International Queer Film Festival “Merlinka" 2017 - Belgrade

by BelgradeQueerFestival | created - 04 Dec 2017 | updated - 04 Dec 2017 | Public

The Festival aims at presenting films dealing with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, intersexual and queer issues. The official program will showcase short, documentary and feature films from all over the world. This year jury will present the best short film with Dorothy’s shoe award.

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1. The Avalanche (2017)

70 min | Comedy

Franjo has disappeared in an avalanche. He's left behind two wives and two daughters. An avalanche of unexpected events occurs when he comes back from the dead to announce to his family that he's gay.

Director: Stanislav Tomic | Stars: Viktor Gloc, Goran Grgic, Sven Jakir, Maja Kovac

Votes: 70

Franjo has disappeared in an avalanche. He’s left behind two wives and two daughters. An avalanche of unexpected events occurs when he comes back from the dead to announce to his family that he’s gay.

2. Rift (2017)

111 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Two men in a secluded cabin are haunted by their dead relationship.

Director: Erlingur Thoroddsen | Stars: Björn Stefánsson, Sigurður Þór Óskarsson, Guðmundur Ólafsson, Aðalbjörg Árnadóttir

Votes: 731

Months after they broke up, Gunnar receives a strange phone call from his ex-boyfriend, Einar. He finds Einar in a secluded cabin under a glacier, where they begin to deal with their past – and are haunted by their dead relationship. Rift premiered at the 40th Göteborg International Film Festival as the festival’s closing film. It won the award for Artistic Achievement at the 2017 Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles, and Best Cinematography at the 20th annual California Independent Film Festival.

3. Queercore: How To Punk A Revolution (2017)

83 min | Documentary

A documentary on Queercore, the cultural and social movement that began as an offshoot of punk and was distinguished by its discontent with society's disapproval of the gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender communities.

Director: Yony Leyser | Stars: John Waters, Beth Ditto, Kim Gordon, Genesis P-Orridge

Votes: 172

What happens when the community you need is not the community you have? Tell yourself it exists over and over, make fan zines that fabricate hordes of queer punk revolutionaries, create subversive movies, and distribute those movies widely—and slowly, the community you’ve fabricated might become a real and radical heartbeat that spreads internationally. This is the story that Queercore tells, from the start of a pseudo-movement in the mid-1980s, intended to punk the punk scene, to the widespread rise of artists who used radical queer identity to push back equally against gay assimilation and homophobic punk culture. Interviewees discuss homophobia, gender, feminism, AIDS, assimilation, sex, and, of course, art. The extensive participant list includes Bruce LaBruce, G.B. Jones, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, John Waters, Justin Vivian Bond, Lynn Breedlove, Silas Howard, Pansy Division, Penny Arcade, Kathleen Hanna, Kim Gordon, Deke Elash, Tom Jennings, Team Dresch, and many more.

4. The Misandrists (2017)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Drama

56 Metascore

The Misandrists begins with Volker, a young man with an injured leg, stumbling through the forest, pursued by the police and their tracking dogs. When he emerges from the woods, he sees two... See full summary »

Director: Bruce La Bruce | Stars: Susanne Sachße, Viva Ruiz, Kembra Pfahler, Caprice Crawford

Votes: 384 | Gross: $0.03M

The Misandrists refers to a secret cell of feminist terrorists that is planning to liberate women, overthrow the patriarchy, and usher in a new female world order. The group is led by Big Mother, who operates a school for wayward girls in the countryside as a front for a radical terroristic cell. When a young man, a radical leftist, who is running from the police, happens upon this remote female stronghold, one of the girls takes pity on him and hides him in the basement. His presence eventually disrupts the household and reveals a number of unexpected secrets, as the film moves towards its climax: the revelation of a new style of lesbian porn that is to be used as both propaganda tool and calling card for their new brand of female revolution.

