Puerto Rico’s 9th Edition of the International Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival (Queer FilmFest) will have 21 Puerto Rican productions, the greatest number in the festival’s history.
Victor Gonzales, the festival’s director explained “I think Puerto Ricans and queer communities are eager and need to tell and show their stories and show these are necessary stories, of which we need to talk, we need to make visible and that are part of our daily life.”
The festival was scheduled for last November, but the damage caused by hurricane Maria forced organizers to push back the date to May 17, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which celebrates the day when the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
The stories that will be told in Puerto Rico’s Queer FilmFest range from legal battle for adoption, to dealing with homophobia within families and the reality of trans people in the island.
One the national films is titled Ser familia, which translates to Being a family. The documentary film tells the real story of the legal and emotional struggle two women undertake to claim their right to adoption.
International productions include Latin American films Tinta bruta (Brute ink) from Brazil, Las Herederas (The heiresses) from Paraguay, Mi mejor amigo (My best friend) from Argentina, Abrazame como antes (Embrace me like before) and from Costa Rica.
Other films that have been praised in the film festivals of Cannes, Sundance, Berlin and Toronto include We the Animals form the United States and 120 Beats per Minute from France.
Gonzalez described the festival as a project of “resistance and visibility,” and said “the base of our program is very diverse and it focuses on cinematography that is not generally shown in Puerto Rican movie theaters or in digital platforms.”