Three Nights A Week

The surprising comic and romantic drama of the year brings to the big screen a refreshing and stigma breaking character.
Cookie Kunty is a talented Parisian drag queen. Everyone who is familiar with the world of drag knows how hard it is for drag queens to find love. Therefore, when Cookie meets 29 years old Baptiste, she finds it hard to believe that he’s interested in her, but Baptiste is immediately mesmerized by Cookie. At first he’s driven by the idea of creating a photography project with Cookie and sinks into her world, but eventually starts to develop a relationship with Quentin, the young man behind the drag queen. The problem is, Baptiste has never been in a relationship with a man before and he is in a long term relationship with Samia, a hospital nurse, who also works at the HIV clinic.
In his debut film director Florent Gouëlou provides the audience a cinematic experience rich in colors and music, and featuring a different and surprising love story, which is also a coming out story, the likes of which was never before seen on the big screen. Actor Pablo Pauly is wonderful as Baptiste and Romain Eck as Cookie/Quentin builds a moving and complex character.
The result is pure enjoyment and it is certainly no surprise that “Three Nights a Week” was chosen as the opening film of the 2022 Critics’ Week of the Venice Film Festival.

Additional clip from the movie

Wonderfully Made ~ LGBTQ+R(eligion)

Yuval David and his partner Mark McDermott’s debut full length documentary describes the difficulties of many Catholic LGBTQ people in light of the official church’s stand on homosexuality. The film focuses on the Catholic church in particular, since it’s one of the largest religious organizations in the world and has very strong views against the LGBTQ community.
The film includes interviews with leading supporters of Catholic LGBTQ members, amongst them a pioneer lesbian nun, an openly gay priest, former USA ambassador to the Vatican and other leaders and influential activists.
At the same time, the film documents an art project that creates an unprecedented photographic iconography, presenting LGBTQ members from different ethnic backgrounds, sexual preferences and genders, all undergoing auditions to play Jesus Christ. The actors’ journey takes the audience on a voyage of search and change through the power of art.

Interviewees: fmr. Ambassador Miguel Díaz, Marianne Duddy-Burke, Sister Jeannine Gramick, Natalia Imperatori-Lee, Father James Martin, Father Bryan Massingale, Xorje Olivares, Cathy Renna, Jason Steidl, Stanley “J.R.” Zerkowski
Actors/Models: Glori Dei Filippone, Justin Flo, Omi Ford, Matthew Menendez, Tristan Shuler, Regan Teller, Kyle Glen Ullsperger, Maxwell Vice, Kamaria Monee Williams, S.J, Sister Jeannine Grammick.
Additional interviewees: Lindsay Adler, Brendan Cannon, Amy Gossels, Ross Murray

Q&A after the screenings with Director Yuval David, Producer Mark McDermott, and composer Ariel Blumenthal.

Party after the screening at – SCHNITT BREWING COMPANY – Haarbaa 12 St

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In From the Side

When Warren, a professional rugby player, is injured and sent to play with a local gay rugby team as part of his rehabilitation, things get tense. No one on his new team wants his place taken by the newcomer, Mark – one of the team’s leaders, in particular. But then suspicion turns to lust between the two, and personal loyalties are put to the test, as they try to hide their budding romance, not only from their partners, but their teammates as well.
Alexander Lincoln and Alexander King supply hypnotic performances as the two lovers, supported by a wonderful cast ensemble.
In From the Side” is the surprising romantic sports drama you didn’t expect. Even if you’ve never played or watched rugby before, you will be drawn into this muddy, sweaty and emotional rollercoaster.

Where Butterflies Don’t Fly

A surprising debut film by Roman Němec comes from the Czech Republic, a country that isn’t known for its thriving LGBTQ cinematic scene.
Daniel is a 19 years old student, he doesn’t get along with his parents, doesn’t have many friends and generally keeps his distance from other people. This is not surprising for a feminine gay youth in a very machoistic and convservative society. As graduation approaches, Daniel finds himself on a school camping trip, lead by the handsome teacher Adam – a gay man who is in a secret relationship with his partner David. Both Daniel and Adam live each in his own bubble, until they find themselves in mortal danger, when they get trapped in a huge cave system. Lost and cut off from the rest of the world, as time and food runs out, two men from different worlds and backgrounds form an unexpected connection, as they fight for their survival.

Screenings include Q&A with the director and the lead actor.

