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FESTIVALS Italy

Milan gears up for the Mix Festival of Gay-Lesbian-Queer Cinema

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- The film event showcasing the best LGBTQ productions from around the world is set to kick off tomorrow, running to 23 June

Milan gears up for the Mix Festival of Gay-Lesbian-Queer Cinema
XY Chelsea by Tim Travers Hawkins

Exactly fifty years on from the eruption of the Stonewall movement in New York – a moment which marked the symbolic birth of the modern gay liberation movement all around the world – edition number 33 of the Milano Mix Festival of Gay and Lesbian Cinema and Queer Culture is set to open to the tune of "Love Riot". Headed up by Andrea Ferrari, Debora Guma and Rafael Maniglia, the gathering is scheduled to run from 20 to 23 June in Milan’s Piccolo Teatro, bringing together and showcasing works and protagonists hailing from the ranks of the very best of LGBTQ film and audiovisual production, in Italy and beyond.

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The opening night will see audiences treated to the Italian premiere of Greta, the surprise hit of this year’s Berlin Film Festival, which comes courtesy of Brazilian director Armando Praça who’ll be attending the screening in person. Other premieres on the programme include that of the highly anticipated XY Chelsea [+see also:
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, Tim Travers Hawkins’ documentary on the life of the Wikileaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning, born Bradley Manning, whose revelations rocked the Pentagon.

Twelve titles are battling it out in the Feature Film Competition, three of which having already done the rounds at the Berlinale: in addition to Greta, the line-up includes The Ground Beneath My Feet [+see also:
film review
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interview: Marie Kreutzer
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]
by the Austrian Marie Kreutzer, who puts her name to a wholly female psychological drama, and Family Members by the Argentine Mateo Bendesky. Joining them in the fray are Benjamin [+see also:
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by British comedian Simon Amstell, who made his name as the presenter of TV show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Eva and Candela by Colombian director Ruth Caudeli and Clément, Alex et tous les autres, the first French-language work by Taiwanese filmmaker Cheng-Chui Kuo, who’s also a guest at the festival. A further three titles will also be flexing their muscles, having screened in Cannes to much acclaim and bagged multiple awards in other international festivals: Sorry Angel [+see also:
film review
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Q&A: Christophe Honoré
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by cult director Cristophe Honoré, set in Paris in the early 90s; Rafiki [+see also:
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interview: Wanuri Kahiu
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by Wanuri Kahiu, censored in her homeland but the first Kenyan film to be selected on the Croisette; and Carmen & Lola [+see also:
film review
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interview: Arantxa Echevarría
film profile
]
by Arantxa Echevarria, the first lesbian story set in a community of travellers on the periphery of Madrid and starring non-professional gypsy actors. Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger, meanwhile, play lead roles in Annabel Jankel’s adaptation of the Fiona Shaw bestseller Tell it to the Bees [+see also:
film review
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interview: Annabel Jankel
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]
. Selected as part of a Homage to Canadian Cinema is the second autobiographical film by Philippe Lesage, Genesis, a competitor in Locarno 2018. Finally, another Austrian film enters the mix: Nevrland by Gregor Schmidinger, filmmaker and co-founder of the Porn Film Festival in Vienna.

Amongst the titles vying for the crown in the Documentary Competition are three highly topical stories: Fabulous by Audrey Jean-Baptiste, which shines a light on Leissandra Ninja, the star inspiring hope among the young LGBTQ+ community of French Guyana; Carceles Bolleras by Cecilia Montagut, which tells of the relationships, attractions and camaraderie emerging between women in Spanish jails; and Gay Chorus Deep South by David Charles Rodrigues, charting the tour undertaken by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus in the American Deep South. Equally in contention for the crown are Shooting the Mafia [+see also:
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by English documentary-maker Kim Longinotto, a film devoted to Letizia Battaglia, the first Italian photojournalist in Palermo; Shelter [+see also:
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]
– Farewell to Edén by Enrico Masi, another guest at the Festival, who paints the portrait of Pepsi, a transsexual militant born in the southern Philippines; and last but not least, the surprising Cassandro The Exotico! [+see also:
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film profile
]
by France’s Marie Losier, exploring the world of Mexico’s lucha libre wrestlers.

(Translated from Italian)

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