The Utrecht Film Festival will take place again from September 1 to 8 in various locations in the city. Programmer Max de Valk tells us what we can expect from this fifth edition.
This year’s theme is “Genders: Past, Present and Future”. Why did you choose that?
“We want to learn from the past, engage in conversations about queerness in contemporary society and take a critical look at the future. Moreover, it was a great opportunity to delve into the archives and show well-known classics. “I am very excited about our retrospective of New Queer Cinema, a queer film movement Independent from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s. “We are showing five films from this period and a 2018 documentary that takes a look at this period.”
Opening film Born in flames By Lizzie Borden, from 1983, is one of those five.
“Beats. It’s a really great movie that you don’t see very often these days. The story is set in a future New York, where one party is in power after a social democratic revolution. Women of color are rebelling against it. The film follows three feminist protest groups, each in their own way wanting to dismantle The system. This is still relevant and I love the activist character. Many of the actors are actually activists from that time.
Do contemporary queer films have a different character?
“Today they can be more politically correct. More polished. Which in itself is a big development, because now you see more films in it, for example A strange joy It is an important topic. In the past, it was often queer characters who died or at least never experienced happiness.
What do you pay attention to when programming new films?
“We want to show the diversity of queerness. People from the community need to feel represented on the big screen. This is the most important and can be done in many ways. There are no strict rules associated with this. The beautiful title this year is Nigerian Gay Drama All the colors of the world between black and white Written by Babatunde Abalo, about the complicated beginning of a love affair. Or the international premiere of a film HiddenMasterabout the strangely beautiful photography of George Platt Lenz.
What is the 10-minute challenge?
“We challenge aspiring filmmakers to produce 10-minute films that will premiere at the festival. They are guided through the making process, including workshops. One of the goals of QFFU is to provide a platform for queer filmmakers, and with this challenge we are doing just that.” Jurors will now evaluate their films, and three prizes will be awarded during the festival.
You also pay close attention to peripheral programming
“In this way we give depth to the films and look for additional connections with the community. For example, Jeffrey van der Veen offers a spoken word workshop after a screening of the title New Queer Cinema Tongues are not tied, a poetic documentary about the situation of black men living with HIV in the United States. Jeffrey reflects on the film with the participants. I’m really looking forward to it.
The full program can be found at www.qffu.nl
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