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Gay Film Festival Hits Bristol

Now in its 22nd year, The Watershed Arts Centre in Bristol welcomes back the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival on Tour from Saturday 5th July to Sunday 27th July and this time the festival is celebrating the very best in new queer cinema.

Eight films will be screened over the course of four weekends, and the tour promises to present the very best of “the most successful London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival ever”.

The films offer wonderful variety, from a revelatory documentary about Derek Jarman, the maverick painter, writer and filmmaker who died of AIDS in 1994, through to the bizarre but brilliant Otto; or, Up With Dead People  which combines horror, pornography, silent film and documentary in a diabolically fascinating fashion.

The tour opens at Watershed on Saturday 5th July with Breakfast with Scot, a clever, funny and thoroughly charming film in which Sam, a former professional ice-hockey player now working as a sports broadcaster, finds his machismo threatened when his partner Ed’s 11 year-old nephew Scot comes to live with them.

Derek – the second of the first weekend’s films, showing on Sunday 6th July, is a moving collage of rare and unseen footage offering touching insights into the last years of Derek Jarman’s life , one of the most crucial figures in British Independent Cinema, who died in 1994 of complications with AIDS.

The second weekend of the tour again sees two contrasting styles of film: Otto; or, Up with Dead People, showing on Saturday 12th July, tells the tale of Otto, a zombie with an existential crisis in Berlin, while Before I Forget, showing Sunday 13th, is a vastly accomplished study of self-reflection through the eyes of a 58-year old man with HIV.

The insightful and intriguing family drama Finn’s Girl opens the third weekend (Saturdat 19 July), portraying the lives of and relations between Finn Jeffries and her 11-year old daughter, Zelly, and their attempts to overcome the recent death of Finn’s partner.

On the Sunday is Spider Lilies (Sunday 20th), a candy-coloured tale in which a tattoo becomes the catalyst for change in the lives of two women, unearthing past secrets and awakening hidden desires.

The final weekend of the tour features She’s a Boy I Knew (Saturday 26th) which bravely documents the transition of Steven, a 23-year old, who makes the difficult decision to come out about his female gender identity to his wife and family and live as Gwen. The final film in the tour, Smiley Face (Sunday 27th), is a highly amusing stoner-comedy that follows Jane, an out-of-work actress who spends her days getting high. When she erroneously eats a batch of pot-filled cupcakes and ventures into the world a riotous drug-fuelled odyssey commences with disastrous results.

More information can be found on either the Watershed website, or The London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Website.