In association with the Czech Centre Tel Aviv

Finlandia

The ‘Muxes’ are a unique group of people in Oaxaca state in Mexico. They are an example of a third gender, and proof that gender norms are a lot more fluid than what we might think.
“Finlandia” is a spectacular film about a community not many people know. Marta is a fashion designer who is assigned to explore this vibrant muxes community for ideas for a new fashion line of a high fashion company. She pretends to be a curious Spanish tourist and befriends the heads of the community, while hiding her real intentions. As the friendship between Marta and her new acquaintances becomes stronger, she begins to question the integrity of her assignment.
In his debut film, director Horacio Alcalà brings to the big screen the breathtaking views of the southern Mexican desert and combines artistic and visual cinema with a sweeping melodrama full of love for the Muxes community.

In association with the Embassy of Mexico

Becoming Charlie

Becoming Charlie” is a short web-series about a search for identity.
Discovering their non-binary identity takes not only Charlie, but everyone close to them out of their comfort zone, and shakes up some seemingly unshakeable truths.
Charlie, in their early 20’s, are still living with their mother Rowena, who has no control over her own life or finances, both she and Charlie move from one job to the next. It seems the only let out for Charlie is rap music. Charlie is working as a courier and realises more and more that everyone’s expectations of them don’t resonate with what they’re feeling. On top of that, there’s tension in the family – Rowena’s sister Fabia tries to collect some old overdue debts and causes a chain reaction.
Charlie finds themselves wondering more and more “Where do we belong?”

Courtesy of ZDF

In association with Goethe Institut

Neon Spring

Laine is 20 years old and loves techno rave parties. Her parents are each deep in their own world and barely speak to each other. Even though she lives with her father, she is the one taking care of her mischievous younger brother. Laine yearns to connect with her emotionally distant father, but mostly gets a cold shoulder. She finds release in the underground techno scene of Riga. There Laine meets young men and women who are just like her and even falls in love. The more things turn bleak at home, the more Laine gets swallowed by the party scene and puts herself and those close to her in danger.
Neon Spring” is a coming of age film about finding your place in the world, looking to belong and the desperate need for human connection. Even though the film deals with complex issues, its approach is fresh, daring and very surprising, considering its country of origin.
Portraying Laine is the very impressive Marija Luize Melke, who also co-wrote the script with director Matiss Kaza. The result is an unapologetic and complex youth experience.

Viewing is 18+ due to to scenes of sexual violence and drug abuse.

Director in attendance.

El Houb – The Love

In “El Houb – The Love” we meet Karim, a Moroccan-Dutch successful businessman, who decides to come out to his conservative Muslim parents after an ultimatum from his partner. In order to make them listen to him, he barricades himself in the family home pantry, the closet with household appliances, canned food and the main electric board. While he’s hiding in the closet, Karim relives childhood memories, negotiates with his partner and participates in a long overdue battle with his parents and brother trying to change their conservative attitudes.
El Houb – The Love” is loosely based on the real life experiences and theater work of Fahd Larhzaoui who portrays Karim.
Lovely guest appearances by Lubna Azabal (“Incendies”, “Tel Aviv on Fire”) as Karim’s tough and traditional mother who keeps trying to feed him Moroccan sweets even while threatening to disown him, and by Slimane Dazi, the French-Moroccan actor as Karim’s sensitive father.
El Houb – The Love” is a film that is all heart.

Lonesome

Kasey (Josh Lavery) is a young country boy who’s making his way to Sydney. Until he will reach his destination he travels through rural Australia, steals alcohol and has sex with strangers in bathrooms of truck stops on the long endless Australian roads. When he finally makes it to Sydney, his small town mentality and big cowboy hat draw the wrong kind of attention. He signs up to a dating app and becomes very popular – through that app he meets a young attractive man named Tib (Daniel Gabriel) with whom he has an immediate physical connection. Kasey moves in to live on Tib’s couch and helps him do odd jobs around the city. The two get close enough to share emotional wounds, and will discover that together loneliness becomes more bearable, but is this the start of a real relationship?
Lonesome” is one of the more sexualy graphic films of the TLVFest, but it’s also a very sensitive film about the search for affection, belonging and fulfillment against a great loss.

Viewing is 18+ due to explicit sex scenes.

In association with the Embassy of Australia

The Phantom of the Sauna

While searching for a job suitable for a young gay man who just arrived to Madrid, Javi enters a local sauna, where he meets the owner, her strange son and their horny clients.
Javi will soon discover the place is full of secrets, the biggest one being a man hiding in the bowels of the sauna where no one goes, and that he is destined to fall in love with – The Phantom of the Sauna.
This camp musical is a wonderfully sweet treat that brings to the silver screen an over the top gay romance. The one and only Antonia San Juan, who played Agrado in Pedro Almodovar’s masterpiece “All About My Mother”, is the sauna owner. Another sparkly guest appearance is by Supremme De Luxe, the Spanish version of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” host.
Prepare your glitter!

In association with the Embassy of Spain