5. Apricot Groves (2016)

78 min | Drama, Romance

Aram, the Iranian Armenian youth who has immigrated to the US in childhood returns to Armenia for the first time to propose to an Armenian girlfriend Aram met and lived with in the US. Aram... See full summary »

Director: Pouria Heidary Oureh | Stars: Samvel Sarkisyan, Hovhannes Azoyan, Azadeh Esmaeilkhani, Maro Hakobyan

Votes: 98

Aram, the Iranian Armenian youth who has immigrated to the US in childhood returns to Armenia for the first time to propose to an Armenian girlfriend Aram met and lived with in the US. Aram sees many cultural, religious, and national differences on the one day trip, but harder obstacles are ahead.

6. Bones of Contention (2017)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary, History

Bones Of Contention explores the theme of historical memory in post-Franco Spain, focusing on the unknown story of LGBT repression under Franquismo. What happened to LGBT people during ... See full summary »

Director: Andrea Weiss | Stars: Miguel Ángel Muñoz, Laura García Lorca, Emilio Silva, Antoni Ruiz

Votes: 37

Bones of Contention explores the theme of historical memory in post-Franco Spain, focusing on the unknown story of LGBT repression under Franquismo. What happened to LGBT people during Spain’s fascist regime? This film uncovers their stories and breaks their silence for the first time. Lining the roads of Spain, masked by miles and miles of pine trees, are unmarked graves in which over a hundred twenty thousand victims of the Franco regime are buried. Among them is Spain’s most famous poet, Federico García Lorca, who has become the symbol for both the historical memory and LGBT movements. The film explores the examined history of LGBT oppression during Spain’s fascist regime, and places it within the larger human rights struggle to find some justice for Franco’s victims. But how does a country excavate a past that is actively suppressed?

7. BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

84 Metascore

Members of the advocacy group ACT UP Paris demand action by the government and pharmaceutical companies to combat the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s.

Director: Robin Campillo | Stars: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel, Antoine Reinartz

Votes: 11,932 | Gross: $0.13M

Nathan is a young man who joins an AIDS activist group in 1990s Paris. As he attends the weekly meetings, he learns that some members prefer a more radical approach to their protests.

8. Rejection (2017)

5 min | Short, Drama

An ordinary thing for most, a nightmare for a few.

Director: Juan Aguilar | Stars: Riana Brauch, Jan Knobloch, Max Sieckmeyer, Joana van de Löcht

A busy canteen. A pair of women shoes leave a table. Kim is looking for the toilet. In the lavatory for ladies, two students are shocked at Kim’s appearance and start tattling immediately. The pair of women shoes leave again. Not feeling welcomed at all. Again…

9. Rink (2016)

7 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

When young tomboy Jane sees the girl she has a crush on at the local ice rink, can she rise to the challenge set her?

Director: Gail Hackston | Stars: Hattie Gotobed, Annabel Bates, Kiran Krishnakumar, Zoe Guilford

When Tomboy Jane – on the brink of her teens – inadvertently flirts with another girl at the local ice rink she is amazed and surprised when the girl flirts back.

10. Lily (III) (2016)

22 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

The film tells the story of Lily, a girl with a secret, on the cusp of becoming a young woman.

Director: Graham Cantwell | Stars: Clara Harte, Dean Quinn, Leah McNamara, Amy-Joyce Hastings

Votes: 41

The film tells the story of Lily, a girl with a secret, on the cusp of becoming a young woman.

11. Julia's piece (2017)

10 min | Short, Drama, Family

Julia is about to go on stage, but choreography is the least of her troubles.

Director: Amelia Eloisa | Stars: Paloma Cumplido, Ana Monterrubio

Votes: 6

Julia is about to go on stage, but choreography is the least of her troubles.

12. Shala (2017)

11 min | Short, Drama, Family

A young boy living in an orphanage in the Amazon, while creating situations to draw the attention of adoptive parents, conceives an imaginary friendship with his only toy, a doll named Shala.

