Understanding not only others but especially to yourself is often tough. The protagonists of the 9 competition films who hail from five continents know that very well, as they have to define who they are or who they want to be without any outside help.
While The Wound reveals how difficult it is to be gay in South Africa, Beach Rats shows that homophobia is an issue not only for members of traditional cultures, but also for teenage boys in Brooklyn. Paths discusses a relationship that suddenly hits a crisis, while God's Own Country, an award-winning drama from northern Yorkshire, shows how to overcome life-long apathy.
The selection of the best of contemporary queer cinema will also present Japanese trans-themed film Close-Knit and the eagerly anticipated biopic Tom of Finland, which will introduce one of the most important icons of queer art against the backdrop of the history of the 20th century.
The selection of the best short films from 2016 and 2017 will introduce films from Europe, Latin America, Canada, and Asia. They are connected by a fresh approach to queer stories and to exploring various genres. The forty-one films together create seven thematic blocks.
Following the spirit of this year's theme, Be Your Own Champion, the protagonists of the More Than a Secret trans block will prove especially to themselves that they can deal with life's obstacles on their own. Worlds Collide and In the Name of Ideals are also blocks which show how a determined fight and acting in accordance with your beliefs are utterly indispensable for a better life. On the other hand, the gay section In the Eyes of Others appropriately illustrates what forms can expressing your identity take.
Relationship issues are dealt with in the remaining three sections. While The Art of Dialogue depicts the diverse scenarios of meetings among men, Moments with You introduces the relationships of girls and women in all their intensity and fragility. Last but not least, Let's Keep It Between Us is also a contemplation on the value of a family and the trust among its members.
The selection of documentary films is introduced in a separate section again this year. All the protagonists of films from all over the world are connected by their desire to escape poor living conditions and their dream of living a truthful life. The protagonist of The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson tries to discover the truth behind the unexplained case of the mysterious death of trans activist and powerful personality of the African-American LGBT movement Marsha P. Johnson.
The director of Abu also returns to past, illustrating his complicated relationship with his Pakistani roots as well as his parents through a family archive. On the other hand, we will travel the path to one's authentic self together with the main protagonist of the Canadian film Coby.
We will experience the legislative journey towards recognizing same-sex marriage in Mexico with the protagonists of No Dress Code Required. The relationship of the main protagonist of Stumped, who has lost all his limbs and thus has become completely dependent on his life partner, will also undergo a true test.
Circumstances often prevent us from following our own judgment. However, as the protagonists of the four selected queer European films prove in line with the theme of this year's festival, the fight for one's own beliefs is of utmost importance, even at the price of loss.
Two British films deals with the topic of social prejudices. While My Beautiful Laundrette explores the issue of immigrants through the story of Omar and Johnny, My Summer of Love by Oscar-winning director Pawel Pawlikowski points out the class predetermination of two girls enjoying a summer romance.
Newbie teacher Filip also experiences intense love in Coming Out, an East German film that also won a Teddy and Silver Bear award, among other accolades. Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother might not be about first love, but it is about new beginnings that help deal with the past. And, most importantly: it shows, just like the other three films, that love comes to everyone.
After eight years, Mezipatra is once again presenting a non-competition section of short films by students of the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. The five selected films from the last two years illustrate how young filmmakers approach queer topics and how they relate to gender issues and the question of sexuality, and how they reflect their personal experience.