Frameline 39

The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival screens at five Bay Area venues 18 – 28 June 2015. The Castro Theatre, Roxie Theater, and Victoria Theatre in San Francisco, Rialto Cinemas’ Elmwood in Berkeley, and Landmark Theatres Piedmont in Oakland.


I highly recommend Sworn Virgin directed by Laura Bispuri (Italy/Switzerland/Germany/Albania/Kosovo) 2015 and Xenia directed by Panos H. Koutras (Greece/France/Belgium) 2014, both award winning films.

Three other Mediterranean features are Hidden Away directed by Mikel Rueda (Spain) 2014, The New Girlfriend directed by François Ozon (France) 2014, and Summer Nights directed by Mario Fanfani (France) 2014.

Contact Frameline for more information and tickets

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

War Cry

Testament Of Youth directed by James Kent (UK) 20015 is based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain. It’s an engaging historical drama that reveals the courage and tenacity of its narrator and exposes the savage brutality of a pivotal event in time.



It primarily focuses on upper middle class society, an elegant home in a bucolic setting, the comradery of young men and women who dream of making their mark in the world. Their good intentions betrayed by forces beyond their control.

Unfortunately those who set the course for a conflagration that cost the lives of many on both sides of the conflict evidently cared little for the consequences of their decisions. The Great War was the prelude for even greater disasters involving people throughout the Mediterranean.

The film opens in the Bay Area 12 June 2015 at the Landmark Clay Theatre and Century 9 in San Francisco. 19 June 2015 it opens at the Albany Twin in Albany, Guild in Menlo Park, Century 16 in Pleasant Hill, and Regency Cinema Six in San Rafael.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Different Strokes

Forever Young directed by Spiros Charalambous (Greece) 2015 was voted the winning short at the 12th Annual San Francisco Greek Film Festival and headed to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.


Most of the film takes place in a brothel. While his older brother is engaged in a sexual marathon with one of the young prostitutes, the younger brother storms out of the house after an unpleasant encounter with the young woman he paired with.

Waiting for his brother to finish and come outside, he and the madam initiate a conversation that leads to a surprising climax of the film

The prize for best feature-length film at the San Francisco Greek Film Festival went to Xenia directed by Panos Koutras (Greece/France/Belgium) 2014. The co-writer of the screenplay was my friend Panayiotis Evangelidis.

Xenia will screen again in the Bay Area during the upcoming Frameline film festival and is likely to have a theatrical run at some future time.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Greek Hospitality

Philoxenia, generous hospitality toward strangers, is a traditional Greek value too often lacking today. Immigrants are seldom welcomed and Albanians especially are the usual scapegoats for crimes and any bad behavior.


Xenia directed by Panos Koutras (Greece/France/Belgium) 2014 boldly overturns common perceptions. The two main characters of the film are teenage brothers, one gay and the other straight, born in Crete to an Albanian mother and a Greek father who abandoned them early on.

Their mother recently died so the young men go in search of their father hoping he will acknowledge them so they can establish legal status.

This journey takes them through some of the darker aspects of the country but they are survivors unwilling to abandon hope for a better future

The film played to a packed house during the 12th San Francisco Greek Film Festival that concludes Sunday. For more information and tickets for the remaining screening contact San Francisco Greek Film Festival.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Dark Descent

An eccentric, young misfit abandons his London home to find refuge in his father’s derelict house in Greece in The Winter directed by Konstantinos Koutsoliotas (UK/Greece) 2014.


Niko leaves behind the shambles of his life in the UK, managing to evade periodic calls on his mobile from his mother and creditors. The main rational for his existence is a novel he’s been working on since university he hopes to finish while hidden in the quiet, mountain village of his birth.

However, he’s haunted by the past that includes a loving but brooding father who died in isolation. Niko often wakes from troubling dreams and is increasingly drawn into fantasy, as he totters on the fine line between sanity and madness.

The film screened during the 12th Annual San Francisco Greek Film Festival continuing through the coming weekend. For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Greek Film Festival.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Provincial Delusion

The main character of Winter Sleep directed by Nun Bilgie Ceylan (Turkey/France/Germany) 2014 writes articles for a local paper. However his own life and his relationships are sharply at odds with his public persona.

A scene from Nuri Bilge Ceylan's WINTER SLEEP, playing at the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 23 - May 7 2015.

He operates a hotel that caters to international travelers and owns other properties inherited from his parents. He is insensitive to the sufferings of those less fortunate and unconcerned about the inadequacies of the political system.

However, the most troubling interchanges are with those closest to him, mainly his sister who’s been residing in the hotel since her divorce, and his young wife whose dignity he undermines by an arrogant and selfish attitude.

The film had its only theatrical screening in the US during the recently concluded San Francisco International Film Festival 58 on the day it was released commercially on DVD.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

Film Award

Laura Bispuri, director of Sworn Virgin (Idaly/Switzerland/Germany/Albania/Kosovo) 2015, received the Golden Gate New Directors Prize during San Francisco International Film Festival 58.


The jury said, Laura Bispuri is a distinct new filmmaking talent who we are excited to follow as her career progresses. There is a great purity and truth in her approach to a story of contemporary female struggle. Bispuri has crafted a film, grounded by extraordinary performances, that is at once effortless and delicate, but also bold in its execution.

The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.

Recipients of the previous two years were Benjamín Naishtat for History of Fear (Argentina/France /Germany/Qatar/Uruguay) and Belmin Sölyemez for Present Tense (Turkey).

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved