• Mezipatra has disclosed the 18th edition's program, with the motto of Be Your Own Champion.
  • On November 2, the festival will open with the biographic Tom of Finland, followed by a thematic party.
  • The main attractions of the feature film competition include God's Own Country, The Wound (Inxeba), and Thelma.
  • Ticket sale for the individual films is starting today.

Prague, October 18, 2017 – The 18th edition of Mezipatra Queer Film Festival has revealed both the program and its new trailer, directed by Štěpán FOK Vodrážka. The ticket sale is starting today, online as well as in the cinema box offices in Lucerna, Světozor, Kino 35 and Pilotů in Prague, and in Scala in Brno. As for ArtBar Druhý Pád in Brno, tickets are available only on the spot.

Mezipatra is a thematic festival. It is therefore crucial for the selection of films whether they reflect the edition's theme,” explains Sandra Hezinová, the festival's program director. This year's selection of films thus corresponds to the theme of the 18th edition, Be Your Own Champion.

“One of the first films we unanimously agreed on choosing for the program was the Finnish biopic Tom of Finland. The motto of Be Your Own Champion illustrates the fate of an artist who couldn't enjoy artistic freedom for most of his life,” reveals Sandra Hezinová. “However, there are more criteria for picking a film for our program. For example, we strive for geographic diversity, this year will introduce not only many films from Europe, but also from Asia, Americas, and Africa.”        

A biography and a mystery drama from the North

The aforementioned Tom of Finland will open the festival's Prague part on November 2. The biographic drama will illustrate the touching life of an artist who could not enjoy artistic freedom for most of his life, and still eventually became a gay icon. The film earned its director, Dome Karukoski, the award for the best foreign film at the Tribeca film festival.

The international feature film section will also present Thelma, a drama directed by Norwegian Joachim Trier. The mystical thriller and an Oscar candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film follows the story of shy Thelma, who has just started at a university. She meets Anja there and their mutual attraction triggers a series of terrifying events. Trier's picture has also won the main award at the Norwegian International Film Festival.

Successful films from Sundance and Berlinale

Other eagerly awaited films include German Paths (Ein Weg) by Chris Miera, who will also be one of the festival's guests. His debut focuses on the story of a gay couple going through a relationship crisis when their son moves out. The film premiered at this year's Berlinale.

A completely different part of the world will be represented by The Wound (Inxeba) by South African director John Trengove. The film, introduced for the first time in the Czech Republic by Mezipatra at this year's Prague Pride, depicts the search for one's sexual identity in the setting of traditional initiation rituals. The director, who has focused mainly on documentary films so far, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for The Wound.

Beach Rats were also successful at this festival. The provocative coming-of-age film follows the teenage years of Frankie, who is just killing time with his gang, but chats secretly with unknown men at nights. Eliza Hittman, an American indie director, won a directing award for this film at Sundance.

“British Brokeback Mountain” and a new Bruce LaBruce

God's Own Country by British Francis Lee is yet another internationally successful film, rightfully labelled as one of the highlights of the year. The unusual lovestory depicts the fragile relationship of an English farmer and a Romanian immigrant, and discovering one's sexuality in the inhospitable Yorkshire countryside.

Our favourite Canadian director Bruce LaBruce, who was a member of the Mezipatra jury last year, has introduced his long-awaited The Misandrists this year. And it will be included in the Mezipatra main competition as well. It takes place in a remote monastery where a group of women is preparing a revolution against the male population; starring Susanne Sachsse, who visited Mezipatra as a part of the artistic CHEAP Kollektiv, artist Viva Ruiz, and the director Kembra Pfahler.

A Japanese study of a family and French surrealism

The program contains also Japanese drama Close-Knit (Karera ga honki de amu toki wa). Eleven-year-old Tomo is sent to her father when her mother leaves her without supervision yet again. At her uncle's, she meets his new girlfriend, trans woman Rinko. Naoko Ogigami's visually captivating film follows Tomo and Rinko as they grow closer and their relationship gradually transforms into motherly love, depicted with subtlety and empathy.

Gender identity is also discussed in The Wild Boys (Les garçons sauvages) by French director Bertrand Mandico. The Avant-Garde film follows the story of five boys who kill an upper-class lady. Consequently, they are sent for re-education to a remote island, where a series of unexpected events awaits.

Retro with Stephen Frears and Pedro Almodóvar

Once again this year, visitors can enjoy selected iconic queer-themed films from the past in the retrospective section. This year's festival will close with the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother (Todo sobre mi madre) from 1999, which won the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film.

My Summer of Love by the originally Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski was also successful, winning BAFTA for the Best British Film in 2005. And Emily Blunt appeared there in one of her first acting roles. 

The retrospective section will be completed by Stephen Frears's comedy My Beautiful Laundrette from 1985, which perfectly depicted the atmosphere of Thatcher's UK at that time, and the only gay East German film, Coming Out from 1989, which premiered on the day the Berlin Wall fell down.

2017 Mezipatra QFF

Prague: November 2-9
Brno: November 10-17
echoes in regions

Mezipatra 2017 visual photographed by Michaela Karásek Čejková, designed by Marius Corradini / Side 2

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