2010 – Merlinka Queer Film Festival

Merlinka Queer Film Festival

Merlinka Queer Film Festival


Merlinka festival winner announcement

Second International Queer Film Festival “Merlinka” was closed last week at the Belgrade Youth Center.

Forty seven films dealing with gay, lesbian and transgender themes from across the world were shown during the five-day festival. We would like to thank the Ministry of Internal Affairs office in Belgrade for excellent cooperation, as well as all of Festival’s friends, media, translators and volunteers who contributed to its successful realization.

Awards for best films were announced during the Festival’s closure.

Short films

Tools 4 Fools (dir. Kate A. Brandt)
My name is Love (dir. David Färdmar)
The Girl Bunnies: Hockey (dir. Francoise Doherty)
Masala Mama (dir. Michael Kam)

Winner: Tools 4 Fools, directed by Kate A. Brandt

Best Documentary

The Heretics (dir. Joan Braderman)
William S. Burroughs: A Man Within (dir. Yony Leyser)
Familiensache (dir. Sarah Horst)
Assume nothing (dir. Kirsty MacDonald)

Winner: Familiensache, directed by Sarah Horst

Best Feature Film

A Single Man (dir. Tom Ford)
Open (dir. Jake Yuzna)
The Big Gay Musical (dir. Casper Andreas, Fred M. Caruso)

Winner: The Big Gay Musical, directed by Casper Andreas, Fred M. Caruso


Director: Jasmin Cvišić
Serbia, 2007
Duration: 6 min.

Milutin Milutin Milošević and Marko Janjić are in a love scene with no words nor personal contact. The two adolescents contemplate each other in a Belgrade caffe. But, will those looks become something else?

Čakarovi doci
Director: Ivan Lovrić, Josip Kežić
BIH, 2009
Duration: 16 min.

Čarls Marić is a young Herzegovian who after 15 years of life in Germany returns for a visit to his home land, a small village in Herzegovina. His only ties with the place are memories about Andjelko, a friend from his childhood. The film was awarded at last year’s West Herzegovina Fest.

Same shit
Director: Luka Bursać
Serbia, 2010
Duration: 9 min.

What we deeply hide inside of ourselves is actually what scares us the most

Director: Kent Thomas
USA, 2009
Duration: 18 min.

A young hustler relives his dark journey from an upper-middle class home to living and working on the streets…finally revealing why he can never stop.

My name is Love
Director: David Färdmar
Sweden, 2008
Duration: 20 min

Love has made his decision. Tonight he’s gonna let all those hidden feelings he’s been having for all these years come out, and create a possibility to meet someone special. It was quite a while since the last time now and Sebastian’s secret desire is getting harder to deny. His girlfriend is out of town so the timing is perfect.

Inflatable Swamp
Director: William Feroldi
UK, 2010
Duration: 13 min.

Inflatable swamp is short film that explores gay male physical intimacy, with some explicit nudity scenes. Matt, a gay man in his late twenties, navigates the lonely intersection of carnal sex and human closeness.

Director: David Bonneville
Portugal, 2008
Duration: 13 min.

A seventy year old aesthete is in a relationship with a young man named Heiko. It is a fetishist relationship taken to extreme exoticism.

Toto Forever
Director: Roberto F. Canuto
Spain / USA, 2009
Duration: 14 min.

“Toto Forever” tells the impossible love story between a young postmen, that dreams with a new life, and a gangster, that is in deep trouble with a mafia group. Toto will never lose the “hope”, despite of the traumatic end of the affair.

Director: Michael Lannan
USA, 2009
Duration: 8 min.

Pillow talk is anything but light as Lorimer starts off, but the serious conversation doesn’t sit well with half of the pair.

3 minutes
Director: Jenn Garrison
USA, 2009
Duration: 3 min.

Jesse and Max race through their war torn city to share three minutes together. “Three minutes” is the story of a city in ruin and the urban dwellers that used to thrive in it. Emerging from the rubble of their war-ravaged city, they join together to celebrate the human spirit and the hope of a better tomorrow.

Les Nanas
Director: Danielle Morgan
USA, 2010
Duration: 4 min.

Shot on one reel of Super8mm and edited in camera, Les Nanas is a visual interpretation of a piece of music by avant-garde musicians, the Artie Smudges Trio, which follows a day in the lives of three doll-like women.

Hens and Chicks
Director: Becky Lare
USA, 2010
Duration: 15 min.

