Tuesday 3 April 2012

Highlights from the upcoming Fringe film festival

Fringe, “London’s alternative gay film festival” is back in art and cinema venues across east London and will be running from Thursday 12th April to Sunday 15th April.  I’ve had a look at the programme and am impressed by its diversity in discipline and subject matter: the festival comprises art exhibitions, panel discussions, outreach and community initiatives, exercise and dance events, the screening of classic films as well as UK premieres and a theoretical approach which covers everything including pop, porn, popcorn and politics in one way or another. Visit the official festival site for a full rundown of things to do and see, dates and times.

I’ve picked out some of the films that particularly caught my eye:

- Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE
- Dir. Veronica Keder, Israel, 2011, 80 min
A dark indie comedy about two girls who fall in love with their country and with each other en route from Tel Aviv to Sderot. Israels lesbian answer to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid. Described by AfterEllen as "Totally off-kilter, sexy and stylish in a distinctly grungy, almost '90s sort of way, Joe + Belle is the story of two young women who meet and fall in love under bizarre, darkly hilarious circumstances. If you like your comedy offbeat, and your leading ladies slightly crazy, you really can’t go wrong here."

- Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
- Dir. Dr Dagmar Schultz, Germany, 2012, 84min
‘I am a black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,’ begins Audre Lorde addressing a small group in Berlin, where she led the way to defining the Afro-German movement and left a legacy of strength, constructive difference and the genuine urgent warmth of her personality. This documentary incorporates archive material and interviews with Dagmar Schultz’s previously unreleased personal video archive, creating a portrait fortified by activism and stunning in its insight into her private world. Lorde’s own voice shines through this inspiring film, filling us with her poetry and conviction.

- Rio Cinema, 103-107 Kingsland Road, London E8 2PB
- Dir. Angela Tucker, USA, 2011, 75 mins
(A)sexual follows the growth of a community that experiences no sexual attraction. Studies show that 1% of the population is asexual. But in a society obsessed with sex, how do you deal with life as an outsider? In 2000, David Jay came out to his parents. He was asexual and was fine with it. And he was not alone. Combining intimate interviews, verite footage, and animation with fearless humor and pop culture imagery, David and our four other characters grapple with this universal question and the outcomes might surprise you. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Michael J Dore and members of AVEN UK (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network).

And, last but hardly least....
- XOYO, 32-37 Cowper Street, London EC2A 4AW
Short film screening and a discussion on the theme of lesbian generations hosted by international art magazine Girls Like Us. The afternoon will bring together films from around the world along with a discussion between GLU editor Jessica Gysel and Lisa Gornick - artist, filmmaker and star of inter-generational lesbian drama "The Owls." Girls Like Us paraphernalia will be on sale throughout the day along with a sneak peak of the new issue! This event is curated by Nicole Emmenegger and Sandra Le.