus Features)

THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (Marc Platt Productions / Dreamworks Pictures; Netflix)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

VIOLA DAVIS    MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM

ANDRA DAY    THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

VANESSA KIRBY    PIECES OF A WOMAN

FRANCES MCDORMAND    NOMADLAND

CAREY MULLIGAN    PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

RIZ AHMED    SOUND OF METAL

CHADWICK BOSEMAN    MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM

ANTHONY HOPKINS    THE FATHER

GARY OLDMAN    MANK

TAHAR RAHIM    THE MAURITANIAN

BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (Four By Two Films; Amazon Studios)

HAMILTON (Walt Disney Pictures / RadicalMedia / 5000 Broadway Productions / NEVIS Productions / Old 320 Sycamore Pictures; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

MUSIC (Pineapple Lasagne Productions / Landay Entertainment; Vertical Entertainment / IMAX)

PALM SPRINGS (Party Over Here / Limelight Productions; NEON / Hulu)

THE PROM (Netflix / Dramatic Forces / Storykey Entertainment; Netflix)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

MARIA BAKALOVA    BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM

KATE HUDSON    MUSIC

MICHELLE PFEIFFER    FRENCH EXIT

ROSAMUND PIKE    I CARE A LOT

ANYA TAYLOR-JOY    EMMA.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

SACHA BARON COHEN    BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM

JAMES CORDEN    THE PROM

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA    HAMILTON

DEV PATEL    THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD

ANDY SAMBERG    PALM SPRINGS

BEST MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED

THE CROODS: A NEW AGE (DreamWorks Animation; Universal Pictures)

ONWARD (Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

OVER THE MOON (Netflix / Pearl Studio / Glen Keane Productions; Netflix)

SOUL (Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

WOLFWALKERS (Cartoon Saloon / Melusine; Apple / GKIDS)

BEST MOTION PICTURE – FOREIGN LANGUAGE

ANOTHER ROUND (DENMARK) (Zentropa Entertainments; Samuel Goldwyn Films)

LA LLORONA (GUATEMALA / FRANCE) (La Casa de Producción / Les Films du Volcan; Shudder)

THE LIFE AHEAD (ITALY) (Palomar; Netflix)

MINARI (USA) (Plan B; A24)

TWO OF US (FRANCE / USA) (Paprika Films; Magnolia Pictures)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE

GLENN CLOSE    HILLBILLY ELEGY

OLIVIA COLMAN    THE FATHER

JODIE FOSTER    THE MAURITANIAN

AMANDA SEYFRIED    MANK

HELENA ZENGEL    NEWS OF THE WORLD

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE

SACHA BARON COHEN    THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

DANIEL KALUUYA    JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

JARED LETO    THE LITTLE THINGS

BILL MURRAY    ON THE ROCKS

LESLIE ODOM JR.    ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI...

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

EMERALD FENNELL    PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

DAVID FINCHER    MANK

REGINA KING    ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI...

AARON SORKIN    THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

CHLOÉ ZHAO    NOMADLAND

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

EMERALD FENNELL    PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

JACK FINCHER    MANK

AARON SORKIN    THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

FLORIAN ZELLER, CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON    THE FATHER

CHLOÉ ZHAO    NOMADLAND

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT    THE MIDNIGHT SKY

LUDWIG GÖRANSSON    TENET

JAMES NEWTON HOWARD    NEWS OF THE WORLD

TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS    MANK

TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS, JON BATISTE    SOUL

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE

“FIGHT FOR YOU” — JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
Music by:    H.E.R., Dernst Emile II
Lyrics by:    H.E.R., Tiara Thomas

“HEAR MY VOICE” — THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Music by:    Daniel Pemberton
Lyrics by:    Daniel Pemberton, Celeste Waite

“IO SÌ (SEEN)” — THE LIFE AHEAD
Music by:    Diane Warren
Lyrics by:    Diane Warren, Laura Pausini, Niccolò Agliardi

“SPEAK NOW” — ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI...
Music by:    Leslie Odom Jr, Sam Ashworth
Lyrics by:    Leslie Odom Jr, Sam Ashworth

“TIGRESS & TWEED” — THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
Music by:    Andra Day, Raphael Saadiq
Lyrics by:    Andra Day, Raphael Saadiq

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

THE CROWN - NETFLIX (Left Bank Pictures / Sony Pictures Television)

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY - HBO (HBO / Afemme / Monkeypaw / Bad Robot / Warner Bros. Television)

THE MANDALORIAN - DISNEY+ (Lucasfilm Ltd.)

OZARK - NETFLIX (MRC Television)

RATCHED - NETFLIX (Fox21 Television Studios)   

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

OLIVIA COLMAN    THE CROWN

JODIE COMER    KILLING EVE

EMMA CORRIN    THE CROWN

LAURA LINNEY    OZARK

SARAH PAULSON    RATCHED

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

JASON BATEMAN    OZARK

JOSH O'CONNOR    THE CROWN

BOB ODENKIRK    BETTER CALL SAUL

AL PACINO    HUNTERS

MATTHEW RHYS    PERRY MASON

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

EMILY IN PARIS - NETFLIX (Darren Star Productions / Jax Media / MTV Studios)

THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT - HBO MAX (HBO Max / Berlanti Productions / Yes, Norman Productions / Warner Bros. Television)

THE GREAT - HULU (Hulu / Civic Center Media / MRC)

SCHITT'S CREEK - POP TV (Not A Real Company Productions / Canadian Broadcast Company / Pop TV)

TED LASSO - APPLE TV+ (Apple / Doozer Productions / Warner Bros. Television / Universal Television)   

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

LILY COLLINS    EMILY IN PARIS

KALEY CUOCO    THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT

ELLE FANNING    THE GREAT

JANE LEVY    ZOEY'S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST

CATHERINE O'HARA    SCHITT'S CREEK

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

DON CHEADLE    BLACK MONDAY

NICHOLAS HOULT    THE GREAT

EUGENE LEVY    SCHITT'S CREEK

JASON SUDEIKIS    TED LASSO

RAMY YOUSSEF    RAMY

BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

NORMAL PEOPLE - HULU (Hulu / BBC / Element Pictures)

THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT - NETFLIX (Netflix)

SMALL AXE - AMAZON STUDIOS (BBC Studios Americas, Inc / Amazon Studios)

THE UNDOING - HBO (HBO / Made Up Stories / Blossom Films/David E. Kelley Productions)

UNORTHODOX - NETFLIX (Studio Airlift / RealFilm)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

CATE BLANCHETT    MRS. AMERICA

DAISY EDGAR-JONES    NORMAL PEOPLE

SHIRA HAAS    UNORTHODOX

NICOLE KIDMAN    THE UNDOING

ANYA TAYLOR-JOY    THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

BRYAN CRANSTON    YOUR HONOR

JEFF DANIELS    THE COMEY RULE

HUGH GRANT    THE UNDOING

ETHAN HAWKE    THE GOOD LORD BIRD

MARK RUFFALO    I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SUPPORTING ROLE

GILLIAN ANDERSON    THE CROWN

HELENA BONHAM CARTER    THE CROWN

JULIA GARNER    OZARK

ANNIE MURPHY    SCHITT'S CREEK

CYNTHIA NIXON    RATCHED

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SUPPORTING ROLE

JOHN BOYEGA    SMALL AXE

BRENDAN GLEESON    THE COMEY RULE

DANIEL LEVY    SCHITT'S CREEK

JIM PARSONS    HOLLYWOOD

DONALD SUTHERLAND    THE UNDOING


 

Mouthpiece | Official Trailer...

Releases March 12, 2021
 
Cassandra, who is portrayed by the two women, expresses the opposing voices that exist inside the modern woman's head, during a 48-hour period as she tries to organize the affairs for her mother's funeral.

Director: Patricia Rozema

SIX MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT Trailer...

Releases March 26, 2021
 
UK, Aug. 15, 1939: 17 days before WWII, an English teacher and his camera disappear on a coastal boarding school with 20 German teen girls. Miller gets the job 6 days later, secretly trying to find out what happened.

Director: Andy Goddard

Glasgow Film Festival 2021: Our coverage...

Glasgow FF 21

by David Anderson Cutler

So...it's that time of the year...Glasgow Film Festival time!

And, what a different year it is too! Sitting at home...with all the films at our fingertips! Oooh to be back at the Glasgow Film Theatre...next year!

Here are the films we're going to be watching...as always, this is a provisional list...no doubt, some films will be added.

Why not join us! Tickets can be purchased here - if you have any recommendations that are not on our viewing schedule...pray, do tell us. And, if you want to comment on any of the films, agree or disagree with us...pop it in an email and we'll add it to this page - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Here are the films...


February 24...

Minari @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Minari
by Lee Isaac Chung

When a film is shrouded in this much praise and tipped for multi-Oscar glory...you take immediate notice. But...is it all just hot-air-hype? Erm...have to say: Yes!

Basically, it's a family film that doesn't really say very much...although it had the potential to say a helluva lot. Lee Isaac Chung has made a competent, safe film...but, not a spectacular film.

This is the pursuit of the American Dream - if you want it, really want it...you have to be absolutely ruthless...not simply acquiesce to a water diviner! There is a smidgen of controversy that - if taken further - would have given this film the gravitas it so desperately needed. A sickly, cute kid will get all those parental 'oohs' and 'aaws' and 'aahs' - cute may be able to sell a film [to a certain degree]...but, it certainly won't deliver that kick  in the proverbial backside that this story so needed to do. The laughing-at-the-natives with the natives 'laughing' back...there's the conflict, that's the statement...this is the kick! The conflicts here are between a forward-looking [rural] husband and a resistant-to-change [urban] wife, between man and nature...for sure, these are mighty juicy conflicts but they don't go anywhere nor say anything. But, hey, there's a mighty cute kid running around...who needs conflict!?!

For a certain demographic, this is a crowd-pleasing joy. For those who want something more challenging, something with a bit more succulent meat on its ambitious bones...well, you will have to look elsewhere. Try: Parasite!

Creation Stories @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Creation Stories
by Nick Moran

In his time, Alan McGee ruffled quite a few feathers, made a shed-load of money, became completely drug-addled...and, brought generation-defining music to the ears of that generation [and beyond]. It was only a matter of time until his story made it onto the silver screen...here it is, along with a post-bag of producers [what do too many producers do?!?] and a crock of curious cameos. Creation Stories is a giddy, kaleidoscopic version of the events.

With Danny Boyle as exec prod, Irving Welsh as co-writer and Ewan Bremner as Mr Creation himself...you would be hard-pressed not to compare this with a certain generation-defining film of yesteryear [any guesses?]...and, with Nick Moran's reminiscent direction...this has all the perceived hallmarks of being the Trainspotting for this generation. But...it's not! How can this brash and brazen approach appeal to the super-sensitive snowflakes? Well...it can't! And all those naysayers who have already condemned this film...are just too young to appreciate it!

To fully appreciate this story, you have to have been part of that excessive time. This is all about the end of eras and encroaching middle-age told with a retrospective flourish, self-mockery and a take-no-prisoners ethos...together, with the obvious nods to the obvious. Having Richard Jobson [The Skids frontman] playing the conservative, music-hating father is hysterical...c'mon The Skids were as punk as butter. Tony Blair as the Chesire Cat. Peter Mandelson as the reigning queen. Jimmy Saville...chilling. And...a haunted Malcolm McLaren.

The one thing that age does bring is atonement. With age, all the once-suffered disillusions and delusions are brought into a context...they become memories. Some will please, many will anger and most will be regretted. This is what Creation Stories does for those who were there [and survived], it's a reminder of those excesses, those mad, bad wonderful times.


February 25...

In-the-Shadows @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021In the Shadows
by Erdem Tepegoz

Everything you learned in film school...throw it away. Well...what can film school teach you anyway? A few technical bits and tricks, cinematic conventions and rules that dare not be broken...that's about it! What they can't teach is artistry, vision and composition [although they may pretend that they do teach these]...don't be fooled, they don't, they can't. Remember...those who can't...teach.

Erdem Tepegoz can. In the Shadows is a start-to-finish visual feast. Practically, every frame has been composed with artistic bleakness - from the colour palette to the soundscape. This is a dystopia without any wild special effects. This is sure-footed misery on an industrial scale.

A seriously powerful political statement is being made...with the bare minimum of words. As they say: A picture is worth a thousand words. Here, those pictures tell the story without giving too much away...in fact, without giving anything away. No explanations are given nor are they needed...it doesn't matter who owns the means of production. This is about survival...this is where water is free. He/she who controls the tap...well, that's a metaphor that can be applied to many a contemporary regime! If this is the future, it's grim. If this is a warning...take notice!

It's bleak, quietly belligerent...and, it is - without a shadow of doubt - a beautiful, unsettling work of [political] art.

The-Mauritanian @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021

The Mauritanian
by Kevin Macdonald

Ask any idealistic law student why they want to practice law, 99% will answer the same way...to help, to make a difference. 1% will say...for the money. The strange reality is...99% of lawyers end up doing it for the money and 1% actually manage to help, to make a difference. Nancy Hollander is one of those 1%ers. Stuart Couch is a lawyer with a conscience - a rare commodity indeed - and, a commodity that has no place in a courtroom - especially when you are the prosecution!

Kevin Macdonald's film is a no nonsense account of a grave [and continuing] injustice. The legal 'excesses' have been pared down to make it more accessible...with the conflict between the legal camps being surprisingly perfunctory. The same cannot be said for the torture sequences, no punches were pulled, Tahar Rahim delivers a remarkable performance. It will shock. It is meant to shock. And...it will - unquestionably - divide opinion.

In defence of your country, in the pursuit of justice...where do you draw the line? When do you cross that line? Should the word of law prevail always? Innocent until proven guilty or guilty until proven innocent...those held in Guantanamo are given no presumption of innocence, they are treated as guilty...without charge. The law has always been both ass and lion...it all just depends on how well or badly it serves you!

