Will-o’-the-Wisp

Renowned Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues’ new film was screened this year during the Director’s Fortnight event at the Cannes Film Festival. It is a queer musical full of humor, camp, sex and nudity.
In the not-so-near future (the year 2069), King Alfredo of Portugal, is reminiscing on his deathbed about his youthful, rebellious experience. It was a tough summer, the kingdom was consumed by massive wildfires and in those days Alfredo was a young, strong headed prince. He decides to join the fire brigade, to help with the national crisis, despite his family’s objections. In the field he has to deal with a tough commander who isn’t exactly welcoming, hunky firefighters who aren’t too thrilled with the royal addition – but Alfredo will also meet the love of his life and experiment with his most secret desires.
This is no doubt this year’s most fresh and light-hearted film by one of our time most intellectual and intelligent queer filmmakers.

The unique Portuguese filmmaker João Pedro Rodrigues was TLVFest’s guest in 2010 when we screened his films, amongst them the ground breaking “O Fortuna”(2000) and “To die like a man” (2009).

Viewing is 18+ due to nudity.

In association with the Embassy of Portugal

The Blue Caftan

Halim and Mina run a traditional caftan shop in one of Morocco’s oldest Medinas. Times have changed, working on a handmade caftan takes a long time and a lot of labor and customers are impatient. In order to meet demand they decide to hire an assistant, and that’s how Youssef comes to the shop. Youssef is very dedicated and very eager to learn the trade of caftan making from Halim, and Mina begins to notice how enchanted her husband is with the youth.
Winner of FIPRESCI Prize in Cannes Festival, “The Blue Caftan” is an elegant and splendid film, just as the caftans shown in it. Director Maryam Touzani accentuates the gentle script with some very fine acting, and delivers a kind movie about love and the freedom to be true to yourself.

The film is presented courtesy of Nahshon Films.

Continental Drift (South)

28.10 screening – Opening of the Master program

Natalie Adler is the EU representative to Sicily. She is responsible for organising a joint visit by French president Macron and German Kanzler Merkel in a local refugee camp. Their presence has a lot of symbolic value to show that everything is under control, but it seems nothing is. The German coordinator Ute, is also Natalie’s lover, there is of course the Italian bureaucracy, and let’s not forget Albert – Natalie’s son, who still hasn’t forgiven her for coming out and leaving his father, and who shows up unannounced in the refugee camp as a volunteer. He also has his own agenda, that isn’t going to help his mother, who’s barely holding on to her sanity as it is.
Swiss director Lionel Baier brings to the screen a satiric, biting and incredibly funny comedy about the not-so-united Europe, especially around the refugee crisis.
Natalie is portrayed by the wonderful French actress Isabelle Carré (“Delicious”, “Les Émotifs anonymes”), her son Albert is Théodore Pellerin (“Boy Erased”) and her German lover is Ursina Lardi (“The White Ribbon”).

Joyland

Docile and unemployed Heider Rana (Ali Junejo) is married to a working woman Mumtaz (Rasti Farooq). On the face of it he has a happy marital and comfortable home life, the couple live under the same roof as the rest of the Rana tribe.
After his father pressures him to find a job Heider gets one, as a backup dancer for Biba (Alina Khan), a trans woman who is part of a colorful entertainment show called ‘Joyland’. Through Biba, Heider begins to slowly open up and discover a new way of living. While Heider is living the dream Mumtaz is beginning to feel frustrated by the pressure of the conservartive society that expects her to stay at home and serve the family’s patriarch.
Joyland” is a bitter-sweet story of repression and the wish for self-fulfillment.

Additional screening: 5.11, 20:30 Cinematheque Herzliya

Burning Days

Turkish director Emin Alper’s film is a smart and political thriller with heavy homo-erotic undercurrents (no sex or daring nudity, but the intentional sexual tension between the two protagonists is sky high).
Emre is a young prosecutor in the Turkish Ministry of Justice, sent to a small town suffering a terrible drought and an even more terrible corruption. He can’t imagine what a mess he’s getting himself into when he decides to start investigating the mayor, his dodgy son and the surrounding them businessmen.
This is Emin Alper’s (one of Turkey’s current leading directors) fourth film and he has created a precise Hollywood thriller in an early David Fincher style, but instead of blue and cool hues this film is painted in the yellow, brown and red of the waterless village, hot and sweaty and leaving you choking.
Adding to the dense atmosphere is the exhilarating cinematography of Christos Karamanis, the precise editing and the end that will leave the audience gasping.

Interview with the director and lead actor.

Additional screening: Haifa Cinematheque 5.11.2022

Rodeo

Director & screenwriter/actress in attendance

Director Lola Quivoron’s debut film had rightly won the judges awards in the “Un Certain Regard” segment of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. It is one of the more entrancing films of the last year.
Julia is a young woman on the edges of society. She makes a living through petty crimes and has an endless passion for riding motorcycles. One hot summer day, an accident helps her make her way into a group of motorcyclists who get their thrills by riding hard and fast and perform acrobatics with no helmets on. This group of misfits is working for a mobster who is in prison and controls them from afar. Julia gains his trust through her talents in petty crimes, but then she meets his girlfriend and her son.
Julie Ledru is hypnotic in her debut role, and shows some real star quality. In her debut film Lola Quivoron delivers a breathtaking experience.

Additional screening: Haifa Cinematheque 2.11.2022

In association with the French Institute

Dodo

Dodo” is the new film by Greek master Panos H. Koutras, who brought us queer groundbreaking Greek films such as “Strella” (2009 TLVFest opening film) and “Xenia” (that screened during the 2015 TLVFest).
This time Koutras delivers a surprising melodrama, full of twists and highly entertaining. Dodo is the name of a bird that had been extinct for over 300 years. One night the bird mysteriously appears in a fancy villa of a down on its luck Athenian family. In two days they will celebrate the wedding of their daughter – a wedding that is critical to saving the family’s bleak financial situation. The presence of the long extinct bird rattles the family, the villa’s staff and others who cross its path.
Imagine the early 80’s great soap operas “Dallas” and “Dynasty” meet an extinct Dodo, throw into the mix queer characters and lots of plot twists and you get the very entertaining melodrama “Dodo”.

Additional screenings:
28.10, 19:45
Haifa Cinematheque
4.11, 21:00
Cinematheque Herzliya