Montreal’s Image+Nation International Film Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and officially opens tonight with an invite only launch and after-party. All films will be presented at Cinéma du Parc from now until December 2nd and a full schedule can be found on the Image+Nation website.
This year’s opening party is happening TONIGHT and will be hosted by Bea Arthur Bogue with performances by 2Fik as well as Social Services and Local Honey all the way from Boston beginning at 9pm at Peopl (390 Notre Dame O.) More Details here.
Here are The Gaily’s Top Picks for this year’s festival:
I Want Your Love, Director Travis Matthews
Saturday 24 November 19:00
After a decade of living in San Francisco, Jesse is forced to move back to his Midwestern roots because he can no longer afford the city. On his final night in the city, friends and ex-lovers gather for a going away party that promises to heighten Jesse’s already bittersweet feelings about leaving. Travis Mathews is an award-winning filmmaker whose movies focus on gay men, emotional honesty and intimacy. His films have screened internationally, in festivals, on cable television and numerous blogs including Butt Magazine. He’s been enthusiastically noted as an emerging filmmaker to watch by such diverse publications as MacLife, IndieWIRE and Fleshbot. Informed with a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a background in documentary, Travis takes a thoughtful and naturalistic approach to filmmaking while maintaining a sense of humor about it all. He was awarded best film honors at The Good Vibrations Indie Erotic FIlm festival in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
How to Survive a Plague, Director, David France
Saturday 1 December, 17:00
David France’s documentary traces ordinary citizens organizing an extraordinary response to an overwhelming public health tragedy, in this enthralling sequel of sorts to last year’s We Were Here. ACT UP and its splinter cell, the Treatment Action Group (TAG), began navigating and then targeting different AIDS-related legal, political and medical minefields. Condom raisings and “die-ins” challenged a toxic environment of apathy and virulent prejudice, while cultivating grassroots awareness, education and training for caregivers and PWAs alike. The power of radical politics also rapidly streamlined clinical drug trials, research methods and pharmaceutical Time-To-Market business frameworks. Indeed, the AIDS crisis transformed doctor/healthcare professional and patient relationships, radically altering the health services landscape. It usually takes around fifteen to twenty years before we are ready to deal with any massive human catastrophe, from the Holocaust to the Vietnam War; and France’s enormously engaging, inspirational and instructive documentary is right on schedule. France’s heavy reliance on home movies and rare documentary footage puts us at the epicentre of “The Gay Plague”. It also finally acknowledges lesbian activism and contributions, so frequently omitted from AIDS narratives. Forewarned is forearmed as they say, and we’ll be ready – the next time. – B. Pereira – Presented in collaboration with AIDS Community Care Montreal.
Une Dernière Chance, Director Paul Émile d’Entremont
Thursday 22 November 19:00
Une dernière chance is director Paul Émile d’Entremont’s NFB documentary about people seeking political asylum in Canada due to persecution in their homelands because of sexual orientation or gender identity. The film depicts five individuals going through the emotional hardship and red tape of trying to remain in Canada while confronting the violence they’ve experienced at home. As the documentary shifts from narrative to narrative, it also explores the inquiry process that refugee claimants must endure. Human rights activists and lawyers explain that prejudicial stereotypes are sometimes invoked to determine who is or isn’t gay. Here, these stereotypes have serious consequences, as claimants can be deported if they aren’t believed to be queer. The doc is also a testament of the vital role that community plays in these life-altering journeys.
Call Me Kuchu, Director, Katherine Fairfax-Wright & Malika Zouhali-Worrall
Saturday 24 November 15:00
A winner of multiple prestigious awards, Call Me Kuchu is a poignant, powerful portrait of renowned Ugandan LGBT activist, David Kato. It unveils an unholy alliance between The Family, an influential U.S.-based fundamentalist right-wing evangelical movement, and MP David Bahati’s efforts to introduce the notorious Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill, amidst a toxic national climate of social conservatism. Aside from the usual preoccupations with paedophilia, LGBT Ugandans are frequently depicted as political traitors, allegedly colluding with militant Islamists and Joseph Kony’s Christian fundamentalist Lord’s Liberation Army. However, Call Me Kuchu also reveals a highly organized and sophisticated queer movement that efficiently leverages outrage, an international human rights presence, and persistent global pressure.
Bye Bye Blondie, Director, Virginie Despentes
Saturday 24 November 19:00
Twelve years after her explosive debut, Baise-moi, Virginie Despentes is back with the decidedly lighter tale of two middle-aged women struggling to rekindle their teen-aged romance after three decades. 40-year-old Gloria (Béatrice Dalle) is still a volatile, art-punk drifter in the north-eastern city of Nancy. Frances (Emmanuelle Béart) has settled into a comfortably bourgeois life of marriage (to a gay man) and a career in television. With trouble brewing at work and a husband struggling with writer’s block, however, Frances impetuously summons Gloria to stay with her in Paris, searching for the magic she felt as a rebellious, love-struck teenager. Youth’s poignant intensity versus middle-aged nostalgia are evoked in alternating scenes from Gloria and Frances’ young love circa 1984, and the present.