Raised by her two moms, Hanna has always known that there are all types of families. But she’s never really thought about the logistics of it all until her friend Marco explains the process of creating chicks from eggs. Soon after, an educational trip through cyberspace has Hanna asking, “Who’s MY rooster?”

Public Relations
Director: Gianna Sobol
USA, 2009
Duration: 17 min.

A miserable Hollywood assistant finds romance and a reason for being when her sexy New York counterpart arrives in town. Public Relations is a funny, fresh take on growing up – and getting laid.

Tools 4 Fools
Director: Kate A. Brandt
USA, 2009
Duration: 8 min.

Who can afford new sex toys in today’s economy? And who hasn’t wondered what to do with all those vibes and double dongs left behind after every tawdry breakup? It’s Tools 4 Fools to the rescue, as Julie Goldman struts, simpers, and mugs her way through the world’s most outrageous informercial.

Back to Life
Director: Desi del Valle, Hollie Lemarr
USA, 2009
Duration: 12 min.

A woman grieves the death of her girlfriend only after experiencing the vulnerability of sleeping with her best friend.

The Girl Bunnies: Hockey
Director: Francoise Doherty
Canada, 2009
Duration: 5 min.

It’s old-school, stop-motion animation where rabbits communicate through typewriters, where everyone plays hockey and where girl rabbits fall in love with girl rabbits. In “The Girl Bunnies. Hockey”, Coco loves hockey, but she REALLY likes Hockey Girl!

The Best is yet to come
Director: Eunice Wu
Taiwan, 2009
Duration: 15 min.

Set during the much debated and highly public USA Obama presidential election and controversial California State Proposition 8 vote for same sex marriage a young couple, Sam and Alice privately confront their family, fears and dreams.

Felizes para Sempre / Happy Forever
Director / Režija: Ricky Mastro
Brazil, 2009
Duration: 8 min.

The story of two lesbians who are 32 years together. Still in love, still sexually active.

Lily’s Image
Director: Sussanne Stich
Ireland, 2008
Duration: 8 min.

Eight-year old Lilly’s parents have separated. While her father has started a new relationship and her mother is processing the split through her painting, Lilly discovers her personal reading of the situation creating her own piece of art.

Director: Filip Peruzović
Croatia, 2010
Duration: 15 min.

Two girls in a flat. The film follows the love relationship of two girls which in its whole seems a heterosexual one. This is a short movie about two young women which share a harmonious life, just sometimes disturbed by disparities about ideas on having a good time.

You can’t curry Love
Director: Reid Waterer
USA, India, 2009
Duration: 23 min.

A handsome East Indian from London visits India, falls for a local guy, meets a transgendered “hijra”, and discovers a country he only thought he knew. The film won the best short film prize on San Diego “FilmOut” LGBT Film Festival an Special Jury Prize on Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Film Festival.

Director: Ali Cotterill
USA, 2008
Duration: 3 min.

Fagette is a trans-fabulous Sunday in the park. It’s croquet gone gay, drag-tastic cheerleaders, and synchronized dance, all in an Astroturf wonderland.

Playing with Gender
Director: Playing with Gender
USA, 2007
Duration: 7 min.

Young people on a picnic learn about gender, gender roles, and transgendered identities in this re-imagining of a 1950’s educational film. The film shows how gender is constructed and a multitude of gender identities that fall outside the boundaries of simply male or female.

Masala Mama
Director : Michael Kam
Singapore, 2010
Duration: 9 min.

Masala Mama is a film about finding allies and heroes in the most unlikely people. The young son of a struggling ‘rag-and-bone’ man must help his father support their family, though much to his father’s chagrin, the boy is constantly distracted by daydreams of drawing comic book superheroes.

Being Lisa
Director: Amara Stefani, Becca Louisell, Steven Bourasa, Gene Hoisington
USA, 2009
Duration: 10 min.

A business dinner turns romantic, as sparks ignite, between Lisa and Jason. Lisa reveals that she is…unique. Jason decides to take a chance.

Make A Mate
Director: Jennifer Jordan Day
USA, 2009
Duration: 4 min.

A lonely woman finds a magical shop where she can craft an ideal mate.

Director: Aaron Chan
Canada, 2010
Duration: 8 min.

Sam and Eric are a young gay, Chinese couple, seemingly happy but have never shared a night together in the same bed. One night, after Eric asks his boyfriend to stay and Sam refuses, their relationship suddenly comes into question.

Last Call
Director: Nick Corporon
USA, 2009
Duration: 18 min.

On the way to reconcile with the love of his life, a an dies and is given the chance to relive three moments of his life.