2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks - this film will be branded - without doubt - by many, as anti-patriotic propaganda. But, stop...those that think that...think...if you were held in solitary confinement for 14 years without charge and subjected to torture...what would you do?

Mohamedou Ould Slahi has forgiven his captors.

When a film makes you think and question...that's a film!


February 26...

My Wonderful WandaMy Wonderful Wanda
by Bettina Oberli

Greed and exploitation...that's what this game is all about. Throw in great big dollops of immorality and the stage is set...for a contrived family meltdown.

Those who are exploited can also exploit, Wanda exploits her situation without a blink of guilt in her eye. To begin with, she's admirable...and then, depending on your point of view, she's not. She's a Polish single mother and a carer...who 'cares' a little too much for her bedridden, elderly, wealthy employer [in Switzerland]...sterile intimacy may be beyond her remit...but, she is rewarded...with ample money and an unexpected [?] bartering baby. A cash calf, so to speak...Bettina Oberli stretches that metaphor a little too far by introducing an actual cash cow into the film! An unnecessary contrivance.

The whole thing really does become a bit of a well-acted mess as secrets and lies, deceits and desires are all unfurled. But when the old man makes a remarkable recovery and the cow makes its appearance, plausibility makes its final exit. Is Wanda wonderful? Well, she certainly knows how to milk a situation. As a statement on economic migration, it does leave a rather bitter aftertaste...but, it does try to redeem itself with a little sweetness...it's just a case of...too little, too late.

SteelersSteelers: the World's First Gay Rugby Club
by Eammon Ashton-Atkinson

Tighten your bootlaces…for this is…an emotional [and, I really mean emotional] ride. Most worthy of the price [and, I didn’t even have to pay…but, I would have] for the ticket. Seriously, I’m a little [okay, completely] undone…emotionally speaking [aaargh too many emotions!].

F&*K, it’s rugby…I know absolutely nothing about rugby. Now…and, if I was 20 (okay, let me be truthful [for once] maybe 30) years younger…I would, after watching this and chatting with the director, be slap-bang in the middle of any old scrum, wherever it was…in a muddy field…having the time of my bloody life…with like-minded pals…and, being…just me.

Because…that’s what Steelers have done, are still doing and will continue to do…it’s not only all about sport, Steelers have created a safe [albeit a bit rough] space…in other words, a community. Isn’t that such a beautiful word: Community.

Eammon [the director] was in Washington D.C., I was in Glasgow…his film and Zoom [via this consistently fabulous festival] brought us together for an oh-too-brief time.

I immediately gushed, congratulating him on his film...admitting that tears had streamed down my face. He said that's how he gauges the success of his film...by how many tears are shed. Well, babycakes, success is deservedly yours...there won't be a dry eye in the virtual cinema.

We chatted and I deferred [a bit]…I still can’t talk about the bullying…he can. I still can’t talk about my mental health as it was then. He does. Not only can he talk about those crippling issues, he faced them head-on. The result…this cathartic film…and, if it wasn’t for sustaining a concussion, he would have never had made it! Thank gawd for concussion [that’s a bit weird, isn’t it?!?].

Catharsis is wholly personal...and, for a film, treacherous territory…simply because, [being so personal] catharsis can act as a barricade against an audience. No fear here, that barricade is thankfully avoided. Along with Eammon...Nic, Simon and Andrew share their stories. The key word is 'share' - they all have a commonality, not just rugby...but, shared experiences. Hurtful and harmful experiences that most of us have had to endure at some point in our lives. The message delivered is resoundingly clear...it's good to talk. As they say, a problem shared...

This all might sound a bit on the heavy side...it's not. There is so much joy and beauty to be had within these 80 minutes...some of the music will have you welling up, some of the photography will make you gasp, there's even some drag...and, as for the legs, well...let's not dwell upon those too much! All hot around the collar!

Eammon did it all, filming, editing, producing...what he didn't know, he learnt from YouTube videos! The result of this labour of love...a deeply personal, positive and polished film…given to all of us…to be shared. Thank you.

Riders Of JusticeRiders of Justice
by Anders Thomas Jensen

They don't come much better than this. It's violent, really violent. And, dark...with some serious outlandish comedy.

Mads Mikkelsen is riding on the crest of a wave, following on from the outrageously good Another Round, Mads sports a hectic beard and shoots to kill...aided and abetted by his three 'overly intelligent' sidekicks.

Now...if this had been played for laughs, it would have stumbled and fallen flat on its face pretty early on. Because...this is no laughing matter. This is the 5 stages of grief...interpreted like you have never seen before. This is all chaotic theory, vicarious psychology, staggering statistics, margins of error...and, blood.

Issues bounce all over the place...from social awkwardness to the autistic spectrum, from child abuse to male prostitution. On scene, mid-way, encapsulates the absolute terror and extent of abuse that has taken place. This is cinematic punctuation that punches a knockout...butt-naked, on all fours...in a field. Jaw-drop and tears.

This really is a dozen fairground attractions all rolled into one...it's exhilarating, thrilling and terrifying. A stunning film.

Bridging the Gap - Turbulence

Against The Tide Racing Stock Everyman Harmonic Spectrum

A mighty fine collection of short films - about how we cope. As a collection, it reminded me of Kipling's "If-" - we are all such marvellous creatures!


February 27...

Poppy-Field @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Poppy Field
by Eugen Jebeleanu

It's one of those films you'll either 'get' - or, you won't. What it will most certainly do is to make many a person's blood boil...for quite a few reasons.

If you can feel empathy and sympathy for a gay, closeted [rather toxic] policeman who attacks a former lover to save face in front of his colleagues...then, you will get this film. Internalised homophobia is as complex as it is reprehensible. Poppy Field is less complex and more reprehensible...if Cristi [the gay-bashing homo] had been portrayed with a sliver of compassion, regret, shame...then, maybe, you could feel something other than fury and disgust towards him. But no...this man is toxic, difficult...an obdurate thug.

Some may say he's 'wresting' with his sexuality...what a load of bollocks. The film opens with him quite happily wrestling with his boyfriend's bollocks [figuratively speaking], that boyfriend disappears entirely from the film soon after...why? It was a perfect way to frame the film...happy homo, bad homo...and, back to being the happy, hypocritical homo!

Not only does this film lack structure, the constantly moving hand-held camera distracts more than it informs. Then, slap, bang in the middle of the mayhem everything stops with a ludicrously long conversation about a lost dog - it makes no sense whatsoever. Padding for a threadbare script.

So...what is Eugen Jebeleanu & [writer] Ioana Moraru trying to say? Nothing subtle nor complex...Romanian police are homophobic, religious nutcases are homophobic...Romania is homophobic...no surprises there. Keep your head down and become a noxious chameleon...remember 'don't ask, don't tell' - this is exactly why that policy was so dangerous.

This film does a massive disservice to all those people who are fighting for equality in Romania. If Cristi cannot stand up and be the man that he is...then, what good is he? The same can be asked of this film...without even a glimmer of hope, what good is it?

Underplayed @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Underplayed
by Stacey Lee

Well...this was a bit of a surprise! Not what was expected at all. There is a bit of a non-issue flying around that screams of positive discrimination [what an oxymoron that is]...ignore it and you will treated to some great stories and even better music!

Oooh but those gender politics keep on niggling away. Look...if you really want to find out how difficult it is to become a successful DJ...ask those who are [hopefully] up-and-coming and those who have totally failed. Asking the most successful DJs [who command astronomical fees] is really rather redundant. They've made it, regardless of their gender! Stacey Lee's insistence really does become a bit of a moot point.

But...the question [still] remains: Is it really more difficult to be a successful female DJ than it is being a male DJ? Surely, the music speaks for itself...no matter what gender is playing it?

Gotta say, remembering the pioneers of [female] electronic music was good...but, hey, neither a nod nor mention of Laurie Anderson. What about Queen Maxine, Princess Julia, MC Kinky? All pioneers, in London, in my day...hey, anyone remember Trade circa 1990-5? When Queen Max played, we were there!

The film - unfortunately - flounders under the weights of incomplete research and an unsubstantiated bias...ignore those and you're in for a wee treat!

Jumbo @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Jumbo
by Zoé Wittock

Not really going to say too much about this...simply, because, ripping it to shreds would be [way] too easy. Apart from the lighting that is...which, for an Indie film, is spectacular.

Here's what it's about, in a nutshell. A young-ish, socially awkward woman falls in love with an amusement park ride...this ain't platonic, this is carnal. She humps a Twister!

Yes, yes, yes...it can all be construed as a metaphor...but, when a metaphor is this blatant, ludicrous and unimaginative [how can shagging a machine be unimaginative?!?]...it really does become a bit of a wreck...and, that's not a spoiler

Congratulations to Zoé Wittock for raising the €2,500,000 budget...and, for getting this [hopefully metaphorical] nonsense made. But, to be honest a worthless, soon-to-be-forgotten endeavor. Money squandered, time squandered...c'mon, shagging a Twister! There are better ways to waste your time.

Black-Bear @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Black Bear
by Lawrence Michael Levine

An odd film...bear with it and it will reward you! Yes...that pun was intended.

This first part is a little difficult to handle, hinging on verbosity and succumbing to melodrama...where can it possibly go to from where [this part] ends up!?! Well...to somewhere that surprises and titillates in ways you wouldn't expect! Part 2...is a hoot. A wee comedic gem that opens a window into [and onto] the world of independent film-making. Basically, everyone is either stoned, drunk, sycophantic, clueless, pretentious...or, sexually charged! To be more accurate...each and every character is a combination of most of them.

It may be a cheeky observation...but, it might be a truthful one - have you ever been on the set of a low-budget, independent film? It really is not that far from truth...[indie] writers and directors [always] believe they are making the next great masterpiece...only to discover that their final product falls foul of their expectations. The technical crew just get on and do their jobs ignoring the artistic bull...with varying degrees of competency.They live for the wrap party.

This is life mimicking art mimicking life...bemusing and bamboozling it may be...but, entertaining, it most certainly is.

Poly-Styrene @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
by Celeste Bell & Paul Sng

I bought The Day the World Turned Day-Glo [still got got it on orange vinyl!]. That was it...to me, Poly sounded like Johnny on Helium...without the defiance that I so wanted [then].

Once in a while, I do pop on the Bollocks - just to remind myself...of that time, how awful the music was and how much [angsty] fun I had being a young punk...with a slice of toast hanging around my neck! I was defiant...my mum told me: You look silly. 

But, as we all do...punks grew up [well, most of them did] and musical tastes change...the tense is correct...coz there ain't no punks anymore!

Punk was always a tragedy waiting to happen...Sid was [and will always be] the epitome...all the others drifted away, into middle-age, strayed towards conservatism, lost their ideologies, ended up in rehab...or, in some kind of cult. A few tried to reignite themselves...fueled, no doubt, for the need of money...seeing the [partial] Pistols reformed, watched by middle-aged mortgagors [pogoing] was the least punk thing I had ever witnessed. Punk was for the kids...as for the kids from punk, this is - quite possibly - the first account...

Poly, oh, Poly, oh Poly...who knew...what a troubled woman you were? What a wonderful ode to your life...by your daughter, Celeste.


February 28...

VictimsVictim(s)
by Layla Zhuqing Ji

The bullies and the bullied...always a hard watch...and, this is no exception.

This is dichotomy heaven...or, hell. Rich kid, poor kid, clever kid, stupid kid, straight kid, gay kid, good kid, bad kid...a bully and the bullied, a killer and the killed. It doesn't take long before you know who is who...this is an investigation as to why the killing happened.

Xianjun Fu delivers a startling performance...pity the same can't be said about two of his tormentors - goonish to the nth degree, an unfortunate and unnecessary blight to the film as a whole. That aside...the dichotomies continue with the [opposing] mothers and a subplot showing that girls are just a competent at bullying as boys. Gawd...these kids are cruel...and, incredibly stupid. They film themselves torturing their victims - what has happened to our society? Layla Zhuqing Ji doesn't hold back on either her opinion or her judgment.

Tradition gets it, family gets it, China gets it, Smart phones get it. A bleak, tragic and horrifying film, incredibly well-made ...apart from those two goons!

ApplesApples
by Christos Nikou

L-O-V-E Apples, there’s delicacy and detail…in every frame. And, the soundtrack is a beauty in itself.

This is a debut feature from Mr Nikou...they really don't come much better than this. Layered, textured and oh so very clever. The writing defies the expectation.

There's a pandemic that renders its victims - in an instant - without memories or sense of self. A terrifying prospect indeed. Yet, there is no terror, no fear...and, for the victims, no frustration. People with identity cards are rescued by family and friends...but, and this is where the real sadness sets in, there are those who have no-one, who carry no i.d. - who become lost. These 'unclaimed' enter a program to create new identities - with calm dedication, they carry out their increasingly bizarre instructions to the letter...taking polaroids of every achievement. These antics are often hysterical, always bamboozling, simply sad.

When the penny drops...a sharp intake of breath is guaranteed. This is impeccable film-making imbued with an astounding emotion. A perfect film.

HandsomeHandsome
by Luke White

Brothers...always wanted a brother, a relationship I know absolutely nothing about. Some brothers are solid, some drift away...and some, through no fault of their own, are worlds apart.

This is an adventure...of sorts. An unusual adventure at that! Alex has Down's Syndrome, supported living really is not a prospect for him. He needs round-the-clock support and care...which his parents provide. Nick, his older brother, has taken that mantle of care upon himself...for a short while. Obviously, looking toward the future...when the brothers' parent won't be able to cope...the inevitable.

This is reality...and, as with all realities, hard decisions must be made. When making those decisions, life-changing decisions, you have to be utterly truthful. Nick finds his truth and it is a hard truth...but, a realistic one. To commit this to film...takes balls. So...for that we applaud you. We also applaud this film...learning disabilities occupy a broad spectrum, the able can suffer frustration when their transference is simply not picked up. Alex lives in his own world where he just wants to feel safe and loved...in return, he'll warm your heart.

A beautiful and brave film. Thank you for your truth.


March 1...

Truman & TennesseeTruman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
by Lisa Immordino Vreeland

Oooh what incredible lives these men led. All jet-set and insecurity.

Their similarities are balanced by their differences [and, quite possibly, their indifferences]...but, bitchiness and jealousies - towards each other -reign supreme. And, there is just a hint, a smidgen...of unrequited, non-platonic love!

Both these writers - in their latter days - bit the hand that fed them...Hollywood gets it in the neck! Then, Truman Capote shot himself in the foot...with the partially published Answered Prayers...a 'tabloidy' tell-all that cost him dearly, friends and respect. Truman's demise - literally speaking - was self imposed. Whereas Tennesse just couldn't reach his previous high - The Night of the Iguana heralded the beginning - and, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore [later filmed as the brilliantly atrocious Boom!] concluded his literary success.

Their demises led to their last commonality...Dr Feelgood, that drug dealing doctor to the stars...how many lives did he ruin? Well, that's an other film entirely. Truman & Tennessee died within 18 months of each other. Tennessee, February 25, 1983 (aged 71). Truman, August 25, 1984 (aged 59). Perhaps, Truman missed his old jousting pal [so much] and died of a broken heart? No, alas...they both died from substance and alcohol abuse.

Like all anecdotal and archival biographies...subjectivity is always an issue, what's been left out? Why include that? Forget all that, Lisa Immordino Vreeland chose to neither judge nor invent an obtuse narrative...instead, she allowed the literary giants to speak, in their own words, from beyond the grave. It's enchanting, entertaining and really rather sad.

A lovely, lovely film.


March 2...

Big-vs-Small

Big vs Small
by Minna Dufton

Two extreme sports...two determined women. One incredible film.

Surfing and free-diving are vocations...not only do you need skill, you need balls...great big brave balls-made-of-steel! You may like the idea...but, would you surf a 20+ metre wave? Would you free-dive [i.e. holding your breath] under ice? There really has to be a certain amount of madness involved...but, these two women are completely grounded...in their straddling of sanity and insanity!

In my other job, I'm a Scuba-diving instructor, I have seen both surfers and free-divers do incredible things. I've also seen them do some incredibly stupid things. Their management of risk and their justifications for taking those risks make for some interesting [and mind-blowing] conversations...this is the only thing that this film lacked. But, hey...you can't have everything!

There will always be drama and beauty with these two sports...rather going deep into the psyche, Minna Duffon's film basically states that no matter your stature, background, gender...if you have the balls [and the vocation], you can do what these women are doing. Call it a 'calling'...but, you have to be called! This film will serve as a calling card for a few...the others will just sit back a little awe-inspired!


March 3...

SweetheartSweetheart
by Marley Morrison

An angst-ridden teen reluctantly goes on holiday with her family! What could possibly go wrong? Or, right?

Recently, there was Make Up - a lesbian-coming-of-age horror, set in a holiday camp. Now this, a lesbian-coming-of-age rom-com story...set in a holiday camp. 

The similarities don't end there...these are the debut features by their filmmakers...and, both films really do paint a fairly gloomy lesbian picture. Where Make Up continues with the gloom...Sweetheart, thankfully, makes a permanent detour into and onto a more-sweet-than-bitter terrain. Having said that...Sweetheart's AJ is an absolute moaning horror...if anyone was in need of a happy pill...it's her!

AJ's sexuality is not an issue for her family...which - it would seem - pisses her off even more than how pissed off she already is...c'mon, she's 16 and never been...kissed. She's undeniably and absolutely sexually frustrated! Remember those mad masturbatory days?!? Some of us haven't waved them goodbye!

In walks the 'woman' of her dreams...the stage is all set...for what could have been a familiar, reminiscent comedy about embarrassing [teen] sex, bad [teen] manners and messy, premature orgasms [they happen to all of us]! Alas, no! This has more sand and less grit.

Marley Morrison has played it a little too safe [and sweet]...with predictability taking centre-stage rather than red-cheeked embarrassment...if the intention was to make a family-foible-friendly film...then, hat's off...success.

But...to make your mark in this industry, you have to ruffle a few feathers...rather than preen them...otherwise, you'll end up directing daytime soaps!

And...no trailer, no poster...for a film festival premiere. Fire the PR!!! 

Limbo @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Limbo
by Ben Sharrock

Many years ago [1983 to be precise], a film came out of Scotland that made an indelible impression, Bill Forsyth's wondrous Local Hero.

Limbo - nearly 40 years later - makes more than an indelible impression, it will move you to the core. Ben Sharrock has taken his obvious inspiration and ran with it...without letting up for one second. 

The absurdities of cultural indoctrination and appropriation. The majesties of memories and mothers. The sadnesses of being lonely and lost. This is Limbo - a place where hopes and dreams are impotently and patiently awaited, where fear and terror are a mere stone's throw away.

There is a ton of humour...but, no amount can gloss over the clagging inhumanity and the clawing condescension. Home secretaries [past and present] have grief, suffering, blood and death on their collective hands. Whether they be refugees or migrants...they remain displaced, misplaced and out-of-place...strangers in a stranger land.

One man - the Freddie Mercury adoring Farhad - has fled his country because of his sexuality...he is a bona fide refugee...and, delivers a line that will cause your heart to shatter. He draws that fine line between comedy and tragedy...with perfect precision.

There are others who have ambition beyond their reality...and then, there's Omar.

Amir El-Masry...bemused, bamboozled, beguiled...and, blank. A stunning, understated performance...not a boy, not yet a man...still, his vulnerability brings out the protective...Farhad assumes that particular mantle. 

There's a  line: I used to cry myself to sleep before my tears ran dry.

Limbo will make you feel, question, think...and, cry...until you have no tears left. Sad tears, happy tears, embarrassed tears. Beauty should always make you cry. And...Limbo is an undeniable beauty.

Thank you. 


March 4...

Wildland @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Wildland
by Jeanette Nordahl

Well...as a statement on Danish social services, it - basically - kicks them - square - in the ghoulies. What incompetent fools they are...placing a teenage girl with a known criminal family just after her mother dies! Okay...so the family is estranged family...with relatives like these, who needs enemies!?!

This is not a pleasant film...not even by any stretch of the wildest imagination. It's not exactly predictable...but, you know it's going to end in someone's tears.

Why 'they' changed the title is bewildering, [the literal translation] Flesh & Blood really does encapsulate everything that this film is all about...these are demi-gangsters à la Snowtown as opposed to those in Animal Kingdom - similarities with both films are too obvious to ignore. When walking on familiar territories, it's best to do so with new boots...there were no new boots with this outing!

There's a whiff of lesbian subtext...mind you, it is just a whiff. Teenage, grieving girl meets feisty, assertive older girl...well, let's just say...it's a one-way street...and, a bit of a dead-end. Is she questioning her sexuality? Well, we'll never know. In that respect, the film leaves you dangling...but, in a split second, you come crashing to the ground. The finality of it all is a brutal, short, sharp shock on the senses.

It certainly is a film that will leave you with a loose jaw. Not bad for a debut...but, a pair of new boots would have kicked it into a brand new territory. 

Gagarine @ Glasgow Film Festival 2021Gagarine
by Fanny Liatard & Jérémy Trouilh

Just go with it! This is magical...with a bit of social realistic grit.

 


March 5...

Rosas Wedding The Old Ways Surge Run Hide Fight Tina 2021


March 6...

Dreams On Fire Vicious Fun Cowboys Out Of This World


March 7...The last day...

There Is No Evil Gunda Spring Blossom


 

Dorian Film Awards 2021...

GALECA Dorian Awards LogoThe Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics (GALECA) has unveiled the nominations for the 2021 Dorian Film Awards...

Minari leads the way with six nominations, including best film and best foreign-language film, with the organization declaring "take that, Golden Globes," in reference to the awards show's controversial decision to place Minari in the foreign-language film category. Nomadland scored five nominations, including for best film, best director and screenplay (Chloé Zhao) and best actress (Frances McDormand) and Most Visually Striking Film.

The rest of the best film nominees are Promising Young Woman (four nods overall), First Cow and Sound of Metal (three nods apiece).

Zhao and the late Chadwick Boseman are both up for the group's Wilde Artist Award, with Boseman also nominated for best actor for his work in his last film, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. The other nominees for the Wilde Award, named for Oscar Wilde and given to a "groundbreaking force in entertainment," are Regina King (who made her feature directorial debut in 2020 with One Night in Miami), Dolly Parton and Elliot Page.

The winners will be celebrated in the Dorians Film Toast 2021 special set to air on queer platform Revry on April 18.

Nonprofit organization GALECA was launched in 2009 to explore and celebrate both mainstream and LGBTQ-centered content. Its 250-plus members are all active critics and journalists.

View the complete list of nominations below.

Best Film
FIRST COW
MINARI
NOMADLAND
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
SOUND OF METAL

Best LGBTQ Film
AMMONITE
I CARRY YOU WITH ME
MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM
SUPERNOVA
UNCLE FRANK
THE BOYS IN THE BAND

Best Foreign Language Film
ANOTHER ROUND
BACURAU
I CARRY YOU WITH ME
LA LLORONA
MINARI
TWO OF US

Best Director
CHLOÉ ZHAO, NOMADLAND
EMERALD FENNELL, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
KELLY REICHARDT, FIRST COW
LEE ISAAC CHUNG, MINARI
REGINA KING, ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

Best Screenplay (original or adapted)
CHLOE ZHAO, NOMADLAND
ELIZA HITTMAN, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
EMERALD FENNELL, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
LEE ISAAC CHUNG, MINARI
RADHA BLANK, THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION

Best Unsung Film
DRIVEWAYS
FIRST COW
MISS JUNETEENTH
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
SHIRLEY
THE ASSISTANT
THE FORTY YEAR OLD VERSION

Best Documentary
COLLECTIVE
CRIP CAMP
DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD
TIME
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA
DISCLOSURE

Best LGBTQ Documentary
A SECRET LOVE
BORN TO BE
DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN
MUCHO MUCHO AMOR: THE LEGEND OF WALTER MERCADO
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA

Best Film Performance — Actress
CAREY MULLIGAN, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
FRANCES MCDORMAND, NOMADLAND
NICOLE BEHARIE, MISS JUNETEENTH
SIDNEY FLANIGAN, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
VIOLA DAVIS, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM

Best Film Performance — Actor
ANTHONY HOPKINS, THE FATHER
CHADWICK BOSEMAN, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM
DELROY LINDO, DA 5 BLOODS
RIZ AHMED, SOUND OF METAL
STEVEN YEUN, MINARI

Best Film Performance — SUPPORTING Actress
AMANDA SEYFRIED, MANK
CANDICE BERGEN, LET THEM ALL TALK
MARIA BAKALOVA, BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
OLIVIA COLMAN, THE FATHER
YUH-JUNG YOUN, MINARI

Best Film Performance — SUPPORTING Actor
CHADWICK BOSEMAN, DA 5 BLOODS
DANIEL KALUUYA, JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
LESLIE ODOM JR., ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
PAUL RACI, SOUND OF METAL
SACHA BARON COHEN, THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Most Visually Striking Film
BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN
MANK
NOMADLAND
SOUL
WOLFWALKERS

Campiest Flick
BAD HAIR
BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA
THE PROM
WONDER WOMAN 1984

"We're Wilde About You!" Rising Star Award
ALAN S. KIM
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR
MARIA BAKALOVA
RADHA BLANK
SIDNEY FLANIGAN

Wilde Artist Award
(to a truly groundbreaking force in entertainment)
CHADWICK BOSEMAN
CHLOE ZHAO
DOLLY PARTON
ELLIOT PAGE
REGINA KING


 

NOMINEES FOR THE 32ND ANNUAL GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS...

GMA32 Logo Blue 01The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community and the issues that affect their lives.

Below is the full list of nominees for the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. A tip sheet with a breakdown of nominations by media and trends among the nominees is available at www.glaad.org/releases.
 

NOMINEES FOR THE 32ND ANNUAL GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS
ENGLISH-LANGUAGE CATEGORIES

 

Outstanding Film - Wide Release

The Craft: Legacy (Sony Pictures)
Happiest Season (Hulu/TriStar Pictures)
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix)
The Old Guard (Netflix)
The Prom (Netflix)

Outstanding Film - Limited Release

Ammonite (NEON)
And Then We Danced (Music Box Films)
The Boys in the Band (Netflix)
The Half of It (Netflix)
I Carry You With Me (Sony Pictures Classics)
Kajillionaire (Focus Features)
The Life Ahead (Netflix)
Lingua Franca (ARRAY/Netflix)
Monsoon (Strand Releasing)
The True Adventures of Wolfboy (Vertical Entertainment)

Outstanding Documentary

Circus of Books (Netflix)
Disclosure (Netflix)
Equal (HBO Max)
For They Know Not What They Do (First Run Features)
Howard (Disney+)
Mucho Mucho Amor (Netflix)
Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street (Virgil FIlms/Shudder)
Visible: Out on Television (Apple TV+)
We Are The Radical Monarchs (PBS POV)
Welcome to Chechnya (HBO)

Outstanding Comedy Series

Big Mouth (Netflix)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
Everything's Gonna Be Okay (Freeform)
Harley Quinn (HBO Max)
Love, Victor (Hulu)
Saved by the Bell (Peacock)
Schitt's Creek (Pop)
Sex Education (Netflix)
Superstore (NBC)
Twenties (BET)

Outstanding Drama Series

9-1-1: Lone Star (FOX)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
P-Valley (Starz)
Ratched (Netflix)
Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)
Supergirl (The CW)
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)
Vida (Starz)
The Wilds (Amazon)
Wynonna Earp (Syfy)

Outstanding TV Movie

Alice Júnior (Netflix)
Bad Education (HBO)
The Christmas House (Hallmark Channel)
The Christmas Setup (Lifetime)
Dashing in December (Paramount Network)
La Leyenda Negra (HBO Latino/HBO Max)
The Thing About Harry (Freeform)
Uncle Frank (Amazon Studios)
Unpregnant (HBO Max)
Your Name Engraved Herein (Netflix)

Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series

Dispatches from Elsewhere (AMC)
The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)
Hollywood (Netflix)
I May Destroy You (HBO)
Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

Outstanding Reality Program

Deaf U (Netflix)
Legendary (HBO Max)
Queer Eye (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)
We're Here (HBO)

Outstanding Children’s Programming

“Challenge of the Senior Junior Woodchucks!” DuckTales (Disney XD)
"Dogbot" Clifford The Big Red Dog (Scholastic Entertainment/Amazon/PBS)
"Nancy Plays Dress Up" Fancy Nancy (Disney Junior)
The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo (HBO Max)
Summer Camp Island (HBO Max)

Outstanding Kids & Family Programming

Craig of the Creek (Cartoon Network)
Diary of a Future President (Disney+)
First Day (Hulu)
Kipo and The Age of Wonderbeasts (DreamWorks Animation/Netflix)
The Loud House (Nickelodeon)
"Mary Anne Saves the Day" The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix)
"Obsidian" Adventure Time: Distant Lands (HBO Max)
The Owl House (Disney Channel)
She-Ra & The Princesses of Power (DreamWorks Animation/Netflix)
Steven Universe (Cartoon Network)

Outstanding Music Artist

Adam Lambert, Velvet (More Is More/Empire)
Brandy Clark, Your Life Is a Record (Warner Records)
Halsey, Manic (Capitol)
Kehlani, It Was Good Until It Wasn't (Atlantic)
Lady Gaga, Chromatica (Streamline/Interscope)
Miley Cyrus, Plastic Hearts (RCA)
Pabllo Vittar, 111 (BMT/Sony Music Brasil)
Peppermint, A Girl Like Me: Letters to My Lovers (PEG Records)
Ricky Martin, Pausa (Sony Latin)
Sam Smith, Love Goes (Capitol)

Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist

Arca, KiCk i (XL)
Chika, Industry Games (Warner Records)
FLETCHER, The (S)ex Tapes (Capitol)
Keiynan Lonsdale, Rainbow Boy (Keiynan Lonsdale)
Kidd Kenn, Child’s Play (Island Records)
Orville Peck, Show Pony (Columbia/Sub Pop)
Phoebe Bridgers, Punisher (Dead Oceans)
Rina Sawayama, Sawayama (Dirty Hit/Avex Trax)
Trixie Mattel, Barbara (PEG Records)
Victoria Monét, Jaguar (Tribe Records)

Outstanding Video Game

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft)
Borderlands 3: Guns, Love, and Tentacles (2K Games)
Bugsnax (Young Horses)
Hades (Supergiant Games)
If Found… (Annapurna Interactive)
Ikenfell (Humble Games/Happy Ray Games)
Immortals Fenyx Rising (Ubisoft)
The Last of Us Part II (Sony Interactive Entertainment)
Tell Me Why (Xbox Game Studios)
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (Blizzard Entertainment)

Outstanding Comic Book

EmpyreLords of Empyre: Emperor HulklingEmpyre: Aftermath Avengers, by Al Ewing, Dan Slott, Chip Zdarsky, Anthony Oliveira, Valerio Schiti, Manuel Garcia, Cam Smith, Marte Gracia, Triona Farrell, Joe Caramagna, Ariana Maher, Travis Lanham (Marvel Comics)
Far Sector, by N.K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell, Deron Bennett (DC Comics)
Guardians of the Galaxy, by Al Ewing, Juann Cabal, Nina Vakueva, Chris Sprouse, Belén Ortega, Marcio Takara, Karl Story, Federico Blee, Guru-eFX, Cory Petit (Marvel Comics)
Juliet Takes a Breath, by Gabby Rivera, Celia Moscote, James Fenner, DC Hopkins (Boom! Studios)
Lois Lane, by Greg Rucka, Mike Perkins, Gabe Eltaeb, Andy Troy, Simon Bowland (DC Comics)
The Magic Fish, by Trung Le Nguyen (Random House Graphic)
Suicide Squad, by Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Adriano Lucas, Wes Abbott (DC Comics)
Wynd, by James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas, Aditya Bidikar (Boom! Studios)
X-Factor, by Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Carlos Gomez, Israel Silva, Joe Caramagna (Marvel Comics)
You Brought Me the Ocean, by Alex Sanchez, Julie Maroh, Deron Bennett (DC Comics)

Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode

“Andy Cohen Calls for Change So He Can Donate His Plasma” Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (Bravo)
“Black Trans Lives Matter” Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
“Emily's Coming Out Story” Red Table Talk: The Estefans (Facebook Watch)
“Laverne Cox - Exploring Trans Representation with ‘Disclosure’” The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
“Lilly Responds to Comments About Her Sexuality” A Little Late With Lilly Singh (NBC)

Outstanding TV Journalism Segment

“Black Trans Activists on Being the 'Blueprint for the Struggle for Black Freedom'” MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson (MSNBC)
“Dwyane Wade One-On-One: Basketball Legend Opens Up About Supporting Transgender Daughter” Good Morning America (ABC)
“Faith, Foster Care and LGBTQ Rights Collide in Supreme Court” ABC News Prime (ABC News Live)
“One-on-One with Transportation Secretary Nominee Pete Buttigieg” State of the Union (CNN)
“Trans and Non-Binary People Face Voting Barriers Ahead of 2020 Election” (CBSN)

Outstanding TV Journalism – Long-Form

“ABC News Joe Biden Town Hall” (ABC)
“The Deciders” (CBS)
“Pride and Protest: Being Black and Queer in America in 2020” (NBC News NOW)
“Pride on ABC News Live: The Landmark Decision” (ABC News Live)
“Prideland” (PBS)

Outstanding Print Article

“20 LGBTQ+ People Working to Save Lives on the Frontline” by Diane Anderson-Minshall, David Artavia, Tracy Gilchrist, Desiree Guerrero, Jeffrey Masters, Donald Padgett, and Daniel Reynolds (The Advocate)
“The AIDS Quilt Marches Home” by Jason Sheeler (People)
“As Homeless Shelters Brace for Funding Cuts, LGBTQ Youths Take Desperate Measures to Get By” by Samantha Schmidt (The Washington Post)
“Delaware’s Sarah McBride Makes History as the Nation’s First Openly Transgender State Senator” by Meg Ryan (Delaware Today)
“How a March for Black Trans Lives Became a Huge Event” by Anushka Patil (The New York Times)
“It’s Time for a New Tipping Point for Transgender Folks in Hollywood” by Tre'vell Anderson (Out)
“LGBTQ Americans Are Getting Coronavirus, Losing Jobs. Anti-Gay Bias is Making it Worse for Them.” by Petruce Jean-Charles (USA Today)
“Lutheran High School Athletic Trainer, Coach Says She Was Fired for Being Gay” by Arika Herron (The Indianapolis Star)
“States Won’t Collect LGBTQ Data on COVID-19 — and Advocates Aren’t Happy” by Chris Johnson (Washington Blade)
“Why Billy Porter is a National Treasure” by Tre'vell Anderson (Essence)

Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage

The Advocate
Billboard
People
Plus
Variety


Outstanding Online Journalism Article

“The Battle Over Title IX and Who Gets to be a Woman in Sports: Inside the Raging National Debate” by Katie Barnes (espnW.com)
“Gay Men Speak Out After Being Turned Away from Donating Blood During Coronavirus Pandemic: 'We are Turning Away Perfectly Healthy Donors'” by Tony Morrison and Joel Lyons (GoodMorningAmerica.com)
“Here’s how Reggie Greer Takes on LGBTQ Outreach for Joe Biden in this ‘Very Personal’ Election” by John Gallagher (LGBTQNation.com)
“No Medicine, No Food: Coronavirus Restrictions Amplify Health Risks to LGBT+ People with HIV” by Nita Bhalla and Oscar Lopez (Openlynews.com)
“An Oral History of Fashion’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic” [series] by Phillip Picardi (VOGUE.com)
“Queer Spaces Project” [series] by Nico Lang, Samantha Allen, Marke B., Matt Baume, Steven Blum, Alexander Cheves, Devlyn Camp, Michael Cuby, James Factora, KC Hoard, Sophie Hurwitz, Michelle Kim, and Daniel Villareal (them.us)
“Trans Athletes’ Fight for Inclusion in World Rugby” [series] by Dawn Ennis, Alex Reimer, Karleigh Webb, and Cyd Zeigler (Outsports.com)
“Trans Freedom Fighters” [series] by Sam Levin (TheGuardian.com)
“Trans, Imprisoned — and Trapped” by Kate Sosin (NBCNews.com)
“‘You Don’t Belong Here’: In Poland’s ‘LGBT-Free Zones’ Existing is an Act of Defiance” by Ivana Kottasová, Rob Picheta, and Sarah Tilotta (CNN.com)

Outstanding Online Journalism – Video or Multimedia

“A Closer Look: Transgender in Kashmir” by Robert Leslie, Bhat Burhan, and Saqib Mugloo (Business Insider)
“I’m an Immigrant Fighting for Queer Rights and Racial Justice” by Abigail E. Disney, Catherine King, Maria Nunez, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Patty Quillin, Julie Parker Benello, Susan Sherrerd, and Lynda Weinman (Refinery29)
“Stop Killing Us: Black Transgender Women's Lived Experiences” by Complex World (Complex News)
“They Will See You: LGBTQ+ Visibility in Advertising” by Brent Miller, Otto Bell, and Jordan Shavarebi (Great Big Story)
“Why LGBTQ Rights Hinge on the Definition of ‘Sex’” by Laura Bult, Ranjani Chakraborty, Melissa Hirsch, and Sidnee King (Vox)

Outstanding Blog

Gays With Kids
JoeMyGod
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents
The Reckoning
TransGriot

Special Recognition

After Forever (Amazon)
Deadline’s New Hollywood Podcast
Happiest Season Soundtrack (Facet/Warner Records)
Noah’s Arc: The ‘Rona Chronicles (Patrik Ian-Polk Entertainment)
Out (Pixar/Disney+)
Razor Tongue (YouTube)
"The Son" Little America (Apple TV+)

 

NOMINEES FOR THE 32ND ANNUAL GLAAD MEDIA AWARDS
SPANISH-LANGUAGE CATEGORIES

 

Outstanding Spanish-Language Scripted Television Series

Ana (Amazon/Comedy Central/Pantaya)
Élite (Netflix)
#Luimelia (Atresplayer Premium)
Someone Has to Die (Netflix)
Veneno (HBO Max)

Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism

“Decisión de la Corte Suprema Para Comunidad LGBTQ” Un Nuevo Día (Telemundo)
“La Hermana de Aleyda Ortiz Narra Cómo Salió del Clóset y Cómo se lo Comunicó a su Familia” Despierta América (Univision)
“Proyecto ser Humano: La Terapia del Engaño” Camilo (CNN en Español)
“Refugio para Pacientes de COVID-19 y Comunidad LGBTI en México” Un Nuevo Dí(Telemundo)
“Sanación Milagrosa” Despierta América (Univision)

Outstanding Spanish-Language Online Journalism Article

“El Brutal Asesinato de una Mujer Transgénero Conmociona a Puerto Rico y Renueva una Conversación Sobre la Transfobia” por Harmeet Kaur y Rafy Rivera (CNNEspañol.com)
“Desapareció en México, Solo se Hallaron sus Restos: La Historia de la Doctora María Elizabeth Montaño y su Importancia para la Comunidad Trans” por Albinson Linares y Marina E. Franco (Telemundo.com)
"Entrevistas para el mes del Orgullo LGBT+” por Paula Velasco, Aurora Villaseñor, y Sofía Viramontes (Gatopardo.com)
“Elliot Page y el Dilema Social del Género” por Marcos Billy Guzmán (ElNuevoDía.com)
“La Historia de un Amor Moderno” por María Torres Clausell (Quién.com)

Outstanding Spanish-Language Online Journalism - Video or Multimedia

“Abril Zamora: Sin Filtros” (Elle España)
“Ciudad de México Prohibe las ‘Terapias’ Contra la Homosexualidad” por Elías Camhaji, Jonás Cortés, y Rodrigo Floriano (El País)
“La Liga Deportiva de la Diversidad” por Lucía Anaya (VICE en Español)
“Mujeres LGBT+ en México: Ari Vera” (Homosensual)
“Soy Trans: El Camino a un Nuevo Despertar” por Sarah Moreno, Esther Piccolino, y José Sepúlveda (El Nuevo Herald)

Special Recognition (Spanish-Language)

Jesse & Joy, “Love (Es Nuestro Idioma)”


 

2021 Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations...

Spirit Awards

The 2021 Film Independent Sprit Awards will be broadcast Thursday, April 22 at 10:00 pm ET/7:00 pm PT exclusively on IFC and AMC+.

BEST FEATURE

(Award given to the producer)

FIRST COW

Producers: Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Producers: Todd Black, Denzel Washington, Dany Wolf

MINARI

Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Christina Oh

NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS

Producers: Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski

NOMADLAND

Producers: Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Chloé Zhao

 

BEST FIRST FEATURE

(Award given to director and producer)

I CARRY YOU WITH ME

Director/Producer: Heidi Ewing

Producers: Edher Campos, Mynette Louie, Gabriela Maire

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION

Director/Producer: Radha Blank

Producers: Inuka Bacote-Capiga, Jordan Fudge, Rishi Rajani, Jennifer Semler, Lena Waithe

MISS JUNETEENTH

Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples

Producers: Toby Halbrooks, Tim Headington, Jeanie Igoe, James M. Johnston, Theresa Steele Page, Neil Creque Williams

NINE DAYS

Director: Edson Oda

Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Mette-Marie Kongsved, Matthew Lindner, Laura Tunstall, Datari Turner

SOUND OF METAL

Director: Darius Marder

Producers: Bill Benz, Kathy Benz, Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Eliza Hittman, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Kelly Reichardt, First Cow

Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

 

BEST SCREENPLAY

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

Eliza Hittman, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Mike Makowsky, Bad Education

Alice Wu, The Half of It

 

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Kitty Green, The Assistant

Noah Hutton, Lapsis

Channing Godfrey Peoples, Miss Juneteenth

Andy Siara, Palm Springs

James Sweeney, Straight Up

 

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD

(Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; Award given to the writer, director and producer)

THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS

Writer/Director/Producer: Robert Machoian

Producers: Scott Christopherson, Clayne Crawford

LA LEYENDA NEGRA

Writer/Director: Patricia Vidal Delgado

Producers: Alicia Herder, Marcel Perez

LINGUA FRANCA

Writer/Director/Producer: Isabel Sandoval

Producers: Darlene Catly Malimas, Jhett Tolentino, Carlo Velayo

RESIDUE

Writer/Director: Merawi Gerima

SAINT FRANCES

Director/Producer: Alex Thompson

Writer: Kelly O’Sullivan

Producers: James Choi, Pierce Cravens, Ian Keiser, Eddie Linker, Raphael Nash, Roger Welp

 

BEST MALE LEAD

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Adarsh Gourav, The White Tiger

Rob Morgan, Bull

Steven Yeun, Minari

 

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Nicole Beharie, Miss Juneteenth

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Julia Garner, The Assistant

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

 

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Colman Domingo, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Orion Lee, First Cow

Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Benedict Wong, Nine Days

 

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Alexis Chikaeze, Miss Juneteenth

Yeri Han, Minari

Valerie Mahaffey, French Exit

Talia Ryder, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Yuh-jung Youn, Minari

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Jay Keitel, She Dies Tomorrow

Shabier Kirchner, Bull

Michael Latham, The Assistant

Hélène Louvart, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Joshua James Richards, Nomadland

 

BEST EDITING

Andy Canny, The Invisible Man

Scott Cummings, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Merawi Gerima, Residue

Enat Sidi, I Carry You With Me

Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

 

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

(Award given to the director)

BACURAU (Brazil)

Director: Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho

THE DISCIPLE (India)

Director: Chaitanya Tamahane

NIGHT OF THE KINGS (Ivory Coast)

Director: Philippe Lacôte

PREPARATIONS TO BE TOGETHER FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME (Hungary)

Director: Lili Horvát

QUO VADIS, AIDA? (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Director: Jasmila Žbanić

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

(Award given to the director and producer)

COLLECTIVE

Director/Producer: Alexander Nanau

Producers: Hanka Kastelicová, Bernard Michaux, Bianca Oana

CRIP CAMP

Directors/Producers: Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham

Producer: Sara Bolder

DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD

Director/Producer: Kirsten Johnson

Producers: Katy Chevigny, Marilyn Ness

THE MOLE AGENT

Director: Maite Alberdi

Producer: Marcela Santibáñez

TIME

Director/Producer: Garrett Bradley

Producers: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn

 

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD

(Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

Director: Regina King

Casting Directors: Kimberly R. Hardin

Ensemble Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr.

 

PRODUCERS AWARD

(The Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films)

Lucas Joaquin

Gerry Kim

Kara Durrett

 

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD

(The Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition)

DAVID MIDELL

Director of The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain

EKWA MSANGI

Director of Farewell Amor

ANNIE SILVERSTEIN

Director of Bull

 

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD

(The 26th Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition)

CECILIA ALDARONDO

Director of Landfall

ELEGANCE BRATTON

Director of Pier Kids

ELIZABETH LO

Director of Stray

 

BEST NEW NON-SCRIPTED OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES

(Award given to the Creator, Executive Producer, Co-Executive Producer)

ATLANTA’S MISSING AND MURDERED: THE LOST CHILDREN

Executive Producers: Jeff Dupre, Joshua Bennett, Sam Pollard, Maro Chermayeff, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius

CITY SO REAL

Produced by: Zak Piper, Steve James

Executive Producers: Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Alex Kotlowitz, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg, Jolene Pinder

IMMIGRATION NATION

Executive Producers: Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Brandon Hill, Christian Thompson

Co-Executive Producers: Andrey Alistratov, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg, Lauren Haber

LOVE FRAUD

Executive Producers: Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing, Amy Goodman Kass, Vinnie Malhotra, Jihan Robinson, Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman

WE’RE HERE

Creators/Executive Producers: Stephen Warren, Johnnie Ingram

Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Peter LoGreco

Co-Executive Producers: Erin Haglund, Sabrina Mar

 

BEST NEW SCRIPTED SERIES

(Award given to the Creator, Executive Producer, Co-Executive Producer)

I MAY DESTROY YOU

Creator/Executive Producer: Michaela Coel

Executive Producers: Phil Clarke, Roberto Troni

LITTLE AMERICA

Executive Producers: Lee Eisenberg, Joshuah Bearman, Joshua Davis, Arthur Spector, Alan Yang, Siân Heder, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon

SMALL AXE

Executive Producers: Tracey Scoffield, David Tanner, Steve McQueen

A TEACHER

Creator/Executive Producer: Hannah Fidell

Executive Producers: Michael Costigan, Kate Mara, Louise Shore, Jason Bateman, Danny Brocklehurst

Co-Executive Producer: Daniel Pipski

UNORTHODOX

Creator/Executive Producer: Anna Winger

Creator: Alexa Karolinski

Executive Producer: Henning Kamm

 

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A SCRIPTED SERIES

Elle Fanning, The Great

Shira Haas, Unorthodox

Abby McEnany, Work in Progress

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Never Have I Ever

Jordan Kristine Seamón, We Are Who We Are

 

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES

Adam Ali, Little America

Nicco Annan, P-Valley

Conphidance, Little America

Amit Rahav, Unorthodox

Harold Torres, ZeroZeroZero

 

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES

I MAY DESTROY YOU

Cast: Michaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Weruche Opia, Stephen Wight


 

So My Grandma’s a Lesbian! - Trailer...

Two women in their 70s decide to come out to their families and get married, sparking chaos — and threatening a granddaughter's engagement.

Starring: Rosa María Sardà, Verónica Forqué, Ingrid García Jonsson

Release: January 22, 2021 on Netflix

American Gods Season 3 | Official Trailer...

Shadow Moon assumes a new identity and moves to Wisconsin to hide from the new Gods, but with Wednesday determined to bring him back into the fold, will Shadow be able to live a normal life?

Season 3 is dropping on Amazon Prime Video UK 11th January 2021.

Wonder Woman 1984 - Official Main Trailer...

For the first time ever, #WonderWoman1984 will release in theaters and stream exclusively on HBO Max* on December 25.

Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.

With director Patty Jenkins back at the helm and Gal Gadot returning in the title role, “Wonder Woman 1984” is Warner Bros. Pictures’ follow up to the DC Super Hero’s first outing, 2017’s record-breaking “Wonder Woman,” which took in $822 million at the worldwide box office. The film also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as The Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright as Antiope, and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta.

Music, a film by Sia - coming in early 2021...

Music, a cinematic experience from Sia, starring Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr. & Maddie Ziegler arrives in early 2021.

Sia's album Music (songs from and inspired by the motion picture) is out February 12, 2021 and features "Hey Boy," "Together,” & more. 

Chaos Walking - Official Trailer...

It's taken an age to arrive...the trailer is finally here! A whole planet of only men!

In the not too distant future, Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) discovers Viola (Daisy Ridley), a mysterious girl who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by "the Noise" - a force that puts all their thoughts on display. In this dangerous landscape, Viola's life is threatened - and as Todd vows to protect her, he will have to discover his own inner power and unlock the planet's dark secrets.

From the director of The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow and based on the best-selling novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland star with Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, Kurt Sutter, and David Oyelowo in Chaos Walking.

Chaos Walking is rated PG-13 and is scheduled to open in 2021.

A Place Among the Dead | Official Trailer...

"I have never seen a film like it. It gets under your skin like ERASERHEAD or DONNIE DARKO. A legacy project, which will be running long after weʼre all gone.” - F.X. Feeney, film critic, author and film historian

In this revealing and terrifying meld of fact, fiction and the fantastical, actress and filmmaker “Jules,” driven by the demons of her past, embarks on a journey at the potential cost of everything she knows and loves.

Directed by Juliet Landau

Starring Juliet Landau, Gary Oldman, Robert Patrick, Ron Perlman, Lance Henriksen, Anne Rice and Joss Whedon.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie | Official Trailer ...

 

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is an upcoming 2021 LGBT musical drama film directed by Jonathan Butterell (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Tom MacRae and Dan Gillespie Sells, based upon the musical of the same name, inspired by the real life story of Jamie Campbell. The film stars Max Harwood, Richard E. Grant, Sharon Horgan, Lauren Patel, Shobna Gulati, Sarah Lancashire, and Ralph Ineson.

BFI: London Film Festival 2020...Our coverage

BFI London Film Festival 2020by David Anderson Cutler

It's our favourite time of the year...LONDON!!!

Bugger...we're not going to be in London [physically]...but, we will be....in spirit, with Gin.

Our watch-list has been finalised...[don't be so silly] of course, there will be a few minor tweaks, changes, additions and subtractions...but, these are [some of] the films that will occupy our multiple senses for the next 12 days...

Let the festival begin... 


Day 1...

The DiscipleThe Disciple
by Chaitanya Tamhane

Knowing absolutely nothing about Indian classical music, The Disciple - on paper - presents itself [for an non-aficionado] as a rather 120-minute daunting task. But, yet...it has something rather alluring. So, with open mind and heart...hoping to be educated...perhaps, [even] enlightened...the ticket bought, the embarkation began.

There is an awful lot of 'singing' - had no idea if it was good or bad, heard many a flat note and many a weird run...in truth, it all sounded discordantly similar. But...that is the point of the film, to the untrained ear...this music cannot be appreciated. Even, to those trained ears, some [people] cannot differentiate between the sublime and the mediocre! Critics...they really are monsters!

This disciple is mediocre...who has sacrifices a sizable chunk of his life to the dedication of this ancient art-form. To become a cause célèbre means little notoriety, less renown and the financial dividends are meagre. The is an art-form for the worthy...success and appreciation are modest. Quick fame and fortune are not an option...and, this is where the film switches up a gear...this ancient art-form [actually] can be modernised, can create fame and fortune. Like everything...evolution is in command, those who don't embrace it are left behind and, eventually, become extinct.

One of the most surprising elements to Chaitanya Tamhane's film is...this disciple is a rather unpleasant chap...single-minded, dedicated...and, talentless. A scathing statement is made without any subtlety whatsoever. This is an in-your-face message...evolve, adapt...or die. Hey, it happened with Latin!

A finely directed film...with performances to match. It's not exactly pleasant...but, it certainly makes a stoic point...against elitism...and, for evolution. 

Kajillionaire

Kajillionaire
by Miranda July

Off-beat, down-beat...call it what you will. Kajillonaire will certainly divide opinion...we absolutely loved it.

Basically, this is a lesbian love story that takes its time [it has the same kind of vibe as Little Miss Sunshine]...and, that time is taken up by the ludicrous and the inspired. Bubbles [aka the leak]...would you live in a place that leaked bubbles?!? Lots [and lots] of bubbles!?! Miranda July was certainly thinking [way] outside the box when she came up with that one...hey, filmmakers, that's what gets you noticed...thinking outside of that box! Surprise the critics, energize their flummoxed asses...we all want fresh...this is deadpan fresh.

The comedy is sleight...it's more visual than visceral...that [in itself] is how clever this film is...this is not about feelings. This is about learning to feel, about wanting to feel...about wanting to be wanted...to be felt. Evan Rachel Wood goes way beyond what you would expect...the thrice Oscar nominated Debra Winger...well, she delivers a downplaying, deadpan masterclass.

In truth, you'll either get Kajillionare or not...those lucky enough to get it...will understand. 

Mangrove1Mangrove
by Steve McQueen

The question is: Why has it taken so long to bring this story to the big screen? Institutional embarrassment perhaps!?! Probably...that is, until someone had the balls to tell it to a new generation. Steve McQueen not only has the balls, he has the talent to do this story the justice it deserves.

The role of the 'beat' police officer has changed [rather radically] throughout the years. Once admired, latterly feared...now, if you can find one, tolerated [wholly dependent upon the neighbourhood]. Mangrove is set during the nadir of public opinion regarding their not-so-friendly beating Bobbies. The main culprit being the contemptible and corrupt PC Frank Pulley - a foul officer who couldn't progress further in the Force - because he couldn't pass the Police examination. So, with his limited intelligence...he bullied, intimidated and terrorised the Black community of Notting Hill. How he avoided dismissal from the force is a prime example of institutional cronyism...that still exists today. Will we [as in 'they'] ever learn!?! 

After the essential background, Mangrove becomes a riveting courtroom battle. Heralding that well-used phrase: The law is an ass. Indeed, to some, it may be...usually those who lose. Rather than the law being an ass, the writers has shown the beauty of the law when intelligence is applied to it. The 'ass' here is the procedure and the pomposity of those who practice and malpractice it! Some of the monologues - courtesy of the transcript - are, truly, inspiring and deeply emotional.

'Truth and Reconciliation' was Nelson Mandela's [noble] mantra...reconciliation will always be difficult without justice. There are many who have evaded justice - here, most notably, PC Frank Pulley...isn't about time we named, shamed and blamed these people publicly...for the continuing sorry state of affairs that was then and, is, ashamedly...still now.

Of course Black Live Matter. Black histories matter. Mangrove matters.


Day 2...

DaysDays [Rizi]
by Ming-liang Tsai

An example of slow cinema. In this instance...excruciatingly slow.

The film is book-ended by two immensely static shots...first, the opening, an older man stares out of a window [accompanied by an indescribable cacophony]...it's motionless and goes on for far too long. You would be forgiven in thinking that the film is stuck, buffering...but, there is no little buffering sign. Second, the ending, a younger man waits at a bus stop...for an absolute eternity, for a bus that never arrives. The end.

What goes in-between...domestic doldrums. It all leads to the highlight of the film...a same-sex, inter-generational, possibly gay4pay [possibly not] 20 minute, erotic massage...replete with the happy ending, Well, he did pay for it. The only problem is...it's not, in the slightest, erotic. Neither is it pornographic...for that we can be thankful, but it might have spiced things up a bit! There is minimal dialogue...and, the little there is...is deliberately un-subtitled. Oooh...it's that filmmakers' pretension reigning [redundantly] supreme.

