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6 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 2nd Queer East Film Festival

These are six films you shouldn’t miss at the 2nd Queer East Film Festival which will take place September 15th – 26th, 2021 in cinemas across London.

– Recommended Films –

Close-Knit by Naoko Ogigami – Japan | 2017 – 127 minutes
Section: Focus Japan

Schoolgirl Tomo lives a chaotic life with her mother Hiromi, who one day abandons her to chase after a man. Left on her own, Tomo heads to her uncle’s apartment, where she finds him living with his beautiful girlfriend Rinko, a transgender woman. Rinko is warm and welcoming, and Tomo begins to realise that this is what a family should feel like. The three of them settle into a new lifestyle, but is society ready to accept their blissful existence? Directed by Naoko Ogigami, Close-Knit offers a sensitive portrayal of family life, and won numerous awards including the Teddy Jury Award and Panorama Audience Award at the 67th Berlinale, and audience awards at the Udine Far East Film Festival. (QEFF 2021)

Screening Date:
September 20th, 2021 | Monday | Curzon Hoxton | 6:15 pm

Trailer:

Daughters by Hajime Tsuda – Japan | 2020 – 104 minutes
Section: Focus Japan

Daughters is about Koharu and Ayano, two young women who share an apartment in Tokyo. They are inseparable and all they care about is having fun. But change comes to their lives when Ayano suddenly becomes pregnant. She’s not sure who the father is, but decides to have the baby anyway. Koharu makes up her mind to stay by Ayano’s side and support her, but the pregnancy gradually transforms their lifestyle and challenges their friendship. Following ten months in the lives of two women in a committed relationship, Daughters challenges conventional ideas about what a family should mean, stimulating debate on whether a film needs to feature LGBT storylines in order to present an alternative queer perspective. (QEFF 2021)

Screening Date:
September 15th, 2021 | Wednesday | Genesis Cinema | 6:30 pm

Trailer:

Days by Tsai Ming-Liang – Taiwan, France | 2020 – 127 minutes
Section: Focus Taiwan

Kang lives alone in a big house, from which he looks out onto the treetops lashed by wind and rain. Non lives in a small apartment in Bangkok, where he methodically prepares traditional dishes from his native village. When Kang meets Non, gentle caresses soothe their pain and loneliness as they find consolation in each other. Acclaimed director Tsai Ming-Liang’s experimental feature extends the boundaries of abstract realism, distilling his subtle cinematic language into its purest form. Days won multiple awards at major film festivals internationally, including the Teddy Jury Award at the 70th Berlinale. Kang is played by the magnetic Lee Kang-Sheng, who once again allows us to engage with the passage of time in all its painstaking richness. (QEFF 2021)

Screening Date:
September 19th, 2021 | Sunday | Curzon Soho | 12:00 pm

Trailer:

Dear Tenant by Yu-Chieh Cheng – Taiwan | 2020 – 112 minutes
Section: Focus Taiwan

Mr. Lin is a tenant in the rooftop apartment owned by the elderly Mrs. Chou, who is suffering from late-stage diabetes. Lin helps tend to her daily needs and looks after her nine-year old grandson, the orphaned Yo-Yu. But when Yo-Yu’s uncle returns to Taiwan, he discovers that the ownership of the apartment has been transferred to the young boy, whom Lin has legally adopted. The stage is set for a conflict that uncovers a very different side to the seemingly perfect tenant. Dear Tenant is a heartfelt portrayal of unconditional love that explores whether, following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2019, Taiwanese society is ready to accept families who dare to break with conventional forms. This box office hit won three Golden Horse Awards, including for actor Mo Tzu-Yi, who gives a stunning performance.

Screening Date:
September 26th, 2021 | Sunday | Genesis Cinema | 5:50 pm

Trailer:

Ghost in the Shell by Mamoru Oshii – Japan | 1995 – 82 minutes
Section: Focus Japan

Adapted from the manga by Masamune Shirow, this 1995 masterpiece remains a milestone of animated cinema. Ghost in the Shell takes place in 2029, with humanity and technology intertwined to such an extent that people can transfer their consciousness into cybernetic bodies. Cyborg cop Major Motoko Kusanagi leads a special police security unit that is tasked with tracking down ‘ghost hackers’, criminals who can clandestinely tap into the bodies and minds of other people. Imagining a future in which sexual reproduction has given way to mechanical replication, Ghost in the Shell has been acclaimed for its inversion of traditional gender roles and depiction of fluid sexuality. Both a high-octane adventure and a philosophical speculation on what it means to be human, Mamoru Oshii’s film is a visionary piece of action cinema. (QAFF 2021)

Screening Date:
September 23rd, 2021 | Thursday | The Lexi Cinema | 8:45 pm

Trailer:

Miss Andy by Teddy Chin – Taiwan, Malaysia | 2020 – 108 minutes
Section: Focus Taiwan

Miss Andy tells the story of Evon, formerly known as Andy, a transgender woman living in Malaysia. Transitioning late in life after losing a wife, job, and family, she is subjected to prejudice in a society that restricts LGBTQ+ freedoms. Evon’s life seems bleak until she has a chance encounter with an illegal migrant worker and her son, who are on the run with nowhere to go, and nobody to care for them. Evon offers them a place to stay, and her friendship with the pair slowly brings about change in her life, as she gains the confidence to begin trusting other people. Teddy Chin’s powerful, melancholy film features an outstanding performance by Lee-Zen Lee, and confirms the importance of small acts of kindness. (QEFF 2021)

Screening Date:
September 25th, 2021 | Saturday | Genesis Cinema | 9:00 pm

Trailer:

For more information, please go to: https://queereast.org.uk

About the festival:
Queer East Film Festival is an LGBTQ+ film festival that showcases rarely-seen queer cinema from East and Southeast Asia. Seeking to amplify the voices of Asian communities in the UK, the festival explores the forces that have shaped the current queer landscape in Asia, and aims to encourage more inclusive narratives.

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