Director: João Inácio | Stars: Tiago Assis, Claudio Barros, Bruno Carreira, Bruno Carreira

Votes: 6

Shala is the story about Pedro, a young boy living in an orphanage in Amazon and creates situations to draw the attention of adoptive parents, while at the same time creating an imaginary friendship with his only toy, a doll named Shala.

13. Bearable (2016)

Animation, Short

It's not easy living with a bear.

Director: David James Holloway | Stars: Tom Wells, Henry Regan, Kathryn Taylor-Gears

Votes: 10

What if your tribe within the gay community defined you. What if you lived with a real bear.

14. Shudo (2016)

2 min | Animation, Short, Romance

A poetic tale of love and hatred.

Directors: To-Anh Bach, Charles Badiller, Hugo Weiss

Votes: 12

Two samurais face one another on a battlefield ravaged by war. Absorbed by their pride, they clash in a duel fuelled by deep emotions.

15. Swimming Pool (2017)

9 min | Short, Comedy

Jota and Santi are two teenage boys who live in Madrid, looking for something that beats the summer heat. There is a story about a magnificent pool in one of the most controversial places of the city and they are willing to take the risk.

Director: Carlos Ruano | Stars: Álex Villazán, Ferran Vilajosana, Cayetana Payno Del Rio

Votes: 37

Santi and Jota are two guys living in the outskirts of Madrid. Like many others, they have decided not to study or work and they spend their precious time drinking beer cans in the park, going to sleazy clubs and talking about the hottest girls in the neighborhood. But Jota seems a little bit worried about something. Overwhelmed by the summer heat and confident about getting his friend to talk, Santi will make an infallible plan to his pal.

16. Sis (2017)

Short, Drama

Two estranged sisters, religious Fran and transgender Steph, reconcile their differences during the course of one night where honesty is the only policy.

Director: Dimitris Toulias | Stars: Rebecca Root, Maddy Myles

Two estranged sisters, religious Fran and Steph, reconcile their differences over the course of one night, when honesty is the only policy.

17. Calamity (2017)

22 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

France meets her son's girlfriend for the first time. She loses control.

Directors: Séverine de Streyker, Maxime Feyers | Stars: Jean-Michel Balthazar, Ingrid Heiderscheidt, François Maquet, Arthur Marbaix

Votes: 56

France meets her son’s girlfriend for the first time. She loses control…

18. Mijn Stuk Geluk (2016)

6 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

My Piece of Happiness (Mijn Stuk Geluk) tells the story of two women, who have secretly been in love for years. Now, the time has come to inform their families.

Director: Coen Haver | Stars: Hetty Heyting, Marloes van den Heuvel, Annemarije Heijerman, Truus de Boer

Votes: 9

This short romantic story tells the story of two women, who have been secretly in love for quite some time. Now, the time has come to inform their families.

19. Dusk (2017)

15 min | Short, Drama, Romance

Growing up in 1950s England in an intolerant and uninformed world, young Chris Winters struggles to fit into the gender roles dictated by wider society. A more than tough childhood left ... See full summary »

Director: Jake Graf | Stars: Elliott Sailors, Victoria Emslie, Duncan James, Paul Boichat

Votes: 40

Growing up in 1950s England in an intolerant and uninformed world, young Chris Winters struggles to fit into the gender roles dictated by wider society. A more than tough childhood left behind, Chris meets dream woman Julie, and life lightens a little, but the growing feeling that theirs is a life half lived haunts Chris. Endlessly imagining what might have been, Chris is finally struck by the realisation that for some decisions there is no right answer, and that it’s those that truly define us.

20. Not K.O. (2016)

20 min | Short

Polly is in love with Joanne.

Director: Xavier Sirven | Stars: Coline Beal, Juliette Lamet, Sarah Jomain, Phénix Brossard

Votes: 17

Joanne is leaving by the end of the day. For Polly, the daughter of the local garage manager, there is only one thing to do: give reality to their love story. If there is something to fight for, Polly is ready for it.

