The 16th OUT IN AFRICA South African Gay & Lesbian Film Festival takes place in Johannesburg from 3-13 September and in Cape Town from 10-20 September 2009 and features 17 international feature films and 9 South African productions, five of which are world premieres.
The festival has a wide range of films to appeal to all with subjects that run the gamut of human experience. Themes range and include, amongst others: high school hilarities, forbidden love, coming out, the desire for children and ageing gigolos. Moviegoers can look forward to comedies, tragedies, dramas and thought provoking documentaries. Every genre of filmmaking is covered including homage to celebrated gay icons.
Award winning international directors and actors will attend as guests of the festival. The festival opens with Spinnin' (6 Billion Different People) a film made by Spanish director Eusebio Pastrana in 2007. This is the Spaniards at their wacky best – an exuberant award winning film set in Madrid in 1995 and follows lovers Garate and Omar as they seek to have a child.
Included in the line up is Fig Trees. Directed by John Greyson, this Canadian production is a contemporary opera based on the lives of South Africa’s own HIV/Aids activist, Zackie Achmat and Canadian Tim McCaskell. The film uses clever historical references to Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thompson and is richly layered, intelligent and unique. Greyson, who is considered the Prince of Gay Filmmaking, is a guest of the festival and will be in attendance. He travels courtesy of the Canadian High Commission.
Angel, directed by Giorgios Katakouzinos is an award winning film that when it debuted at Cannes in 1982, took the world by storm. Based on a true story this Greek classic is considered the one Greek film that all Greeks have seen. Anyone who has seen Cabaret will be fascinated by Chris and Don, directed by Guido Santi and Tina Mascara This amazing documentary is about Christopher Isherwood whose short stories “Goodbye to Berlin” were the basis for the musical Cabaret. This sharp, witty and revealing film is told mainly by his lover, Don, and is supported by amazing archival footage of Hollywood starting in the late forties.
Courtesy of the British Council, the festival welcomes in attendance director Simon Pearce and producer Christian Martin whose film Shank follows the story of working class Cal who hides the fact that he is gay to his fellow gang members. Trouble erupts when he rescues a French boy his gang beats up. This explicit, shocking, largely hand-held film has already picked an international award and breathes new life into British alternative cinema.
Probably the most controversial film of the festival is the recently unbanned by the South African Film & Publications Board, XXY. This multi-award winning film is a complex tale of gender, identity and sexual orientation. Beautifully shot with stellar performances, the festival is proud to welcome the director, Lucía Puenzo and lead actor Inés Efron.
Click on the link here to see the full Johannesburg schedule at Monte Casino.