Days is 2 very long hours of relentless tedium. 

HerselfHerself
by Phyllida Lloyd

Possibly inspiring...but, to be truly...inspiring, innovation and invention need to be two vital ingredients, not just luck!

A self-build story that is built against a backdrop of domestic violence and socio-economic disparities. The socio-economic strand is a little difficult to accept...Herself is a cleaner for a wealthy doctor who gives her a chunk of her garden and a loan to build a house. The domestic violence is difficult to watch...but is, by far, the film's power...especially the long-term effects it has on children.

The Law gets a bit of a bashing...surrounding custody issues. But...Family Law is [and will always be] an unpredictable minefield of trip-wires. A child's safety is first and foremost...all avenues, all sides of the story have to be investigated to ensure that safety. This is where the film falters a little...he is an absolute swine of a man...but, does he have a legitimate cause for concern? Of course he does...but, the writers simply paint him as a spiteful, vengeful thug. However...they do deliver a line that every lawyer should heed: Ask better questions!

Herself is competent...in all departments. It just needed that special moment...when you just want to stand up, punch the air and cheer. A story that really did deserve a more satisfying [visual] ending.

Honeymood

Honeymood
by Talya Lavie

On paper...this sounded like a bland, newly-wed rom-com. On screen...it's works like a charm. 

She, the newly-wed bride, is the Crème brûlée of high maintenance. He, the regretful groom, is the Brighton rock of indecisive dependence. Together, they are a mis-match...separately, they may [or may not] be pining for their respective exes...who met at their wedding and - seemingly - hit it off! She's as jealous as Hell...he, not so much [or, is he?].

Everything takes place over the course of one unimaginable night...a night that is crammed and stuffed with both the plausible and the wildly implausible. Talya Lavie drives her story straight down the daft street, round the roundabout leading to dark, murky alleyways...and, back again. Her imagination went into overdrive...and, without Avigail Harari, it all could have gone horribly wrong. She delivers a relentless force comique - a dizzying delight.

A surprising film...for all the right reasons!

The Painter And The Thief

The Painter and the Thief
by Benjamin Ree

There's nothing stranger than fact...especially when you manipulate the situation to your advantage! Ever heard the Francis Bacon and George Dyer myth? No? Watch Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon - or, watch this! They are remarkably similar!

Restorative justice is contentious at the best of times, even more so in the worst of times. Where - on that spectrum - does The Painter and the Thief lie? This is not about finding forgiveness for murder or violence...2 paintings were stolen by a relatively unknown artist. They meet...obviously, the artist wants to know where the paintings are...and, the thief hasn't a clue - due to his drug addled state! But...in his drug addled state, had the ability to meticulously remove each [rather large] painting from their frames...nail-by-nail, rather than by cutting! A few warning bells do ring throughout the film - why is she [the artist] being so kind? Why is she so gullible?

Look...if this thief had been a podgy wee man with no teeth, no hair and no personality...it is highly unlikely that she would be asking him to model for her! Karl [the thief] is a bad boy, a cheeky chappy, a lovable rogue...and, not too unpleasant on the eye! It's a relationship that is equally fascinating and bamboozling to watch. And that's the warning bell that really chimes...this is all being filmed. Is this a grandiose publicity stunt? The cynics may think so.

Whatever you may think...the final shot will make your jaw drop to the floor. The answer...is a little chilling, a touch creepy...wholly sad and painfully truthful.


Day 3...

Shirley

Shirley
by Josephine Decker

Eeew...what utterly ghastly people! Academics playing mind-games...it's both unpleasant and compelling.

The only question that has to be asked: What would Shirley Jackson have to say about this fictional account of herself and her life? A helluva lot...if this depiction is anything to go by. Her venom would be spewed - quite rightly - into the faces of those responsible.

By all accounts, she was neither bisexual nor lesbian - why portray her as such? This whole project - book and film - has that shabby stink of slash/fan-fiction about it - the writer of the book, Susan Scarf Merrell never met Ms Jackson...so, she created her own version of her! Why? Not only is this plagiarising someone's life...which is pretty bad form...but, to create such falsehood is downright disrespectful, irresponsible...even criminal. 

It really is difficult to say anything complimentary about this film...yes, it is well-acted...but, with such erratic direction [and the concept as a whole]...not even the acting can save poor Shirley's reputation. 

RelicRelic
by Natalie Erika James

Indeed...a metaphorical horror that needed less metaphor and more story.

3 generations, 3 states of mind...and too much mother/daughter rivalry. Just get on with the horror! Patience...this is akin to waiting for the kettle to boil [powered] by candle-light. Does the patience pay off? It does...if you want to be unsubtly smacked repeatedly across the face by a great big giant metaphor...then, this is terrifying.

Dementia is terrifying...alas, this film is not. It is a debut feature by writer/director who directed better than she wrote...surprising when you see the litany of producers...none of whom employed their right to a re-write!

An above average film...in terms of where it is destined to be seen...The Horror Channel.


Day 4...

Mogul Mowgli

Mogul Mowgli
by Bassam Tariq

Perhaps...the performance of the festival. Riz Ahmed gives it absolutely everything...as a rapper cut down.

The film itself, perhaps, gives too much...in that, so many [way too many] issues are addressed, none [alas] fully. There's a finely-drawn line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange...Mogul Mowgli doesn't tackle this fiery and fertile debate head-on. It does, however, have a head-on collision with the whole modernity vs tradition - always a hot topic - especially when archaic [and torturous] medical procedures are used over [and not as a compliment to] modern [read that as 'modern' not as Western] practice. Like all alternative medicines, cupping is contentious...in this instance, it comes across as downright barbaric and redundant. Again, big issues dealt with [somewhat] inadequately.

Stripped down, this is a fairly straightforward tale of fame and fortune...with culture and illness getting in the way. The film really shines when Mr Ahmed is strutting his stuff on stage...unfortunately, he is so much better than the film itself...which is a shame. As a debut feature, not at all bad...just a little too cluttered. As they say, less is more.

I Am SamuelI am Samuel
by Peter Murimi

The most weirdly framed documentary seen in recent times! 

The film opens with graphic, gut-wrenching and horrific footage...of a public, ultra-violent, homophobic attack. Seemingly, these kind of attacks are a common occurrence in Nigeria. Peter Murimi certainly sets the tone of his film, from the off...this is not going to be pleasant. However, it ends with two, gay, grown men [joyfully] playing Hide & Seek...

What lies in between the harrowing start and the happy ending is...more bizarre than uninteresting. This is NOT about that poor man so brutally attacked and humiliated. This is not about that poor man's recovery. This is about Samuel...who was not brutally attacked...but, as he says himself, it could have been him! But...it wasn't.

Samuel's story is nothing surprising, it's the same-old same-old...tradition and religion doing their very best to screw up people's lives. Only, they actually don't screw up his life...after a bumpy moment, when his parents 'see the light' and cast him out...a couple of weeks later, after a phone-call, they are reunited and all is hunk dory. He even takes his partner to meet them and they end up playing hide and seek. The end.

Mr Murimi missed the boat with this one. Why he chose Samuel's story to tell is a question only he can answer. There was a roomful of young gay men, living in Lagos, living in fear...their stories sounded far more interesting than the one told. It really was a case of: Choose your [main] subject more wisely!

Siberia

Siberia
by Abel Ferrara

Laden with symbolism and mysticism...the result is a cryptic, incomprehensible mindf&*k!

Not got much to say about this...simply because, had no idea, not even an iota of what was going on. It's a dream, Abel Ferrara's dream...and, just like every other dream, it's personal and really doesn't need to be shared. 

Yes...the cinematography is fantastic. Some of the imagery is inspired and controversial, well, it wouldn't be a Ferrara film without the obligatory controversy...and, alas, it all amounts to a monumental anti-climax. Make what you will of it...many have slapped their own interpretations down on paper...as futile as buying a cheap paperback entitled: Understand Your Dreams!

Only Abel Ferrara understands what the Dickens is going on. 

Sound For The FutureSound for the Future
by Matt Hulse

A toe-curling vanity project...bamboozling as to how and why this even got funded by both Creative Scotland & England...

Reading the blurb, you would be forgiven in thinking that The Hippies were indeed a force to be reckoned with...they were not. They were three kids [2 brothers and a sister] playing. Matt Hulse, definitely suffering from [imagined] middle kid syndrome, has made them out to be so much more than they were. Even his older brother refused to take part in the film, everyone else should have followed suit.

A few things that will surely enrage most...the desecration of Malcolm McLaren's grave [shameful and criminal] and the pointless, money-squandering trip to Beijing...to get his old toy Snoopy a bespoke tailored suit! And a bizarre, inappropriate and incongruous conversation about homosexuality!

It really is too easy to rip this 'film' apart...the parents of the kids who took part must be pretty disgruntled at the result...this is what happens when a self-entitled narcissist is given public funds.


Day 5...

Never Gonna Snow Again

Never Gonna Snow Again
by Malgorzata Szumowska & Michal Englert

Is he the second coming or just a masseur with gifted fingers? You decide!

Because...the writer/directors don't give too much away...which is a good thing. Ambiguity reigns supreme in this subtle but punishing attack on the discrepancies of modern-day Poland...with its re-elected homophobic leaders and its bare-faced, shameless [and shameful] flouting of European treatise - expunge this country with its disgusting LGBT-free zones! But that's too vitriolic for this film...this is a far more genteel and gentle approach at vilification - so much so, that many of the jabs will be missed entirely...with the first viewing!

Within this gated community of good and bad tastes lies an unrelenting subtext...everyone is compromised...until they come under the influence of Zenia [a perfectly pitched performance by Alec Utgoff]. An immigrant with a gift...is his 'gift' real...or, is he a conman getting by, trying to survive in a hostile world? Throughout the film, you are bound to change your mind several times.

Nothing is as it seems...it's all just a little bit of magic!

SupernovaSupernova
by Harry Macqueen

Be still my broken heart...two seasoned pros, doing what they do best: Act.

Forget about that nonsensical argument on how [is there a why?] gay actors should [always] play gay characters [who came up with that anyway?]...it doesn't even make economical sense, if gay plays only gay...then, straight should play only straight. There goes a few careers! Anyway, I digress...but, I just had to get that off of my chest.

Back to the film...basically, a two-hander with searing emotion. This is a mannered road-trip as opposed to an eventful road movie. This is about time and togetherness...the dynamics of any relationship [not only a gay one] change over time, the passion [even the romance] is replaced with an absolute comfort...when that comfort is served notice, rather than being unexpectedly ripped away, time becomes precious and terrifying as it ticks away. That's dementia...the terror of not being while still being.

These characters know what's going to happen...Messieurs Firth and Tucci play to the inevitable..with all that familiarity that couples have. This is the discussion that none of us ever want to have...but, sadly, many of us have to have. This about choice and acceptance, about love and respect.

This is dignified and consummate filmmaking.

IndustryIndustry
by Lena Dunham, Tinge Krishnan & Ed Lilly

It's fair to say that this is not a recruitment drive for a career in the City.

And...if it does whet your appetite for such a career, think long and hard before doing anything rash...because, if this is anything to go by, you really have to be a psychopathic, hedonistic narcissist to even make a ripple in this egocentric jungle!

Not only are all the characters utterly reprehensible...it's the shed-load of box-ticking producers who have made this series so box-tickingly obvious. 

Every race, every sexuality...it's all here...accompanied by some eye-popping nudity and some excessive, brain-damaging snorting. Think: Billions...with more depravity!

Weirdly enough...it is utterly addictive...for all the wrong reasons! You just want to see them all beheaded...vive la [financial] revolution!


Day 6...

Cicada

Cicada
by Matt Fifer & Kieran Mulcare

Troubled and damaged...a bisexual hypochondriac bares and shares his soul in this semi-autobiographical attempt at catharsis.

With something so personal...and, with Mr Fifer being so personally involved [writer, director, producer, editor and star]...the inherent dangers [of self-indulgence] are hazardous waters to navigate.

At times, it's akin to overhearing an uncomfortable confession. But, thankfully, melodrama and that dreaded indulgence are avoided...although there are a few close shaves [with both]!

Considering this is the debut feature from both directors, it is admirable in the way they side-stepped the glaring potholes...however, the plot-holes are a different issue entirely. In truth, there really is not much of a plot to speak of...the force that drives this film is dialogue. A little more 'show-than-tell' would have earned this film a great deal more purchase. A few more peaks to combat those impending troughs...and, those troughs are particularly deep!

Quite possibly, the film's power lies in its gentility when unearthing and addressing the individual traumas that these two men have endured...and, still endure. It is cathartic...the problem being...catharsis only resonates with some audiences. 

UndineUndine
by Christian Petzold

A modern take on an old myth...it's quietly potent! 

It has the same air of the supernatural as another film in the festival - Never Gonna Snow Again - a little knowledge goes a long way, especially when the directors of both films have presumed a prior knowledge. With this, a little mythology would have been useful as a comparative...though not essential to appreciate the film.

And...there is much to appreciate. Not only do you get a chemically-charged romance...but, also, a fascinating history lesson on old Berlin! There are some glorious underwater scenes with a giant catfish...and, an exploding aquarium. There's just enough punctuation to keep you guessing, to keep you shifting in your seat. It really is emotional on so many different levels...let it sweep you away!

As a modern take on an old mythology, Christian Petzold does a mighty fine job.


Day 7...

Bloody Nose Empty Pockets

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
by Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross

Not pretty...nor, unfortunately, is it very interesting, unless you enjoy watching people get absolutely plastered!

The whole premise - the closing night of a local bar, home to the lost and lonely - is totally negated when you read the production notes - how I wish I had read those notes before I watched it. The bar never existed...sure, there are and have been bars like it...but, The Roaring 20s in Las Vegas never existed, there was no closing night, there were no regulars. The 'characters' gleaned from a casting process of 'real' people...in other words non-actors playing caricatures of themselves [or however the directors wanted them to play themselves]...for a few free drinks and a presumed stipend.