21. Mai (II) (2017)

7 min | Short, Drama

Sucs, 2017. Carmeta, Mari and Pilar are three old ladies who spend every afternoon sitting on a bench, next to the main street of their village. The arrival of a mysterious pair of girls ... See full summary »

Director: Marta González Gallego | Stars: Aida Flix, Aida Qui, Maria Pijoan, Olga Masot

Votes: 16

Carmeta, Mari and Pilar are three old ladies who spend every afternoon sitting on a bench, next to the main street of their village. The arrival of a mysterious pair of girls turns into the main topic of discussion among the women

Love, family and flock collide on a small Texas Christmas tree farm as Emmett and Seth navigate an unclear attraction to one another while avoiding the watchful eye of Mrs. Thibideaux, who just happens to be Seth’s mother and Emmett’s boss.

23. A Doll's Eyes (2016)

12 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

Haunted by the movie 'Jaws' since childhood, a filmmaker discovers why the movie affected him so deeply.

Director: Jonathan Wysocki | Stars: Jonathan Wysocki, Gabriel Bennett, Camille Schurer

Votes: 35

Haunted by Spielberg’s JAWS since childhood, a filmmaker discovers why the movie affected him so deeply.

During the investigation of a women’s murder, one of the cops on charge of the case will show his prejudices about trans people and HIV.

25. Denise (2016)

7 min | Short, Drama, Musical

An ageing drag queen sparkles her way through time, revisiting her glory days.

Director: Kenneth O'Toole | Stars: Iain Stuart Dootson, Nolan Robba

An elderly drag queen sparkles her way through time, reminiscing on her glory days.

26. The Ballerina (2016)

23 min | Short, Drama

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Director: Pedro Jorge | Stars: Sidney Santiago, João Acaiabe, Thaís Medeiros, Roberto Alencar

Votes: 25

Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

A casual hookup takes an intimate turn when Sami, a Syrian refugee from Damascus, meets Johan. In the course of a night in Amsterdam, the two men will confront some truths, and unsettling secrets, about the very different worlds they come from.

28. Get the Life (2016)

12 min | Short, Drama

Alex, a transgender youth, has been struggling with a secret pregnancy. He considers what he is willing to lose in order to live honestly and courageously.

Director: Ozzy Villazon | Stars: Flor de Maria Chahua, Cheryl Francis Harrington, Colette Kilroy, Tonatiuh

Votes: 10

Alex, a transgender youth, has been struggling with a secret pregnancy. However, time has run out for him and he must confess his condition to Jesse, his live-in boyfriend. Although they struggle in poverty, through their love and passion for one another, it’s clear they have forged a home together. To Alex’s surprise, Jesse offers a strikingly opposing view on how to deal with the pregnancy. Alex considers what he is willing to lose in order to live honestly and courageously.

The “same-sex civil union law” approved in 2016 in Italy, is incomplete…. and Mau and Gio, two men… a family with two children, have to tolerate prejudice and homophobia still alive in Italy. With the famous guest star Rosaria De Cicco.

30. Nisa (2017)

10 min | Short, Drama

NISA tells the story of two flatmates whose relationship is challenged by the arrival of an unexpected visitor.

Director: Barbara S. Müller | Stars: Martin Bermoser, Jennifer Newrkla, Denise Teipel

Votes: 5

NISA tells the story of two roommates whose relationship is challenged by the arrival of an unexpected visitor. A film about love and the many forms it takes.

31. Quiero decirte (2017)

17 min | Short, Drama, Fantasy

There is a maze which is too difficult to get out from. In the search of the road, Alejandro met with the army of nine soldiers. First, the secret. Second, the fear. Third, the dream. ... See full summary »

Director: Stefan M. Mladenovic | Star: Stefan M. Mladenovic

Votes: 27

There is a maze which is too difficult to get out from. In the search of the road, Alejandro met with the army of nine soldiers. First, the secret. Second, the fear. Third, the dream. Fourth, the fantasy. Fifth, the color. Sixth, the happiness. Seventh, the freedom. Eighth, the love. Ninth, the reality. What happens when he get out of the maze? Life.

