The weekend was so packed with films and people that I had to take the Monday off. The 6th Bangalore Queer Film Festival ended this Sunday, 2nd March 2014. It was an amazing experience, my first time, and I am already decided not to miss it ever (well, ever is too long), say miss it for a few years to come.
To introduce about the festival first, it is about films which are based on alternate sexuality which is not mainstream, yet. The festival also showcases talents from the community, photographers, dancers, poets and the like. This was my first time, but I came to know all these years the venue is always the same, Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Vasanthnagar. The venue is a charming place and very apt for such a colourful and multi-cultured event. This post is about my experience at the festival, for more information on the festival, please visit http://blrqueerfilmfest.com.
I was there at the festival on both the days of the weekend, though it started on Friday, but my working hours prevented me from attending on a Friday. I have seen 7 films in total, and following are my short reviews.
- Pas, USA: Very short and very creatively directed film. No words, everything is expressed with ballet steps. Funny and expressive.
- Frangipani, Sri Lanka: Well directed, but not-so-new story. It was a little dragging in between, and the flash-back and present story lines were not so much differentiated, which made it little confusing at times. Acting was superb. The film tried to deal with a lot of issues together and hence the story got quite complicated. Definitely worth a watch.
- Damned If You Don’t, USA: Not a new film. The initial old video effect makes you little bit nauseous, and after a while you start fearing that your eyes are going for a toss. But, if you can sit through the torture, the film can be quite a challenge to your brains. I am sure by the time it is over, you can relax your eyes and your brain will realize that it was the story of an enchanting seductress.
- The Invisible Men, Israel: It is real documentary and not a film. Well shot, well edited; the shaky camera never seemed so perfect. And the fact that the film ends in a hopeful note leaves everyone happy.
- Just Two Steps Away, India: The film which I was luckily a part of. Made by my friend, it did not disappoint me. Story was ok, but what made the film stand out were its quirky dialogues, awesome background score and good editing (because I saw how it was shot). On the minus was the voice sound, that needs to be improved a lot. And personally, I missed wide shots, everything was so close-up, it seemed like an interview sometimes. Worth a watch (maybe in a less crowded place).
- Cannibales (Cannibals), Spain: The shocker of a film. Until the end you will not know what is happening, shot in a park, with a hand-held camera, the message this film gives cannot be simpler, more direct and more shocking. The background music builds the tension very effectively. The film even uses the ending credits to add to the story, which was very creative. The best one I have watched at this festival.
- I’ve Only Just Begun, Finland: A music video with a strong message. About how the alternate gender people fight against religious institutions and social stigma up to a road to St. Petersburg, Russia.
Coming to the performances, I missed the day one performances of piano and poetry reading. The day two performances were splendid. There was so much energy on the stage that it will keep you wondering what energy drink keeps them going. It was a mixture of classical, semi-classical and contemporary Bollywood dance, and who will not be entertained by that!
Then there was a lot of social networking, well for others, if not me. I am not much of a “social butterfly” (as another friend is), and hence I keep to myself at gatherings like this. I came to understand that I know a lot of people by face, some of them came and talked to me, some of them did not. I was happy meeting a few people whom I have never met or met more than three years back. I was happy that few people did not come and talk to me because I have forgotten their names. I was happy to have known nice people around, and more importantly, I was happy to see some quality films.
P.S.: Reviews need not be taken seriously, take them in jest.