Submissions for Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival sometimes fall into thematic patterns, based in large part on popular themes, specific cultural issues, and politics. This year, one recurring theme came mostly from abroad – from all over the world, in fact – and the recurring theme was how LGBTQ people live and are treated in other parts of the world.
“I think some of what is driving filmmakers to make these films right now is that there are still so many countries, cultures and religions where LGBTQ people still face prejudice, hatred and open hostility,” said Michael C. Green, Cinema Diverse Festival Director and Executive Director of the Palm Springs Cultural Center. “But I also think it’s because immigration has become such a hot topic all over the world, and, in many cases, LGBTQ people are seeking asylum from their homelands. Another reason I think we are seeing so many of these films is that it has become easier for filmmakers to tell these stories. Technology is more available.”
Cinema Diverse 2017 includes several films, both shorts and features, that focus on the treatment of LGBTQ people in other countries and other cultures.
“It is sometimes hard to watch these films,” Green continued, “but it is important to see them, not only because we need to be aware of what is happening all over the world to our brothers and sisters, but also because we need to be reminded, and mindful of the fact, that none of our own freedoms are assured.”
Lakshmi Ma opens GURU, A HIJRA FAMILY with advice for her daughters “It is not enough to live for oneself, one has to earn respect in society. This is what I want to teach them, to not fear, life is strength. ” Lakshmi Ma is guru to a family of hijras, a spiritually revered but ostracized third gender in India. The film, intimately follows the poetic weaving of the family’s voices as they experience day to day life struggling to be authentic as well as to become recognized and protected by India’s government.
Family and faith are challenges for transgender Muslims, who balance who they are with what they believe. They face torture and death as a part of their everyday existence in the religious communities of South Africa. LOCKED IN follows The Inner Circle, a non-profit human rights organization assisting transgender Muslims in finding sanctuary and strength through faith as well as raising consciousness about gender diversity and sexual diversity throughout the South African Muslim Community.
Does the landmark decision from the Supreme Court of the United States on the fundamental right to marry for same-sex couples affect the colonial citizens of Puerto Rico?
LOVE WITH A COLONIAL SCENT uses Puerto Rico’s colonial situation with the USA, the island’s bankruptcy, and breath taking vistas as a backdrop to focus on the debate over gay marriage on the island.
In 2011, the European Union declared both sexual orientation and gender identity are important criteria for the legal recognition of refugee status. Germany started to accept LGBTQ refugees in 2013. But due to the refugee boom in the summer of 2015, the process goes slowly for the LGBTQ refuges who regard themselves as second class. HOMØE: LOOKING FOR SHELTER explores three lives from different regions of Germany as they cope with their new and sometimes challenging lives as LGBTQ refugees.
Shorts from Iran, United States, Syria, Netherlands, Canada, France
WORLDLY VIEWS: WHERE WE STAND IN THE REST OF THE WORLD takes a closer look at four different corners of the world providing a sometimes horrifying and sometimes tragic look at the lives of LGBTQ people.
A transgender Iranian in THIRST FOR LOVE “ROXANA” shares her personal story of coming out to her family, friends, and colleagues in Los Angeles while facing discrimination from the community.
Two men attracted to each other, one a refugee from Syria and the other an Amsterdam local, in a chance encounter face the harsh realities of coming from two radically different worlds in SCAR TISSUE.
An LGBTQ Arab finds asylum in Canada escaping persecution and homophobic violence in THE MIGRANT MIXTAPE.
In LIFE HANGS ON A THREAD an improbable relationship begins between two homeless men in a soup kitchen in Paris.
WORLDLY VIEWS: WHERE WE STAND IN THE REST OF THE WORLD
Friday, Sept 22, 11:00 a.m, 65 min
Thirst For Love "Roxana"
The Migrant Mixtape
Life Hangs on a Thread
HOMØE- LOOKING FOR SHELTER Friday, Sept 22, 1:15 p.m., 60 min
LOCKED IN Saturday, Sept 23, 1:15 p.m., 52 min
GURU, A HIJRA FAMILY Saturday, Sept 23, 3:30 p.m., 76 min
LOVE WITH A COLONIAL SCENT Sunday, Sept 24, 1:15 p.m., 61 min
**Note that many of these films are subtitled.