32. Not Acceptable (2017)

Short

A trans-boy is dreaming in his privacy. Suddenly, the family pressure starts and makes him unsafe. Finally, it leads him to rejection by his family.

Director: Saman Haghighivand

A dream world of a young transsexual gets distracted by family pressure and finally leads to rejection by the family.

Two lesbian girls who want to escape smuggled from Iran.

An evening. A room. Here or everywhere. A young man, anonymous. awkwardly, He undresses. His thoughts are expressed, intimate and confused. By undressing, he exposes himself.

35. Naughty Amelia Jane (2017)

12 min | Short, Adventure, Comedy

This film is a satire on the hypocrisy and blatant ignorance of the society towards people and issues that are against their "social order of things", mainly the LGBT community.

Director: Risheeta Agrawal | Stars: Fozhan Khamsehpour, Maelika Hani Eberard, Peggy Eberhard, Elias El Hani

Votes: 25

This film is a satire on the hilarious hypocrisy of society towards anything that goes against the “conventional social order of things”, told through a story of two girls who may or may not have had a connection. This is a story about speculation.

36. Animal Kingdom (II) (2016)

10 min | Short, Drama

The new smartphone-app Animal Kingdom has spread so much throughout society that verbal communication is now barely used. During a lonely night, a guy goes out seeking for a human ... See full summary »

Director: Simone Chiappinelli | Stars: Lorenzo Bariosco, Lorenzo Goria, Valeria Tardivo, Lorenzo Squarcio

The new smartphone-app Animal Kingdom has spread so much throughout society that verbal communication is now barely used. During a lonely night, a guy goes out seeking for a human connection, but in a world where everyone wears a mask it’s difficult to separate reality from virtuality.

37. Mum, I'm back (2017)

5 min | Short

A woman returns, after 40 years, to the village where she was born. The cause is the death of her mother.

Director: Dimitris Katsimiris | Stars: Thanassis Chalkias, Yannis Tsortekis

Votes: 26

A woman returns, after 40 years, to the village where she was born. The cause is the death of her mother. She keeps an old photograph in her hands: a mother with her two sons. Arriving at the cemetery, she encounters the faces of all those she left behind.

38. Cas (2016 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 50 min | Drama, Romance

In the comedy-drama Cas, Pepijn and Sjors' steady, seven-year relationship is shaken up after they allow a young student named Cas to sleep on their couch until he finds a place of his own.... See full summary »

Director: Joris van den Berg | Stars: Kevin Hassing, Wieger Windhorst, Felix Meyer, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing

Votes: 288

In the comedy-drama Cas, Pepijn and Sjors’ steady, seven-year relationship is shaken up after they allow a young student named Cas to sleep on their couch until he finds a place of his own. Gradually, both men fall head over heels for Cas’ laconic charm and it forces them to reconsider their many long-term plans. Is Cas’ presence endangering their relationship or is he actually a blessing in disguise?

39. Chez Nous (2013)

101 min | Action, Comedy

When café-owner from Chez Nous has financial problems, six ordinary regular customers organize a squat and steal a valuable necklace from a heavily guarded museum.

Director: Tim Oliehoek | Stars: Alex Klaasen, Achmed Akkabi, Peter Faber, Frederik Brom

Votes: 746

Chez Nous is about the ‘gay friendly’ pub ‘Chez Nous’ which, threatened by bankruptcy, might be sold to a powerful nightlife proprietor. To prevent this sale the regular customers, an extra ordinary group of friends, plan to commit a heist during the Amsterdam Gay Pride. They want to steal a diamond necklace, which is worth millions of euros, from the Amstel Museum and hope to escape and save their favorite hangout this way. Will they succeed?

