LGBT Cinema at DIFF 2016
by Alex Garcia Topete
In recent years, the issues of gender and sexuality have left the fringes to become a matter of public interest, from gay marriage to questions of discrimination and freedom. However, such discussions usually miss the most important aspect of gender and sexuality—that these issues are intimately related to identity and the human condition. The filmmakers behind several of DIFF 2016’s LGBT-related films seek to remind audiences of this fact.
OTHER PEOPLE explores the issue of homosexuality and acceptance, both by the lead character David and the those close to him who love him—namely his family and particularly his mother.
LATE BLOOMERS, Julia Dyer’s film in its 20th anniversary, resonates today even more so than it did when it was first premiered. Featuring the love relationship between two women who work at a high school, the story as a whole unfolds as an exploration of personal discovery and the mythical “pursuit of happiness”.
ARIANNA focuses on the journey of introspection and tribulations of a teenage girl who finds herself biologically stunted, which fuels her drive to find answers and find her identity amidst a shroud of mystery and a puzzled past.
VIVA presents a clash between an estranged father and his son who’s a rising star in the drag queen scene of Cuba. Director Paddy Breathnach crafts a family drama that dresses up as an exploration of the drag culture in Latin America.
Christopher LaMarca’s and Jessica Dimmock’s THE PEARL documents the struggles and triumphs of the spirit of middle-aged transgender women as they become who they are after existing as men in a hypermasculine society, based on mutual support, courage, and unabashed honesty.
Ultimately, all of these movies aren’t just “LGBT”—they’re human, all too human stories.
DALLAS STAR AWARDOscar-nominated cinematographer Ed Lachman’s selected credits as a cinematographer include the Emmy nominated HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce and films including DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, and the Academy Award nominated film, CAROL.
DALLAS MAVERICK AWARDOur inaugural honoree, director, editor and producer Monte Hellman, has a career that spans six decades. He has exemplified cutting-edge filmmaking across multiple genres, working with budgets, from high-to-low, and with casts featuring stars to complete unknowns.