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.

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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

www.nikosdiaman.com

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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.

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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

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

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.

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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

www.nikosdiaman.com

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.

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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

www.nikosdiaman.com

Shifting Identity

Gender roles and rules of conduct are strictly enforced in the small Albanian mountain settlement where Hana and Lila are born and grow up. Both girls are punished each time they stray from traditional strictures. Each of them escapes the harshness of their native culture eventually by taking a different path to relative freedom, meeting many years later in Italy.

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Sworn Virgin directed by Laura Bispuri (ItalySwitzerland/Germany/Albania/Kosovo) 2015 shows how and why Hana becomes Mark as well as the consequences and future possibilities that ensue. The film probes the dilemma of gender identity.

It screens again Monday night 4 May 2015 at the Pacific Film Archive Theater in Berkeley and Thursday evening 7 May 2015 at Landmark’s Clay Theatre in San Francisco during San Francisco International Film Festival 58. For more information and tickets contact the San Francisco Film Society.

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

www.nikosdiaman.com