So, pray tell filmmakers, when authenticity goes flying out of the window...what's the point?

This is neither documentary nor mockumentary, you'd be hard-pressed to call it even a docu-drama - it's mere manufacture...a total waste of 98 minutes.

RoseRose
by Jennifer Sheridan

This certainly keeps you guessing...although it could have benefited from a little more backstory, just a few holes that needed plugging...before the cameras started to roll.

It's a fresh approach to an old, familiar [and very popular] theme...don't want to say too much, don't want to give too much away. As a horror, it could have done with a bit more horror...but, it does manage to instill and sustain the essential menace and threat. But...the odd jump scare would have been the perfect punctuation.

Not bad for a first feature...spend less time in getting where you're going to and more time when you get there. Everything seems to happen - very quickly - in the last 5 minutes. Pretty good though.


Day 8...

If It Were Love

If It Were Love
by Patric Chiha

Oooh...dear hearts, be patient. The opening scene is a challenge...simply because, it's bamboozingly boring and goes on for far too long. Be patient, dear hearts...for what you are about to see should stun.

This is contemporary dance...at its very best. This is quite unlike any documentary [about dance] you are ever likely to see. In fact, to call it a documentary seems to do it an injustice...it's much, much more than mere document.

Everyone has danced at least once in their lives...but, what makes an actual dancer? The 3 D's of dance, that's what!

Dancers are, perhaps, the most vulnerable and strongest of all performance artists. They bare their souls and bodies. They, willingly and knowingly, step into the limelight...until their aged and racked bodies flick the switch. But...at least they can say that they danced with everyone watching.

Have you ever really danced? Really, really danced? When nothing matters, when nothing can touch you, when your body takes over and your soul is freed. The deepest of joys - 'deep joy' as the late Andy Weatherall and I used to describe it - RIP Andy x.

Where dance has truth, performance is a lie...Patric Chiha has taken liberties with facts and fictions, blending them together...perfecting the portrait of the dance...and, that of the dancer.

We're all a bit of a mess, dancers [a little bit] more than most. Think about it: To free your soul and feel that deep joy [in and out of character] on a regular basis...well, as they say, too much of a good thing...

Crowd is a piece that gives dance back to the people...still, performed by dancers. This film is a conundrum, it's a hybrid...it's a lie, it's the truth...but, however you want to describe it...it remains a scintillating piece of work about a scintillating piece of work! 

Bad TalesBad Tales
by Fratelli D'Innocenzo

Life in the suburbs...painted with cruel brushstrokes and incredible bad taste.

You're either going to love it or loathe it - we 'loved' it for all its darkness and [extreme] bad parenting. If ever there was a case for kids needing positive role models in their young lives...then, here it is! Bad parenting is not the same as bad parents...it's subjective in that some parenting skills are viewed - usually, by the most liberal - as progressive and essential. On the other hand, bad parent are just that...bad parents. This tale has a healthy mixture of both...the one thing that unties these two 'bads' is that they are inherited, passed down through the generations...well, perhaps, there is a way to buck that trend - well, these fraternal directors certainly think so. And...it's not pretty!

This is brash, visceral and divisive. The horror is...there are parents like these characters...and, the tragedy is...there are kids like these. Heaven help us all!

Shadow CountryShadow Country
by Bohdan Sláma

Last year, London Film Festival presented the harrowing The Painted Bird...this is an equally tortuous companion piece. This is Czech history...with shifting borders and loyalties. This is horror.

This is humanity at its most desperate, degenerate and deranged. Politics, religion, nationalism...these are the things that divide us. Can someone please explain that nauseating lie: What unites us is far greater than what divides us!?! Take a look at the world we live in...! We have learnt nothing from history.

Just watch this film. It is traumatic...because, it is still happening. A deeply affecting film - I can write no more.


Day 9...

Another Round

Another Round
by Thomas Vinterberg

This is not just an emotional rollercoaster ride...but, one very special film indeed.

Well...let's just say that the international Temperance movement will not be best pleased! Nor will many other anti-alcohol organisations [and religions]! Distillers, brewers and vintners will absolutely love it! So...that's the controversy dealt with...but, really, is this a celebration of alcohol? Surely not! But, hey, why not? 

Let's get personal...open up a bit. I love my booze. I'm middle-aged. And, I loved this film. It's not going to make me into an alcoholic...what it did do was to remind the dangers and the joys that alcohol possesses.

Its message is clear: moderation is the best libation! Skål!

David Byrne's American UtopiaDavid Byrnes American Utopia
by Spike Lee

He may be a little older...but, David Byrne has lost none of his energy...nor has he lost his relevance.

It's not a 'gay' film per se...but, it is a camp fiesta of light and shade. Punctuated with moments of [political] thought and [deep] reflection...it sounds dour...well, it's not. Because...the whole show is held together with what can only be described as a joyous joie-de-vivre.

You wanna see diversity on stage? Well, this is how you do it. It's not about gender, colour, sexuality, nationality...it's about the best person for the job...and, Mr Byrne picked the best. Playing live, playing fluid...playing and dancing and singing as if their hearts were about to explode with pride and pleasure. The dedication is obvious. The timing is immaculate. The result is a spectacle...like you wouldn't imagine. Thankfully, Mr Byrne did...this, really, is once in a lifetime.

For those who were lucky enough to have enjoyed Talking Heads, this is an orgasm. For those, the youngsters...this is what you have been waiting for...this is musicality, sensuality and theatricality all rolled into one. This is what we call showmanship extraordinaire.

Evocative, thrilling and it will have you up on your feet, dancing like you didn't care...and, smiling...until the tears run down your cheeks. Utter joy.


Day 10...

New OrderNew Order
by Michel Franco

Well...it all depends on which side of the fence you see yourself on! But, one thing is true...this is one brutal film.

This the revolution of the have-nots against the haves...this is a political statement without reserve. When the exploited become the exploiters, when the whole ideology of revolution dissolves into a power-grab...and, with it, a money-grab. When the revolutionaries become the terrorists of their cause. When all morality simply disappears.

This is Michel Franco's bleak vision...of his native Mexico. Made all the more terrifying because it is not beyond the realm of reality - this has happened, this is happening...and, this could happen to Mexico. And, as disparity between the haves and the have-nots grows, the likelihood of this happening becomes ever nearer.

Divisive, it most certainly is...not an easy watch. Those fine lines between all disparities of good and evil, wealth and poverty, indigenous and expatriate...have been drawn with bold, clear and terrifying strokes!

PossessorPossessor
by Brandon Cronenberg

Well...as they say: The apple does not fall far from the tree! Brandon Cronenberg is a young chip off of an old block...continuing in the family tradition.

Possessor is one of those: You are either going to love it or despise kind of films. Most definitely...not for the faint of heart. This all gore and mindf&*ks...unrelentingly so!

Not exactly a trans film per se...this is body swapping, the whole caboodle! Imagine experiencing sex with a new body and gender...well, if you need a little help with imagining that 'odd' experience...look no further! It's all here and more.

Brutal...it most certainly is. Predictable...it most certainly is not. Just when you think you've worked it all out...bam! WTFs are audible!

Low on budget...but, what a wealth of imagination...and, blood. 


Day 11...

Friendships Death 1987Friendship's Death
by Peter Wollen

One from the vaults and Tilda's 3rd film.

And what an odd little film this is. Basically, it's a very verbose two-hander between a journalist and an android...set against the backdrop of war.

Don't expect any sci-fi SFX, there are none. This is Artificial Intelligence pitted against human philosophy...but, it's not confrontational, if anything, it's the evolution of an unlikely friendship.

Due to its age, it is dated and really is not as forward-thinking as great Sci-Fi stories ought to be. Think of all those fictional technological advancements that were written about decades before they became a reality...this has a conversation on how a typewriter 'hurts' when you bash the keys...not exactly ground-breaking stuff either intellectually or visually. A curious film that will remain a curiosity.

The Human VoiceThe Human Voice
by Pedro Almodóvar

Quite possibly, one of the most anticipated short films ever!

Why? You may wonder. Well, there's Tilda. And...this wee film does mark Señor Almodóvar's English language debut!

Worth all that anticipation? Erm...difficult to say! It all depends on...how much product placement can you take!?! The set is crammed full of luxury. Tilda has more costume changes in a short film than you would see in a 3-hour epic! 

No doubt much will be written about this film due to its incredible history...this version will - no doubt - split opinion, comparative reviews will most surely abound...but, is it all style over substance? Discuss.


Day 12...

Ammonite

Ammonite
by Francis Lee

It's cold. It's wet. It's intense...and, it is rather steamy [in two places]! Oh...and, it is ever so muddy. And...grim.

First off, let's address that great big elephant standing in the room, dressed in dungarees, playing an acoustic guitar, singing: You Make Me Feel [is that a stereotypical lesbian elephant?]. There is absolutely no evidence that Mary Anning was a lesbian. So...why portray her as such?

This seems to be a bit of a trend of recent...Shirley [Jackson], an other festival film, is portrayed as a voracious bisexual...yet, no evidence! What's going on? You can't just daub the sexuality-of-your-choice onto someone because you want to, because a of falsely perceived and erroneous artistic licence! Liberace won a lawsuit against a newspaper because they branded him gay! And he was as gay as a herd of pink buffaloes wearing pink tutus!

This is Francis Lee's sophomore film after the [truly] exceptional God's Own Country - with a [much] bigger budget and [Hollywood] A-listers...what a leap! And not entirely successful...in truth, the film goes nowhere. Yes, there's no faulting the performances, there's no faulting the cinematography, the score etc...but, it is beige and entirely fictional...when it needn't have been. No, this amount of artistic licence has gone too far. Here's what every filmmaker should ask themselves before and during the making of a biography...would their subject approve?

It would seem that Mary Anning has been done an injustice.


Thank you to all @BFI London Film Festival 2020 - missed Leicester Square...but, didn't miss the films!


 

THE FATHER Official Trailer...

A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.

Director: Florian Zeller

It’s A Sin l New drama from Russell T Davies...

Coming in 2021 to Channel 4...

Star, Olly Alexander said:

‘I feel like the luckiest boy in the world to be a part of this project. I’ve been a fan of Russell T Davies ever since I watched Queer As Folk in secret at 14 years old.

‘His work helped shape my identity as a gay person so I’m absolutely over the moon we’ll be working together. The script was amazing to read, I laughed and I cried a lot, it’s a privilege to be helping to tell this story and I’m so excited.’

THE CRAFT: LEGACY - Official Trailer...

In Blumhouse’s continuation of the cult hit The Craft, an eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers.

Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, the film stars Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, Nicholas Galitzine, with Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny. Blumhouse and Red Wagon Entertainment are producing the film for Columbia Pictures.

MOGUL MOWGLI trailer...

Bassam Tariq’s visceral directorial debut, co-written with Riz Ahmed, finds a British-Pakistani rapper’s life spiralling out of control when, on the cusp of success, he succumbs to a debilitating illness.

Discover the full programme for this year's BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express – taking place 7 to 18 October 2020 in cinemas across the UK and online: https://bfi.org.uk/lff

FREAKY - Official Trailer...

This November, on Friday the 13th, prepare to get Freaky with a twisted take on the body-swap movie when a teenage girl switches bodies with a relentless serial killer.

Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton, Blockers, HBO’s Big Little Lies) is just trying to survive the bloodthirsty halls of Blissfield High and the cruelty of the popular crowd. But when she becomes the newest target of The Butcher (Vince Vaughn), her town’s infamous serial killer, her senior year becomes the least of her worries.

When The Butcher’s mystical ancient dagger causes him and Millie to wake up in each other’s bodies, Millie learns that she has just 24 hours to get her body back before the switch becomes permanent and she’s trapped in the form of a middle-aged maniac forever. The only problem is she now looks like a towering psychopath who’s the target of a city-wide manhunt while The Butcher looks like her and has brought his appetite for carnage to Homecoming.

From the deliciously debased mind of writer-director Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day, the Paranormal Activity franchise) comes a pitch-black horror-comedy about a slasher, a senior, and the brutal truth about high school.

NEW AMERICAN DREAM...

by

John Cameron Mitchell and Justin Craig, ft. Amber Martin

NEW AMERICAN DREAM - John Cameron Mitchell and Justin Craig, ft. Amber Martin from New American Dream Music on Vimeo.

The first single from "New American Dream," a two-part distance-defying, community-built benefit album recorded during lockdown with 40+ pro bono collaborators - all proceeds benefitting BURRITOS NOT BOMBS FOOD BANK, TRANS-GI JUSTICE PROJECT and the DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING SCHOLARSHIP TRUST FUND. The "New American Dream" single is now available for download ($3 suggested) and the first 9 songs for preorder ($15 suggested) at newamericandream.bandcamp.com .

QUEER LION AWARD 2020...

