Gay Films Can Also Be Romantic

By Helton Vilar

In the middle of the night, a piano music is the background for the meeting of two lovers. They do not need to say anything, but a message becomes very clear. June is a silent short film directed by Canadian Aaron Chan. The beautiful photography is a highlight for this production at the last evening of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2014 film screenings.

The Secret Path 73

a Still from feature drama The Secret Path


A Still from short film June

The same environment of lyric and sweet romance gives the tone for The Secret Path, a historical drama. In the year 1810, Frank and Theo are two British navy soldiers in love, planning to escape an unbearable journey in a ship. An unexpected development happens when they both realise that escaping away is just the beginning of another struggle.

Both movies are interesting productions and show how the GLBT stories also may produce romantic, sensitive dramas focused on relationship, different of the stereotype of the sex-related productions.

In the last evening of the film sessions, the audience will have the chance to join a Q&A session with The Secret Path director Richard Mansfield. The screening of both movies happens on Tuesday, 18/11 at 8.15 pm at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

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Life Choices For Gay People

By Helton Vilar 

The third film screening at the 2014 GFEST – Gaywise FESTival exhibits different approaches for the different and complex periods of life. A gay man reviewing his own trajectory sets the tone of The Last Farewell (2013), a short film written and directed by Swedish director Casper Andreas. Although not a frequent subject in GLBT productions, this delicate story is a profound reflection on the different stages of our life and the moment when some choices have a limited time to be made. This award-winner drama has been seen in many festivals around the world. +A LAST FAREWELL (INTERNATIONAL POSTER -jpeg) Leonardo and Gabriel 2 On the other edge, The Way He Looks is a story about young people and how their choices can also be complex. Blind teenager Leonardo is best friend with Giovana, when a boy arrives to change their relationship forever. Will Daniel’s disability influence his preferences? This new Brazilian feature production will debut with exclusivity at GFEST and has a great soundtrack, including Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. The screening of both movies happens on Monday, 17/11 at 6 pm at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

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The Cabaret Is Back: London style

By Helton Villar

Cabaret had always a bit of a surrealistic, magic, and insane world. At expected, a star studded line up from London’s Cabaret world is announced for a cabaret night at GFEST – Gaywise FESTival.

Bird la bird is an artist who straddles comedy and performance art, she has been described as a “Queer Pearly Queen”. Bird will be presenting her take on ‘Myths and Mythology’ as she MCs the evening.

After a flirt with the “Haute Couture Fishwife” Bird, Mzz Kimberley comes in as the queen of the voice. Elected in 2011 the “Best Cabaret Artist”, the performer has crossed many countries delivering a great singing, compared to many voices; Shirley Bassey and Tina Turner are some of them. Amidst various influences, we could highlight jazz, Gospel, and, of course, the best cabaret shows.


To finish with queer politics, Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit compose the Sh!t Theatre, an award-wining group that defines themselves as “theatrically political”. Using unique costume and make-up, they are interested in drawing political satire, gathering elements from the every day and using moments of dance, comedy, and improvisation on stage.

All performers in this evening show the plurality of London scene, putting together the best of the cabaret tradition, but bringing innovative practices with a beat of mystery and bizarre.

The Mythical Cabaret is part of the GFEST 2014. It happens Saturday, at 8 pm on 15th November – at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road – London E1 6LA

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Urban Tales Include Telling Gay Stories

Written by Helton Vilar

The second day of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2014 film events on 16 November presents two stories telling how diverse and dynamic gay stories might be found around the world. In the first film, the audience will be delighted by Brace, a short film about Adam, a guy who just broke with his girlfriend and end up meeting Rocky, an attractive man who holds a mysterious story that is slowly unveiled with lots of suspense. A mix of tale and realistic dilemmas, Brace is a fine production, with kind moments, displaying the worldly recognisable landscape of London.

Brace 1a (2)

A Still from film Brace


A still from Fagbug Nation

The second and hyper adventurous production is a sort of queer road movie. Imagine a beetle painted with the rainbow colours crossing the USA from coast to coast, reaching the Hawaii and Alaska. This is the main script of feature length documentary Fagbug Nation, a fascinating journey filmed across the States, promoting the GLBT cause. But beyond this, the film aims to deliver a message of equality and human rights defence. The two productions are as entertaining as relevant to show how different projects can gather interesting points around sexual diversity.

