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QFFU x art200: Eastern European Queer Shorts (sold out)
September 2, 2023 @ 18:00 – 19:30
QFFU joins forces with the art200 International Queer Culture Festival to bring you the “Queer in Eastern Europe” program. The program features productions from Central and Eastern Europe that aim to explore how the queer body and imagination navigate the cultures specific to the post-socialist and post-Soviet space. These societies are often not perceived as not quite European or fully civilized, perpetually infantilized and seen as inferior in representations through the Western gaze. Gender identity and sexuality are often framed as topics that Eastern Europe must “catch up on”.
However, the films in this section aim to break away from this image. They avoid exoticizing cliches and narratives that solely focus on the oppression of queer bodies. Instead, they feature a dignified and self-aware world, in which individuals can share their own stories. Within this world, queer subjects become caring siblings within chosen families, BDSM partners in the domestic space of socialist apartments, or lovers lost and found. Melancholy and pain mix with humor and sass, allowing us a glimpse into these underrepresented contemporary lives.
Rosa Oomen, QFFU
This program is organised together with art200.
Behind the Door – Natalia Sara Skorupa (Poland, 6 minutes)
This is a short story about two queer people living in Poland. In a country where being queer is widely condemned, Andrea and Kornel can only truly be themselves within the confines of their home, behind closed doors. Within this private space, they adopt a slightly mocking approach, finding humor in the stereotypes surrounding queer people.
I Had Been Sleepwalking When I Saw All Those Colors – Bogdan Balla (Rumania, 11 minutes)
Inspired by Derek Jarman’s Section 28 installation, the film juxtaposes stories from the recent history of the Romanian queer community with present-day personal experiences. It intertwines these narratives with lyrical observations, shedding light on a present that remains largely concealed. The film serves as a reflection of the stark contrast between the silent realities of queer love and the sensationalized representation it often receives in public discourse.
Imprisoned – Piotr Bieliński (Poland, 20 minutes)
Batory is a trans man. We meet him when he is serving a prison sentence in the Warszawa-Grochów Detention Center for frequent travel by city train without a valid ticket and beating his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend. Batory shows us around his world—a world made up of bars and closed rooms.
Personality Under Construction – Bruno Lovrenčić (Croatia, 11 minutes)
As an actress prepares to step onto the stage, she delves deep into her subconsciousness. She begins to question her own past and reflects on her relationship with a friend, a connection that served as the foundation for the monodrama she is about to perform..
Sașa and Petre – Luca Istodor (Rumania,10 minutes)
I’s 1957 in communist Romania. Sașa recounts his 45-year-long relationship with Petre, during a period when homosexuality was criminalized.
Inside – Tamara Broćić (Serbia, 12 minutes)
Stefan is spending the summer in the countryside with his sister, helping their grandmother with seasonal work in the fields. This is where he meets a local boy, Marko, who brings about a personal discovery about himself.
Background film makers
Natalia Sara Skorupa is a student of the Szczecin art academy in the field of cinema. She won the Young Jury Award and Audience Award at the Short Waves Festival in the “Polish Film” section..
Bogdan Balla is a master student of Film directing at UNATC. His school films, “Notes on Hiding”, “Margins”, “I Was Sleepwalking When I Saw All Those Colors”, “Empire State Streaming” (for which he signs the editing) have been screened at festivals like CineMaIubit International Student Film Festival, Moldova Film Festival, Alternative Film / Video, ART200, BIEFF. He wrote for publications such as Film Menu, Sub25, IONCINEMA, Film New Europe and Fipresci and directed the performance “With Every Touch We Will Be Reborn” after a text by Mihaela Michailov. He was also selected in the fARAD documentary development laboratory and in the 2021-2022 Political Theater Season as an assistant director.
Piotr Bieliński was born in Warsaw in 1988. He studied Classics at Warsaw University, screenwriting at Łódź Film School and film directing at Krzysztof Kieślowski Film School at the University of Silesia in Katowice.
Bruno Lovrenčić was born in 1973 in Zagreb, Croatia. After completing high school in Tennessee, he returned to Croatia to study architecture. At the same time, he devoted a lot of his time to developing his skills in the art of illustration (comic, caricature and satirical drawing) and worked at the Croatia National Theatre as a spotlight operator.
Luca Istodor, a graduate of Harvard College in gender and sexuality studies, actively participates in the Romanian queer scene and collaborates with the Accept Association. Additionally, he is the founder of Super, a festival dedicated to films made by teenagers, and serves as the co-director of ART200, an international queer film festival in Bucharest.
His first animated documentary, “Sașa și Petre”, is based on an interview and is part of the project titled “A Space Just for Us.” The project is an anthology of queer love stories, published in 2020 by Hecate publishing house.
Tamara Broćić was born in 1995 in Belgrade, Serbia. She is a director of short films which have been screened at more than thirty film festivals and won several awards. Her work has been selected for workshops such as FILM + Development Lab (Romania), Filmer Forge (Bulgaria), ShorTS Development & Pitching Training (Italy), TaborPRO (Croatia) and others..
Original language title: Behind the Door
Directed by: Natalia Sara Skorupa
Running time: 6 mins
Content warning: Kink practice
Original language title: Eram somnambul când am văzut toate acele culori
Directed by: Bogdan Balla
Running time: 11 mins
Genre: Avant-Garde, Experimental
Content warning: Mentions of homophobia
Original language title: Uwięziona
Directed by: Piotr Bieliński
Running time: 20 mins
Awards: Paul Calinescu Documentary Award at the CineMAiubit International Student Short Film Festival in Romania
Content warning: Misgendering, transphobia
Original language title: Ličnost u izgradnji
Directed by: Bruno Lovrenčić
Running time: 11 mins
Content warning: Slurs, slut shaming
Original language title: Sașa și Petre
Directed by: Luca Istodor
Running time: 10 mins
Genre: Animation, Documentary
Original language title: U šifonjeru
Directed by: Tamara Broćić
Running time: 12 mins
Genre: Drama, Coming of age
Language: No dialogue
People from the art200 International Queer Culture Festival will introduce the program via a video recording.
art200 is a queer culture festival in Romania, born out of the initiative of individuals from the LGBTQIA+ community. It is a project fueled by a passion for films and queer culture, as well as a desire to foster discussion and create a sense of unity among diverse individuals within our community. The festival aims to bring together people from various identities and backgrounds to celebrate and explore queer cinema.