Lotus Sports Club

Filmed in Cambodia over the course of 5 years, “Lotus Sports Club”, is an inspiring coming-of-age story. In its center is Leak, a teenage trans man who plays football in the under-21s women’s team of Kampong Chhnang, and Pa Vann, the trans coach and father-figure to Leak and other LGBTQ+ players on the team. 61-year-old Pa Vann established the football team in 2009 to encourage solidarity among straight, lesbian and gender-diverse players. He also opened his home to the more vulnerable and often homeless teenagers, including Leak, thus providing these LGBTQ+ players a safe place to be themselves.
After living with Pa Vann for many years, Leak, driven by the pressure to make more money for his family and forced off the football team because of his age, takes the heart-breaking decision to move to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, leaving behind the one person he loves the most.

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.


Jeannette isn’t like anyone you’ve met before. She’s a bodybuilder, personal trainer, single mother, lesbian and one of the survivors of the massacre at the Pulse club in Orlando, Florida where 49 people were killed and 53 injured.
This film begins at the wake of that tragedy and follows Jeannette’s journey to healing, as she finds support and solace through the community. The film gives us a glimpse of the tense relationship between Jeannette and her conservative mother who refuses to accept her daughter’s sexuality, as well as Jeannette’s trip to Puerto Rico to help her family after a devastating hurricane.
Director Maris Curran opens a window into the life of one strong, brave, but also vulnerable woman. Curran shows the complex and humane character of Jeannette and all its aspects, and her way of dealing with the trauma and loss after the terrible massacre. The result is empowering and brings to the light an inspiring woman.

Additional screening: Rosh Pina Cinematheque 28.10, 16:00

Breaking the Ice

29.10 and 30.10 screenings include Q&A with the director

Director Clara Stern’s debut film “Breaking the Ice” premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Festival. In this film Stern brings to the screen a story of what happens when someone with a very rigid and uncompromising view on life meets the exact opposite – the side she yearns to live and experience.
Alina Schaller is Mira, who sometimes seems to be carrying the weight of the entire world on her shoulders. She’s the captain of a women’s ice hockey team and the heiress to the barely financially surviving vineyard. She is taking care of her grandfather, whose Alzheimer is progressing rapidly, and her younger, irresponsible brother, Paul, returns home after being gone for a long while.
When a new, spontaneous, free-spirited young woman joins the team, Mira finds herself being swept into a surprising and freeing affair, maybe even more freeing than she can actually afford to have.
Breaking the Ice” is a romantic sport drama about the freedom to be who you are with no limitations.

Additional screening: Rosh Pina Cinematheque 2.11, 20:30
Jerusalem Cinematheque, 2.11 – 19:00

In association with the Austrian Cultural Forum

The Revenge of the Shiny Shrimps

A sequel to the successful 2019 dramatic comedy “The Shiny Shrimps”.
This time the queer water-polo team are on their way to Japan, to take part in the LGBT games in Tokyo, when their plane is detained in the heart of Russia, in a particularly homophobic area. The fun trip to Japan turns into a life changing experience that will give the protagonists a new perspective on their reality.
This is an unusual sequel that chooses to confront the merry French bunch that is living a fairly safe and free life in Paris with the hard reality that is the lives of LGBT people living in East Europe. The team is facing many troubles they have never faced before, such as the dangers of using Grindr in Russia, an incarceration in a conversion camp, and raging and violent homophobia.

The scenes set in Russia were actually shot in the Ukraine, and some of the Ukrainian actors who played Russian characters had found themselves later fighting against the Russian invasion.

In association with the French Institute