This weekend, New York City will host two film screenings focused on LGBT communities of color.
Saturday, October 15: Queer Caribbean Film Festival
New York’s Queer Caribbean Film Festival 2011 will be held at the Bronx Community Pride Center on Saturday, October 15, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. The festival will feature four films from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the United States. A question-and-answer session with each of the film’s directors will take place after the screenings.
Afuera Hay Aire (Dominican Republic, 2010, 45 min)
This documentary offers a broad and respectful look at the LGBT community in the Dominican Republic. It is a compilation piece that includes shorts from nine filmmakers whose works debuted as part of the first Outfest in Santo Domingo in December 2010. The film is in Spanish, with English subtitles.
Lucha Lubre (Dominican Republic, 2011, 7 min)
Directed by Joselina Fay, this documentary delves into the testimonies of numerous women who recount their life experiences within the context of their common identities as Dominicans and lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals. While the stories focus on sexuality, they underline complexities based on socioeconomic status, race, and gender identity. The film is shot in Spanish, with English subtitles. A Spanish-only trailer of the film is below.
Queen of Myself: Las Krudas d'Cuba (Cuba/US/Puerto Rico, 2010, 20 min)
This documentary by Celiany Rivera-Velázquez tells the story of Las Krudas, a tribe of feminist rappers from Cuba. The film explores the impact this trio has had in the Afro-centric and underground hip hop spheres in La Habana and the United States. The film is shot in Spanish, with English subtitles.
Open Doors: An experimental Focumentary for Gay/Bisexual Men (US, 2010, 47 min)
This film, directed by Charly Dominguez, is about a fictional support group for gay and bisexual men in New York City. Through the depiction of six characters, the film highlights issues including homophobia, self-esteem, stigma against HIV+ people, sex work, spirituality and gender identity.
Tickets for the Queer Caribbean Film Festival are $10. The Bronx Community Pride Center is located at 446 East 149th Street in the Bronx.
Sunday, October 16: Cinemarosa's "Queer Masala"
Queens’ only LGBT film series, Cinemarosa, will host its monthly screening at the Queens Museum of Art on Sunday, October 16, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. The series was started in 2004 by new media artist Hector Canonge. This month’s program, “Queer Masala: New Gay and Lesbian Cinema from India,” will feature two films.
Amen (India, 2010, 22 min)
Directed by Ranadeep Bhattacharyya and Judhajit Bagchi, this fictional film focuses on the interactions of Andy, a suave urban banker, and the soft-spoken, humble Harry. Initially brought together by the internet, the protagonists’ meeting forces them to address questions of self, truth and the meaning of life. The film manages to raise many heavy issues in a short time, from the pressure to remain closeted to the long-term effects of child sexual abuse. The film has screened in New Zealand and throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S., and won Best Indian Narrative Short at the Kashish Mumbai International Film Festival.
I Am (India-US, 2011, 71 min)
This feature-length documentary film by Sonali Gulati chronicles her journey home to Delhi, after eleven years, where she is forced to confront the loss of her mother to whom she never came out. As she meets and speaks to parents of other gay and lesbian Indians, she pieces together the fabric of what family truly means in a landscape where being gay was until recently a criminal and punishable offense. The film has won several awards, including Best Documentary at the Queer Lisboa Film Festival (Portugal) and Grand Jury Prize Best Documentary at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.
There is a suggested donation of $5 for the Cinemarosa screening, though no one will be turned away for lack of funds. An RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org is highly recommended. The Queens Museum of Art is located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens.