Social Equality in EEA
CINEMA AND LGBT PEOPLE TO PROMOTE SOCIAL EQUALITY IN EEA
In 2013, LesGaiCineMad had the opportunity of receiving an important grant from the Economic European Area (EEA) thanks to the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy. The project activities were related to three LGBT film festivals:
- LesGaiCineMad (Madrid, Spain)
- Cinhomo (Valladolid, Spain)
- Oslo Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Oslo, Norway)
The project raised awareness on LGBT issues and contributed to a greater understanding between people leading to more tolerance. It aimed at showing positive images of acceptance and respect of minorities, such as LGBT, youth, elders, immigrants and unemployed. The project was part of a growing need to support LGBT films following cuts in public cultural budgets because of the economic crisis. The project promoted filmmakers that portray LGBT people and their search for social equality. It contributed to changing the perception of LGBT in European society, through the screening of films showing LGBT issues. The general public and LGBT people benefitted from the project by normalizing different sexual identities through didactic documentaries for all ages and public. Some of the main activities:
- Selection and curatorship of European LGBT shorts (fiction and or documentaries) to promote cultural diversity and cultural exchange between EEA states with positive images of acceptance and integration.
- Selection and curatorship of Norwegian and Spanish feature films on LGBT issues to highlight them in respective LGBT Film Festivals to increase cultural dialogue and foster European identity through understanding of cultural diversity.
- Best practices sharing through staff exchange for training during LGBT Film Festivals in Promoter and Donor countries to increase productivity and scope of both organizations.
- Raise social awareness in Spain and Norway about LGBT population in Europe and their counterpart in less favored countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
LesGaiCineMad 2013 took place in Madrid from 31 October through 10 November, marking 11 days of the best LGBT cinema, international guests and a wide array of cultural activities. As in every edition, this year’s festival included a prestigious jury made up of Bard Ydèn (the director of the Festival LGBT in Oslo), among others, who presented a cycle of the best Norwegian LGBT cinema with Spanish subtitles at Madrid’s Cineteca, the ECAM (the Cinematography and Audiovisual School of Madrid) and the UCM (the Complutense University of Madrid).
Norwegian Short Films
- MARJA BAL NANGO (1988) is a Sámi artist and film maker from Galgujávri (Norway). Her short film titled “Before She Came, After He Left,” produced by Nordland College of Art and Film, covers a visual and contemplative story about the internal battle of a young man, his pain for a love that once was, and how to face a new type of love.
- MARGRET BERGHEIM (1971). She made her début as a director in 2007 with the short film titled “La Premiere.” The piece, which will be released in Spain thanks to this cycle, tells the story of an older woman who is finally in a position to choose love.
- MARIA BOCK (1978). Her short film titled “Skallaman” (2011) became one of the favourites in the international film festival circuit and earned a number of awards, including the BAFTA/LA Award for Best Short Film at the 2011 Aspen Shortsfest. “Skallaman” is a vital musical film about being who you are and loving whoever you want.
- VIBEKE HEIDE (1978). Her short film titled “And the Going is Good” was selected for this cycle. Its three chapters are about when it is time to end the game. Each chapter allows us to form part of the intimate moments of a young woman in which her pride and sense of power are challenged.
- MATTIAS HØYEM (1979). The film titled “The Gay Hamster” was written, produced and directed by Mattias, and it is the story of a boy who defends a loved one from danger.
- YENNI LEE (1985). “Air Balloon” is a script written by Yenni that tells the poetic story of Julie, a girl with a box full of memories who is searching for freedom.
- TONI NORDLI’s short film was selected by the European Union for the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme to prevent homophobia in schools. “Shark Bait” tells the story of Erlend, a boy intimidated at school who feels encouraged by his older brother to use violence as the solution to his problem.
- ANNE SEWITSKY’s short film titled “Oh My God!” won an award in the category Generation Kplus at the Berlin Film Festival. “Oh My God!” is an original, humoristic observation of the interpretations and experiences of children in terms of sexuality.
- VEBJØRN GUTTORMSGAARD MØLLBERG. His film titled “Norwegian Salmon” is a dreamlike sequence along the lines of Kenneth Anger / Jack Smith that challenges the romantic image of Norwegian fishermen through a solitary midnight orgasm.
Thanks to the support of the EEA Grants and the Norwegian Embassy, it has been possible to give the project greater exposure. Spanish students and audiences attended the showings that highlighted differences by covering topics that are taboo in Spain’s current Catholic education, such as the sexual identity of children and adolescents, showing great liberty in discussing sex from a perspective of normalcy and openness. The results of this cultural exchange are already apparent. We believe that films help eliminate prejudices and spread a message of tolerance and acceptance in the area of diversity. The echoes of the first showings at the 2013 edition of LesGaiCineMad allowed us to foresee a year full of success.