“SASOD is 15!” to open Painting the Spectrum film festival

“SASOD is 15!” a new documentary short exploring the impact of Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) will open this year’s Painting the Spectrum film festival, which will begin next Tuesday.

The festival, organised by SASOD and now in its 14th year, will feature over 40 films from all over the world, which will be screened at the organisation’s office, located at 203 Duncan Street, Lamaha Gardens, Georgetown.

Screenings will be held every Tuesday and Thurs-day in September from 6 pm.

In a press release issued yesterday, SASOD said the festival not only portrays a diversity of experiences from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities, but also features different genres of films, from comedies to experimental shorts, drama and completely-new documentaries.

The film festival aims to both offer a safe space for the LGBTQ+ Guyanese to interact and communicate, and to educate the general public by presenting queer-themed films, which are almost never screened in mainstream cinemas in Guyana, it explained.

It noted that the first week’s theme—“What is Gender, Anyway?”—focuses on gender norms, expectations, and persons with transgender experience, answering commonly asked questions and creating space for positive discussion and analyses.

The documentary “SASOD is 15!” and a panel discussion featuring diverse stakeholders who will reflect on SASOD’s journey as a Guyanese movement will official open the festival.

According to the release, the panel will be followed by a showing of the feature film “Bixa Travesty,” which is a documentary that follows Linn da Quebrada, a black transwoman, performer and activist living in impoverished São Paulo. “Her electrifying performances brazenly take on Brazil’s machismo,” the release noted, while saying the film is one of the most acclaimed recent LGBT movies and was presented at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2018. It also won the Best Documentary award at the Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and the Special Jury Award at the Toronto Inside Out Film Festival.

 On Thursday, September 6th, the release added, the festival continues with a screening of 10 shorts on themes such as being non-binary (not conforming to being either being male or female), and the rejection transgender people sometimes face from their families and friends. These shorts come from ten different countries around the world, including Spain, Iran, India, the Netherlands and Brazil.

The festival will then continue in the three ensuing weeks with themes such as “Love, Sex and Everything in Between,” “Our Rights, Our Culture, Our History,” and “Let’s Experiment.” The full programme and more information on the screenings can be accessed on the festival’s website: https://spectrumguyana.wordpress.com/. 

SASOD said admission to the film festival is free although the films are intended for mature audience and persons must be 18 years and over to attend. SASOD added that it reserves the right to refuse admission to persons who do not have identification to prove that they are not minors.

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