Between 18-22 September 2019 a new film event is coming to Tirana. Entitled “Queer Film Days” (QFD), the program consists of a number of films and events which highlight topics that refuse to be invisible and tell stories that “create a new cultural space”.
QFD has been organised by Open Mind Spectrum Albania (OMSA), headed by Arber Kodra, and in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana, the EU delegation, Stitching Art.1 and the International Human Rights Film Festival Albania (IHRFFA).
The events are also a part of the Youth Activists for Change (YAC) project which is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. YAC aims to empower filmmakers, storytellers, artists, and activists in creating art and performances focused on human rights/LGBTIQ+ rights and gender equality.
The festival opens on 18 September with a second showing of the award-winning exhibition ‘Culture of Humiliation’ by Macedonian artist and human rights activist Antonij Karadzoski. Through his artwork, he aims to break down stereotypes and raise awareness of important human rights issues such as bullying in the LGBTI community. The event will kick off at Europe House from 17:30.
A number of films will be shown over the days of the event, the first of which is ‘I Am Sofia’. It will be screened at 17:30 on 19 September at Kinema Millenium and a Q&A with the director will take place afterwards.
‘I Am Sofia’ is an Italian film directed by Silvia Luzi which tells the tale of a transgender woman who transitions in her late 20’s pushing away her previous name and forging a new persona as Sofia.
On the 20 September from 18:40 there will be a screening of a film called ‘Until Porn Do Us Part’ at the Academy of Film & Multimedia. Protagonist of the film, Sydney Riviera will also be in attendance and will be answering questions from the audience from the screening.
Telling the story of a middle-aged mother who comes to terms with her son becoming a gay porn star, it delivers a fascinating tale of overcoming prejudices, and beginning to accept.
Next up on 21 September is a matinee of films ‘Scar Tissue’, ‘High Tide’, and ‘Up Close and Personal’ which will be shown at Europe House from 19:00.
In attendance will be Dutch LGBT police officers Marja Lust and Abdel Late, and a Q&A will take place. ‘Up Close and Personal’ delves into sexual identity and personal experiences of LGBTI police officers and focuses on their coming out and personal life.
The last day of event which falls on 22 September will take the shape of a presentation of the final results of the filmmaking training undertaken by Youth Artists for Change Project including individuals from both Albania and Kosovo. It will take place from 17:00 at Europe House.
The festival is a great opportunity for members of the community and those from other parts of society to come together to watch, learn, enjoy, and discuss some of the finest art and independent film making of today.
This article was originally published on The Balkanista.