Gay American friends have told me that Italy is not on their list of vacation destinations because they don’t feel that it’s gay friendly and don’t want to have to hide their sexuality while they are travelling. I’ve told them that I think that this is changing, and so I was happy to read that from June 20 until the 26th Palermo is hosting an international film festival for films with GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered) themes called “Sicilia Queer Film Festival“. It’s the first and only gay film festival in central/southern Italy (south of Torino) and it was created ” to promote the fight against social discrimination, to spread the culture of diversity (sexual orientation, thinking, ways of living, etc..), and greater awareness of the positive contribution linked to differences.”
From the website – The festival will present a rich program of national and international films, documentaries, writers, directors, producers, and actors. The word “queer” was purposefully chosen, having been used in the past as an insult but more recently as a word that celebrates the richness of diversity and looking at things in different ways.
The first part wil be a competition of short films, 20 from Italy, France, Belgium, the UK, the US, Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Singapore.
Among the famous appearing at the festival will be Luca Guadagnino, the director of Io Sono L’Amore (I am Love) the only Italian film to have been nominated for an Oscar in 2010 and Vincent Dieutre, French director of cult films that just made his new film in Sicily.
For the entire program go to http://www.siciliaqueerfilmfest.it/2011/?page_id=573&lang=en , and if you are interested in seeing some of the more successful gay themed movies check out director Ferzan Ozpetek’s films like Saturn in Opposition.