- The best film of the 15th Mezipatra Queer Film Festival according to the viewers is the Children 404 documentary.
- The festival welcomed 11 750 viewers in Prague and Brno.
- The Echoes of Mezipatra take place in Olomouc (27th - 29th November) and in Hradec Králové (2nd - 4th December).
“Thank you for making this film. I grew up in Russia and I never want to go back. I now live in Prague with a girl I love, and I hope that Russian teenagers will be able to live like this as well one day,” said one of the moved viewers in Prague after the Children 404's screening during the discussion with the directors. And she was not alone. Several LGBTQ Russians living in the Czech Republic expressed their thanks after the completely sold-out screening in Světozor. The screening thus evoked one of the strongest impressions during the whole fifteen-year history of Mezipatra. The terrifying, authentic testimonies of Russian queer youth who try to survive in the country returning to the Middle Ages impressed everybody. On Saturday, 22nd November, Children 404 received the Audience Award at the closing ceremony of Mezipatra in Brno. The viewers voted with slips which they had received before every feature film screening.
“The Audience Award is the most important prize for every director. We are happy and honoured. We'd like to thank to Mezipatra for the huge interest in our film, which proves that the Czechs do care about the situation in Russia and the rights of LGBT people. We appreciate it especially now when the online community of “Children 404”, as well as its founder, Lena Klimova, face further attacks. Lena is charged with breaking the law banning homosexual propaganda, and she is waiting for another court session,” say Askold Kurov and Pavel Loparev.
The 15th edition of Mezipatra Queer Film Festival attracted 11 750 viewers in Prague (6th - 13th November) and Brno (15th - 22nd November). They saw 73 feature, short, and documentary films with queer topics, and most of them as a Czech premiere. The festival, centred around “Until Death Do Us Part”, was visited by many filmmakers – Children 404, the winning documentary, was accompanied by the directors, Askold Kurov and Pavel Loparev, Of Girls and Horses (Von Mädchen und Pferden) was brought by the legendary German director, Monika Treut. A modern Swedish romance and the winner of Rotterdam film festival, Something Must Break (Nånting måste gå sönde), was introduced by actress Saga Becker and scriptwriter Eli Levén. He left for Berlin after the screening, but had to return quickly. Directed by Ester Martin Bergsmark, Something Must Break won the Grand Jury Award for the Best Feature Film. Eli Levén therefore accepted the crystal dagger designed by Dechem studio for the best film of this year's Mezipatra as decided by the international jury.
The jury, consisting of Peter Knegt, Bill Guentzler and Pavla Jonssonová, awarded also Special Mention to Brazilian Oscar candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film, a sweet story of first love, The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho) which was directed by Daniel Ribeiro. Moreover, Mezipatra screened the film also with Czech audio-description – Prague and Brno thus welcomed many visually impaired viewers. The student jury awarded three short films. The main prize was awarded to Korean Ordinary FamilyOrdinary Family (Vacance), directed by Hyun-Ju Lee, and the Special Mention was shared between Aban & KhorshidAban & Khorshid (dir. Darwin Serink) and YOLO (Lækre til vi dør, dir. Marie Grahtø Sørensen). The seven blocks of films offered 48 films from 21 countries.
“The 15th edition of Mezipatra was, once again, bigger and more successful than the last one. The festival has grown into an irreplaceable part of Czech culture life, bringing top quality films from all over the world and paying attention to what's happening to queer people worldwide. We emphasised also the situation here – we organised a discussion on why registered partnership is or isn't a marriage,” explains Aleš Rumpel, the festival's director. The 15th edition of Mezipatra is his last year as the director as he's leaving this position for Pavel Bicek, the festival manager who's been working for Mezipatra for 4 years.
“Gay, lesbian, and trans films don't keep telling the same story of somebody being queer and ostracised anymore. The whole plot used to be centred around the fact that somebody had a minority sexual or gender identity. It's different now. We have queer, bisexual, lesbian, gay, and trans characters whose sexuality is not the main topic, and who experience really interesting dramatic or comedic stories,” explains Mezipatra's program director, Lucia Kajánková.
You can look forward to the 16th edition of Mezipatra in Prague and Brno as usual in November 2015.
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