The Premio Maguey, the Guadalajara Intl. Film Festival’s LGBTQ sidebar, will pay tribute to late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Plans include the screening of “Mapplethorpe,” Ondi Timoner’s drama starring Matt Smith, on its March 9 opening night gala, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of the death of the iconic artist.
Mexican photographers have also been invited to participate in a competition for the best Mapplethorpe-inspired photo. A selection of the entries will be exhibited alongside the winners during the inaugural fiesta.
This year’s 8th edition features a highly diverse lineup of international films from as far afield as Indonesia, Slovenia, Estonia and Singapore, director-programmer Pavel Cortes told Variety.
“Not only do some hail from remote parts of the world but also from territories that are not known for their queer-themed cinema,” he noted. In some cases, films come from largely-homophobic countries like Russia or Muslim-dominant Indonesia. “‘Memories of My Body’ [by Indonesia’s Garin Nugroho] is a fascinating docu-drama about a real person who also stars in the film.”
“The Man Who Surprised Everyone” a Russia/Estonia/France co-production, is set in Siberia where a Russian forest guard hopes to cheat death by cross-dressing, astounding everyone in the process.
Out of the 16 entries representing 21 countries, four also vied for the Teddy Awards at the Berlinale: “Greta” by newcomer Armando Praca of Brazil, “The Ground Beneath My Feet” by Austria’s Marie Kreutzer, Joanna Reposi Garibaldi’s docu, “Lemebel,” and Guatemalan Jayro Bustamante’s “Tremors.”
“This means so much to us; we have become the next stop after Berlin,” said Cortes.
“Greta” turns on a lonely 70-year old nurse infatuated with Greta Garbo who takes home a wounded young man so that his transgender friend can use his hospital bed. What ensues is a tender relationship between them despite the vast age gap, which proves life-changing for the nurse.
“The Ground Beneath my Feet” is about a nearly 30-year old management consultant whose perfect jet setting life is disrupted when her mentally ill sister, who she has kept hidden from everyone, tries to kill herself.
Documentary “Lemebel,” a Chile-Colombia co-production, features eight years of archival footage, photos, interviews and home videos that construct a multi-layered portrait of Chilean LGBTQ activist and artist, Pedro Lemebel.
A Guatemala/France/Luxembourg co-production, “Tremors” is Bustamante’s follow-up to his acclaimed Berlin Silver Bear-winning debut, “Ixcanul.” It explores the controversial issue of gay conversion therapy in a Guatemala-set story about a gay man whose deeply religious family tries to change him at all costs.
To complete the Berlinale connection, Teddy Award founder Wieland Speck serves as jury president of the Premio Maguey.
This year’s theme is ‘Enqueerate,’ derived from the Spanish term ‘Encuerate’ which means ‘undress’ or ‘expose’ yourself.
Its lineup also includes Romani lesbian love story “Carmen & Lola,” which garnered Spain’s Oscar equivalent, the Spanish Academy Goya, for Arantxa Echevarría as best breakout director and best supporting actress, Carolina Yuste.
Screening out of competition is Jake Jaxson’s docu about porn actor turned drag queen Levi Carter, “Leave it to Levi,” which will have its world premiere at Premio Maguey.
The Premio Maguey runs from March 8-14.
Titles in Competition:
“Until Porn Do Us Part,” Jorge Pelicano (doc, Portugal)
“Carmen & Lola,” Arantxa Echevarria (Spain)
“The Ground Beneath My Feet,” Maria Kreutzer (Austria)
“Giant Little Ones,” Keith Behrmann (Canada)
“Greta,” Armando Praca (Brazil)
“Memories of My Body,” Garin Nugroho (Indonesia)
“Lemebel,” Joanna Reposi Garibaldi (Chile/Colombia)
“Mamma + Mamma,” Karole Di Tommaso (Italy)
“Man Made,” T. Cooper (U.S.)
“One Taxi Ride,” Mak CK (Mexico/Singapore)
“Papi Chulo,” John Butler (Ireland)
“Consequences,” Darko Stante (Slovenia/Austria)
“The Man Who Surprised Everyone,” Natasha Merkulova, Aleksey Chupov (Russia/Estonia/France)
“Tell It to the Bees,” Annabel Jankel (U.K.)
“Tremors” Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala/France/Luxembourg)
“The Blonde One,” Marco Berger (Argentina)