Forbidden Pleasures

A transsexual Cinderella story. ... Raquela Rios has a dream: to make it all the way to Paris, to meet her Prince Charming and to settle down into a life of luxury. But Paris is a long way from the streets of Cebu City in the Philippines and Raquela is a transsexual prostitute - the odds, it seems, are stacked against her. In search of the cash she needs, Raquela is drawn into the sleazy world of ... Read more
"Explaining why they want to have surgery, they would say, ‘I want to live like everybody else. I want to be like others. I'm not a weirdo... I'm not a homosexual. I'm not filthy.'" - filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian ... In a country where homosexuality is punishable by death, the state has discovered a ‘cure'. Welcome to Iran, where male is male and female is female - with nothing in between; where a 19... Read more
Love hurts - even when you're over 60. ... Sixty-something seamstress Inge is thrown into a torrid love affair after bringing a pair of pants she altered to their owner, the affable 76-year-old Karl. The problem is she's still in love with her husband of 30 years, Werner, a man whose greatest hobby is listening to recordings of locomotives in the evenings.With the unbridled passion of 20-year-olds... Read more
“You realise that love does not mean hurting yourself, right?” ... Powerful, emotional and overwhelming, Downloading Nancy - debut feature from music video director Johan Renck - features a stellar performance from Maria Bello (Thank You For Smoking) as a haunting, broken woman who can only find love in pain. Self-mutilation, sadomasochism and suicidal tendencies colour the life of Nancy (Bello), ... Read more
“It is porn, yes, but of the most noble kind.” - Rotterdam Film Festival The “maestro of pulse-quickening simulated sex” - according to Variety - Jean-Claude Brisseau (Secret Things) continues his cinematic thesis on how women get what they want both in and out of bed. This film, about a trusting French director who lands in hot water after taping some saucy auditions, also mirrors Brisseau's real... Read more
“Blessed with an intense sympathy for his vulnerable characters, Lee [Kang-sheng] confidently combines social themes of poignant authenticity with striking visual elements.” - Toronto International Film Festival ... Lee Kang-sheng (The Missing, MIFF 2004), steps in front of and behind the camera for Help Me Eros, his second feature as an actor-writer-director. After losing his lot on the market a ... Read more
“All the people in my film are coming out as Muslims… They're proud to be gay… They're saying they're as Muslim as anybody else.” - filmmaker Parvez SharmaFourteen centuries since the holy Qur'an was penned, Islam is the world's second largest religion, and growing. Gay Muslim filmmaker Parvez Sharma travels the many worlds of this dynamic faith, discovering the tales of its most unlikely storytel... Read more
“Eroto-horror-satire mixes movie-within-a-movie machinations with graphic sex scenes that will titillate anyone who's ever wanted to see someone shagging an open wound.” - VarietyFilmmaking provocateur Bruce LaBruce's (The Raspberry Reich) latest film features a hoodie-wearing zombie, Otto, who reticently rises from the grave and wanders the gay clubs of Berlin. In his journey of self-discovery he... Read more
“Volatile male adolescence and adult irresponsibility react together in a claustrophobic hothouse environment.” - Screen International ... Aspiring tennis player Jonas is failing miserably at high school; he receives no support from his divorced parents, who are largely absent, but finds himself taken under the wings of a trio of thirty-somethings. Led by the affable Pierre, the group take charge,... Read more
Director Tom Kalin will be a guest of the festival and will be introducing the first screening of Savage Grace ... “I like to joke that I'm Norma Desmond in my castle with my monkey, and this is my comeback.” - filmmaker Tom KalinReturning to the unbelievable events of true crime with his first feature since 1991's Swoon, Tom Kalin picks over the bones of a society murder that had the world talkin... Read more
From the red light district of Copenhagen to the intimacy of a Syrian hamman (bathing house), those things whispered in hushed tones behind hands are universal across the world. Life's little taboos unfold in this tantalising programme of shorts that teases at our morals and prompts us to question further.Clean Linen New Zealand (fiction) D Zia Mandviwalla P Sarina Pearson, Shuchi Kothari S Shuchi... Read more
A freewheeling sexploration of a man lost in lust.Driven by lust, Richard (played by Mathieu Amalric in his thrid film at MIFF'08) takes some time off from his girlfriend to investigate his erotic obsession in a hands-on fashion. Embarking on a sexual exploration of the mysteries and eroticism of the women wandering the streets during the Parisian summer, Richard has numerous explicit encounters w... Read more
“Independent filmmaking is at its most exceptional when it defies categorization, and Teeth is jaw-droppingly undefinable.” - Sundance Film Festival High school student Dawn works hard at suppressing her budding sexuality by being the local chastity group's most active participant. A stranger to her own body, innocent Dawn soon discovers she is a living example of the vagina dentata myth and so be... Read more
Director Anna Biller will be a guest of the festival and will be introducing the first screening of Viva ... “You're not only a whore, you're a filthy lesbian.” Dangerously sheer negligees, kitsch décor and sizzling innuendos feature in this lurid tribute to sexploitation cinema of the 60s and 70s. This time, however, the genre has been rewritten from a woman's point of view. ... Viva centres arou... Read more
“I learned and lived more in the last seven days than in the last seven years... nothing will ever be the same again. I can't go back... my life begins now!” - documentary maker Jamie Morgan People enter a workshop that takes place over 10 days somewhere outside San Francisco. Run by a life-coach-with-a-difference, this workshop challenges the rules of society by pushing the boundaries of normal c... Read more
In 2005, a 45 year-old executive was anonymously delivered to hospital with a perforated colon. Following his subsequent death, videotapes found at his home showed him having sex with an Arabian stallion. The ensuing media coverage and public outcry over this incident uncovered a secret community of zoophiles - or ‘zoos' - which prompted filmmaker Robinson Devor to investigate further. His express... Read more
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