WE ARE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE FURTHER EXCITING ADDITIONS TO THIS YEAR’S Q-FILM WEEKENDER, TAKING PLACE FROM 8-10 NOVEMBER, INCLUDING TWO ADDITIONS TO THE OFFICIAL SELECTION FOR THE LAMPLIGHTER AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE FILM.
Continuing to add to our impressive line-up, we are thrilled to be partnering with fantastic local pub, The Lamplighter, to focus on the most innovative films of the festival for The Lamplighter Award for Best Feature Film. The inaugural winner will be chosen by a carefully-selected jury and announced as part of the Closing Night celebrations. Joining the already announced candidates, Holy Trinity (Molly Hewitt, 2019) and Song Lang (Leon Le, 2018), we’re delighted to announce In Competition for the Lamplighter Award, the very special Opening Night Gala, a preview screening of Levan Akin’s And Then We Danced, a universal love story portrayed through the dancers of the National Georgian Ensemble, and Madame, an intimate journey into gender identity through the relationship between a flamboyant 90-year-old Grandma and her filmmaker grandson, Stéphane Ritehauser.
As part of our Official Selection, we’re thrilled to announce four new additions to the line-up. We have the beautifully written and shot Billie and Emma, as well as Tomer Heymann’s rare and intimate insight into the world of gay porn, Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life, and the award-winning short, Beyond ‘There’s Always a Black Issue Dear’, focusing on the black LGBTQIA+ community against the backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain, followed by an In Conversation with director Claire Lawrie and star Winn Austin. The Q-Film Weekender is also pleased to present the first Bollywood romance to feature a lesbian relationship, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (How I Felt When I Saw That Girl). These compelling films join Changing the Game, a powerful documentary about trans athletes finding their way against prejudice in the sporting arena.
Also joining the Weekender is the new comedy programme, Good Clean Fun, showcasing the best of LGBTQIA+ comedy shorts from around the world.
To celebrate these incredible new additions to the weekend’s line-up, we’re releasing a Q-Film Weekender trailer to showcase some of the fantastic features and shorts included in this year’s festival. Watch it below!
Tickets are now on sale at www.northamptonfilmhouse.com, including our Festival Pass. See the very best of the festival, with 10 tickets for £70 (standard) or £45 (18-25). Discount automatically applied at check out.
You van view the previous Q-Film Weekender Announcement here.
THE LAMPLIGHTER AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE FILM
Opening Night Gala: And Then We Danced (Levan Akin, Georgia, 2019) 106 minutes
Softness is a dangerous affliction for the boys of the National Georgian Ensemble in Levan Akin’s And Then We Danced. To have soft limbs is to be weak, to lose strength in your muscles is to fail. This practice, rooted in military moves and Middle Age holiday celebrations, occupies the mind and body of Merab (dancer Levan Gelbakhiani in his first acting role), a sensitive and headstrong student at the academy. He’s talented, and a touch frustrated by the cultural structures inhibiting his livelihood. But he’s still mostly in control of his ambition, until a rival dancer enters the equation, throwing everything he thought he knew into question.
And Then We Danced screens In Competition for The Lamplighter Award for Best Feature Film.
Madame (Stéphane Ritehauser, Switzerland, 2019) 93 minutes
Madame takes us on an intimate journey through a private family archive, revealing a fascinating and beautiful family saga over several generations. Presented as a series of conversations between Caroline, a flamboyant 90- year-old grandmother and her filmmaker grandson Stéphane Ritehauser, Madame explores how individuals develop and perform their gender identity in a patriarchal environment.
Promised to a domestic life in the 1920s, Caroline manages to free herself from the clutches of a forced marriage and becomes a successful businesswoman, defying the social rules of her time. In parallel, Stéphane struggles to play the role everyone expects in his Swiss bourgeois family, until the day he comes out of the closet and sets off on a crusade against homophobia and sexism. Madame offers a dialogue between this extravagant matriarch and her gay grandson, challenging the taboos of gender and sexuality.
Madame screens In Competition for The Lamplighter Award for Best Feature Film.
Billie and Emma (Samantha Lee, Philippines, 2018) 107 minutes
Set in the mid-90s, the film tells the story of Billie, a troublemaker from the big city, who finds herself exiled to San Isidro to live with her aunt who also happens to be her religious teacher. Determined to change her ways and get through the last year of high school without incident, Billie hides herself from the world until she meets Emma, the ambitious, star student who coaxes Billie out of her shell. They soon fall in love but things get complicated when Emma finds out that she’s pregnant. Together, they explore the fleeting nature of love and life on this journey of growth, laughter and music.
Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life (Tomer Heymann, Israel, 2019) 106 minutes
Giving a rare and intimate insight in to the world of porn and escorts, as well as a unique mother and son relationship redefining family norms, Director Tomer Heymann (Mr. Gaga) presents his latest feature documentary, Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life. Heymann documents all of Agassi’s activities, following him over eight years, both in his temporary hometown of Berlin and back in Tel Aviv with his mother. Although Agassi claims he has the best job in the world and says it has actually saved his life, deeper issues begin to surface and overtake his everyday life.
