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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Spain

Barcelona bulges with sexual freedom thanks to Fire!!

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- The 25th International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is currently unspooling in the Catalonian capital and on Filmin, vigorously and proudly brandishing the torch of tolerance

Barcelona bulges with sexual freedom thanks to Fire!!
Lola by Laurent Michelli

The Fire!! festival is all set to titillate Barcelona with a programme that – from 10-20 June, the month that marks the start of the gay-pride celebrations all around the world – shows off the most white-hot recent LGBTI-themed films. As its slogan, “25 years of burning closets”, reminds us, the gathering (which is offering part of its programme online via the Filmin platform) doesn’t leave anyone trapped in gloomy closets, but instead invites attendees to talk about and enjoy sexuality to the max, whatever their sexual orientation. And here to demonstrate that there are still obstacles to overcome is the opening film: the French-Belgian co-production Lola [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laurent Micheli
film profile
]
by Laurent Michelli, starring a transgender girl.

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In addition, six trans women serve as the protagonists of Sedimentos [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adrián Silvestre
film profile
]
, a documentary by Valencian-born Adrián Silvestre, which has just been world-premiered at the Málaga Film Festival and which will get an airing – together with the opening movie – in the Pantalla Trans section. Other European non-fiction films that will be screened at Fire!! in the coming days are MELH. Armand, la historia de un movimiento (Spain/Italy), a reconstruction of the origins of the gay rights movement in Catalonia, directed by Jordi Samsó, Mario Allegranzi, Carme Porta and Ramón Martínez; and Stolen Kisses (Italy) by Fabrizio Laurenti, which shines a spotlight on the people who were forced to feed and nurture their emotions in secret during the terrible Mussolini years.

Standing proud in the official (fiction) features section are the comedy Benjamin (UK) by actor and comedian Simon Amstell; the award-winning drama Beware of Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dag Johan Haugerud
film profile
]
(Norway/Sweden) by Dag Johan Haugerud; Beyto [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gitta Gsell
film profile
]
(Switzerland), a multicultural love story by Gitta Gsell; Bliss [+see also:
film review
interview: Henrika Kull
film profile
]
(Germany), which depicts a complex lesbian relationship, as narrated by Henrika Kull; a reunion of girlfriends who all harbour secrets, in Leading Ladies (Colombia/Spain) by Ruth Caudeli; Monsoon [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hong Khaou
film profile
]
(UK), an emotional journey led by Hong Khaou; No Hard Feelings [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Faraz Shariat
film profile
]
(Germany), a depiction of polyamory amongst youngsters exhibited by Faraz Shariat; Our Children [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Brazil/Portugal), a story about family-based conflict by actress Maria de Medeiros; The Man with the Answers (Greece/Italy/Germany), a gay road movie by Stelios Kammitsis; and the Spanish series Maricón perdido, created by Bob Pop and helmed by Alejandro Marín (La filla d’algú [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
).

This scintillating festival is rounded off by a retrospective dedicated to French filmmakers Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, whose Jeanne et le garçon formidable, Drôle de Félix and Paris 05:59 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
will be showcased; the Al Este del Edén (lit. “East of Eden”) section, centring on LGTBI films from Asia; its short-film strand; the Fire!! Pro industry area, which seeks to foster discussion and provide training on the production and marketing of national films revolving around sexual and emotional diversity; and Best of Fire!!, featuring five titles from recent editions of this storied festival that, as pointed out by its director, Antoine Leonetti, attempts to “shun intolerance, combat closed-mindedness and eradicate prejudice while also providing role models for those members of the collective who may need them, showing them shining examples of people who lead a struggle or live their lives simply and happily, without incident.”

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(Translated from Spanish)

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