Queer Lion 2020And the nominations are:

The World to Come by Mona Fastvold (Usa, 98’, 2020)
Cast: Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Christopher Abbott, Casey Affleck
1850: in a farm in the State of  New York, Abigail and Dyer just lost their only daughter to diphtheria. Still grieving, Abigail meets Tally and her husband Finney, her new neighbors. The two women thus form an increasing bond of intimacy and passionate devotion. Once their husbands start to understand the intensity and nature of their relationship, the situation soon gets out of control.
Presented in Venezia 77

Śniegu już nigdy nie będzie (Never Gonna Snow Again) by Małgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert (Poland, Germany, 113’, 2020)
Cast: Alec Utgoff, Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Andrzej Chyra
Poland. A masseur from Ukraine enters the daily, dull lives of the wealthy residents of a closed community. In spite of their wealth, these people look sad and bored. The hands of the newcomer heal them, his eyes seem to pierce their souls. To them, that man’s Russian accent sounds like a song from the past, a memory of their childhood. Zhenia, this is his name, will change their lives.
Presented in Venezia 77

Und morgen die ganze Welt (And Tomorrow the Entire World) by Julia von Heinz (Germany, France, 101’, 2020)
Cast: Mala Emde, Noah Saavedra, Tonio Schneider, Luisa-Céline Gaffron, Andreas Lust
Luisa, a 20-year-old law student, joins a cell of the Antifa group when she and her friends Alfa and Lenor get to know about an upcoming attack planned by a local neo-Nazi gang. As they try to find out more, the three youngsters delve deeper into the scene linked to right-wing movements and their political connections, to the point where they will understand how much they are willing to go further, in order to defend their own beliefs.
Presented in Venezia 77

Laila in Haifa by Amos Gitai (Israel, France, 99’, 2020)
Cast: Tsahi Halevi, Maria Zreik, Khawla Ibraheem, Bahira Ablassi, Naama Preis, Hana Laszlo
The film was shot entirely in a nightclub, with an adjoining contemporary art gallery, whose customers are both Israelis and Palestinians, in one of Israel’s most open cities, Haifa. A long night in a place where the most diverse people meet: Jews, Muslims, gays, heterosexuals, transvestites; and three women, who in that multifaceted microcosm, a gathering peaceful hideout, can find shelter from male bullying and arrogance.
Presented in Venezia 77

Terrain by Lily Baldwin, Saschka Unseld, Kumar Atre (Usa, Germany, Switzerland, 45’, 2020)
Terrain is a journey into the Bardo: an otherworldly space between lives where we find an array of souls from across the world. We slip and at once fall in, leaving the everyday behind. This docu-dream is a story without words using the language of movement. Through a vivid and surreal landscape, each person encounters a series of distinct individuals and slowly rediscovers a larger collective body. Terrain is a dancing unison of difference. Our bodies bridge gaps between worlds, and with this we invent a new kind of non-verbal truth. This new interconnectedness propels us back to life again, essentialized by our shared sense of interbeing.
Presented in Venice Virtual Reality

Tengo miedo torero (My Tender Matador) by Rodrigo Sepúlveda (Chile, Argentina, Mexico, 93’, 2020)
Cast: Alfredo Castro, Leonardo Ortizgris, Julieta Zylberberg, Sergio Hernández
Amid the political turmoil during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile in the 1980s, a mature queer lady engages in a risky clandestine operation after falling in love with a guerrilla who asks her to hide dangerous secrets of the revolution at home. Film adaptation of the first and only novel written by essayist, chronicler, and novelist Pedro Lemebel, iconic figure of the LGBT culture.
Presented in Giornate degli Autori

Saint-Narcisse by Bruce LaBruce (Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg, 101’, 2020)
Cast: Félix-Antoine Duval, Tania Kontoyanni, Alexandra Petrachuk, Andreas Apergis
Canada, 1972. Dominic, 22 years old, has a fetish… for himself. Nothing turns him on more than his reflection, with much of his time spent taking Polaroid self portraits. When his loving grandmother dies, he discovers a deep family secret: his lesbian mother didn’t die in childbirth and he has a twin brother, Daniel, raised in a remote monastery by a depraved priest. The power of destiny brings back together the two beautiful, identical brothers, who, after being reunited with their mother Beatrice, are soon embroiled in a strange web of sex, revenge and redemption.
Presented in Giornate degli Autori


Films out of competition...

The Human Voice by Pedro Almodóvar (Usa, Spain, 30’, 2020)
A loose adaptation of the original theatrical monodrama by Jean Cocteau, on which Pedro Almodóvar worked for decades. A desperate woman (Tilda Swinton) awaits for the phone call of the lover who just abandoned her. It’s Almodóvar’s first english-spoken project. Swinton/Almodóvar, two worldwide icons of both Cinema and Queer Culture, paired for the first time.
Presented in Fuori Concorso

Nattåget (The Night Train) by Jerry Carlsson (Sweden, 15’, 2020)
Oskar is on the night train, heading home after an interview in Stockholm. With a long night ahead of him, he makes eye contact with Ahmad. For the first time he meets the gaze of someone who feels the same desire as he does.
Presented in Orizzonti

The Return of Tragedy by Bertrand Mandico (France, 24’, 2020)
Two policemen interrupt a secret ceremony: a woman being disembowelled at the bottom of a garden to let out her inner beauty. This situation is presented in a variety of ways and all possibilities are explored.
Presented in Orizzonti

Queerskins Ark by Illya Szilak, Cyril Tsiboulski (Usa, 17’, 2020)
Reading a diary left by the estranged son she has lost to AIDS, a Catholic mother (Hadley Boyd) living in rural Missouri finds a way to transcend her self and her grief by imagining him alive and in love. With heart-wrenching performances by Michael DeBartolo and Christopher Vo in volumetric video and the storytelling potential of spatial sound, Ark allows you to enter her imagination and co-create the lovers’ intimate dance through your body position and movements. An Intel Studios Original co-produced with Cloudred.
Presented in Venice Virtual Reality

Gravidade VR by Fabito Rychter, Amir Admoni (Brazil, Perù, 15’, 2020)
Gravidade VR is a wild ride through a chaotic world. In this experience you follow the last moments of two men (brothers? friends? loving partners maybe?) while free falling for 15 minutes. An emotional and thrilling journey in a surreal universe with no ground beneath your feet. A parable, a fable, an interactive experience.
Presented in Venice Virtual Reality

En ce moment (In this moment) by Serena Vittorini (Italy, 15’, 2020)
In This Moment is a love story involving two young women during the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They meet and fall in love, then the world shrinks around them, and their relationship is concentrated in one place and time. The film shows their attempts to express their own emotions and needs in a series of moments oscillating between intensity, suffering and passion.
Presented in Giornate degli Autori

Miu Miu Women’s Tales #19 – Nightwalk by Małgorzata Szumowska (Italy, Poland, 9’, 2020)
It’s nighttime in Warsaw, Poland. Two very different homes. In one, a father is slovenly stretched out on a sofa, watching sports, expecting his son to be everything he is. In another apartment, all clean modern, an affluent mother sits to have dinner with her daughter, who isn’t like her at all. Simultaneously, both the boy and the girl embark on a night journey of transformation, where they shed their inherited gender layers. The city streets become a catwalk of liberation. When they meet, by chance – face-to-face, body-to-body – they wordlessly mirror each other with comfort and assurance.
 Presented in Giornate degli Autori

J’ador by Simone Bozzelli (Italy, 16’, 2020)
Rome. Claudio is 15 years-old. Someone is writing “J’ador” on his forehead because he smells like a little girl. It’s Lauro, eighteen-year-old, leader of a group made of guys claiming to be fascists and doing a lot of things for a far-right party. Claudio wants to go with them to the “dinner”, but only those who belong to the group can join it, and not the little girls like him. If he truly wants to achieve his goal, one afternoon Claudio must lose its boy scent and learn how to smell like a man.
Presented in Settimana Internazionale della Critica


Queer Lion this year pays tribute to “The Children’s Hour”, the 1961 masterpiece directed for the screen by William Wyler and based on the play by Lillian Hellman.

In the reimagining, illustrated by Francesco Gangemi, Karen and Martha – bound for a different epilogue in the movie – live a long, happy life and lovingly age together.

SPUTNIK Official Trailer...

The lone survivor of an enigmatic spaceship incident hasn't returned back home alone-hiding inside his body is a dangerous creature.

Releases August 14, 2020

BFI London Film Festival announces new format for 2020 edition...

The BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express today reveals its plans to deliver an edition of the Festival from 7-18 October 2020. In the most accessible version of the festival to UK audiences yet, film lovers will be given an opportunity to connect for a unique and innovative festival experience, enjoying both live and digital screenings across the 12 days of the Festival.

Adapting to the extraordinary challenges of the year, the Festival will deliver up to 50 Virtual Festival Premieres in a programme that offers audiences the opportunity to see the best new cinema from around the world and with that same texture LFF’s audiences love, including fiction, documentary, animation, artists’ moving image, and restored classics from the world’s archives. Every film will be presented with an intro or Q&A, and the programme will also include a range of free-to-access additional works and events to include: an international short film programme, Screen Talks with major filmmakers and actors, salons and roundtables and a brand new Virtual Exhibition of XR and Immersive Art.

Industry and Media delegates will also have access to a rich professional programme, also delivered digitally.

In another new innovation, twelve highly anticipated new films from the programme will screen in previews across the UK, in partnership with UK-wide cinemas networks that deliver great independent and cultural films for audiences all year long, including London’s BFI Southbank.

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, said:

“No year this momentous could beget an ordinary BFI London Film Festival. Like many other live events around the world, we’ve had to make changes to our plans in response to a global pandemic, factoring in safety concerns and restrictions – some known, some still unclear. But as we’ve undergone this planning in the last month we’ve also witnessed major international protests, a stark reminder of just how much we need to do to combat racism and inequality.

This year has also given us an opportunity to think creatively about how we make the Festival more accessible. It was vital to us that we get back to cinemas, and are looking forward to working with independent and cultural venues across the UK, who are such an essential part of our film ecosystem. The Virtual LFF programmes and these cinema screenings take the Festival out across the UK, giving audiences opportunities to engage in different ways. It’s a pleasure each year to speak with audiences who share the ways filmmakers have made them laugh, think, weep, or shifted their way of seeing. Through a number of partnerships and platforms, we can’t wait to share many of this year’s extraordinary new films – from around the world, from artists of different backgrounds and with many bold distinctive filmmaking voices.”

At the heart of the 2020 edition, LFF Virtual features 50 screenings online, with each film scheduled to premiere at a particular time and include additional elements such as exclusive Q&As with filmmaking talent and programmers, online salons and discussions around films. Many of the films will include subtitles and Audio Description for audiences with access requirements. 

The feature film programme will be complemented by a wide range of digital talks and events, which will be free to access, including LFF Screen Talks, which offer in-depth conversations with some of the world’s most influential filmmakers and major on-screen talent. Short films from around the world will also be free to view and the Festival’s previously announced XR and Immersive Art strand will also debut this year, with works that can be experienced in a variety of ways online, with and without headsets.

Through LFF in Cinemas, the 2020 edition of the BFI London Film Festival will also support UK exhibitors with a great range of new programming as they welcome audiences safely back. Anticipating many cinemas will be open during the Festival window, the LFF will partner with exhibitors in the BFI Film Audience Network and other key cinemas and venues around the UK to offer audiences up to 12 exclusive previews from the Festival. These films will also preview at the Festival’s flagship venue BFI Southbank and select other London cinemas over the Festival period.

As a one-off for this edition, we’ll ask our audiences to take the place of the Festival’s official jury. Viewers attending Virtual LFF will be invited to vote on Audience Awards in four categories: Best Fiction Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Film, and Best XR.  The winners will be announced in a live online ceremony on the final weekend of the Festival. Now in its fifth year, The IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI returns, benefitting an outstanding first or second time British writer, director, or writer/director. The recipient of the award, which is the most significant of its kind in the UK film industry and awarded annually, will receive £50,000.

The 2020 edition of the LFF will retain its distinctive strands, which offer audiences many ways of exploring the programme: Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Create, Family, Treasures and Experimenta. The new XR and immersive Strand will also be delivered online and will be free to access, with audiences able to explore a virtual gallery, experience different XR projects and join in bespoke talks and events.

The LFF Press & Industry Programme will also move online – UK and International delegates will have access to preview screenings via a secure viewing library, opportunity to attend online buyers and sellers’ meetings and enjoy a delegate exclusive programme of talks and events. The Critics Mentorship Programme – designed to encourage a more representative range of critical voices – and new talent programmes run in conjunction with BFI Network, BFI Film Academy and BAFTA will also return this year, providing access and support for aspiring and emerging creatives and new industry professionals.

The full programme will be announced at an online launch on 8 September 2020.

Ava | Official Trailer...

Ava is a deadly assassin who works for a black ops organization, traveling the globe specializing in high profile hits. When a job goes dangerously wrong she is forced to fight for her own survival.

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Common and John Malkovich

Directed by: Tate Taylor

Queer Eyes – documentaries from the RAI collection...

The Royal Anthropological Institute and the RAI Film Festival are delighted to team up with Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest throughout July this year in celebration of Pride.
The RAI has an extensive catalogue of documentary films which showcase the variety and diversity of human life across the world. Throughout the next month we will be holding screenings of 3 key documentaries which welcome us into the lives of different queer communities around the world, followed by a public Q&A hosted by Fringe! to explore some of these central questions of gender, identity and sexuality through the lens of different cultures.

PROGRAMME

Dream Girls
dir. Kim Longinotto & Jano Williams, 1993, 50 mins
The amazing world of the Takarazuka Revue, the all-female theatre troupe in Japan.
Watch film for free: Thursday 25 June – Thursday 2 July

Get your ticket HERE for the live Q&A on Wednesday 1 July, 8pm.
(Pay what you can, with a minimum donation of £1.00).
Featuring guest speakers Kim Longinotto (director), ShayShay (drag artist) and Jennifer Coates (Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies, University of Sheffield)

This is My Face
dir. Angélica Cabezas Pino, 2018, 57 mins
Using the power of photography, a group of HIV+ men open up about the illness that changed their life trajectories.
Watch film for free: Thursday 2 July – Thursday 9 July

Sign up HERE for the live Q&A on Wednesday 8 th July, 8pm, featuring guest speakers Angélica Cabezas Pino (director), Will from PrEPster, a London-based HIV prevention organisation and Roberto Tovar from Número de Serie, an organisation that promotes the use art and design to build new bridges of communication around HIV activism.

Mirror Mirror
dir. Zemirah Moffat, 2006, 58 mins
London’s legendary Bar Wotever is a club that welcomes all genders and sexualities.
Watch film for free: Thursday 9 July – Thursday 16 July.
Sign up HERE for the live Q&A on Wednesday 15 July, 8pm.
Featuring guest speaker Zemirah Moffat (director).

Films will be available to watch for free in advance for a week, and then please join us for the live Q&A sessions every Wednesday at 8pm. You’ll be able to submit your questions/ comments to the panel speakers through an online forum.

This series of screenings is part of Film FeelsConnected, a UK-wide cinema season, supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network.  Explore all films and events at filmfeels.co.uk 

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