After the screening, all spectators are invited for a Q&A session with writer and actor Jake Graf, who stars Brace. The screening happens on Sunday, 16/11 at 12 noon at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA


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Two Unique Films About Being Gay In Russia

Written by: Helton Vilar

The first of the GFEST 2014 film screenings will be about being gay in Russia. The opening piece features the Le Zbor Choir, a group of lesbian singers from Zagreb, Croatia. This is a beautiful performance of the traditional Russian song Katjusha, paying homage to the fight for the GLBT rights in that country. The idea is to raise awareness to the recent threats against human rights, such as the anti-gay legislation, approved shortly before the Sochi Winter Olympics. Directed by Tomislav Fiket, the idea of this short film is to engage people by showing sympathy to the situation in Russia and around the world.

+Le ZborTo Russia with lovephoto


The second production is a feature drama based on the same context. After witnessing a homophobic murder in the streets of Moscow, Anton (Renat Shuteev), along with his boyfriend Vlad (Andrey Kurganov) start a thrilling investigation, which will put at risk his own safety in order to prove the truth. Stand is a feature film, and brings two emerging stars, Shuteev and Kurganov, who have appeared in productions in Russia and France. The production had a world premiere in San Francisco, USA, and now has its debut at London GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2014

A Q&A session with actor Andrey Kurganov will happen just after the film screening. The screening happens on Saturday, 15/11 at 12 noon at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA

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London Gay Art Festival GFEST 2014 Programme LIVE Now

All Arts, All Welcome:

An eclectic line up featuring new commissioned works presented along with curated LGBTQI art and films.

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2014 full programme details are now announced on GFEST 2014 website:

London’s LGBT cross-art annual event GFEST 2014 will showcase new visual and performance art works and films from Monday the 10th to Saturday the 22nd November.
Breathtaking works that explore this year’s festival theme ‘Myths & Mythology’ include thought provoking feature and short films, paintings, video installation and photographic works along with cabaret acts as well as South Asian dance works.

Headliners include: the critically acclaimed ‘STAND’ – a Russian feature film directed by Jonathan Taieb, while British filmmakers Jake Graf and Richard Mansfield to present ‘Brace’ a queer short film, and the feature ‘The Secret Path’ respectively.  Daniel Ribeiro’s gay teen drama ‘The Way He Looks’ along with Erin Davies’ ‘Fagbug Nation’ a popular follow up to the original ‘Fagbug’ are to be screened. Filmmakers Casper Andreas and David Färdmar whose films have been a part of previous GFESTs screenings, will premier a short film ‘A Last Farewell’.

GFEST 2014 filmmakers and the stars are expected to participate in the Q&A sessions, after each film screening, at Rich Mix in East London from 15 to 18 November.
Quoted as being ‘Queer Pearly Queen’ and ‘Haute Couture Fishwife’ Bird la Bird will present a cabaret evening line up that includes 2011 BOYZ award winner for best cabaret act Mzz Kimberley and multi-award winning sensational act Sh!t Theatre at Rich Mix on the 15 November night.

New Commissions, New Direction:

Sh!t Theatre CDD Edit-0223 The Outer pt. II RADAPerformance The Secret Path 78
British Asian dancer Kali Chandrasegaram will present a new performance work ‘S(He)-dom’ while Justin McCarthy, an established ‘Indian’ Bharatanatyam dance guru from the prestigious Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra will complete the double bill with his new work on myths, ‘Mohini: God Becomes Enchantress’.  The dance event will take place on the evening of Thursday the 20 November at RADA studio. A debate on gay identity and practice within the conventional South Asian dance sphere is planned at Roehampton University with both the dancers and other panel members.
New works are also the key feature at GFEST 2014 visual art exhibition that will run from 10 to 22 November at Menier Gallery near Tower Bridge. Challenging art works from established artists like Sadie Lee and Matthew Stradling will lead the showcase. Enzo Marra will show his Francis Bacon series along with art works of Berlin and London based artist Mathias Vef and Joao Trindade’s promising new digital images. The exhibition will also include ‘mythical’ interpretations from younger artists like Gökhan Tanriöver and Jenny Welton.

Unique and Free entry debates and panel discussions will take place as a part of GFEST 2014 programme.

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GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2014 Show Reel Video Released on You Tube

London LGBTQI cross art festival GFEST – Gaywise FESTival video showreel is released on its YouTube Channel.

The annual November eclectic event in London’s cultural calendar, GFEST will take place this year from 10 to 22 November 2014.

More info:

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