It’s hard to believe this has been happening in the Caribbean – an LGBT Film Festival that has been doing it’s thing for the past 10 years. Now in its 11th year, Painting the Spectrum 11: SASOD’s LGBT Film Festival, is on again, in Guyana. Thank you, SASOD, for being this light.
This year’s festival runs from June 2 – 25, and all of the films will be screened at SASOD’s office, located at 169 Charlotte Street. Since there isn’t a plethora of LGBT themed films being made by Caribbean filmmakers, the Festival features mostly international LGBT films, but is definitely the home of LGBT films made by Caribbean filmmakers. This year is no different – 2 Caribbean LGBT-themed films will be screened at the Festival. Let’s take a look at them!
Out on the Tracks
Produced by Ron San Marchi
New York, 2015
Out on the Tracks centers on gay Guyanese soul singer Nhojj, and documents his groundbreaking Made To Love Him sessions. Affirming the LGBTQ community through same-sex renditions of classic heterosexual love songs from Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me” to Billy Joel’s, “She’s Got a Way” (“He’s Got a Way”), this gentle and human documentary touches upon the themes of love, hope and self-acceptance, and explores the recording process and the power of music.
Nhojj has been delivering jazzy, reggae flavored soul for over a decade. From Guyana, this 3x OUTMusic Award winner is one of a growing number of “out” Black gay performers releasing both universal and same-sex material. He has shared stages with Lady Gaga, Norah Jones, Regina Belle, Taylor Dayne, and has received congratulations from The Advocate and Centric TV’s “Soul Sessions” for his #1 MTV Music video “Love.” Nhojj has recorded 5 studio albums, 15 singles and an Unplugged Live DVD filmed by Emmy-nominated director Bill Cote.
Out on the Tracks screens tonight. For more information on Nhojj and his music, visit his website.
Painting the Spectrum: A Commemorative Documentary
An LGBT Film Festival? In the Caribbean? Being held for 10 years? Improbable? Maybe. Festival organizers from the Guyanese non-government organisation, Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) and audience members relate what the LGBT film festival ‘Painting the Spectrum’ means to the them, the LGBT community, and the Guyanese population as a whole.
Painting the Spectrum screens Thursday, June 25.
Other films of note in the Festival, include:
The sensation of the Cannes Film Festival and the most controversial film of the year, Blue is the Warmest Colour made cinema history as the first film ever awarded the Palme d’Or to both its director and its actresses. In a star-making role, Adèle Exarchopoulos is Adèle, a passionate young woman who has a yearning she doesn’t quite understand until a chance encounter with the blue-haired Emma ignites a flame and brings her to life. Léa Seydoux (Midnight in Paris) gives a fearless performance as Emma, the older woman who excites Adèle’s desire and becomes the love of her life. Abdellatif Kechiche’s (The Secret of the Grain) tenderness and passion chart their relationship over the course of several years, from the ecstasy of a first kiss to the agony of heartbreak. Pulsing with gestures, embraces, furtive exchanges, and arias of joy and devastation, Blue is the Warmest Colour is a profoundly moving hymn to both love and life.
Blue is the Warmest Color screens on Thursday, June 4.
A story of the struggle for decriminalization of homosexuality in contemporary India. Filmed in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Lucknow and rural India, No Easy Walk to Freedom, a documentary by Nancy Nicol, tells the story of the struggle to strike down section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexuality. Told through the voices of lawyers, activists and community leaders, No Easy Walk to Freedom exposes human rights violations perpetrated under section 377 and documents the growth of queer organizing in India in the context of this historic legal battle to overturn a colonial-era law.
No Easy Walk to Freedom screens on Tuesday, June 9.
In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato, Uganda’s first openly gay man, and retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo work against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia while combating vicious persecution in their daily lives. But no one is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes their movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world.
Call Me Kuchu screens on Tuesday, June 23.