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The Amsterdam Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2011 in Retrospect

by Henk Harskamp in Events & Agenda , 28 juni 2011

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

The Pink Film Days 2011 are behind us again. The organization can look back upon a very successful edition. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan opened the event by saying: “We can use all sorts of things to make clear to people that Amsterdam is also a Gay City. The Pink Film Days express that our gay community is a prominent part of our city.”

During the opening weekend twice as many people visited the festival compared to last year. If this is the start of a new trend cinema Het Ketelhuis, which is a splendid location by the way, will soon be too small for this popular festival. In total almost six thousand people attended the fourteenth edition of the festival. It presented 112 movies from thirty-two different countries.

The atmosphere during the ten-day festival could be called unique, because it was rightly noted that most of the films can also be seen online, but to watch it together on a large screen and to be able to enjoy a drink and a talk afterwards beats any home experience.

The average age of the audience was rather high (40+) but that also has its charm: all of a sudden you run into old acquaintances from the eighties’ nightlife, people you hadn’t seen in decades. It was almost like a reunion sometimes.

Unfortunately there was also a nuisance I have to mention: the use of cell phones. Apparently there are losers who can’t be without it for, say, an hour and a halve. I’d say why not stay home and don’t bother film fans with your addiction. Nothing as annoying as a cell phone screen lighting up in the dark, shattering your dream world while watching a movie with great concentration.

Everyone could leave a little note of evaluation after watching a movie. At the end of the festival the organization would announce which movies had been most appreciated.

The Spanish drama “80 Days” was chosen as most favorite women’s movie. ---->

The Peruvian “Contracorriente” was most popular with men.

The Argentine “The Last Summer of Boyita” was the best-appreciated film with both men and women.

The latter (transgender) movie was also the favorite of a special youngsters jury.

Three Spanish language movies, this could be no coincidence. Indeed, this year the South American cinema was a central theme of the festival.

Personally, I’m a great fan of the short movie program (four to seven movies on a night). These are often not available on the internet and the only chance to see them is on festivals like this. An advantage is that if you don’t like one of them it never takes long before the next one comes along and you’d be very unfortunate if you didn’t like any of the pickings.

I thought the short Norwegian “The Samaritan” was very moving. It’s about a man looking after an illegal immigrant; a beautiful story with a rather shocking end.

I would like to compliment the organization and all volunteers of the Pink Film Days; it was a memorable edition, again. The people who made the website also deserve praise: it was informative, clear and easy to use with an extensive overview, a video blog and a photographic report. My only suggestion would be to announce the program, or part of it, a little earlier next year so that the press can preview the festival better.

Next year the fifteenth edition of the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival will take place in cinema Het Ketelhuis from the 15th till the 25th of March.



In the New Issue of Gay News, 322, June 2018

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