Director: Brian Harris Krinsky
USA, 2009
Duration: 15 min.

Emo kids Israel and Louie walk around their East Los Angeles neighborhood dishing and “sexting” about their high school classmates. After listening to Louie boast about his sexual escapades, Israel decides he has some catching up to do.

Carmen’s Place
Director: Anna Wilking
USA, 2009
Duration: 18 min.

Carmen’s Place is an intimate portrayal of life at a transgender friendly shelter for teenagers run by an Episcopal priest in Queens, NY. For many of the residents, life at Carmen’s Place is the first real home they’ve ever experienced.

Thy will be done
Director: Alice Dungan Bouvrie
USA, 2010
Duration : 56 min.

Thy will be done follow Male-to-Female Transsexual Sara Herwig in her path to ordination in the Presbyterian Church. Efforts have been made to block her ordination by the evangelical conservative groups who don’t recognize her as female and question her fitness to be a Pastor… but who also challenge her candidacy because she is in a same-sex relationship, with a woman.

Tierra Madre / Mother Earth
Director: Dylan Verrechia
Cast: Aidee Gonzalez, Rosalba Valenzuela
Mexico, 2010
Duration: 67 min.

Tierra Madre is based on Aidee Gonzalez’s true life, a woman living on the Mexican border towns of Tecate and Tijuana, determined to raise her children with her female partner. This narrative feature makes the strong case of the strength, the independence and the solidarity that exits among women of all ages. In the tradition of the films of Satyajit Ray, De Sica and Luis Buñuel, Tierra Madre was developed and shot with a cast of all non-actors, during a three week period with a budget of $2,000 and a crew of one.

Put this on the Map
Director: Megan Kennedy, Sid Jordan Peterson
USA, 2010
Duration: 34 min.

Fed up with lack of queer visibility, twenty-six queer youth challenge the hetero-normative values of Seattle’s eastside suburbs with new definitions, insights, and personal expertise for re-teaching gender and sexuality.

Familiensache / Family matters
Director: Sarah Horst
Switzerland, 2009
Duration: 27 min.

Sarah Horst has created a tragicomic portrait of a family that tried to give itself an identity beyond the usual conventions. The father is a gay bon vivant who was once notorious for his opulent fashion shows and debauched lifestyle. Excessive partying has left its mark on the parents and shaped the son. The son has now taken over the „Schluggstube“ from his parents – a bar that serves as a meeting point for the strange and obscene. With raw honesty, the family takes stock of living and growing up together.

To je naše dijete / That’s out child
Director: Elma Islamović
BIH, 2010
Duration: 15 min.

Saša, Alex, Jasenko and Alma are gay people living in Sarajevo and Tuzla, talking about their “coming out” process, relationships with parents, friends and boyfriends/girlfriends. Saša’s parents have rejected him as their son, and for three years he doesn’t have any contact with them. Alex still needs to tell his father he has started sex transition change.

The Big Gay Musical
Directors: Casper Andreas, Fred M. Caruso
Cast : Daniel Robinson, Joey Dudding, Jeff Metzler
USA, 2009
Duration: 90 min.

Paul and Eddie have just begun previews for the new Off-Broadway musical “Adam and Steve Just the Way God Made ‘Em.” Their lives strangely mirror the characters they are playing. Paul is looking for the perfect man and Eddie is dealing with how his sexuality and faith can mix. After yet another disastrous dating experience, Paul has an epiphany. He is done dating and just wants to be a slut like the sexy chorus boys that share his dressing room.

Tú eliges / You Choose
Director: Antonia San Juan
Cast: Antonia San Juan, Paula Andrés Cogollos, Neus Asensi, Pedro Azofra
Spain, 2009
Duration: 87 min.

You Choose is a comedy with realistic and current dramatic brushstrokes. Throughout a day cross the lives of several characters from different social classes, from the woman of fifty who still lives in adolescence, the millionaire lady who boredom gives lectures on Feng-Shui, via a pop star or an actor who tries to thrive. The actions of some affect others who do not even know, and in the end, everyone will face their dreams and ambitions with mixed fortunes.

Tuesday 8.2.2011. (17:00)

Holding Hands
Director: Tonnette Stanford, Katherine Wilkinson
Australia, 2009
Duration: 65 min.

