LGBT film fest kicks off in Moscow

27/04/2012
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Original article: A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender film festival is opening in Moscow. Despite the complicated history of such events, city authorities have not yet made their voice heard.

­The fifth international LGBT Side-By-Side fest hopes to raise the themes of tolerance towards homosexual love, bringing up children in gay and lesbian families, and gender censorship.

It promises meetings with human rights organizations, filmmakers and of course the movies themselves.

Director of the event Gulya Sultanova told Interfax news agency that the organizers hope to blast stereotypes that flourish in Russia regarding the gay-lesbian community.

“We hope that serious intellectual cinema… and wide discussions will help bust these myths,” she said.

The first Side-By-Side festival was held in St. Petersburg in 2008. Initially, the cinemas due to host the screenings suddenly called the whole thing off. The festival however managed to find other venues. Later editions of Side-By-Side were held in other Russian cities.

As St. Petersburg recently declared war on LGBT promotion, the festival has now moved to Moscow.

In the capital, it will be held for the first time.

“Moscow seems to be following in the footsteps of St. Petersburg with plans to ban the so-called propaganda of homosexuality. But we haven’t faced any pressure so far,” Sultanova noted.

The event opens in Moscow on Thursday and will run through April 29.

The program will include feature, documentary and short films from Sweden, France, Denmark, Latvia, Switzerland, and Israel.

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