134 (IRELAND)

Directed by Sarah-Jane Drummey

Jack prepares to take the stage at an Irish dancing competition as family members come to terms with their feelings around their child’s gender identity.

Watch an interview with director Sarah-Jane Drummey

AFTER THAT PARTY (BRAZIL)

Directed by Caio Scot

“Why would he hide something like that from me?”
Leo struggles to approach his father after discovering a secret.

PXSSY PALACE (UK)

Directed by Laura Kirwan-Ashman

“It is more than clubbing. It’s that sense of community where people actually care about each other.”
Writer-director Laura Kirwan-Ashman welcomes you into the world of Pxssy Palace, a London based QTIPOC (queer trans intersex people of colour) collective and club night.

Watch an interview with director Laura Kirwan-Ashman

WHEN PRIDE CAME TO TOWN (NORWAY)

Directed by Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæte

“Growing up gay in a small town wasn’t easy”
Bjørn-Tore left his rural hometown to escape the everyday homophobia he experienced growing up. Decades later he returns for Norway’s first-ever rural Pride celebration. Thrilled to see his neighbours hoisting a pride flag, he hopes that the turn out for Pride is higher than the numbers of anti-pride demonstrators from the local church group.

Watch an interview with co-director Julie Lunde Lillesæte

SOMETHING IN THE CLOSET (UK)

Directed by Nosa Eke

“Maddie what about you, which boy do you like?”
This short film tells the story of a queer teenager struggling with her sexuality as her desires manifest their way from the depths of her eerie closet into reality.

Watch an interview with director Nosa Eke

FAB FACT: Lesflicks curated this film in February 2020 as part of their LGBT History Month short film collection that was made available free to libraries and community groups across the UK to show for free.

Review Spotlight: Something In The Closet

Short, 14 min

A queer teenager struggles with her sexuality, as desires manifest their way from the depths of her eerie closet into reality.

 

In reality, one of the biggest steps toward adulthood is facing your fears on your own.

Something in the Closet tells a snapshot of the story of Maddie. Maddie is just another teenager in high-school, playing silly games with her friends. But from what seems to be yet another innocent game of spin the bottle, a monster has been awoken in her bedroom closet.

Literally.

The film does a wonderful job in depicting the fear of coming out by materialising it as every child’s worst nightmare: a scary monster, hiding in their bedroom closet. It shows the audience that really, one can only truly know what is behind that closet door until they open it and face it; even though Maddie’s mother presents as empathetic, realising something is going on her with child.

A wonderful message to take away from the film is that in reality, one of the biggest steps toward adulthood is facing your fears on your own.

Review Spotlight: 134

Short, 12 min

On the day of a regional Irish dancing competition, an Irish couple struggle to cope with their child’s gender identity.

 

We can’t choose our birth families, but when we must, and need to, we can rely our chosen family to be the ones that clap for us

 

134 follows an incredibly talented Irish tap dancer, practicing in a garage filled with medals. We learn a lot more about the family dynamic through flashbacks to the child’s mother, during a road trip.

It still gives me goose bumps. How this little star, even as a toddler, would verbally affirm that they are a girl and want to wear girls’ clothes. It would end in yelling and screaming, as that is not acceptable in “society”; you dress accordingly to the sex you were assigned to at birth, end of story.

But one day, there’s a brutal attack which lands our little dancer in the hospital. While the mother helps stop the attack, the audience learns that the father had been watching the whole time, whilst doing nothing.

Later, at an important competition, our brave dancer walks in, presenting as a young boy. (hands in the air for the courage that takes), and they then change into a beautiful sparkly red dancing costume with a long haired wig.

Through all the side eyes, whispering, people speaking to the judges, she begins dancing. When it’s over, the dead silence falls, almost bringing the viewer to tears, but then someone in the back started clapping; someone the audience will not expect. The film reminds the audience of the struggles that some of our trans siblings have been going through their whole lives. Most do not have the option or choice to “hide in a closet” until they were ready.

We can’t choose our birth families, but when we must, and need to, we can rely our chosen family to be the ones that clap for us when we stand up for ourselves. It’s a wonderful lesson from a poignant movie.

This article was written by:

Petit Printemps

Petit Printemps

Reviewer

Petit Printemps is a QPOC film enthusiast who began volunteering at various LGBTQ+ Film festivals such as NewFest in NYC and Inside Out in Toronto. Before moving to London, she was on the Board of Directors of Inside Out. In London, she volunteered with Wotever DIY Film Festival and Fringe! Queer Film Fest and began writing film reviews.

She/Her

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