The Rio Festival de Gênero & Sexualidade no Cinema (Rio Festival of Gender and Sexuality in Film, in a literal translation) is airing approximately 150 national and foreign films in several cultural spaces across the city. The airings are divided into nine exhibitions, some of which held as a competition. The annual event started Thursday night (Jul. 7) and is slated to end on July 17.
Predominant throughout the schedule are long and short documentaries—which shows how this type of production has become instrumental in registering what is going on in Brazil and the world regarding sexuality-related issues. Fiction, nonetheless, can also be found, most noticeably in a special short film exhibition named Sombrio—“gloomy”—dedicated to horror and scary comedies.
Cinema Explícito (“explicit cinema”), in turn, makes room for rare and transgressive flicks from the worlds of silent film and contemporary underground, with the presence of film critic and professor Rodrigo Gerace as a commentator. There is also an exhibition focused on sexual diversity in animation.
The movie chosen for the opening session was the Brazilian documentary Amores Santos (literally “sacred loves”), by Dener Giovanini. The controversial feature is centered on religious leaders in the sex underworld, and brings to the fore the hypocrisy of homophobic discourses. This film drew considerable attention from international media.
“Director Giovanni selected the best testimonies among 3 thousand religious people heard in Brazil and overseas,” said festival director and curator Alexander Mello. “The documentary focuses on explicit sex situations involving religious leaders. Above all, however, it addresses a crucial topic that's related to the source of hate crimes [against homosexuals] so commonly seen in Brazil and other countries.”
A number of other films in the schedule deal with situations in which homosexual and transsexual individuals are attacked and treated disrespectfully. “This topic is given prominence, for instance, in the short film exhibitions, in both national and international productions,” Mello said.
A juri as well as the public will decide which flicks will be awarded this year. The awarding ceremony is scheduled for July 15 and should include the airing of the French feature film Where There is Shade, by Nathan Nocholovitch, which tells the story of a French crossdresser who works as a prostitute in Camboja, and the father-son relationship forged after his encounter with a trafficked child.
“These stories expand the range of topics featured in the festival,” Alexander Mello said.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: International festival brings films on gender and sexuality to Rio