Bosnia Daily: Mini Film Fest Named after Murdered Transsexual Will Screen Five Films

UntitledA Sarajevo-based non-governmental organization will be organizing and hosting the International Festival of Queer Film Merlinka at the Art Cinema Kriterion in Sarajevo from January 30 to February 1.

Five feature documentaries and feature films will be screened within the three-day Festival program, said Sarajevo Open Center. Festival will open on Friday, January 30, with the screening of a documentary Regarding Susan Sontag (2014), directed by Nancy D. Kates. The film intimately portrays the life of a woman who has, thanks to their education, passion and activism, become one of the most influential literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. The film depicts life of Susan Sontag using archival material, experiences of persons close to her, as well as her own words, from her early infatuation with books to the first experience in a gay bar, from an early marriage to her latest lover. Artists who have had the opportunity to work with Susan Sontag in Sarajevo during the war will also share their experiences and memories at the opening.

Merlinka festival was organized for the first time six years ago in Belgrade, with the goal to promote films tackling LGBT topics. The Festival is named after a murdered transsexual Vjeran Miladinovic Merlinka. Two films will be shown on the second day of the Festival in Sarajevo. A documentary Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda (2014), a co-production of Russia and the United States, will be screened at 5 p.m. The film was made as an attempt to depict the situation in Russia, after the legal ban on so-called “gay propaganda” was passed by the Russian Parliament in 2013, thus criminalizing any form of public discussion on the rights of LGBT people. German film Two Mothers (2013), directed by Anne Zohra Berrached, will be screened at 8 p.m. The film is a story of two women who, like many other lesbian couples in Germany, realize that the path to having a child is a lot tougher than they thought, since most sperm banks do not provide services to lesbian and gay couples for legal reasons. However, when they finally find a doctor who provides them with the expensive treatments of insemination, they are unable to conceive for several months.

On the third day of the Festival, an American documentary The Case against 8 (2014) will be screened at 5 p.m. The film introduces the events behind the scene related to a lawsuit against the State over the same-sex marriage ban in California. The film shows the experience of the plaintiff and two gay couples whose families were in the center of same-sex marriage controversy. The Festival will close at 8 p.m. with an Australian film 52 Tuesdays (2013). The film follows the life of a sixteen year old girl that must rapidly become independent after her mother unveils plans to change her gender which limit the time they spend together only on Tuesday afternoons. The film is an emotional story about desires, responsibilities, adaptation and transformation.

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