The eighth edition of Sicilia Queer Filmfest – the festival dedicated to gender issues that is due to take place from 31 May to 6 June in Palermo – will open with Samouni Road by Stefano Savona (just awarded best documentary at Cannes) and will close with Knife + Heart by Yann Gonzalez (also in competition on the Croisette).
Author of this year's event trailer is Swiss-born Lionel Baier, who will be at the festival to present the national premiere of Shock Waves - First Name: Mathieu in the Panorama Queer section, which tells the story of a serial killer and an attempted homicide in Switzerland in the 1980s. In the same non-competitive section – which brings together the best feature films with queer themes (or with spiritually queer themes due to an innovative or irreverent streak) – is Spanish director Carlos Marques-Marcet’s romantic comedy, Anchor and Hope, which will be screened following an introduction by the director himself. Also in the section is the German-Israeli film The Cakemaker by Ofir Raul Graizer, which promises to question our definitions of religion, sexuality and nationality and the Portuguese film Al Berto by Vicente Alves do Ó, which tells the story of an intimate and universal revolution in post-revolutionary Portugal. Among the Italian titles included in the section are '77 No Commercial Use by Luis Fulvio, which reconstructs the vital and rebellious spirit of 1977, the year of his birth, and The Prince by Raffaele Passerini.
Among the eight feature films in the running for the international Nuove Visioni competition (€1,000 prize for first and second feature films that don’t necessarily have to be related to LGBT issues, but which represent new views on reality) are the French titles The Wild Boys by Betrand Mandicoand a comedy that plays on cultural differences, Occidental by Neïl Beloufa, the Swiss film Blue My Mind by Lisa Brühlmann and the Danish film Team Hurricane by Annika Berg. The festival also includes a short-film competitive section called Queer Short, which is composed of 16 short films. The festival also includes a Presenze section, with a full retrospective on the French director and actor Jacques Nolot, two sections on Italian Retrovie cinema history (with the presence of Gianni Amelio) a Carte postale à Serge Daney (the great French film critic who used to run the French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma), and an Eterotopie section,which is dedicated to Lebanon this year and will be screening Mazen Khaled’s debut film, Martyr (Lebanon-Italy), presented at the Biennale College during the last edition of Venice Film Festival.
The Nino Gennaro Award, awarded to an artist or intellectual distinguished due to his or her work and commitment to the international dissemination of queer culture, goes to German-born Wolfgang Tillmans this year, the first non-British photographer to win the prestigious Turner Prize in 2000.