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image and nation: celebrating 20 years of queer cinema

Posted by Sisi / November 15, 2007

Photo: Scene from Eytan Fox's "The Bubble," courtesy of Les Films Séville.

image+nation: 20 years of cultural [r_evolution]
15 november to 25 november
Venues: Cinéma Impérial (1432 De Bleury), NFB Theatre (1564 Saint-Denis), JA de Sève Theatre (1400 de Maisonneuve West)

image+nation, Canada's oldest and largest LGBT film festival, kicks off today with its 20th edition. This year looks promising, with works of fiction, documentaries, shorts, and much more packed into 11 days of cinematic exploration. Also to look for is an international workshop that will bring together scholars, artists, and programmers from all over the world.

Here's a taste of the programming.

Opening and closing films: Tonight at Cinéma Impérial, Eytan Fox starts the festivities with The Bubble, a film that has been described as "very modern and queer Romeo and Juliet." Set against a Middle Eastern background, Israeli Noam falls in love with Palestinian Ashraf in this "romantic comedy meets political tragedy."
On November 25, Lionel Baier's Comme des voleurs (à l'est) closes the fest with a story about "coming out Polish." Baier stars as Lionel, a young Swiss who falls in love with Polish culture when his father reveals the presence of Polish blood in the family.

Vanguard Doc series: For its 20th anniversary, image+nation will present retrospectives of documentary films on artists and activists who have made significant contributions to queer culture. Among those spotlighted are Kenneth Anger, Robert Mapplethorpe, Derek Jarman, Barbara Hammer, and Andy Warhol. A particularly interesting looking documentary about human rights is Parvez Sharma's A Jihad for Love, about devout gay and lesbian Muslims.

World festival circuit: Films to watch for include image+nation's centerpiece feature, André Téchiné's Les témoins, Martin Weisz's Butterfly: A Grimm Love Story, Leesong Hee-il's No Regret, and Zero Chou's Spider Lillies. The festival's roster includes films from Belgium, Brazil, Hungary, Thailand, Argentina, Germany, Norway and Mexico.

Prizes will be awarded for Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Best Short.

There is such a smorgasbord of other stuff going on that I recommend checking image+nation's website for full details. See you at The Bubble tonight!

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