The annual Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival returns to Shrewsbury this weekend. The three day festival takes place between Friday 6 and Sunday 8 October in the county town and features a host of films from across the world.
Friday 6 October
7:30pm - Opening Ceremony with Deputy Mayor of Shrewsbury, Cllr. Peter Nutting.
8pm - Gods Own Country (plus short film Wherever You Are)
Spring. Yorkshire, England. Johnny Saxby, a 25-year-old sheep farmer, has sacrificed going away to college or getting a job in town to run the family farm for his ailing father, Martin (Ian Hart), and stoic grandmother Deirdre (Gemma Jones), numbing the daily frustration of his desolate life with binge drinking and casual sex. As lambing season approaches, Martin hires a Romanian migrant worker, Gheorghe, to assist the already exhausted Johnny.
Johnny bitterly resents Gheorghe, stubbornly insisting he can cope on his own, but Gheorghe proves he not only understands this farming life, but more importantly, he understands Johnny.
Saturday 7 October
11am - Who’s Gonna Love Me Now (15) (with Q&A)
Saar is an HIV positive gay man living in London, where he found refuge from the religious kibbutz where he grew up in Israel. Ever since he was diagnosed with HIV, Saar has craved his family’s love, while they struggle with fears and prejudices.
Saar and the rest of the London Gay Men’s Chorus provide a glorious soundtrack for this documentary about the power of forgiveness and the power that home has, no matter how far we go.
2pm - UK Short Film Programme (Free Event)
The Hardest Word - George Montague is fighting for an apology over his arrest in 1974 under anti gay laws. This is his story...
Dusk - Growing up in 1950s England in an intolerant and uninformed world, young Chris Winters struggles to fit into the gender roles dictated by wider society.
A more than tough childhood left behind, Chris meets dream woman Julie, and life lightens a little, but the growing feeling that theirs is a life half lived haunts Chris. Endlessly imagining what might have been, Chris is finally struck by the realisation that for some decisions there is no right answer, and that it’s those that truly define us.
Not The Devil - It’s the early 90’s and Andrew, who lives on an East-London council estate, has become obsessed with his neighbour Jo. Andrew is exploring his identity and is in search of guidance. Jo spends much of her time alone, protecting herself from the outside world. One day Andrew decides to follow Jo, determined to be the centre of her attention one way or another. He succeeds, but things don’t go the way he expected.
Oh Be Joyful - Rita is about to kick the bucket, but before she does she’s got one last job to do: drag her granddaughter out of the closet.
When A Man Loves A Woman - Amanda awakes from a one-night stand with woman she can’t get away from quickly enough. Her gay friend Nick calls telling her his mother is paying a surprise visit, bringing her Victorian values with her. Will Amanda play along and bury her pride by pretending to be his girlfriend?
The Carer - Ari, a sophisticated and urbane Gay man, moves into a care home and encounters Beau, the beautiful, heterosexual, illiterate former thief who is now his Carer. Their unlikely meeting changes the future for both of them.
4pm - Lecture - Looking Awry: Representing Bixesual Desires On Screen
Taking a ride through cinema’s invocations of bisexuality, from well-known Hollywood neo- noir thrillers to underground queer filmmaking to the extremities of European art cinema, let’s take a moment to consider representations of bisexual desire on screen.
5:30pm - While You Weren’t Looking (plus short film Cocoon)
South Africa led the world with its all embracing Constitution, granting homosexuals unprecedented freedoms and rights. This feature, produced by the Out In Africa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, takes a look at South Africa through the lives and experiences of a cross section of Cape Town queers.
Twenty years into the New South Africa ageing academic Mack looks for Salute, the young freedom fighter he sheltered and loved. Salute has moved on, he is Joe, married and with a child, rising in government and Party structures.
Dez and Terri, a mixed-race couple married 20 years and adoptive parents, they are the trailblazing lesbians of the New South Africa. But, have these freedoms guaranteed them happiness?
Asanda, their 18 year old adopted daughter, is the poster child for South Africa’s diversity but describes herself as “an experiment”, being made up as she goes along. She meets Shado, an enigmatic Tommy Boy from Khayalitsha, a township on the edge of Cape Town, and a different picture of the New South Africa emerges.
Beautifully shot on locations in and around Cape Town in 24 days, with a stellar South African cast and a line up of great local music and the work of South African artists on display.
8pm - Tangerine (15)
It’s Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend hasn’t been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the sex worker and her best friend, Alexandra, embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor.
Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles, including an Armenian family dealing with their own repercussions of infidelity.
A decidedly modern Christmas tale told on the streets of L.A., TANGERINE defies expectation at every turn.
Sunday 8 October
11am - The Summer of Sangailé (plus short film Planet Love)
17 year-old Sangaile, is fascinated by stunt planes. Afraid of heights, she has never dared to even enter in one of the cockpits. At a summer aeronautical show, nearby her parents’ lakeside villa, she meets Auste – a local girl of her age, who unlike Sangaile, lives her life to the full with creativity and dare.
Realizing that Sangaïle’s suffering is due to her supposedly impossible dream of becoming a stunt pilot, Austé encourages her to finally realize her dream. Will Sangaile accept Austé’s help and overcome herself to transform her fears into strength?
1:30pm - International Short Film Programme (Free Event)
Eadrainn Féin - A son and his traditional Irish father struggle to find common ground after the son starts questioning his gender identity in rural Ireland.
Girl Night Stand - A young woman who questions her sexuality after her first one night stand with another woman.
Sign - Using silent vignettes, music, and sign language, “Sign” uniquely tells the story of a relationship between Ben, a hearing man, and Aaron, who is deaf.
Home - Hava’s brothers decide to divide their paternal property. According to traditional customs, the right to inheritance belongs to male descendants only whereas Hava has no right to inherit. The eldest brother is obligated to find a husband for his sister. Hava must be married and live at her husband’s house.
Time For Tea - A retired Chinese general receives an unusual visit from his grandson.
3:30pm - Signature Move (plus short film The First Session)
Signature Move is a hilarious and heartfelt look at modern families and the complexities of love in its many forms. Zaynab is a thirty-something Pakistani, Muslim, lesbian lawyer living in Chicago who begins a new romance with Alma, a confident and vivacious Mexican-American woman.
Zaynab’s recently widowed mother Parveen has moved in and spends her days watching Pakistani TV dramas while searching for a potential husband for her only daughter. Alma’s mother, Rosa, is a former professional Luchadora which Zaynab finds fascinating as she has recently taken up lucha-style wrestling training with a former pro wrestler, Jayde. Zaynab tries to keep both her love life and her wrestling a secret from her Muslim mother, who knows more than she lets on.
6pm - Théo & Hugo
Theo and Hugo encounter each other in a sex club, where their overwhelming desire creates an unexpected intimacy.
Leaving the club they drift down the deserted streets of nocturnal Paris, but reality suddenly confronts them in an unexpected way. Do they want to know more about each other? Can their trust be rewarded? Will love come with the dawn of a new day?
Told in real time this authentic tale of love and intimacy is Ducastel & Martineau’s (Cockles & Muscles, Drôle de Félix, Ma Vie, Born in ‘68) most ambitious film to date and a candid insight into 21st century gay life.
For more information visit rainbowfilmfestival.org.uk. Tickets are on sale now.
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