FRINGE! QUEER FILM & ARTS FEST RETURNS
WITH A HYBRID VERSION
10 - 15 November
(ONLINE ACROSS THE UK & CINEMAS ACROSS EAST LONDON)
This November, Fringe! returns for its tenth edition with a diverse, provocative and political programme of film screenings and events taking place in the festival’s online hub and in selected physical venues. All online screenings will be available across the UK.
Founded in 2011 as a community-led response to cuts to arts funding and the detrimental impact on LGBTQIA+ art and cultural production, the festival is committed to celebrating the best in queer filmmaking, from the DIY to the high budget. Fringe! remains entirely volunteer run and not-for-profit, whilst having become a landmark cultural event in London's queer calendar.
Fringe! 2020 opens with No Hard Feelings which follows German-Iranian Parvis as he serves out community service in a German refugee centre where he falls in love with Amon who has fled Iran with his sister Banafshe. The trio spend a glorious summer together in Faraz Shariat’s debut feature which one the Teddy Award for best film at this year’s Berlinale.
Closing the festival will be Brazilian coming of age comedy Alice Júnior which sees its titular trans protagonist coming to grips with having to move from the vibrant city of Recife to the country’s conservative Catholic South. In the least likely of places, will she find her crew of misfits, educate the school population, and finds first love, without limits?
The festival will also be showcasing more exciting features from Brazil and Germany. The sexually playful and aesthetically tantalising Brazilian drama Dry Wind, bringing together trade unions and neon-lit fellatio, and rebellious road movie Sol Alegria, a wild and radical ride through a dystopian Brazil featuring anus-worshipping, militant nuns worshipping, corrupt priests and unbridled free love. Leonie Krippendorf’s first feature Cocoon is a perfect, tender story of first love and the queer ways in which we open up the world for each other, following 14-year old Nora as she discovers herself over a sun-drenched Berlin summer.
Swedish documentary Always Amber will be opening the festival’s online hub. Comprising home video and social media footage of the entire 17 years of Amber's life, this film is a feat of modern storytelling, and a touching record of gender today.
Other documentaries of note in this year’s fest are the world premiere of Love + Blood, the first full-length portrait of performance artist Franko B who has unsettled the public for decades, with art made from his trauma and shows in which he bleeds himself. The Art of Fallism documents the protest movement led by Black and POC students at the University of Cape Town in 2015, who decided that the statue of slave trader Cecil Rhodes in the centre entrance to the city’s university must fall. These protests sparked a wave of undoings and anti-colonial actions around the world.
As usual the festival keeps it sexy with a number of features and shorts programming shining a light on sexual subcultures and desire. Michelle Handelman’s Bloodsisters: Leather, Dykes and Sadomasochism about the lesbian kink community in 1990s San Francisco receives a 25 anniversary screening, Julia Ostertag’s Female Ejaculation & Other Mysteries of the Universe is a fascinating exploration of the social history of squirting featuring pleasure-icon Annie Sprinkle, Josie Hess & Isabel Peppard’s documentary Morgana charts the life of of its protagonist from unhappy mid-fifties divorcee to queen of alternative queer porn. Special event Piggy in the Middle asks how to fulfil your sexual desires in the middle of a pandemic with the premiere of short film Oink! followed by a discussion including founder of iconic sex club Hard On, Suzie Krueger and multi-award winning adult performer John Thomas.
Fringe! boasts a broad array of special events from literary salons, an homage to 90s breakfast TV created by artists Louise Ashcroft and Fritha Jenkins, two online conferences for working class creatives and Black queer filmmakers, Drag Bedtime Stories, Bird La Bird’s queer deep dive into the Elizabethan age and the return of the Love Hub, covering all things sexual health and activism! All this in addition to ten short-film programmes ranging from the experimental to the sexy, and more!
Online Festival Hub
The majority of festival events will be taking place in Fringe!’s brand-new digital festival hub that will be running from Wednesday 11th November to Sunday 15th November. The hub will be accessible via day passes with ticket prices on a sliding scale.
Full programme: https://bit.ly/Fringe2020Programme