Bruce LaBruce, Robin Campillo and Grace Jones at 9th Merlinka festival – Merlinka festival

Merlinka festival

Merlinka festival

Bruce LaBruce, Robin Campillo and Grace Jones at 9th Merlinka festival

Canadian director Bruce LaBruce and French director Robin Campillo will attend this year’s 9th International queer film festival „Merlinka“, held in Belgrade from 7th till 13th December. Documentary “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami” will close the festival.

Croatian comedy “The Avalanche” directed by Stanislav Tomic will open this year’s 9th Merlinka festival. This film follows Franjo who disappears in an avalanche. He’s left behind two wives and two daughters. An avalanche of unexpected events occurs when he comes back from the dead to announce to his family that he’s gay. Director and the film crew will be attending the screening and Q&A will be organized.

French director Robin Campillo, Grand Prix winner from 2017 Cannes festival will be in Belgrade to present his film “120 Beats per Minute” nominated for the best European film. The subject of this feature is beginning of HIV activism in France and follows the group of radical Parisian activists. This subject is close to the director, who also was involved in HIV activism. The film didn’t win the Palme d’Or but won Grand Prix, FIPRESCI, François Chalais Award, Queer Palm and made Pedro Almodovar cry.

From Finland comes the film “Tom of Finland” about the most famous Finn, Touko Laaksonen. Life in Finland after the World War II for Touko was distressing, homosexual men were persecuted and pressured to marry a woman and have children. He finds refuge in his liberating art, specializing in homoerotic drawings of muscular men, free of inhibitions. His work – made famous by his signature ‘Tom of Finland’ – became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution.

Human Rights Day, 10 December, will be celebrated with short film marathon from noon till midnight with more than 50 films that are competing for Dorothy’s slipper award for best short film. This year’s Jury members are screenwriter Dimitrije Vojnov, Barbara Reumuller from Identities festival Vienna, Werner Borkes from Roze Filmdagen Amsterdam.

During the festival Dutch Day will be organized celebrating Dutch queer films. Five films will be screened and drag queen Lady Galore from Amsterdam will perform and announce the comedy “Queen of Amsterdam” about group of friends that are trying to save gay-friendly cafe from bankruptcy so they will steal a diamond neckless during Amsterdam Pride Parade.

Among distinguished guests of the festival is Canadian underground director Bruce LaBruce how will in Belgrade present his film “The Misandrists” about lesbian terrorist group against patriarchy. He will also present the documentary “Queercore: How to punk a Revolution” were he, beside John Waters and Beth Ditto is one of the protagonists.

Documentary “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami” will close this year’s Merlinka festival. The film is an electrifying journey through the performance, private and public worlds of pop cultural icon Grace Jones. Jones’ bold aesthetic echoes throughout the film as director Sophie Fiennes creates a powerful cinematic experience, contrasting musical sequences with intimate personal footage and reaching beyond the iconic mask.

The festival will also host director Stefan M. Mladenovic and Branislav Princip from Serbia, Karni Haneman from Israel, Tim Dekkers from The Netherlands, Barbara Muller and the crew of her short film “Nisa” from Austria, Nik Jovicic-Sas from UK and Saman Haghighivand from Iran.

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