40. Torrey Pines (2016)

60 min | Animation, Adventure, Biography

Torrey Pines is a stop-motion animated feature film by director Clyde Petersen. Based on a true story, the film is a queer punk coming-of-age tale, taking place in Southern California in ... See full summary »

Director: Clyde Petersen | Stars: Webster Crowell, Kimya Dawson

Votes: 27

‘Torrey Pines’ is a story about a dysfunctional family, mental health and gender. It is told by the musician and director, Clyde Petersen, in a beautiful and challenging stop-motion animated film. Through a self-biographical angle, Clyde’s life unfolds before your eyes in a queer punk coming-of-age film, which takes place in the southern California in the early 1990s. Follow Clyde and his family on a journey that will change their relationship forever.

41. Mich vermisst keiner! (2016)

29 min | Documentary, Short, Biography

Since Evelin's amputation of both legs, friends abandoned her. She is stuck in her apartment for years now, moving only between the kitchen, computer, TV and bed. Discovered old videotapes ... See full summary »

Director: Erik Lemke

Since Evelin’s amputation of both legs, friends abandoned her. She is stuck in her apartment for years now, moving only between the kitchen, computer, TV and bed. Discovered old videotapes show her previous life as a man 25 years ago: the GDR no longer exists, but not everyone manages to gain a foothold in the unified Germany.

42. Fuck You Jessica Blair (2017)

81 min | Comedy, Drama

Karni feels detached. Detached from the world, detached from her country, detached from her language and even her own body. That is, until she meets Jessica, who happens to be on a much needed break from her dreamlike American life.

Director: Karni Haneman | Stars: Jessy Danner, Guy German, Karni Haneman, Maya Maron

Votes: 39

Karni feels detached. Detached from the world, detached from her country, detached from her language and even her own body. That is, until she meets Jessica, who happens to be on a much needed break from her dreamlike American life. While getting lost in the middle of nowhere, the pair meet two bewildered Israelis, and this band of misfits wander their way through questions of life, age, chewing gum, and themselves. Through this unique acquaintance, Karni will rediscover her sexual identity and a whole different side to her being – a place she finally belongs in.

43. Tom of Finland (2017)

Not Rated | 117 min | Biography, Drama

56 Metascore

Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of artist Touko Valio Laaksonen (aka Tom of Finland), one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.

Director: Dome Karukoski | Stars: Pekka Strang, Seumas F. Sargent, Chris Myland, Alf Myreen

Votes: 4,851 | Gross: $0.38M

Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home after a harrowing and heroic experience serving his country in World War II, but life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. He finds peace-time Helsinki rampant with persecution of the homosexual men around him, even being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his liberating art, specializing in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhibitions. His work – made famous by his signature ‘Tom of Finland’ – became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution.

44. If You Dare Desire ... (2017)

52 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

February, 2011. In a small village of West Bengal - Swapna and Shucheta - two young women in love with each other - took their own lives, leaving a letter claiming love, life, recognition..... See full summary »

Director: Debalina Majumder | Stars: Manisha Adak, Manisha Bilkish, Farha Khatun, Gautam Mukherjee

This is the story of Swapna and Shucheta, two young women from a small village in India who fell in love and took their own lives. Originating in the true story of their suicide in 2011, we see an alternative as we follow them on their journey away from home and into the unknown, keeping each other close and lying to protect themselves. This beautiful telling of their story captures the fiercly protective love they have for each other, and the obstacles they face in a culture that cannot see or accept them.

45. Lands of Lost Content (2017)

45 min | Documentary

Nik is about to disclose his sexuality to his Orthodox Serbian relatives. Ishimwa is facing the loss of his mother in the Rwandan genocide. They won't let their family fall apart.

Director: Elena Horn | Stars: Nik Jovcic-Sas, Ishimwa Muhimanyi

Lands of lost content is a documentary about a gay Orthodox Christian student called Nik Jovic Sas from Serbia who meets a genocide survivor and ballet dancer from Rwanda. Ishimwa Muhimanyi returns to Rwanda after many years to meet his remaining family exploring the role of religion in the genocide and facing memories that only return in fragments, while Nik travels to Serbia wanting to reveal his homosexuality to his family, facing numerous challenges on the way