Haunted by his relationship with his largely absent father, his special bond with his mother is also not without its complications. Adopting the stage name Agassi as a firm identity to counter his sense of instability, Jonathan seems nonchalant as he performs the countless sex acts with which he earns his living, yet he increasingly resorts to hard drugs to numb his feelings. Eventually, after a terrifying trip on drugs, he’s forced to see the harsh reality of his extreme lifestyle.
Beyond ‘There’s Always a Black Issue Dear’ + In Conversation with Claire Lawrie and Winn Austin
(Claire Lawrie, UK, 2019) 75 minutes
The 1980s has been recognised as a period of great creativity and cross-pollination, a time where, in spite of harsh political realities and the onslaught of HIV, London creative’s and nightclub kids expressed a myriad of identities. But recognition of the influential contribution of the era’s black and LGBTQIA+ community has been less documented.
Beyond ‘There’s Always A Black Issue, Dear’, addresses the omission of these voices and explores the stories of 10 interwoven black & LGBTQIA+ lives, to demarcate and celebrate the particular influence that black LGBT culture has had upon fashion, fine art, dance, music and language, much of which has been appropriated by the cultural mainstream. Growing up in Thatcher’s Britain, children of the Windrush generation, and the first generation to grow up after the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, the cast vividly recall daring to be different.
Ballet dancing boys, and make-up wearing, gender-fluid school days, are described with humour. Their experiences shed new light on the UK in the 1970s/80s as it began to come to terms with both multiculturalism and sexual freedom. Creating their own identities in a time when, ‘if you were black you could be either Reggae or Soul’, these are the untold stories, where a queer black London begins to emerge. Soul and Disco, Punks and Blitz Kids meet. Beyond captures a vital historical period, that creates connections for the audience between the recent past and contemporary challenges. Here are the trailblazers.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (Shelly Chopra Dhar, India, 2019) 120 minutes
The first Bollywood film to feature a lesbian relationship is a groundbreaking and entertaining romance. Some love stories are not simple, Sweety’s is one such story. She has to contend with her over-enthusiastic family that wants to get her married, a young writer who is completely smitten by her, and a secret that she harbours close to her heart. To be true to herself and follow the path to happiness and love might mean leaving her family and community, but she desperately wants to be accepted by those around her. Resolving these issues proves hilarious, touching and life changing.
Short Film Programmes
Good Clean Fun
From darkly funny personal musings to erotic adventures, there’s plenty of laughs in this series of hilarious short films. With adult animation, a magical dance inspired by cruising and explorations of mental health, does Good Clean Fun still exist?
Good Clean Fun features nudity and sexually explicit content.
Dawn of a New Gay (Rosie Gaunt-Mathierson, UK, 2019) 5 minutes
Comedian Jack Rooke goes back to uni to tell a tale of sexual enlightenment in the pre-Brexit, London-Olympic bliss of 2012. Featuring harpist Alexander Thomas, this short story is adapted from their acclaimed live show ‘Jack Rooke Love Letters‘.
Greta (Sparkman Clark, USA, 2019) 27 minutes
Greta is a young adult starting her life in New York City. Armed with self-loathing, hopelessness and existential dread, it seems the big city isn’t as difficult to navigate as her own brain. In this short film, director Sparkman Clark explores the darkness of mental illness with the lightness of humour.
Kiko’s Saints (Manuel Marmier, France, 2019) 26 minutes
Kiko, a Japanese illustrator on assignment in France, gets suddenly overwhelmed by a strange inspiration, while she realises she’s been spying on a gay couple on the beach next to the chapel where she’s working. Obsessed by such a vision, she will spy on those men and draw them secretly. This will slowly push her towards an encounter that will change her life and breaks her social rules.
Sammy the Salmon (Jake Shannon, Australia, 2019) 6 minutes
Spencer, while weeping uncontrollably on a beach starts a conversation with a talking salmon. Spencer explains that he is secretly gay but is due to marry his female fiancee. The salmon offers to help Spencer break up with his girlfriend and get his love life back on track, but all doesn’t go according to plan…
Stalls (Joao Dall’stella, USA, 2019) 3 minutes
Jonathan goes to the restroom in the middle of an opera performance. He has a very specific mission. He takes off his marriage ring and waits for someone to come in so he can be on his knees. His heart accelerates as each new guy comes into the restroom. Finally, after tapping his feet in what looks like a tap-dancing sequence he is able to find another man willing to give him what he wants.
Tickets are now on sale for the Q-Film Weekender (8-10 November 2019) at www.northamptonfilmhouse.com, starting at £3 for 15-25 year olds. See the very best of the festival, with our Festival Pass – 10 tickets for £70 (standard) or £45 (18-25). Discount automatically applied at checkout.
To book any of the previously announced Q-Film Weekender films, click here.