Craig and Shane were holding hands when they fell victim to a brutal hate crime off Sydney’s Oxford Street in 2007. The image of Craig’s shattered face on the cover of the local newspaper called Sydney’s queer community to action, and the couple were nominated leaders of the 2008 Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. The hardest year of this young couple’s lives is documented through endless surgeries, physical and psychological recovery and their struggle to plan for their future. But at its heart, Holding Hands reveals that even in the worst circumstances, we can all create positive change.

Alles an mir / All about me
Director: Barbara S. Müller
Austria, 2010
Duration: 42 min.

Austrian director Barbara S. Müller is telling the story of the relationship between two women, which live in an emotional satellization to the other on. The two of the mare now standing right in front of an abyss – but only one of them will succeed to free herself from dependence. Based on a true story.

Tuesday 8.2.2011. (19:00)

A Single Man
Director: Tom Ford
Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew Goode
USA, 2009
Duration: 99 min.

Set in Los Angeles in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, A Single Man, is the story of George Falconer, a 52 year old British college professor who is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his long time partner, Jim. Geeorge dwells on the past and cannot see his future as we follow him through a single day, where a series of events and encounters ultimately leads him to decide if there is a meaning to life after Jim.

Tuesday 8.2.2011. (21:00)

Director: Fernanda Cardoso
Cast: Allison McAtee, Sarah Stouffer
USA, 2010
Duration: 83 min.

“Bloomington” is a coming-of-age drama about a former child actress attending college in search of independence and who ends up becoming romantically involved with a female professor. Their relationship thrives until an opportunity to return to acting forces her to make life-altering decisions.

The Heretics
Director: Joan Braderman
USA, 2009
Duration: 95 min.

The Film uncovers for the first time in a feature film, the inner workings of the Second Wave of the Women’s Movement. Following her dream of becoming a filmmaker, Joan Braderman moved to New York City in 1971. By lucky chance, she joined Heresies when it was founded in 1975 – A feminist art collective at the epicenter of the 1970s art world in lower Manhattan, members of the Heresies Collective, now accomplished artists, writers, architects, filmmakers, curators, and teachers – scattered around the world – speak intimately about the extraordinary times they shared.

Romeo & Julio
Director: Ivan Perić
Cast: Toni Rinkovec, Toni Dorotić
Croatia, 2009
Duration: 75 min.

Romeo and Julio is the first trash gay break dance musical, a parody about Romeo and Juliet completely synchronized to croatian language. The main theme in the movie is based on the story of Shakespeare’s tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet”. The film was filmed on different locations in Split and then edited in the premises of the Kino Klub Split.

Die Schwestern / The Sisters
Director: Manfred Hoschek, Sigrid Smejkal
Austria, 2009
Duration: 70 min.

With the appearance of bearded men in nuns’ costumes, collecting money for the needy members of the gay community, the Sistory of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” started in San Francisco at Easter 1979. Since than, the Sisters have developed a wide network of “Houses” and “Orders” in numerous countries. They support gay, lesbian and transgender organizations as well as Aids projects.


Assume nothing
Director: Kirsty MacDonald
New Zeeland, 2009
Duration: 81 min.

Inspired by the photographs of acclaimed New Zealand photographer Rebecca Swan, the candid, provocative, and genre-blurring documentary Assume Nothing focuses on the art and performances of five “alternative” gender artists of Maori, Samoan-Japanese, and Pakeha/European descent, posing the question: “What if “male” and “female” are not the only options?”

Director: Jake Yuzna
Cast: Jendeen Forberg, Daniel Luedtke
USA, 2010 (Teddy Award Winner 2010)
Duration: 87 min.

A queer road-movie-transsexual romance. In his feature film debut, director Jake Yuzna spectacularly combines all kinds of gender crossing permutations. One of the film’s protagonists is the young hermaphrodite Cynthia. It’s not until Cynthia meets Gen and Jay, that she first hears the term pandrogony. She promptly leaves her husband and sets off with Jay and Gen on a road trip that takes her through what’s left of the American dream of the twentieth century. Film received Teddy Bear Award at Berlinale 2010.

William S. Burroughs: A Man Within
Director: Yony Leyser
USA, 2009
Duration: 87 min.

The film investigates the life of legendary beat author and American icon, William S. Burroughs. Born the heir of the Burroughs’ adding machine estate, he struggled throughout his life with addiction, control systems and self. He was forced to deal with the tragedy of killing his wife and the repercussions of neglecting his soon. His novel, Naked Lunch, was one of the books to be banned by the U.S. government. Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer testified on behalf of the book. The courts eventually overturned their decision in 1966, ruling that the book had important social value. It remains one of the most recognized literary work of the 20th century.

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