As International Pride Month draws to a close and the weather outside gets a little colder, there’s no better time to snuggle up, sip a warm beverage, and enjoy some excellent queer cinema from around the world.
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In the first edition of our #WinterWarmers Queer Film Fest, our staff collated some of our favourite documentaries. Now, in part two, we share our picks of the finest fictional features from around the world. Part one, our selection of documentaries , is right here.
BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Length: 143 Minutes
Directors: Robin Campillo
Winner of over 20 international film awards, including the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, BPM is the remarkable new film from Robin Campillo (They Came Back, Eastern Boys). In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organization is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough.-Kanopy
Length: 86 Minutes
Director: Cheryl Dunye
Cheryl Dunye plays a version of herself in this witty, nimble landmark of New Queer Cinema. A video store clerk and fledgling filmmaker, Cheryl becomes obsessed with the “most beautiful mammy,” a character she sees in a 1930s movie. Determined to find out who the actress she knows only as the “Watermelon Woman” was and make her the subject of a documentary, she starts researching and is bowled over to discover that not only was Fae Richards (Lisa Marie Bronson) a fellow Philadelphian but also a lesbian. The project is not without drama as Cheryl’s singular focus causes friction between her and her friend Tamara (Valarie Walker) and as she begins to see parallels between Fae’s problematic relationship with a white director and her own budding romance with white Diana (fellow filmmaker Guinevere Turner).-Kanopy
Length: 110 Minutes
Director: Sophie Hyde
Directed by Sophie Hyde (Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure), the Australian filmmaker who won the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, 52 Tuesdays is centered on the relationship between James (Del Herbert-Jane), a mother undergoing gender transition, and their precocious teenage daughter Billie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). Looking forward to starting their gender transition but wary of how the process might affect their daughter, James asks Billie to move in with her father Tom (played by Beau Travis Williams). To make up for the abrupt separation, mother and daughter make a commitment to meet every Tuesday afternoon, no matter what. As the year progresses, James and Billie watch each other change in ways that sometimes threaten their once-unshakable relationship. As both individuals explore deep personal issues and struggle to remain connected, a complex tale of human desire and ultimately, physical and psychological transformation, emerges.-Beamafilm
Length: 93 Minutes
Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Yiu-Fai and Po-Wing arrive in Argentina from Hong Kong and take to the road for a holiday. Something is wrong and their relationship goes adrift. A disillusioned Yiu-Fai starts working at a tango bar to save up for his trip home. When a beaten and bruised Po-Wing reappears, Yiu-Fai is empathetic but is unable to enter a more intimate relationship. After all, Po-Wing is not ready to settle down. Yiu-Fai now works in a Chinese restaurant and meets the youthful Chang from Taiwan. Yiu-Fai’s life takes on a new spin, while Po-Wing’s life shatters continually in contrast.-Beamafilm
Length: 102 Minutes
Director: Maryam Keshavarz
Maryam Keshavarz’s lusty, dreamy take on the passionate teenagers behind the hijabs. Risking jail and worse are the sassy, privileged Atafeh and the beautiful, orphaned Shireen. They’re under constant, unnerving surveillance, in a country where more than 70 percent of the population is younger than 30. Nevertheless, within their mansion walls and without, beneath graffiti and undulating at intoxicating house parties, the two girls begin to fall in love with each other, as Atafeh’s handsome, albeit creepy older brother Mehran gazes on… Filmed underground in Beirut, with layers that permit both pleasure and protest.-Beamafilm
Length: 80 Minutes
Director: Gary Entin
Based on Brent Hartinger’s best-selling critically acclaimed novel, Geography Club is a smart, fast, and funny account of contemporary teenagers as they discover their own sexual identities, dreams, and values. While finding the truth too hard to hide, they all decide to form the Geography Club thinking nobody else would ever want to join. However, their secrets may soon be discovered and they could have to face the choice of revealing who they really are. -Kanopy
We hope you enjoy our selection of fine feature films! Part One, our selection of documentaries , is right here. Stay warm!