Out In Africa
South Africa’s largest gay and lesbian film festival is this weekend
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Africa is a long way to go to see a film at the cinema. Yet that is exactly where hundreds of British gay and lesbian film buffs are heading this weekend – plus a few straight types too! Quite literally, they will be ‘Out in Africa’ for South Africa’s largest gay and lesbian film festival, which starts today and runs until the 1st of April.
But why go all the way to Cape Town or Johannesburg just to go to the cinema I hear you ask? For a start, the triple Oscar nominated film ‘Albert Nobbs’ will have its African première during the festival. Quite an accolade for a film which addresses various taboos from 19th Century Ireland including cross dressing and same sex marriage.... Glenn Close received her sixth Oscar nomination for her titular role as a woman passing as a man. Best Supporting Actress, Janet McTeer, also has a cross-dressing role.
The Festival will host three distinguished international guests. Lead actress and producer Dreya Weber will present ‘A Marine Story’. The winner of sixteen major awards, the drama reminds us of the US military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which damaged thousands of soldiers before being overturned in September 2011.
Weber, an ‘Out in Africa’ favourite since her role in ‘The Gymnast’, is a famous aerialist and choreographer who has performed at the Grammys and the Winter Olympics. She has also performed alongside legends such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and Pink.
The Swedish actor and producer Josefine Tengblad will present ‘Kyss Mig’ (Kiss Me), a lekker lesbofliek which was named Best Breakthrough Film by the American Film Institute last year. Tengblad worked with Lars von Trier on Dogville and Manderlay, and on the popular TV series Wallander.
Belgian director Bavo Defurne will present screenings of his film ‘North Sea Texas’, a coming-of-age / boy-next-door love story which was named Best Feature Début at the Montreal World Film Festival and won the Fipresci International Press Award.
South Africa’s own, Fanney Tsimong, completes the line-up. A former VUKA! Raw Talent Award winner, Tsimong wrote and directed ‘The Secret’ (Imfhilo), a contemporary humour-filled story about a married man in denial. The Secret will play with two South African short films: ‘Anders’ by Werner Coetzee, and Mthokozisi Lembethe’s ‘Paving Forward’, a short documentary about a 50-year-old dyke and her journey to acceptance.
With ‘last minute’ fares to South Africa at a little over £1,000, this trip to the cinema will be a journey too far for most people. BUT don’t worry if you’ve missed this month’s bash. Out in Africa switched to a new format this year which will see three mini-festivals take place in 2012. The second edition is planned for 27 July-5 August, with the third edition scheduled for 17-28 October.
Watch the trailers:
Kiss Me/Kyss Mig
9 Dead Gay Guys
Christopher and His Kind
My Last Round
For more information visit www.oia.co.za
Words: Andrew Samson