Ten competition films about new beginnings, challenges, and the need to assume an active role in the world create a diverse mosaic of stories created by, with two exceptions, debuting filmmakers. The intensity of love affairs, the flow of time and the events determining the course of our lives are the central focus of The End of the Century and Greta from Latin America. The same continent also brings us a quirky road movie called Brief Story from the Green Planet. Although And Then We Danced takes us to Georgia and A Dog Barking at the Moon to China, both films similarly discuss traditional cultures with strongly ingrained homophobia. Strong heroines who take fate into their own hands are introduced in a trio of stylistically distinctive films: The Ground Beneath My Feet, Psychosia, and To the Stars. Apart from the last film mentioned, American cinema is represented by two more debuts: Adam by Rhys Ernst and Port Authority. Both take us into the world of queer communities that proudly show who they are.
This year's special section introduces the first films presented under the newly founded distribution brand Queer Kino, which aims to bring quality queer films to Czech cinemas throughout the year. The first title is Camille Vidal-Naquet's Sauvage, a French drama that offers an insight into an environment of absolute freedom and a story of a man who, despite approaching life with passivity, demands its tender attention. This raw drama won a Special Mention of the jury at last year's Mezipatra. Queer Kino's second acquisition is the eighth film by Canadian director Xavier Dolan, Matthias & Maxime, presented at this year's main competition at Cannes. Well-known to festival audiences, the director offers an intimate portrait of a strong friendship that is severely shaken by a single kiss, and once again he proves how poignantly he is able to express his generation's hopes and worries.
Intensity, care and empathy, mistakes, and the darkness we carry within – these are the topics of 39 short films from all over the world. They have successfully created their own film universes and preserved the diversity that is so important in today's world. They might be pitted against each other in our competition, but in reality, they are on the same team.
The protagonists of the gay block called Love Field Intensity have decided to make the most out of the pleasure of meeting new people, reflecting on the various expressions of love. But love is also associated with mistakes and mishaps, as the protagonists of the lesbian block of And They Lived Happily... know very well. The block A Family Is a Derivative of Listening will enchant you with its mature view that is inherent in the topic of family. And you'll learn that caring is also important among friends in the Partners in Crime block. The creators of the activist block Now or Never know that film is a tool, and they're not afraid to use it. They've decided to boost people's courage and fight for their beliefs in hostile environments. You'll learn about the grim side of life and our psyche in the dark compilation of Endangered Species. On the other hand, hope and wild playfulness rule the animated What I Dream About.
The documentary section features five films from Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. Each touches upon the pressing issues of today's globalized world through the personal stories of their protagonists. While Tomer Heymann's documentary in the form of long-term follow-ups, Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life, observes the porn industry's destructive influence on the life of an Israeli porn star, the autobiographical Madame by the Swiss filmmaker Stéphane Riethauser dives into family history and shows the impact of social labels on the lives of individuals. The fight against adverse circumstances is depicted in two trans documentaries. In Changing the Game, three teenage athletes rebel against unfair sports rules, while Seahorse follows young Freddy as he overcomes obstacles on his way to fatherhood. Giselle Bailey and Nneka Onuorah open the burning topic of immigrant culture and diaspora in their portrait of the musician Kiddy Smile and his dancers, Burn the House Down.
On the occasion of Mezipatra's 20th birthday, five personalities of Czech queer culture who are inseparably connected with the festival recollect their favourite films. Adéla Horáková from the Jsme Fér (It's Only Fair) initiative presents an inspirational documentary, Freedom to Marry, that follows the journey towards equal marriage in the USA. Viktor Heumann, co-founder of the Trans*parent organization, offers up the winner of Mezipatra's 15th edition – the Swedish drama Something Must Break. The man behind the visual concepts of two Mezipatra editions and the organiser of Mezipatra parties in Brno, Martin Hrdina, presents Love Is the Devil. The creator of the 2007 festival trailer and a renowned artist, Michal Pěchouček, introduces a story about a journey to the Far East in Miss Kicki. The first Czech drag queer, Chi Chi Tornádo, who is also inseparably connected with the trailers, recollects the American drama Soldier's Girl.