Legendary filmmaker Tinto Brass is set
to preside over the Queer Lion award jury panel at the Venice
International Film Festival. Four gay films are in the running for
the 2nd annual prize.
Brass, 75, best know in America for his
erotic film Caligula and subsequent demand to have his name
stricken from it, will have the difficult task of selecting which of
the following four films is most deserving of the praise.
Director Yen Tan's Ciao is a
powerful film that speaks about the strength of love. When a man
dies, two men find each other as they correspond over the Internet to
discuss their loss. Lives are altered forever when the pair continue
AfterElton.com said Ciao was
“the best gay movie I've seen all year.”
Two men remember a past romance in
opposing views – joy and shame – in writer/director Gabriel
Flemming's The Lost Coast. Mark and Jasper are in San
Francisco's Castro district with their friend Lily. Mark's
recollection of a high school romance with Jasper is one of joy,
while Jasper can barely acknowledge it.
Israeli writer/directorYair Hochner's
Antarctica seeks to thaw out the hearts of two lost souls. On
his 30th birthday, Omer is drowning himself in work at the
library. Shirley, Omer's little sister, is having an affair with her
boss. Both seem to be locked in a perpetual cycle of unhappiness
when Ronen, the handsome journalist, enters their lives. Will their
frozen hearts thaw?
Esprit Es-Tu La, French director
Philippe Vallois' latest film, will be a world premiere when screened
in Venice on September 3rd. Here is the director's
synopsis: “In the mid-nineties, a young writer, victim of AIDS,
wants to ensure from the beyond that his friend receives a camera,
with supernatural powers. He hopes that this will revive his
friend's will to live, connect with him and look after the company he
“What should filmmakers show and what
should they not show? Each one has their own theory, modesty,
ethics, bans. In my opinion a film, like any work of art, can help
the artist to bring out the hidden part of his inner world, to affirm
his real nature and not what society expects of him. And therefore,
why oppose such a process? It cannot help but be a service to the
public,” Vallois said.
The Queer Lion award is a golden winged
lion, its wings painted in the colors of the gay flag. This year's
winner will be announced September 5th in Venice.