Gay Film Nights, the only LGBTQ International Film Festival in Romania, reaches its 13th edition. The event will take place in Cluj-Napoca, between the 15th and the 21st of April 2019, and the entry for all the screenings is free. The event, organized by the Cluj-Napoca-based LGBT organization PRIDE Romania, will take place in the following locations around the city: Urania Palace, Cinema ARTA (in the cinema’s foyer), British Council, the Tailor’s Bastion Center for Urban Culture, REACTOR of Creation and Experiment, and Delirio the Club.
No fewer than 916 films from 87 countries were submitted in the competition for the five prizes of the festival. The selection team accepted 74 films to be screened in the festival: short films, feature films, and documentaries, amounting to over 45 hours of queer art.
Every year, the festival invests a lot of effort into bringing together international cinematographic productions with an LGBT+ theme, while also creating the opportunity for some other related events to take place under the scope of the festival. Among those cultural events, we mention photography and painting exhibitions, environmental actions, flash mobs, “Living Library”-type of workshops, “Show & Tell” exhibitions, social events intended to attract strong media exposure, as well as debates, lectures, and dialogues about the situation of LGBTQ people, discrimination, and last but not least, events focused on health related aspects, such as the HIV infection rate among the LGBT+ community from Romania.
While most initiatives in Romania that focused their attention on LGBTQ+ issues during the past few years shifted their approach towards a more hands-on type of involvement, seeking to reduce the levels of social stigma and discrimination by accentuating the necessity of supporting LGBT+ rights, The Gay Film Nights International Film Festival follows a different approach. Starting with the premise that mainstream media is flooded by rather incorrect and misleading messages, contaminated by obvious prejudice and stereotypes, this festival is meant to act as an outlet of communication by means of culture and openness towards society. This ambitious aim can be reached by exposure to appropriate media content and by sending out correct messages through each of the events that make up the “spinal cord” of the official festival programme.
Over the course of the past decade, The Gay Film Nights International Film Festival has been constantly growing. From humble beginnings with only a few films projected in a couple of consecutive evenings to a mature festival, lasting an entire week, with several movie projections taking place simultaneously in different locations and a diverse array of related events. We are proud to announce that with each edition, we are able to deliver a selection of over 50 submitted movies pertaining to three categories: short films, feature films and documentaries. Each of these films places the emphasis on various aspects of the lives of LGBT people. It has often been the case that the directors or producers of the films are present at the screenings as special guests, engaging in an interesting conversation with the public, sometimes starting from the intention of finding similarities between both the positive and negative aspects of LGBT life in the film’ country of origin and Romania.
It is worth acknowledging the tendency of mainstream films to represent LGBT people in a rather cliché, stereotypical fashion. The festival contributes to counteracting this destructive phenomenon.